Therefore, it is advised to inculcate the basic principles of diabetes management in children at an early stage in life – at the age when they cannot resist candy and junk foods, educating them about portion control might work wonders in preventing a long-term risk of diabetes.
Here are three tips to help your teen stick to a healthy diet, if you have a strong family history of diabetes.
Incorporate mindful eating into their routine
Mindful eating is all about being present and tuned in to your body’s hunger cues. It involves slowing down, taking time to save your food, and eating only until you’re satisfied – not stuffed. One way to encourage mindful eating is to have regular family meals where everyone sits down together, turn off electronics, and focuses on enjoying each other’s company and the food.
Help them serve themselves the right portions
Portion sizes have increased drastically over the years, both in restaurants and at home. As a result, many of us no longer know what a “normal” portion size looks like. This can be especially tricky for teens, especially those with a positive, strong family history of diabetes who need to take extra care to prevent the disease. A good rule of thumb is to fill half of their plate with vegetables or fruits, one-quarter with lean protein, and one-quarter with whole grains or starchy vegetables. As far as portion sizes go, proteins should be about the size of their palm while carbohydrates should be about the size of their fist.
Educate them on making healthy food choices
Many teens think that eating healthy means depriving themselves of all their favorite foods. But that doesn’t have to be the case! There are plenty of ways to make unhealthy foods healthier without sacrificing taste. For example, if they love pizza, you could try making it at home with whole wheat dough and low-fat cheese or toppings like grilled chicken or vegetables. If they want French fries, bake them instead of frying them. And if they want dessert, you could opt for something lighter like fruit salad or yogurt parfait instead of cake or pie.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.