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One of your first questions about diabetes is the hardest to answer: Why my child?

You may feel guilty about your genes, or think that you caused diabetes by letting you child eat too many sweets. In fact, no one really knows why certain people have diabetes.

Researchers have been working on the question for years without a definite answer. Genes do have a role in diabetes, but how much of a role is uncertain. Close relatives of people with diabetes (siblings, parents, and children), have a greater chance to develop it themselves. More and more children are overweight or obese. Being overweight increases your child’s risk for type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that losing a small amount of weight can help lower blood glucose levels. If your child has diabetes and is overweight, losing weight can help lower blood glucose levels. If your child is trying to lose weight, calories count. That doesn’t mean your child has to cut out favorite foods. But it is a good idea to reduce serving sizes. Your child can include favorite foods in a healthy meal and still lose weight.


If your child has diabetes, it’s a good idea to work with a health care team to develop a meal plan that is right for your child. A meal plan will help guide what your child eats.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

    • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day (include a variety of colors such as green, yellow, orange and red).
    • Aim for six servings of breads, cereals , and starchy vegetables (starchy vegetables include peas, corn, potatoes, and dried beans such as kidney beans or pinto)
    • Choose two – three servings of low-fat dairy products like skim or 1% milk or non-fat yogurt.
    • Choose lean meats, chicken, fish (Pick meats without visible fat and remove skin from chicken and other.
    • Cut back on sweets and desserts (most desserts are high in calories and do not contain many vitamins and minerals)


Restaurants usually serve very large portions. Try these tips of count calories:

  • Eat only half a meal and take the other half home
  • Split an entrée or dessert with a family member or friend

©2007 St. James Catholic Church, Hopewell, VA