When a child has diabetes, it can be difficult to deal with the situation, as it is necessary to adapt the diet and routine, often the child feels frustrated and may present behavioral changes such as wanting to be more isolated, having moments aggressiveness, losing interest in leisure activities or wanting to hide the disease.
This condition can generate stress for many parents and children, so in addition to changes in diet, there are other precautions that must be taken for children with diabetes. This care can help to improve the quality of life and reduce the impacts of the disease on the child and include:
1. Always eat at the same time
Children with diabetes should eat at the same time and preferably have 6 meals a day such as breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and a small snack before bed. It is ideal that the child does not spend more than 3 hours without eating, as this helps to create a daily routine and facilitates the programming of insulin applications.
2. Offer an adapted diet
To assist in adapting the diet of the child with diabetes, it is important to follow up with a nutrition professional, as this way, an eating plan will be carried out in which the foods that can be eaten and those that should be avoided will be written. Ideally, foods high in sugar, breads and pasta should be avoided and replaced with options with a low glycemic index, such as oats, milk and whole-grain pasta. See more which foods have low glycemic index .
3. Don’t offer sugar
Diabetic children have deficiency in the production of insulin, which is the hormone responsible for reducing blood glucose levels and therefore when eating foods rich in sugar they have very high glucose symptoms, such as drowsiness, a lot of thirst and increased pressure. Thus, when receiving the diagnosis of diabetes it is necessary that the child’s family does not offer foods rich in sugar, carbohydrates and make food based on other products with the lowest possible sugar content.
4. Avoid having sweets at home
It should be avoided as much as possible to have sweets such as cakes, cookies, chocolates or other treats at home, so that the child does not feel like eating. There are already some foods that can replace these sweets, with a sweetener in their composition and that can be eaten by diabetics. In addition, it is important that parents do not eat these foods, as the child observes that the routine has been changed for all family members.
5. Bring sugar-free sweets to parties
So that children with diabetes do not feel excluded at birthday parties, homemade sweets that are not high in sugar can be offered, such as diet gelatin, cinnamon popcorn or diet cookies. Check out a great diabetes cake recipe for diabetes .
6. Encourage physical exercise
The practice of physical exercises helps to control blood glucose levels and should be a complement to the treatment for diabetes in children, so parents should encourage these activities. It is important to maintain an exercise routine that generates well-being in the child and is appropriate for the age, which can be football, dance or swimming, for example.
7. Have patience and be affectionate
Daily bites to administer insulin or take blood glucose tests can be very painful for the child and, therefore, it is very important that the person who is going to take the bite is patient, caring and explaining what they are going to do. By doing this, the child feels valued, important and collaborates better at times when glycemia research or insulin should be administered.
8. Let the child participate in the treatment
Letting the child participate in your treatment, leaving, for example, to choose the finger for the bite or to hold the insulin pen, can make the process less painful and more interesting. You can also let the child see the pen and pretend to apply it to a doll, telling her that many other children may also have diabetes.
9. Inform the school
Informing the school about the child’s health situation is a fundamental and very important step in the case of children who have to carry out specific food and treatments outside the home. Thus, parents should inform the school so that sweets are avoided and that the whole class is educated in this aspect.
10. Don’t treat differently
The child with diabetes should not be treated any differently, because despite constant care, this child must be free to play and have fun, as this way they will not feel pressured or guilty. It is important to know that, with the assistance of a doctor, the diabetic child can lead a normal life.
These tips should be adapted to the child’s age and, as they grow up, parents should teach about the disease, explaining what it is, why it happens and how it can be treated.