Kids Coming Home, What to feed Them Now?


I acknowledge in advance that this will come off as a little whiny but I am getting anxious as they all come back this week plus ,youngest was diagnosed with a major food allergy right before she went away (her camp is well equipped to deal with allergies) and I will be dealing with it for the first time. It is a carb based allergy so will not interfere with keto except that we have to be careful with certain sauces.

We are blessed with a large family. We have a few meatatarians who would be happy with stew or brisket. However, the child with new food allergies loves carbs, cheese, milk, cereal and vanilla yogurt. She will eat limited amounts of meat but will not eat any ground meat including hamburger, even in a taco shell. We do not eat pork.

Our kids are mostly teenagers and have been away for the last month. I have finally gotten husband on board and he has embraced keto. While he has only lost about 10 lbs (and he has quite a bit to lose) he is happy with the change. Our two oldest have been home periodically. Our son is happy to be fed and seems ok without the pasta. He does still eat mini wheats when he gets up (I hesitate to say in the morning because it usually is not!) He is amazed by and enjoys the fathead pizza a lot. However I honestly cannot imagine making this for everyone, we would have to do 3 pies and would not have any leftovers (assuming they liked it).

Our older daughter (not the one with allergies) has refused to eat most most of what I cook and we go out when she comes home every week or so. Honestly, under most circumstances I am a “just ok” cook and while most of what I make on keto is fine, I am having trouble seeing everyone eat it long term without rice or corn. Plus when school starts so do dance lessons and hockey practice. I am literally in the car from 4-7 every day. I am not the type to spend all Sunday prepping meals either as we usually have games on Sunday. So how do I avoid cooking all the time? Previously we probably ordered in or made something quick and starchy about 2-3 X per week.

For me I can always find something keto to eat but husband will need a real meal, no more baked ziti!

Also, our family is not tall, a couple of my kids are about to enter their main growth spurts and there is nothing I want to do to interfere with that. I know some of the data on the eplileptic kids indicated that their growth did slow from keto. One of mine is overweight, loves to help himself to third helpings (of real food) and is almost 13 so main growth coming up. He probably needs keto but I hesitate.

While pre keto we never had soda, potato chips, cheese doodles, or storebought cake or cookies (younger daughter loves to bake), and I tried not to buy juice. We had homemade cookies (younger daughter), ice cream sometimes, sweetened yogurt and cereal (as far as I am concerned there is no difference between corn flakes and honey nut cheerios, its all carbage) and the occasional bag of Tostitos and salsa as well as ritz crackers and triscuits. If there were no snack foods in the house and it was before or after dinner I would get lots of complaints of there is nothing to eat.

As I am about to head to the grocery store to buy the usual carbage I am wondering where to draw the line?

I assumed that going forward I would make a keto protein (fish, chicken or meat), a keto vegetable or salad and then a carb side. Is that what most people do?

What about snacks but ultimately my real question is how far do you encourage your kids to eat low carb


Wow. What a thoughtful (and loving) question. Your kids are very lucky! Your post was not whiny at all. You have some challenges ahead of you but it can be done. My random immediate thoughts:

  • can you enlist any of the kids in food prep/help to get them vested?
  • as a parent, I can say this: you are the boss of what food gets brought into your house. I’m not saying torture them with all keto all the time, but maybe over the next year make incremental changes
  • keto food choices plus SAD choices = disaster. (I.e. Having ice cream after a fatty rib eye is about the worst one can do)
  • hopefully when your husband drops more weight and feels better about that change, he’ll be right there with you on the household food choices
  • we as parents must lead by example - start there…

I’ll be closely following this thread. I wish you the best! :blush:

(Lauren) #3

I have 5 kids, ages 1-14. Cooking keto for the whole brood seemed daunting at first, but I discovered they tend to eat less at each meal, b/c they get fuller faster. My kids eat keto meals, but are technically just low-ER carb (under 75 grams? Mostly less than 50grams). They don’t get anything grain grain/flour-based at home and no potatoes, but I don’t limit fruit or other veggies for the kids, even though my fiance and I don’t eat them. Some snacks include:
-apple slices w/ a nut butter
-string cheese/other cheese stick
-low-carb yogurt (Carbmaster is their fave)
-strawberries and whipped cream
-boiled eggs
-any other veggie/fruit we might have.

I don’t make carby sides or carby anything. They can have carby stuff at Grandma’s (1-2 times per month) or holidays/special occasions. I also don’t play short-order cook. They eat it or wait until snack time. On the rare occasions they are still hungry, they are welcome to add one of the above snack options to their meal.

(Jason Fletcher) #4

The ratio for this was low in protein and something you will not have to worry about. Your 13 year old will benefit greatly. How tall he will be will be determent by his genetics and not what he eats.( Unless you plain to starve them.) Draw the line no carbs it the house. It will make life much easier for you. It make take a few months for them to get into the swing of things but in the long run it will be better for the whole family. Plus the longer you are keto the better you will become at keto meal prep and finding quick meals everyone can eat and like. Finding 5 quick go to meals for most will work. Just keep it as simple as you can. As far as snacks don’t have them. If your kids find themselves crashing before meals and have low energy or are saying they are starving there is a good chance they are developing IR or another metabolic disorder a sign of this is excessive body fat.

(Lauren) #5

I will add that my older 2 kids (13 and 14) did a lot of bitching at first. Instead of caving, I made them responsible for planning and cooking 2 keto suppers a month. Half the time it ends up being breakfast for supper, but they’ve also done a keto chicken parm w/ zoodles and a couple of soups.
We’ve been doing this since April, and everyone is finally onboard and happy about it. My 13yr old has lost 8lbs (just had a bit of belly pudge) and my 14yr old has GAINED about 20lbs of muscle (was underweight and he’s type 1 diabetic.)

I’m sorry to go on and on about my kids. This was my very long way of saying that I completely understand how impossible it can feel to feed ALL of them keto at first. Repetitive baby steps (and meals)


I’m really lucky that my daughter is a teenager, and she’s perfectly happy to cook most of her own meals. She is not yet willing to go full-on keto, but the foods my husband and I eat are so tempting, she’s starting to see our meals as less of an oddity.

I have gradually bought less and less carby stuff. It was hard for me to wrap my head around this, because I felt like I was making her “suffer” by selfishly pursuing my own dietary goals. But I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that good parenting means saying no to your kids about things you know are harmful. Like you, I’m concerned about ketosis for a still-growing child, but no one “needs” outright junk.

I buy my daughter Sara Lee Delightful bread (okay, that’s kind of junky, but it could be worse; it has about 6.5 net carbs per slice; ignoring the wheat issue, for now) because it’s not at all tempting to my husband or me, but my daughter is happy with it, and it’s very versatile. She makes herself grilled cheese and peanut butter & (sugar-free) jelly sandwiches a lot. If my husband makes a “hunk of meat” (as my daughter calls it), she can make sandwiches from that. If I fry some eggs, she can have an egg sandwich. She even makes French toast sometimes. So she gets a lot of possibilities from just that one item.

She loves rice; and cooked, cooled, and lightly reheated rice has a much lower glycemic index, so I’m okay with her having moderate portions of that. For a while, I got her little pouches of precooked rice, but now I’m going to teach her how to use our long-dormant rice cooker, and maybe we can experiment with freezing individual portions for the convenience and speed teenagers crave.

I get her whatever fruits and vegetables she wants (which aren’t a lot).

Don’t bring in foods that are going to mess you up. That’s not doing anyone a favor.


Thank you everyone for your kind and generous replies

To address some of the comments @GhostlySmile some really good snack suggestions and you do not talk too much about your children at all! It is good to put it into context. Most of my kids are like your teenagers!

The most resistant and fussiest will only be home for a day before she leaves for school so that is easy (the one that will not eat anything I cook all of a sudden). The others will get with the program, but I am not sure how far to go with the program. A complete no carb program is not possible and while they are growing I am really afraid to restrict although I understand what you are saying @Jason_Fletcher. My oldest who was never heavy and is most likely done growing has spent the most time at home. He has lost 8 lbs living with us and mostly eating what we eat plus a few carbs and fruit. He was at 142 and is now in the 130s. He was already at his ideal weight.

I will slowly faze out the carbs, have them use up what we have, be slow to buy more. As it is there are not true junk snacks in the house pretty much ever. Growth is a priority. The way we discovered younger child’s allergy was by taking her to a growth specialist who did blood work because she was at the bottom of the chart but otherwise completely healthy appearing.

Thank you @Koda but this is not a danger

I have been limiting carbs and avoiding wheat and living with family carbs for years and I am rarely tempted except by pizza! Fathead is good but no match for sicilian pizza in my area. In the spring I would order it and leave the house after dropping it off. I had a sudden need to go to Walmart. Even husband has been looking at some leftover cookies my daughter wanted to take back with her for a week and is not tempted.

Great idea about the rice. Is the Sara Lee a lower carb bread? Have not looked into it, will for the kids who can eat bread. As for me I still have the same loaf of paleo bread in the freezer since June. Lost interest.

@PrimalBrian can you point me to some literture that talks about high fat and sugar in combination being a disaster? Trying to see where the line should be, Thank you so much for your supportive post


@saphire, here’s an article s that has scienc-y links in it:

(Jason Fletcher) #9

A well formulated diet Keto diet Is possible. You can become just as strong and grow muscles on a keto diet.

For teen boys 10% body fat is healthy.

The Ketogentic Bible just came out today I would suggest you read it will answer questions and put your fears to rest.


Loved the link. While I do not agree with everything what a great scientific analysis