Kids are eating sugar at an all time high! I've seen sugar for kids being compared to alcohol for adults (6 Hidden Truths About Sugar), and see highly processed foods given to kids all day, every day. Pop Tarts! or cereal with juice for breakfast, Mac and Cheese with chocolate milk for lunch, frozen chicken nuggets or frozen pizza for dinner, fruit snacks or granola bars for snacks. (Are You Overdosing Your Kids On Sugar?) This is a deadly trend, we need parents, schools, medical professionals, government and food manufacturers to work together to halt this freight train!
I have 4 kids, age 4-10, all very busy and active. Do I feed my kids what I eat? I get that question a lot...and the answer is MOSTLY.
I give them more leeway than I give myself. I figure if I can teach them how to make good choices most of the time then they can have the occasional splurge on sugar.
I have been eating this way (LCHF) for only 4 years so it hasn't always been easy to transition them. If I could change 2 things that I did with my kids it would be: never cereal, and never juice. We now shy away from cereal, but I might have a mutiny if I took it away completely, so we try to buy the lowest sugar kinds we can find. For years, we had orange juice every morning, especially the added calcium kind for my lactose intolerant daughter, but we no longer have juice.
So what do they eat? For breakfast they usually have eggs and sausage or bacon, steel cut oatmeal/flax with heavy cream and no sugar added. If you kids are used to the regular flavored oatmeal packets, add a bit of sugar free flavored coffee syrup. Another favorite is banana pancakes (3 bananas, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup almond butter, generous pour of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp baking powder all thrown into the blender and then cooked like pancakes) or cereal. They eat an orange instead of having orange juice. My youngest also really likes lox and cream cheese for breakfast.
For lunch they have a wraps made with a low carb tortillas, with cream cheese and meat or peanut butter and a banana, some fruit and some nuts. They do not eat school lunches.
Snacks can vary: full fat yogurt or cheese and nuts, Kind or Kashi bars (always make sure they are the ones that have 5g of sugar or less), fruit, or gluten free crackers.
For dinner they eat what I eat. We do not make pasta, rice or white potatoes. Occasionally we eat sweet potatoes baked into fries with olive oil and salt, or mash with butter and pumpkin pie spice. We always have meat and a vegetable, and like to have full fat cottage cheese, yogurt or cheese as a side. If we do have dessert we will have fruit or berries with whipped heavy cream. Very rarely we have a small dish of ice cream.
I work really hard to help them understand why we eat the way that we do, however, I also try not to let them feel left out.
They go to birthday parties and friends' houses, and they eat what they want, but I have often seen them stop eating a dessert halfway through (which I love!) because they are done. We also have a rule that if any candy is sent home in a gift bag, it goes into the trash can in the garage and doesn't come into the house. We had screaming fits at first, but now they accept that this is "how it is". At Halloween we do Trick or Treat and will have a candy picnic right after we finish, but then the kids give up their candy to the "Halloween Fairy" and are left with a movie in its place.
There is no perfect way to get your kids to eat more healthy, but in general if you can reduce the sugar and highly processed foods they eat, they will do better and have less risk for disease.
Need more help and advice on how to transition your kids? Check out this link: (How To Transition Your Kids...)