Low-carb kids

(39 Posts)
teaandthorazine Thu 16-Jan-14 10:21:30

So, while I was pouring out ds's cereal this morning, I got to thinking. How come I'm spending so much time and energy on my WOE, whilst still allowing myself to feed ds stuff I wouldn't eat?

I'm completely committed to LC, but not just as a weight-loss tool. I genuinely believe that most of what we've been told about diet and nutrition over the past 40 years or so is just plain wrong. This WOE is just as much for long term health as for a 'healthy' weight. So I really, really can't justify feeding ds crunchy nut cornflakes, can I? blush

He's 10, smaller than average, skinny and full of energy. If anything he could do with putting weight on! But he said this morning that he gets hungry a couple of hours after eating breakfast. In my defence, he eats pretty well generally. Luckily he is a big fan of MEAT in all its glorious forms grin which makes life easier and he's not bad on veg either. We don't have fruit juices or fizzy drinks or sweets or anything low-fat in the house. In the evening he will generally eat what I'm eating (perhaps with a bit of added rice) but he would happily live on pasta and cheese, and sometimes, when we're pressed for time or I'm knackered, I turn to this staple.

But I'm going to stop. If it's good for me, it's good for him. I think some starchy carbs are still ok for him, and more fruit than I would eat is probably fine too. The odd protein and veg sandwich. But no more crappy cereal, no more processed sugar! Plenty of fat, plenty of protein. Eggs for breakfast and no more plain pasta for dinner. Sadly I don't have a lot of control over what he eats at school but otherwise, I think there are lots of changes I could make.

Would love to hear what other Bootcampers do (or don't do) LC-wise with their kids.

MaeMobley Thu 16-Jan-14 10:54:39

This is a great idea. I feel the same but have not made any changes to their diets. It scares me how much pasta, bread, biscuits I feed them.

Lovecat Thu 16-Jan-14 11:07:31

Hello tea <waves>

Thanks for starting the thread.

I've been having these thoughts for a while. Whilst I try to steer DD clear of sweets and fizzy drinks, I am guilty of giving in when knackered/out of time etc to her bread cravings - she would rather eat toast or have a sandwich than pretty much anything else. Doesn't help that she's a fussy eater at the best of times, so for a long time bread was the go-to simply to get some food down her!

Like you, we don't generally do low fat in this house, and thankfully she has always wanted water rather than juice/squash/fizz (people look at us like we're the evil depriving parents when we're out and she orders tap water).

However, she is very limited in the veg she'll eat - carrots, broccoli, peas - and is horrible at trying new stuff. She hates rice and noodles, so that's never been a problem, but she will eat pasta, potatoes and bread by the bucketful. Her school meals are dreadful, she ends up having a jacket potato or pasta and cheese almost every day because of the lack of choice (she also can't stomach anything that even hints of the spicy, so we're really hampered by that!).

Last night I made chicken wrapped in bacon, stuffed with boursin. I deliberately left the boursin out of hers because I knew that would be a step too far for her, but she loved the chicken and ate it all - to the extent that she was so full she couldn't manage her veggies! So I'm thinking I'll make that again and rather than potato and carrots on the side I'll just give her a pile of broccoli. She didn't want a pudding like she normally does, which was good smile

There is no way she'd eat courgette ribbons instead of pasta, so I'll have to pop down to H&B to get some of those shiritaki noodle things for her to have with the bolognese sauce (They're in the penny sale atm, stock up!). It'll be interesting to see how they go down...

I'm wary of cutting out fruit itself, I don't know how others feel about that one? I read, many years ago when I first got into low-carbing/Atkins, that the reason we needed to make such a drastic change to our diet was because eating so many processed carbs and sugars had screwed up our metabolisms and our natural saiety levels, so we needed to go cold turkey (the bootcamp/induction phase) to 'reset' ourselves. As, I'm hoping, our children haven't got to that stage, do we need to cut out fruit and carby veg?

Artandco Thu 16-Jan-14 11:11:31

Ours don't have many basic carbs, but we don't low carb any veg/ fruit etc

So they ( and us) very rarely have pasta/ bread/ rice/ white potatoes

However plenty of high carb things like oats, sweet potatoes, root veg etc

For us it's just how we naturally ate before children and continued. Our children are very rarely ill and very healthy

Artandco Thu 16-Jan-14 11:13:36

Oh and we don't stick to it religiously just generally. So if they want pizza/ risotto etc when out they have it

EvaTheOptimist Thu 16-Jan-14 11:24:02

My DD is very into carbs, I recognise my old self in her. She will be absolutely desperate for pudding/ice-cream/sweets and just keep going and going, dashing back to the kitchen saying I'm still hungry. She is more than average size. My DH sees no problem. How much can I change her eating "by stealth" and how much will we have to get this out into the open and set rules? I don't want to give her food issues.

ChesterDrawers Thu 16-Jan-14 12:38:59

I'm keen to see opinions on this too. I have a 3 YO whose favourite meal in the world is pasta with philly sauce. I hate giving it to him, but it's quick and easy and I know he will eat.

Since starting LC I have been giving him more meals that we eat with varying success but am a bit scared about totally binning the bad carbs.

Also he is at nursery three days a week so that is very much out of my hands and although 'healthy', it tends to follow the current official advice on that so not so much IYSWIM.

Artandco Thu 16-Jan-14 13:08:11

Eva - if you just change what you buy/ prepare/ cook, then for a young child that automatically changes most of what they eat, but without food issues

Ie mine would never wonder about having just fruit and yogurt for desert at home, but outside home in summer might ask for Ice cream when they see it. I've no problem with them having it either, but it just means 95% of the time they have what we deem healthier.

With children I honk it's very much like many parents who are vegetarian. They are vegetarian at home by default, but if they want to decide to eat meat out of the home then it's their choice

For me, I realised how small babies/ toddlers/ young children's stomachs are, so how hard for them to gain all vitamins and nutrients if they were already full of pasta/ bread

I'm getting on this thread because my son is a total carb-fiend. I am going to commit to giving him more rice instead of always relying on bread.
The first snack I offer is cheese / nuts, rather than fruit. And I am also going to try and have hard-boiled eggs available.

Thank you for the kick, OP!

TinTinsSexySister Thu 16-Jan-14 13:25:56

My 2 year-old DD is obsessed with bad carbs. her ideal day would be toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner (like mother like daughter).

I therefore tend to monitor her her carb intake by only giving carbs at one meal and this works fine.

I don't limit fruit or the veg she eats (eg carrots and peas are allowed) and she's in childcare four days a week, so I have no control over that - it's brown rice and pasta etc at least.

Popular meals are:
omelette with broccoli on the side
Burgers made with mushrooms & turkey mince (not in buns obviously) with veg
cauliflower and broccoli mornay
fish covered in ratatouille with cauliflower on side
Lamb meatballs stuffed with Feta, cucumber and toms on the side (she won't eat the toms though!
Ham, scrambled egg and spinach (cut up really, really small and hidden)
Bolognaise sauce with broccoli or other green veg
Roast without potatoes

Would love more ideas!

OvercomeByGravity Thu 16-Jan-14 13:31:01

I too have a carb-fiend (DD, 9). She would eat mashed potato sandwiches, given her druthers, and we stopped school lunches after I discovered they were serving pizza with potato wedges and extra bread and butter.

I've been paying more attention for the last few days to what she's snacking on and definitely noticed that sugar = eating more. If she has nuts & cheese when she comes in from school, she has a small snack and goes off to play. If I let her have a milkshake, she's back every 10 minutes until tea time looking for something sugary, and she's bad-tempered with it.

On the positive side, she will eat more vegetables than her brothers (the only things they will all eat are carrots, peas and sweetcorn). DD and DS3 at least will eat some green beans / broccoli / cauliflower. DS1 and 2 won't touch them.

DS1 is also getting worried about his diet (he's 12, nearly 13) as he's noticed that the 'traditional' secondary school diet of pizza and haribo is affecting how he looks. We've managed to pull back from 3 bowls of cereal for breakfast, pizza / sandwich for lunch and pasta for tea, but it's been slow going. I haven't warned anyone, but when the current lot of cereals in the cupboard are finished, I'm going to accidentally 'forget' to add them to the shopping list for a few weeks. Breakfasts can be eggs, cheese, ham, bacon, last-night's-leftovers, berries-and-yoghurt and we'll see how they do for a bit.

They are going to hate me.

Lovecat Thu 16-Jan-14 13:54:12

As an aside wrt the school dinners and 'healthy' eating, I've been looking into specialist Dyslexia schools for DD as she's recently been assessed as severely dyslexic (but because she's also very bright she's been bumping along as low average and no-one at school has been that bothered about her).

Most of them seem to be boarding schools that also take day pupils - one had its menu up online and I had a nosey looked in the footnotes on one and noticed that the pupils' council had asked for sausages and fried eggs instead of boiled to be provided at breakfast, and the school had come back saying they were sorry but sausages and fried eggs did not conform to the Government standards they had to meet, so they couldn't have them! sad If I could opt out of DD's school meals I would, their idea of a side vegetable is sweetcorn (which she hates) so she comes home having had no veg and barely any protein at all. And is then ravenous for a sandwich...hmm

OvercomeByGravity Thu 16-Jan-14 14:21:07

Lovecat, another reason I took DD off school dinners was the 'random cubes of orange veg'. It could have been anything. She certainly couldn't identify it and so wasn't eating it - instead, having the bread and butter and then accepting the steamed pudding and custard. Is it any wonder they're leaden in the afternoons?

And sweetcorn isn't even a vegetable - it's a grain!

Lovecat Thu 16-Jan-14 14:54:22

I know!! If it were a vegetable she didn't like I could at least think, oh well, at least they're providing something, but this? Unfortunately school dinners are compulsory - I sent her in once with a packed lunch on curry day and it was confiscated!

(I used to have a baked potato for lunch every day in the belief that I was being healthy and then wonder why I was falling asleep at 3pm every afternoon in work...)

CrabbyWinterBottom Thu 16-Jan-14 17:55:26

My DD (11) is a very fussy eater and has always been an absolute sugar junkie if given the chance. I've always been quite strict about not giving her too much sugary stuff, but I'd found it creeping up - stuffing in biscuits and cakes at home ed social groups etc. When I low carbed last summer I really reassessed her diet and started feeding her lower GI/lower carb food. Really it was just a case of cutting out (and not buying) sugary crap, stopping the weekly trip to the sweet shop, reducing pasta and rice from a staple to a more occasional thing.

She's quite restricted in what she likes but luckily there's some nutritious stuff in that list. The only vegetables she eats willingly are mushrooms (very low carb), peas and sweetcorn, which are still very low in carbs compared to things like potatoes, pasta etc. She'll eat spinach and small amounts of broccoli and carrots. I try to keep her diet as low GI as possible, as opposed to proper low carb. She eats loads and loads of beans, so a typical meal will be butter/cannellini/black beans with peas and some leftover meat/chorizo/prawns etc. Butter and cannellini beans are fairly bland and make a good alternative to mashed potato too. I give DD farro quite a lot too, which is an ancient variety of wheat. It's carby, obviously, but is a whole grain with a mild, nutty flavour, lots of nutrients and a low GI. I give it to her instead of rice, again with peas/sweetcorn and a bit of meat/shrimp and a splash of tamari/soy sauce. I use plenty of fats too - olive oil and butter makes everything taste better!

I noticed a big improvement in her mood/grumpiness when I cut out sugar. She still eats crap sometimes but now she's happy with a square of dark chocolate as pudding.

teaandthorazine Thu 16-Jan-14 18:03:20

Thanks everyone who's responded so far! Some really interesting ideas - they can be little buggers with food, can't they? grin

Anyway, we've just come back from the supermarket with ham and cheese for breakfast tomorrow. Ds is fine about losing the cereal but asked for ham and cheese wholemeal pittas instead. I figure this is a good enough start atm! Will definitely give the yoghurt and fruit a try too. At the weekend when we have more time we'll do eggs and bacon.

Tonight we are having bunless burgers with cheese and bacon, and salad. Ds has asked for 'lots of cucumber', will happily oblige!

CrabbyWinterBottom Thu 16-Jan-14 18:04:55

Am shock angry at schools not allowing you to take packed lunches! WTF? Is this primary or secondary? How dare they say that you can't have a say in what your child eats?

teaandthorazine Thu 16-Jan-14 18:05:38

God, I wish ds would eat mushrooms. He'll pack down spinach, fatty pork, chicken skin, celeriac, all that good LC stuff, but will he touch a mushroom? Not on your life!

ZingSweetApple Thu 16-Jan-14 18:20:55

very interested in this, thanks for starting thread!

Lovecat Thu 16-Jan-14 21:52:58

DD came home from school and asked for a sandwich. Instead I gave her a little plate with babybels, ham strips and some strawberries, cucumber and celery. She ate it all apart from the ham (apparently "ham only tastes good in sandwiches"), which the cats appreciated smile , and then didn't nag me for more food before dinner, which is fairly unheard of.

Am going to try eggs again tomorrow - they have to be fried or scrambled and on toast before she'll consider them, but that's got to be better than cereal, hasn't it...?

EvaTheOptimist Thu 16-Jan-14 22:21:49

OOoo I like the idea of that plate of post-school snacks Lovecat. Might fend off the continual snacking that I recognise from Gravity's post.

Trouble with just changing what I buy and cook is: DH does most of the food-buying and he is not in agreement that there is an issue with DD. (He's 100% supportive of buying the food I need to low-carb... I don't know why this doesn't extend to the DC.) So he buys them lollys cakes ice-cream puddings etc. A few weeks ago I extracted an agreement from him that each DC could only have one sweet treat per day. But that has now been forgotten and its creeping up again. I shall have to see if I can re-impose the idea.

Lovecat Thu 16-Jan-14 22:57:23

That must be really hard when you've got differing ideas of what to feed the DC, Eva. Thankfully (? there are times it drives me insane) DH doesn't get involved with shopping or cooking, he just cleans up after me smile. The downside to this is when he has DD on his own, because he'll take her to McDonalds or the chippy rather than open the fridge and feed her himself...

It is weird though, this notion that people have that you're somehow depriving your children if they don't have sweets/cakes/puddings/ice creams. As tea said in the opening post, we don't have them ourselves because we want to eat healthily, so why are they seen as a must-have 'treat' for the DC, when they're actually not all that good for them, and certainly not in quantities?

DD doesn't have sweets regularly but she does like a pudding - I try and make it fruit/yoghurt most nights, but the past 2 nights when she's eaten what we've had (ie low carb) she hasn't wanted anything.

toomuchicecream Fri 17-Jan-14 06:54:21

Would love to know how to get 17 year old DS on board - buys own lunch in Tescos every day and only veg he will knowingly eat are carrots and broccoli (ate leek in a geen chicken curry last night though. Ha!). Also won't eat left overs???!!!??

kazzawazzawoo Fri 17-Jan-14 09:52:14

Thanks for starting this thread. Dd aged 12 lives sweet things, would live off biscuits, juice, pizza etc.

She barely eats breakfast, so not sure how to change things. She does like snack cheeses, Babybel and the like. She will have Heinz tomato soup for breakfast, which I think is wheat free so maybe not too bad. She doesn't like yoghurt without sugar, but loves berries.

I'll keep an eye here for ideas.

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