Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Between attempting to grab everything within arm’s reach and asking to buy everything else, grocery shopping with children can be a real challenge. However, the benefits of taking children with you for groceries and enlisting them to help choose healthy foods could outweigh the hassle – and help them create good nutrition habits for the future.

That’s why Summit Health is offering Grocery Store Tours for Kids aimed at teaching children and their parents the fun and importance of shopping for healthful foods.

The tours are part of Summit Health’s month-long “Awaken Your Taste Buds” campaign as part of its participation in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month® initiative.

Tours will be at 6 p.m.:

- Monday, March 27, at Giant Food Store, 993 Wayne Ave., Chambersburg

- Tuesday, March 28, at Shope & Save, 500 North Antrim Way, Greencastle

- Thursday, March 30, at Food Lion, 431, Fort Loudon Road, Mercersburg

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Barb Van Meerbeke with Summit Endocrinology said it’s important for children to learn about healthy eating from a young age.

“The best way to instill good eating habits in children is to lead by example and start teaching them from a young age,” she said. “Allowing them to pick out healthy foods at the store and make them a part of grocery shopping often helps translate to more excitement at the dinner table.”

Appropriate for children ages 8 to 12, the tour will offer tips on eating based on MyPlate recommendations; how to identify healthy snacks; and how to make traditionally unhealthy snacks healthy.

Space is limited for the free tours and registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

To register, call (717) 262-4472 or click here.

Pediatric diabetes

Dr. Kanika Shanker, pediatric endocrinologist with Summit Endocrinology, said in addition to setting children up for the best lifelong health, possible, proper nutrition is an important part of preventing childhood obesity.

“Childhood obesity is troubling because in addition to the risk of various chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure beginning at an earlier age, we are seeing type 2 diabetes in young people,” she said. “Type 2 diabetes is something that once was characterized as a disease affecting only middle-age individuals and the older population.”

Dr. Shanker explained that while children can be born with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is strictly the result of lifestyle. She also offered answers to some of the most common questions she gets asked:

Q: What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

A: Unhealthy weight and a family history of type 2 diabetes are the two most important risk factors.

Q: What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children?

A: In almost half of patients, there can be no symptoms present. When there are symptoms, though, we commonly see that children are drinking and urinating more. This is often accompanied by a lack of energy.

Q: How do we diagnose it?

A: It is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical examination and blood work.

Q: What is the treatment?

A: Adoption of a healthy lifestyle is the main pillar of treatment. Oral medications and insulin are also tools for treatment. 

Q: What kind of health care professionals manage it?

A: It is best managed under the guidance of a pediatric endocrinologist and diabetes physician with help of a nutritionist and clinical diabetes educator.

Q: Can it be associated with other medical problems?

A: Unmanaged or improperly managed diabetes can be associated with high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and heart attack. It can also cause menstrual problems in females.

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.

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