Ketogenic lifestyle and raising a baby/child

(Jan) #1

I’ve started with the ketogenic lifestyle about 5-6 monts ago. Starting from January, my wife is also starting, kickstarting it with the 28-day step-by-step plan from The same plan which also helped me kicking of this lifestyle.

There’s one thing though. We just had a baby boy, who is almost 4 months old now. By now he’s bottle-fed and receives the occasional mashed fresh fruit & vegetables. However, when he grows up we don’t want to ‘force’ this lifestyle on him as we think it’s practically impossible to have a child in the western world following ketogenic lifestyle (read: eating less as 20/50 grams of carbohydrates per day). When he’s playing with other kids, goes to school or some other activity, he will probably get some candy of sorts, potato chips, fruit, etc. In reality, it’s very hard to avoid such things.
We don’t want to police him on his food intake too much. We will ‘educate’ him on the ketogenic lifestyle, but as said, we figure it’s quite hard if not impossible to maintain this lifestyle as a kid. Especially very young kids who don’t understand that much yet. When he’s older he can decide by himself if he wants to go full-keto or not.

We ourselves were thinking on having him on a low-carb lifestyle, so he can have breakfast, lunch and diner with us. Maybe have him eat small amounts of bread for breakfast and lunch.
The thing we’re worried about is the amount of fat intake. We, the parents, are fat-adapted because of the ketogenic lifestyle. He probably won’t be fat adapted, because kids normally eat more as 20 grams of carbs per day. We can keep an eye on his carb intake, so he will not get a lot of sugars and carbs in his body. If this is a good idea of course.

Hope someone over here has any experience with this and can advice us on how to do it. We could really use some advice on the matter so we can go over some options and investigate on it.
Maybe having him on a paleo-like diet fits better for kids, so he can have more carbs per day. I’m writing paleo-like, because from what I’ve read getting dairy is good for kids growing up (to a certain age).

(Richard Morris) #2

Kids are a lot more insulin sensitive and can tolerate a lot more. Some eventually become more resistant and become insulin resistant adults, and then they can not tolerate many carbs at all. But you have a lot of leeway at that age. I think it’s probably good to know what different foods are doing to you.

My parents for example thought that fruit and starchy foods were food I could eat in abundance. They did have an awareness that sugar was not great in excess. And of course they thought fat was always a bad thing. So that informed the foods I had access to growing up and who knows … if they had a better understanding of the role of fat, sugar and starch I may not have developed type 2 diabetes in my late 30s.

Probably the best thing you can do for your kids as they grow up is introduce them to the mechanics of turning food into meals, and critically reviewing the nutrition on a plate. It’s not going to matter if they have a few bad meals, but knowing how food is made and what food does to us may save them from a lifestyle of bad choices.

(Jan) #3

Thanks, I didn’t know the part growing up to be the insulin resistant and not being able to tolerate carbs.

I think we’ll moderate the amount of keto-lifestyle to our kids and educate them about food properly.
Luckilly we live in an area with a lot of farms, so it’s easier to educate our kid(s) where food comes from and how to process it. I even think the schools organize regular trips to farms to get the kids see it with their own eyes.

(jketoscribe) #4

Sometimes in our rural county we “go visit our food”. That means we visit the farms where our pastured eggs come from, visit local artisan cheese factories, small local animal farms, and farms where veggies are grown. I like knowing where my food comes from and many local farms have tours and farm stands where you can buy what was harvested that very day. Our kids are too old to appreciate this now but it was fun for them when they were little. We have a lot of passionate organic and sustainable farmers around and they are fascinating to talk to.