Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Healthful Eating: A Family Affair

by Patti Geil, MS, RD, FADA, CDE, and Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, RN, BC-ADM, CDE

For more information about MyFoodAdvisor, go to the ADA Web site, www.diabetes.org, and click on “Food & Fitness.”

The US Department of Agriculture resource ChooseMyPlate is not diabetes specific, but it is rich in information about healthy eating at home. It includes resources for weight management, a “SuperTracker” tool that can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity, as well as healthy eating tips for the entire family.

For more information about ChooseMyPlate, check out the Web site www.choosemyplate.gov.

Garnering family support
Ideally, your family will unite around the kitchen table, support your diabetes self-management efforts, and benefit from eating meals based on your diabetes meal plan. If your family is accustomed to eating high-carbohydrate, high-fat foods, it may be a challenge to shift to a new way of eating. Having a family discussion about ways to support the person with diabetes who needs to limit those foods is a good place to begin accepting “the new normal.” It’s very isolating for the person with diabetes to eat a salad while others are having French fries, but everyone can get healthier by eating more raw, steamed, or lightly sautéed vegetables and fewer fried ones. Check out these tips for getting your family on board with healthful eating.

Experts say that families reap enormous emotional and health benefits when they eat meals together regularly. Family communication improves, and the behavior of children is better overall. Dining without the distractions of cell phones and television makes mealtime a great time to be together, connect, and share. Children who eat at least three meals a week with their family are more likely to be at a healthy weight and to choose nutritious foods over empty calories.

It may take a bit of effort to eat together in the hectic world of work and after-school activities, but it is effort well-spent. Make family mealtimes a priority, and use your healthy diabetes meal plan as the basis for instilling good eating habits that will last your family for a lifetime.

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Also in this article:
Family Matters
Take-Away Tips



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Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



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