Children Can Do The Keto Diet
A diet for children?! What a country! Thanks, Michelle O’Bummer. Turns, out, though, that what ought to motivate children to eat a low carb diet has less to do with beauty ideals and more to do with health. Although, it is necessary to acknowledge that girls are sexualized at a young age and that it’s hard for them to escape the influence of the patriarchy. Similarly, teenage boys are bombarded by images of other teenage boys maze running or gaming hungry with six packs and toned bodies. It sets the stage for disordered eating and low self-esteem! Luckily, children can do the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet was developed to treat childhood epilepsy.
When one's daily carbohydrate intake dips to 5% of the calories one consumes, the body burns through all of its blood sugar and begins to produce a fuel source known as ketones from its own fat. When you're running on ketones, the state your body is in is called "ketosis". And it’s in this state that children experience less seizures. The high fat diet was far more frequently prescribed in the 1920s and 1930s before the advent of medication. However, it’s still prescribed to this day since medication isn’t always 100% effective. That being
Childhood obesity is a big problem!
Among the CDC’s childhood obesity facts is the statistic that, between 2015 and 2016, one out of five children in the United States aged six to 19 lived with obesity. That’s so many children that if you were to put them all in a row you’d end up with a very long line! A lot contributes to childhood obesity: genetics, metabolism, not getting enough sleep, activity levels, and diet.
Sadly, childhood obesity puts children at greater risk for ill health. As highlighted by the CDC, some of these conditions include asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and an increased likelihood of developed heart disease. Not only that, but, as the CDC points out, kids that are overweight relative to their peers are more likely to be bullied, find themselves as outcasts, develop low self-esteem, and even fall into depression.
Be kind to overweight kids! Even if they’re unkind. Because, woof, the levels of torment and self-loathing that they might be experiencing may take years of therapy to unpack. To paraphrase renowned child psychologist Alice Miller’s essay "The Essential Role of an Enlightened Witness in Society", if you see a child is going through a rough time, it can make a world of difference to say, “Hey, what you’re going through is tough. Being bullied is really hard and I’m sorry it’s happening to you.”
Poor diet and lack of physical activity contributes to childhood obesity.
It’s possible to do keto on a 9 to 5 and still lose weight. Luckily, children can do the keto diet too. Ditch the processed foods, avoid sneaky foods with added sugar, tell them, “Don’t drink diet soda,” teach them tips to eating smaller portions, and explain to them why you need sleep.
Childhood is when you form habits that will influence the rest of your life. Remember childhood dreams? The thing that people spend their lives chasing? Yeah, habits are as powerful as that, so why let an eight your old dictate what a 40-year-old should do (even if that 40-year-old is them). And, you know, maybe take that into consideration when picking your college major too!
It’s important for children to eat healthy so that they reach a healthy weight.
Since children are growing they need to get plenty of macronutrients. Additionally, eating keto friendly foods that can reduce anxiety, when coupled with all the other healthy choices children can make, will help them better manage the stress of schooling, puberty, social dynamics, impending climate change disaster, Snapchat and Instagram, and an awareness of hierarchical power structures that affect people differently based on categories like race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. It’s 2019; it’s time to get woke! #TimesUp #BelieveWomen #BlackLivesMatter #CutOutRefinedSugars.
Additionally, healthy meal plans will help children avoid some of the pitfalls that adults fall into when doing keto. For example, if you’re wondering what to do if you've got keto constipation or diarrhea, the answer is compensate for your nutritional deficiency by adding fiber to your diet. As bad as constipation or diarrhea is for adults, they’re way worse side effects for children because children, for whatever reason, make fun of each other for going to the bathroom. You’re never going to be in an office building and hear one co-worker snicker to another, “Jane’s going number two!” But a child will absolutely do that.
Lastly, what makes keto or low-carb diets sustainable in the first place is that you’re making smart decisions your default habits. That leads to a virtuous cycle. Sugar free soda, for example, effects the same taste buds that natural sugar does. As a result, naturally sweet things like fruit doesn’t taste as good. But when you stop drinking diet soda (and kids love soda!), they can appreciate apples (with some healthy nut butter), oranges, berries, etc, which are good sources of macronutrients. And that’s way better than baked goods stuffed with heavy cream. Get rid of the cupcakes and cheetos and you’ll see soon enough that children can do the keto diet.
Exogenous ketones can help children transition into keto.
Have you ever taken a child on a long walk? Too many of them reach a point where they start complaining of fatigue, hunger, and just straight up start to lay on the ground, crying, “I’m dying! I can’t walk!” Now imagine that child giving up carbs! It would look pretty much the same, except with more irritability and headaches. Luckily, exogenous ketones can help! They’ll provide energy for your young ones so they don’t have to slog through the one to three days of keto flu. Plus, when they drop that initial water weight they’ll feel real good.Then just keep them in ketosis for a month. If you know how to tell if you’re fat adapted you’ll recognize the signs right away! At that point, your kids will be cruising to weight loss and setting a foundation for a healthy life in the long term.