Type 2 diabetes diet for kids: low-fat plain milk or yogurt, blueberries, citrus fruits, salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, beans, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, tomatoes and non-starchy vegetables.
Type 2 Diabetes in children means a condition that affects children, in which their body cannot process glucose (sugar). If your child has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is important that you know how to manage it, because otherwise, it could lead to certain complications and even prove life-threatening if neglected. This differs from Type 1 diabetes in that, Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces very little or no insulin. Because type 1 diabetes develops during the childhood and early adolescence, it is also called Juvenile diabetes. However, it can also develop in adults.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Usually, the body’s own immune system – which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses – mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet, or islets of Langerhans) cells in the pancreas. This is different from how type 2 diabetes develops: as a result of poor health and lifestyle choices.
If your child is suffering from Type 2 diabetes, here is a list of things to include in his or her diet so as to provide the body with the nutrients it requires. These foods are especially beneficial for those with diabetes.
11 Best Super Foods for Child with Type 2 Diabetes
Non-fat or low-fat plain milk or yogurt
Diabetes demands for foods with a low glycemic index (gi) and foods such as low fat or non-fat milk and yogurt provide just that. Not just milk and yogurt, all low-fat dairy products are good for diabetes patients. They are fortified with vitamin d which strengthens the bones and is essential for good health. It is also one of the rarest naturally available vitamins. so including vitamin d enriched dairy products in your child’s diet can be tremendously helpful.
Blueberries and other berries
Blueberries are filled with anti-oxidants and are great sources of vitamin c. Sometimes diabetes can affect the eyes, and therefore, including vitamin c rich foods in your child’s diet, such as blueberries can be a really good idea. Vitamin c protects the eyes. These berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit or vegetable and may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and other berries such as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are a good diet choice if your child has diabetes type 2.
Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, oranges and grapefruit are a great option for those with diabetes type 2. These are fruits with a low glycemic index, and a very high content of vitamin c and fiber. Research has shown that citrus fruits, when consumed whole, can reduce the risk of diabetes, but drinking their juice can actually increase it. Therefore, try to include more whole citrus fruits in your child’s diet. Grapefruit has one of the lowest gi scores among all fruits.
Salmon and other omega-3 fatty acid rich foods
Wild salmon is a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower risk of heart disease. It’s also full of vitamin d and selenium for healthy hair, skin, nails, and bones. Other such nutritious fish include herring, sardines, and mackerel. Since fish and other protein foods don’t contain carbs, they will not increase blood sugar levels. Adding salmon to a meal can help slow digestion of other foods eaten at that meal and help increase fullness. These will therefore make a good addition to your child’s diet if he/she is suffering type 2 diabetes.
Walnuts, flax seeds and other seeds
Flaxseeds and Walnuts contain magnesium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that boosts heart health and lowers cholesterol. They’re full of vitamin e, folic acid, zinc, and protein. There are many other nuts which provide healthy fats and can curb hunger, but these two are particularly powerful. How these work is that they substitute the carb requirement of the body with omega 3 fatty acids, and help to lower blood sugar count. Therefore, you must add more of such nuts to your child’s diet.
Beans are considered a diabetes superfood. They are among nature’s most nutritious foods. They’re high in fiber and protein. They also deliver essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. And they’re low on the gi: black beans, for example, have a gi score of only 30and chickpeas have a score of 10. Studies suggest that beans are a good way of controlling the glycemic index of those with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, you must always ensure your child eats his beans.
Leafy greens are an excellent choice for those with diabetes. Your child may not want to eat green leafy vegetables, but you must try to include more of it in his diet. Kale is full of nutrients. It provides more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin a and vitamin k. Collard greens are another leafy green that packs a ton of nutrients into a small package. Leafy greens contain nutrients which can neutralize cancer-causing substances. They have also shown to be able to manage blood pressure, something that is associated with diabetes quite frequently.
Whole grains such as barley and lentils should be included in your child’s diet, especially if he/she is suffering from diabetes type 2. These are full of antioxidants and soluble and insoluble fiber. These help to metabolize fats and keep the digestive track healthy. The grain also keeps blood sugar levels stable. Lentils are another good option since they provide b vitamins, iron, complex carbohydrates, and protein. Therefore, it is a great option to include in your child’s diet to maintain good health.
Tomatoes are yet another diabetes superfood which contain lycopene, a powerful nutrient which may reduce the risk of cancer (especially prostate cancer), heart disease, and macular degeneration. They also have a low glycemic index, which is ideal for type 2 diabetes patients. Make sure your child eats tomatoes, especially if he/she is suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Non- starchy vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables have fewer carbs per serving. They include everything from artichokes and asparagus to broccoli and beets. This category of veggies goes a long way in satisfying hunger and boosting your intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. These vegetables also have a low calorific and carb count, which makes them ideal for consumption by diabetic people. Therefore, if your child has diabetes, non-starchy vegetables are a great option for him.
These are some of the diabetic superfoods which will not only help control your child’s sugar levels but also make him or her healthier. Make sure to add as many of these as you can to his or her diet to ensure good health.