Regular schedules can help children remain healthy

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With children back in school, it is a good time to look at your family’s daily schedules. Children need a regular family schedule for their best health. 

Child-ren should get enough daily rest and sleep each night. Enforce firm limits for bedtime, even on weekends.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 10 to11 hours of sleep daily for school-age children and nine hours for teens.

Most kids get far less than this and are continually sleep-deprived. Studies show that too little sleep increases the risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety, mood swings, poor memory and attention and driving accidents.

There should be time to eat meals without rushing. Children need three nutritious meals plus two or three snacks every day to be healthy and do well in school and activities.

It is important to plan time for your children to complete their homework.  Finally, children need time for physically active play of their choice.

Avoid over-scheduling activities. Be realistic as your children may want to do many things. Help them make choices so they are not overscheduled. 

Look carefully at your family schedule – make it well balanced so everyone is relaxed and not always running from one thing to the other. 

This information was shared by Carole Gnatuk, PhD, Senior Extension Specialist for Child Development, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Could diabetes be a family secret?

Do you know your family’s health history? Is it like a secret no one talks about? Health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, often run in families. Many people who get Type 2 diabetes have one or more family members with the disease.

The Carroll County Extension Service in cooperation with Three Rivers District Health Department provides programs to help people manage their diabetes. This includes a monthly diabetes support group and plans for a series of six to eight sessions on managing your diabetes in October and November. Call me at (502) 732-7030 or e-mail gangotti@uky.edu  for information about these programs. 

National Diabetes Education Program urges everyone to share their family  health history with their health provider to help him address the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Studies show that you can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your weight—like 10 to 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds and overweight.  Lose weight by walking 30 minutes a day five days a week and choosing healthy foods lower in fat and calories.

Keeping blood glucose (sugar) as close to normal early after being diagnosed with diabetes helps you have fewer eye, nerve, and kidney problems and fewer heart attacks later in life.

You should also make healthy dietary choices:

• Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

• Choose lean meats, poultry without skin, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. 

• Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

• Get moving. Make physical activity important. Walk or play soccer, basketball, or tag with your children. Try swimming, biking, hiking, jogging or any activity that you enjoy. Vary your activities so you don’t get bored.

Don’t let diabetes be your family secret. Make a family plan to work together to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. Order NDEP resources: Small Steps Big Rewards Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes  by calling 1-888-693-6337, or  www.YourDibaetesInfo.org.  Also the Weight-control Information Network’s resources on nutrition, physical activity, and weight control www.win.niddk.nih.gov.

Dates of interest

Aug. 30: Extension Homemakers fall kickoff, 6 p.m., Extension office.

Sept. 6: Extension Homemakers Learn with Us! “Plate it Up!”  6 p.m., Extension Office. Living Well books to first 10 to sign up.


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.