It may come as no surprise that one of the most frequently asked questions I receive is “what do you feed your kids?”. In this post, I’ll share my experience with transitioning my kids to a low carb diet.
Kids. Man, there’s nothing that can adequately prepare you for them. They’re adorable, funny, and smarter than the average bear but they can also be stubborn, irrational, and scary. Ha!
In case you’re not familiar with me personally, I have 3 kids. My oldest daughter is 7, my middle son is almost 3, and my baby girl is a precious 4 months. The baby obviously isn’t eating solid food yet but I do have plans for her when she comes of age. We’ll get to that later.
hellions sweet babies wasn’t always a challenge. They used to be fantastic eaters! Then they learned how to talk and it all went to hell in a hand basket.
I suppose I’ve been fortunate in that they each have a couple fruits and veggies they will eat without too much complaining. But let’s be honest, what they really want 95% of the time is junk. And I know, it’s my fault for introducing it in the first place but sometimes it’s not worth the battle. Ya feel me?
When my husband and I decided to adopt a keto/low carb lifestyle, we both agreed we would try to limit the kids’ junk and carb intake as much as possible. We didn’t want to completely deprive them, after all, they are kids. But we didn’t want them eating crap every day either.
It seemed hypocritical for us, the parents, to preach about eating healthy while we gave our children pop-tarts, Cocoa Puffs, and fruit snacks. We had every intention of weening them from the snacks they were used to consuming on a regular basis.
We had every intention of being A+ parents with all natural, organic, free range, this, that and the other foods for our kids…
I can’t even finish that sentence without laughing.
Who are we kidding? We have THREE kids! Three opinionated and independent children who put up arguments that could compete with the likes of Johnnie Cochran.
Of course we want our kids to eat perfectly all the time but that’s not realistic. Shoot, it’s not realistic for us adults either.
After some serious mom guilt, I came to terms with the fact that some battles just aren’t worth it. So, how do I do it? How do I get my kids to eat low carb without complaining?
No. 1: They eat what we eat at main meals.
If I fix something for the family, they eat it. They know that dinner time is a non-negotiable. I’m not a short order cook who’s going to make 3 or 4 different meals to appease my family.
I say it all the time on here that my kids are my biggest critics when it comes to recipes and it’s true. I try REALLY hard to create recipes for y’all that my kids won’t fuss over and yours hopefully won’t either.
No. 2: I don’t keep a whole lot in the pantry.
It may seem obvious but out of sight, out of mind. If the kids don’t have something staring them in the face, they don’t ask for it. And if they’re not hungry enough for what I do buy for them, then they didn’t need a snack anyway.
If they want a snack, I keep yogurt pouches, unsweetened apple sauce, meat sticks, cheese cubes/sticks, and fruit. They do get granola bars (like Junkless brand) and protein bars (like Costco or Quest).
No. 3: I cut out unnecessary carbs.
I don’t think ALL carbs are bad. I don’t think all veggies and fruits are the devil. And I’m not going to discourage my kids from eating apples, grapes, beans, etc.
I do, however, cut out the grains. They rarely have bread (sometimes a pb&j). They’ve learned to eat hotdogs and burgers without a bun. They have the occasional helping of Mac and cheese but it’s not a regular rotation food. Spaghetti and meatballs are replaced with zucchini noodles now.
I don’t buy potato chips. They eat pork rinds or cheese whisps. They do get animal crackers and goldfish periodically.
No. 3: I limit sugar.
This is the hardest. My kids have major sweet tooths. They DO love my keto friendly sweets just as much as their sugary counterparts but there isn’t a day that goes by where they don’t ask for some kind of sweet.
Be it lollipops, ice cream, popsicles, whatever…they want it. When they’re craving brownies or cake, I just make one of my recipes. You can’t control everything they eat at school, with friends, at sports, etc. so I just try to limit how much they consume.
They’re not allowed to drink soft drinks. If they have juice, it’s Honest Kids brand because it’s so low on sugar. My toddler gets milk and chocolate milk and the baby will when she’s old enough.
I’m far from a perfect parent. Some weeks they have Chick-Fil-A kids’ meals more times than I’d like to admit. But some weeks we kick butt and take names.
I think, as parents, if we teach them how to make good choices as children, they’ll have better relationships with food as adults. As the mother of two impressionable girls, I don’t want to impress negative feelings towards food and weight on them.
This parenting thing is hard. If your kids only eat chicken nuggets and goldfish, at least they’re getting protein! You’re doing everything you can and that’s the best you can do!
Have any tips for how you get your kids to eat a low carb diet? Drop a tip in the comments below! It takes a village ladies!