Are you eating low carb? Are you wondering if it’s okay for your kids to eat low carb as well?
Find out HERE!
Nine months ago, I started my low carb way of living.
At first, it was a little difficult for me because I was so used to eating whole grain carbs at nearly every meal! I thought I would be hungry, cranky, and tired when my carbs were taken away.
However, it was quite the opposite! When I replaced the carbs I was eating with healthy fats, I was no longer hungry all the time, I wasn’t hangry between meals, and I had more energy than I’ve ever had!
So I thought, if I can feel this way from eating less carbs, could my kids also see the benefits?
Do We NEED Carbs?
We’ve been told for years that we should all eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy whole grains. But the whole notion of basing our meals on starchy carbs is just big companies trying to make money.
Have you ever walked down the “breakfast” isle in your grocery store? There are shelves upon shelves of cereals! Do you think those cereals are there for your health benefit? I hope by now that you know better. That these large food companies are trying to get your dollar and don’t give two
shits cents about your health.
The fact of the matter is that there are no nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in starchy carbohydrate foods that we can’t get elsewhere, and often in a superior form.
Of course, the processed food industry works to convince us that we must eat highly refined starchy foods, such as breakfast cereals and bread, saying that they give us energy. But all food gives us energy! Contrary to what we have been led to believe, there is no dietary “need” to eat starchy carbohydrates at all.
For many years, starchy carbs have been seen as fattening foods by the farming industry. Why do farmers feed their livestock on grains? To plump them up for market.
We have ended up replacing whole, unprocessed foods, such as red meat and butter, with starchy carbs of the highly refined and processed sort, often containing added sugar. The result? We’re getting fatter.
Our family took a mini vacation to an indoor waterpark recently. It was at this waterpark that I began to see what this way of eating is doing to our kids! I’ve never seen so many overweight and obese children! My heart breaks for them. And I blame the parents because their children are only doing what their parents are letting them do – eat refined foods on a continuous basis!
At the snack bar, the only options for food were popcorn (the fake buttery kind that is served in movie theatres,) ice cream, fries, and nachos with fake cheese sauce. Oh..and don’t forget the unending amounts of soda offered for FREE.
This is the kind of food that is offered everywhere – even at my children’s school! The choices our children are given is appalling.
And yes, even I fell victim to this.
Until I learned how carbohydrates affect our bodies, I used to give my boys toast or instant oatmeal for breakfast, thinking it was a healthier option. No wonder they would want a snack just two hours later!
The problem with sugar, and starchy refined carbs, is that the surge of energy they give you is short lived. Refined carbs burn up quickly, producing a spike in blood sugar level that encourages our bodies to produce insulin, the fat storage hormone, so encouraging weight gain. Unlike protein and fat, which give a longer, slower, steadier release of energy, when our blood sugar level crashes after eating carbs, our appetite is unsatisfied and we crave more food.
Why Kids SHOULD Eat Low Carb
Like I was mentioning above, just go to any mall, park, or even school, and look at what kids are eating these days. Our children are existing on soda, chips, burgers, fries, Subway, McDonald’s, KFC – every single day! Where is the nutrition in that?
And that nutrition is starting to show. There are more kids being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (which used to be know as adult-onset diabetes!)
There is no doubt that our kids would benefit from eating more whole foods and less sugar/processed carbs. Their bodies are growing and developing, so why would we want to feed them with crap food? If we don’t feed our children the nutrients they need, aren’t we setting them up for failure?
Of course our children need some carbohydrates, but not to the extent they are eating now.
My three boys DO eat carbohydrates, they just tend to be in vegetables. We enjoy things like sweet potatoes, squash, and other grain-free carbohydrate options a couple of times a week.
They also get plenty of healthy fats which keep them full for longer and also help them absorb specific vitamins like A, C, E, D and K. They also get plenty of protein to help them build strong muscles.
How To Get Your Children To Eat Low Carb
I have to admit, getting my kids to eat healthy isn’t always easy. We’ve had many battles at the dinner table when they were little (and my middle son STILL battles with me to this day.) But in the end, it’s been worth it.
I chat with so many women who say their families just won’t eat healthy. But isn’t it our duty as a parent to ensure our kids are eating healthy foods? It is because parents don’t want to fight the daily battle with their children that lets their children refuse the healthy food.
Like I said, I know it’s not easy, but here are some rules and ways we’ve made low carb and healthy eating a part of our daily life:
- Since our kids could eat solid food, the rule has been they MUST try everything on their plate. They don’t have to like it, but they must try it.
- They MUST eat all the vegetables on their plate. I don’t care if they can’t finish all their meat or carbohydrate (like oven baked fries or sweet potato) but they must finish their vegetables.
- Flavour the vegetables. Not many kids are going to like just plain vegetables. So I like to add different healthy seasonings to them. I often put a few on the table and let them choose which ones they want to use. Flavor God has excellent options! When you let them have control of what they put on their food, they are more likely to enjoy it.
- Put sour cream and butter on the table instead of ketchup (which is loaded with sugar.)
- Each week when I make my menu, I let one child pick a meal to eat for dinner that week. I open up my “low carb dinners” Pinterest board and let them choose a dinner we can have that week. That way I know that we will have at least one meal they really want.
- Let your kids help you in the kitchen and shop for food. I love having my boys in the kitchen with me, learning about healthy foods and how to prepare them. They have a sense of pride and accomplishment when we all sit down to eat a meal they helped make.
- Let your kids choose what goes in their lunchbox for school. I have a shelf in our fridge with choices that the kids can have for lunch: pepperoni, ham, turkey, hard boiled eggs, cheese strings, pre-cut veggies, dip, berries, apples, oranges, grain free and gluten free muffins, etc. I put these items at their eye level so they can go in the fridge and grab them anytime.
I follow these rules and ideas when we are at home. My boys eat low carb and very healthy when they are at home. I can’t control what they eat when they are at a friend’s house or a party, which is fine. It’s not like they are out all the time, it’s only on a rare occasion.
For example, on our mini vacation, we had to eat out for four of our meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast, and lunch again.) There were only two restaurants that actually included a salad or fresh veggies as a side option for kids. Otherwise, it was just fries. Two of my boys actually chose the vegetables at two of their meals! The other two meals, they chose the fries. And I’m okay with that. My boys do enjoy the occasional treat. As long as they are eating healthy at home, then that is what matters most to me.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a low carb family and how to easily incorporate delicious low carb recipes into your life, you may want to consider my NEW 55-page ebook, The Low Carb Beginners Guide! Comes with a complete 7 day meal plan, shopping list, and tips to help you get started.