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Teaching Kids about Diabetes

Posted on August 9, 2014 | No Comments on Teaching Kids about Diabetes

Educating patients and their relatives about diabetes is critical for the effective management of the disease. However, children typically don’t respond to the same tactics used to persuade adults to make necessary dietary modifications. As such, it is important for nutrition professionals to adopt creative strategies to help teach young clients about diabetes. Here are some techniques that can help.

Get rid of the Fear Factor. Teaching how diabetes impacts the body should conducted in a way in which anxieties and fear among children and parents are extinguished. This could be achieved in many ways such as by using visual tools with colorful drawings and happy characters to supplement the lesson. One can also make the lessons fun by incorporation game playing to explain how the disease works. For instance, one can use the game tug of war in which opposing sides are insulin and food.

Win Them Over. It is important for teachers to win the rapport of both child and parent for them to listen. This for instance can be achieved by establishing good relations with the through informal talks first. Another way to change child’s diet through rapport is by asking what the child patient wants to eat and what he is willing to change then changing their diet plan that involve them instead of imposing a totally new diet plan.

Explain details. Elaborate the importance of eating three meals per day as well as maintaining proper balance of carbohydrates and protein. One should also suggest meals that are good as well steps on what to do if patient feels weak or tired.

Practice Role Playing. Act out realistic socializing scenarios which show how the diabetic patient should appropriate respond. For instance, when a friend offers a cookie or piece of candy, tell the child what to do properly by emphasizing the effects of these foods on their body and their feeling. Similarly, clarify to them their limitations in eating unhealthy snacks such as pizza, ice cream or cakes in a party, which they still can attend without eating too much of such sweets.

Family approach. Diabetes is a family disease. Aside from the child, other members of the family especially the parents are affected because they should provide supportive roles in terms of lifestyle changes. Moreover, diabetes is also genetic. Hence, it is important that all family members take pre-emptive steps to avoid getting infected by it because of living unhealthy lifestyles.

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