Low carb kids – growing into healthy adults
This is a very controversial topic in South Africa, considering the whole Tim Noakes saga. I still find it unbelievable that majority of people think it is better to feed their kids sugar, wheat and other nasty chemical ingredients than whole and healthy food.
In South Africa, on average, kids consume about 50 g of sugar each day. This is about 12.5 teaspoons of sugar – every day!! You might say this is not possible as I only add a teaspoon of sugar to their cereals or perhaps in their tea, but you forget that everything you buy contains sugar. You might think it is healthy to allow your kids to eat unlimited fruit, but in fact even fruit contains plenty of sugar.
Obesity in kids are increasing and it is mainly due to bad eating habits. Similarly, more kids are diagnosed with learning difficulties or behavioral problems and majority linked to the high carb and sugar diets. Sadly, overweight kids are more likely to turn into overweight adults.
Luckily some dieticians are starting to encourage parents to follow a low carb lifestyle as a family. We were very lucky to have a very supporting and knowledgeable dietician when we started our journey. She agree with majority of the principles behind low carb living – which made our journey easier.
Low carb eating for kids are not the same as for overweight adults. Many people think low carb for kids means limiting their carb intake to below 30 g of carbs a day – THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Kids are growing and need more healthy carbs, protein and fat. Our general rule is Little M can eat unlimited protein and fat. Her body doesn’t deal well with carbs – so she gets carbs in limited amounts. She can eat pumpkin and carrots daily. She is also allowed to have fruit 3 -4 times a week. Nuts are also great for growing kids.
My top tips for converting to low carb living with kids would be:
- Stop buying processed food – if you only have “banting friendly” food in your house, there will be nothing to temp the family to “cheat”.
- Start following blogs or websites dedicated to the LCHF lifestyle and make an effort to read articles about the lifestyle and benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
- Start educating your kids on the effects of sugar/grains on the body – education is key. Telling your child, they can’t have something will just make them eat it in secret. Offer them two healthier alternatives, and explain to them why those are better options.
- Prepare food as a family – kids are more willing to try new food if they helped prepare it. Our daughter loves being in the kitchen.
- Meal Prep – if you want to be successful as a “banting family” meal prep is essential. This way you will always have a meal or snack ready for when you have limited time or energy.
- LCHF treats – always ensure you have a LCHF treat ready. Kids (and even adults) love to get an occasional sweet treat so that they don’t feel deprived. Fat bombs or coconut fudge works great and can be kept in the freezer for whenever it is needed.
If you are a low carb family, we would love to hear about your journey and what works for you as a family. You can also join us on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates, recipes and success stories.