Taken from ditchthecarbs.com Since reading this I am thinking more about my daughters lunch box and trying to educate her regarding food and wheat intake. Please read this article:
All children will benefit from lowering their carb, sugar, and wheat intake. You don’t need to be so strict with children in the healthy weight range, as they are generally more insulin sensitive than adults are, so their body can deal with sugars and carbs more efficiently. Overweight children should be controlled quite tightly. Studies have shown that children eating a ”low carb high fat’ diet, loose more weight and keep it off far better than those on a ‘calorie restricted low fat diet’.
I have written a series on Low Carb Kids. There are some great infographics and printables to help planning lunch boxes easier.
Low Carb Kids 1 – tips and tricks
Low Carb Kids 2 – printable guide to get your kids involved. How to plan you lunchbox each day.
Low Carb Kids 3 – 2 weeks of school lunches and how to plan them.
Low Carb Kids 4 – how to make a low carb lunchbox, and more Low Carb lunchbox ideas
All children will benefit from drinking less soft drinks (and energy drinks are an absolute no-no), less cakes, less sweets, less ice cream, less chips and tomato sauce (and don’t even get me started on chicken nuggets and pizza). Their bodies are growing at a rapid rate, and if we don’t feed them the nutrients they need for all the complex mechanisms that are going on inside their body, we are setting them up for a very unhealthy future. It is so sad when some children exist on litres of soft drinks, hot chips, pies, McDonalds, KFC, Subway – DAILY. Next time you see a bunch of teenagers hanging out at the mall, what are they eating? Usually some kind of takeaway washed down with an energy drink. Zero nutrition. These are beautiful growing bodies who have an addiction to high energy foods, neglect whole foods, and are probably deficient in some area. Try and really think about what your children have eaten in the last week. Make a mental note or log into My Fitness Pal and track it.
This is a great little video from the daughters of Tim Naughton, maker of ‘Fat Head Movie’. To see all their videos, see my link on You Tube.
I want to teach my children about having a healthy lifestyle –
for their bodies to be well nourished (which is different from well fed)
to be able to concentrate at school
not eating to excess
eating real whole food
making good choices
enjoy trying new foods (our family rule is “you don’t have to like them, but you do have to try them”)
being active is fun
health and nutrition are a priority
Children need good FATS – they keep you full for longer, contain essential fatty acids and supply the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Children need protein – building blocks of their growing muscles.
Children need carbohydrates – but no where near what people think. Even severely restricting carbohydrates, the body can still make it through gluconeogenesis from excess protein.
Children need vegetables – fibre, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, phytochemicals and all the other hundreds of compounds that haven’t even been discovered yet. Fruits and vegetables should not be seen as equal. Fruit is incredibly high in carbs,especially fructose. Eat whole fruits (and never fruit juice or dried fruits), as the whole fruit contains fibre and nutrients, but don’t consider they are equal as vegetables. Be aware of the fructose content of fruit, and limit to 1 or 2 pieces a day. Go for lower sugar fruit such as berries. Cut back on high sugar tropical fruits such as pineapple, melons, grapes, etc.
How many parents do you know where they just laugh and say their children just WON’T eat vegetables. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure they are properly nourished. It’s your convenience of not having a battle at the dinner table that allows them to refuse vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is easy, but establish a few family rules, one at a time, which let them know it is not negotiable. Go slowly as it may be a big change for some families. Be proud of what you have achieved. Little by little.
Our first family rule is they have to try everything. They don’t have to like it, but they have to try it
Keep introducing that food (maybe weekly) until they enjoy it, this may take forever, but you do get there
Get them to smother the food in something they do like to hide the taste (remember, they HAVE to eat some of it)
Flavour your vegetables. My children would turn up their noses at most greens until I made them silver beet carbonara, Asian greens etc. I almost cry when my youngest asks for more, a proud mum moment.
Put butter and cream cheese on the table instead of tomato sauce (way too processed and full of sugar). Let them flavour their own food. They have control and won’t battle so much.
Put twice as much of something on the plate as you know they will eat and then you can negotiate they only have to eat half (sneaky psychology, but man this one works).
Get them to choose what to go in their lunch boxes. I know what each of my children’s tastes are so make their lunchbox accordingly. I’m not saying I make totally different lunch boxes, but where one has tomatoes and feta, my youngest will have capsicum and carrots. I still add one thing a day to push them. At the moment it’s a cherry tomato each day for the boys. They know I will check each day to see if it has been eaten, if not, they have to eat it before they eat their afternoon tea.
I would say I am pretty good at what I feed them at home (all the pictures you see, are our actual meals), but I don’t restrict them in any way when they are at friends or at parties. No one likes a diet bore or a food restrictor. It would be great if other parents made good choices, but really, it’s not making up a huge part of their diet. This would be different of course if your child has a true food allergy or intolerance, but my children never have. My focus at home is always restrict the carbs and restrict poor food choices.
Eating out is a tough one. Most cafes sell cakes, muffins, donuts, sandwiches, juice, …. and sometimes there is no other choice. Thats ok, just make sure they have the best of what is there and NO juice. Save your $$$ and ask for a jug of water. Try and adapt what is on offer.
BEST LOW CARB TIP EVER!!!!
If we go to McDonalds, I always choose a small burger meal, but choose a diet coke and replace the fries with a side salad. I then open the burger and put the meat patties, sauces and cheese on top of the salad. Voila, the regular meal would have been 870 kCal, 133g carbs, my new meal is only 204kCal and 4g carbs!!!!! It just takes a bit of thinking. My children don’t drink many soft drinks but when they do I always get diet drinks if we are eating out, I know there is a lot of controversy about artificial sweeteners, but I personally choose them.
“STRIVE FOR IMPROVEMENT, NOT PERFECTION”