Hello, beautiful! This is my sweet Kaiya. She is fun, strong, is a little foodie, and has a heart of gold. She is always caring for her twin, Mila, as if she’s her mommy. To know her is to love her and to have her love is one of the most special gifts anyone could receive. You can only imagine how my heart broke for her when she got the unexpected diagnosis of having prediabetes. Well, actually pre- prediabetes. She’s just under the cutoff for prediabetes but it’s enough for her doctor to prescribe a new diet for her.
Getting the Diagnosis
I was shocked to hear about this diagnosis. How could this be?! I’ve been the crazy, organic sugar-policing mom. I always made certain my girls ate a wholesome, healthy diet. I made their baby food and fed them the rainbow of fruits and veggies every day. They never had soda or “sports” drinks and rarely had juice. If they ordered a lemonade at a restaurant, they weren’t allowed to order dessert. They got to choose the lemonade or the dessert. When we went out for ice cream, I asked for them to serve the tiniest of scoops. I got laughs and eye-rolls from other moms but it didn’t bother me- I wanted my girls to grow up with a healthy appetite for healthy food. I didn’t want them to only eat “kids menu” food. Most of all, I wanted them to be healthy kids. I didn’t deprive them of sweet treats, but I watched their sugar intake closely.
I realized quickly I had to stop asking how and why. I had to move forward and focus on making sure Kaiya was healthy. The new school year was about to begin and we had a lot of dietary changes to make for Kaiya- no more refined sugars and cut way back on carbs. I immediately began texting a friend with diabetes who provided lots of helpful information and tips. She mentioned many diabetics follow the Keto diet- so I ran out about bought a few cookbooks to get us started. We then met with a nutritionist who provided lots of great info and suggestions. Her simplest and most useful tip was for each meal, Kaiya’s plate should have half veggies, one-quarter protein, and one-quarter carbs. The sugar in fruits is ok, however, she needs to balance it with a protein/fat like cheese or peanut butter. Although we don’t go by the Keto diet, I have found the cookbooks useful for baking recipes, which replaces traditional flour with almond flour and sugar with stevia. We’ve tried lots of new foods- since she’s a little foodie, she loves trying new foods.
Exercise is also very important in managing prediabetes in kids. Kaiya continues to take karate classes with Mila 2-3 times a week. She also enjoys swimming, joining me for yoga, dancing (Just Dance is a wicked workout!), and playing outside.
It’s been nearly 2 months since Kaiya was diagnosed with prediabetes and she is doing AWESOME! It’s not easy for a 7-year-old to give up sugar cold turkey, yet she makes it look like a breeze. She does get down about it every now and then. I let her talk her feelings out. She also likes to write her feelings down so she will write me a letter every now and then. Our entire family has been very supportive of her during this transition. I’m amazed at the compassion Mila has had for her- she often goes without dessert and sweets to stand by her sister. We’ve all reduced the amount of carbs and sugar we consume daily and we’re all feeling healthier. Kaiya is such a light in our life. She has not let this prediabetes diagnosis dull that light- she continues to sparkle and shine.
Learning about prediabetes and how to help my daughter manage it is now a priority of mine. I am going to continue to learn all I can to keep my girl healthy, strong, and happy. Sharing tips, recipes, breakthroughs, and even set-backs along the way with you will be part of our journey. If you have any tips on managing prediabetes in kids, please share with me.
Thanks so much for letting me share this with you and have a lovely day.