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Low carb children - a new approach?

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  • Low carb children - a new approach?

    Hi

    Tonight my ten year old son asked me if he could go on a low-carb diet as he's a bit chubby. We've said he'll probably hit puberty and shoot up in height and drop the weight, but I think he's not happy with the way he is.

    He's watched me and my wife eating and counting carbs and proteins and talking about how we've lost weight etc. etc. He's very bright and takes everything in so he's already sussed what we can and can't eat and wants to join in!

    I've scanned through here and googled a bit too and there are no hard-and-fast numbers out there. I simply can't tell him how much carb or protein he should eat. Most of the websites I've found out there seem to advise against it!

    So, I've decided on a new approach. Sometime tomorrow, I'll measure his waist and his height and his weight. I've a website bookmarked (not on this computer) that tells you which percentile your child is in - I think he's in the high eighties which isn't obese but right on the line.

    Then, I'll talk over with him what he's happy to cut out and what he wants to keep. I'll track how much protein and carb he eats and see what happens. If we keep a track then I should be able to get some numbers to work with!

    I'll let you know how it goes...

    Graham

  • #2
    Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

    If nothing else have him cut out white things like potatoes, bread, rice and of course ice cream. It makes a big difference for some folks and wouldn't be to drastic.

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    • #3
      Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

      Graham, how nice that he is interested! I don't remember the guidelines for children, but I have read some advice. Something like protein portions the size of the child's fist, but I'm not sure. The question's been asked here before.

      In the States, the schools still preach the food pyramid and would probably tell him he was eating for disaster.

      My grandson checks juice bottles for fat content.

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      • #4
        Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

        Well, we're starting him off with 1 - 1.5g of protein for each kilo of weight and cut out obvious carbs but keep track of them and see how it goes.

        With all three of our boys we've tried to avoid making food into an issue in any way. So we try not to do the whole "finish up your plate" or "that'll make you fat" or any value judgements at all. We just put three decent meals in front of them and they can take or leave it. Obviously we're not horrible to them and give them food that they like but we try to keep it neutral.

        The upshot of all this is that if they don't feel like eating bread, or if they leave their rice and eat their curry, then we just accept that. For the last few weeks, middle child, aged 7, has decided he doesn't like sandwiches. So every lunch he has a plastic box with salami and cucumber in it.

        We're very lucky in the UK. A while back, in England, there was a case where a headteacher of a primary school took a child out of lunchtime and made them eat their pack lunch in their office as they had chocolate biscuits and they didn't want other children seeing them! The parents started a legal case which went as high as it could and eventually there was a precedent set that the right to privacy extends to a child's lunchbox and technically they can't even look in it, never mind make judgements...

        Graham

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        • #5
          Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

          Originally posted by Graham_h_miller View Post
          With all three of our boys we've tried to avoid making food into an issue in any way. So we try not to do the whole "finish up your plate" or "that'll make you fat" or any value judgements at all. We just put three decent meals in front of them and they can take or leave it. Obviously we're not horrible to them and give them food that they like but we try to keep it neutral.
          Very wise.

          The parents started a legal case which went as high as it could and eventually there was a precedent set that the right to privacy extends to a child's lunchbox and technically they can't even look in it, never mind make judgements...
          That is cool! I think we, as a nation, are probably heading in the other direction.

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          • #6
            Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

            Even better news 10 yr old has grasped the need for a bit of subtlety. I explained that not all doctors think the same and some doctors think that low-carb is bad for children. I've said that I might get into trouble if the staff at his school found out he was on a low carb diet.

            So, yesterday one of his school friends noticed so he said he'd gone off eating bread for a while. Friend now thinks that we've run out of bread and my son said nothing to put him off this notion...

            Graham

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            • #7
              Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

              I think Tom Naughton (guy behind Fat Head) is writing a book about kids and low-carb. Not sure what the ETA is.

              This is a topic that interests me as my boys (3.5 and ~1) are growing up fast. We're not really limiting anything specifically but don't keep a lot of junk around the house. We don't have bread and lately we've even transitioned away from low-carb tortillas to home made flax tortillas. When we eat out the oldest still gets fries and such but it isn't that frequent.

              Previously, my thoughts on kids and carbs were pretty laid back. I figured they're young and healthy so it shouldn't hurt them much if they aren't overdoing it. Then I read Wheat Belly (my review) and now I'm more concerned. Part of me wants to be laid back while part of me wants to go full on gluten-free. Wheat is scary stuff and that's not something I would have said before reading the book.

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              • #8
                Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

                Originally posted by Graham_h_miller View Post
                So, yesterday one of his school friends noticed so he said he'd gone off eating bread for a while. Friend now thinks that we've run out of bread and my son said nothing to put him off this notion...
                I love it! ............................................

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                • #9
                  Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

                  Hi! (CAROL!!!!)

                  My youngest tends to gain weight as well... I started him eating the way I do... Basically, meats/good fats/no starch veggies and some fruit. With NO OTHER CHANGES (no increased exercise, no calorie counting, etc), he lost 11 POUNDS in a 30 day period. He felt great, he ate when hungry, and not before... and only til satisfied, not "fullstuffed". He felt great... Then, his Dad came home from a long business trip, and said son has put a few pounds back on. BUT, he's also noticed he doesn't feel as well either...

                  By eating this same way, I'm off ALL diabetic meds, with an H1AC of 5.8... yeah, BayBee!!!

                  Best to you all...

                  Sherry

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                  • #10
                    Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

                    Sherry!
                    Whoo Hoo!!!!

                    (That was for old times sake.)

                    I'm so glad to see you and so glad to hear how well you're doing with your diabetes. Also happy for Mr. Youngest!
                    Last edited by gitfiddle; 01-05-2012, 04:25 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

                      Ahhhhh, my friend, you have DELIGHTED me!

                      I miss you... hope all's well...

                      Sherry

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                      • #12
                        Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

                        I miss you too, Sherry. It warms my heart to see you here! Wanna come back and be my cheerleader again?

                        All is well with us. I'm retired and the Geezer and I are getting along famously. My grandson is seven-and-three-quarters!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Low carb children - a new approach?

                          Hi Graham!

                          There is some really good advice about starting babies on low carb from birth in an excellent book by a British doctor Barry Groves, the book is called "Eat Fat, Get Thin!". It talks about babies and chilldren. It doesn't tell you exactly how much you should feed a child but it definitely gives you some excellent advice on what kids should be eating.

                          Kato

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