5 Fun Games and Toys to Teach Kids (and Adults!) About DiabetesA. Stout
A diabetes diagnosis can be really intimidating. Suddenly, you have to start tracking carb intake and blood sugar levels, memorize nutritional facts about various foods, give yourself insulin…there’s a lot to take in and remember just so you can stay healthy. Luckily, people with technological superpowers have realized this and have taken action to give kids and adults, type 1 and type 2 diabetics a helping hand. The result are some games, activities, and toys. Here are five that you or your child can try.
In this game, various food groups, sugars, and insulin tubes rain from the sky. The goal is to keep a character’s blood sugar levels stable by directing him or her to the left or right to eat a varied diet or take insulin. If you manage to do this by the end of the countdown, you get to move on to the next level. But if blood sugar gets too high or too low by that time, it’s game over!
While not particularly inexpensive, Jerry the Bear is another way to teach children about diabetes management. Invented by engineering students, the bear is diabetic and must receive “insulin” and “food.” It also teaches kids about healthy versus unhealthy blood sugar levels.
Needless to say, gauging carb intake is an important part of diabetes management, and the Lenny the Lion website helps little ones learn to do just that. Four games about carb management are available: “Carb or No Carb?” (decide if the food item presented has carbs or not); “Compare the Carbs” (determine which of two foods has more carbs); “Guess the Carb” (guess the actual carbohydrate content of various foods); and “Build a Meal” (toss together a virtual meal that hits a certain carb limit). These games can be played online or can be downloaded onto iPhones, Androids, or iPads.
4. Coco’s Cove
The object of the game is to shoot Coco the monkey at certain foods and avoid others. Coco has type 2 diabetes, so he may get sluggish if you eat too many sweets or get angry if you don’t eat enough food—both of which inhibit you.
For adults who are visual learners, this memory game is a great way to learn about the foods you should eat if you have diabetes. Unveiling a pair will reveal a description of the food, as well as a tip for incorporating it into your diet.