Today I want to share some keto family health tips with you along with the reason behind our lifestyle change. My son John is almost 11, and he is overweight. He has been overweight since he was born. I now attribute his weight to nursing him while having very unhealthy eating habits. Our extended family members struggle with weight, diabetes, and numerous other diseases that stem from an unhealthy lifestyle, and I knew I didn't want that for my son. While my son's weight doesn't bother him right now, I know that will change with time. Right now it limits him physically but emotionally he doesn't seem to notice. He's always been the slowest child, the one who complains about having to walk around Disney World, or who hates to play sports because he's not fast enough. A few months ago I noticed that his weight had increased dramatically. It was a wake-up call when I realized how quickly he had gained weight, and I knew I wasn't doing him any favors. That's when I started working on a plan of action.
The last thing I want to do is watch my son continue to struggle with health issues for the rest of his life. Did you know that more than 68% of the US is overweight? That number is insane. Weight is about so much more than beauty and self-esteem, it's about the quality of life. I don't want my son to spend the rest of his life taking insulin injections or gout medication. I want him to be healthy, happy, and to prosper in anything he sets out to do.
Keto Family Health Tips:
I have always loved reading scientific diet and exercise books, but I finally found the solution I was looking for with the Keto diet. Processed foods, sugar, gluten, and carbs. That's what had to go. I knew that if I wanted John to lose weight and get healthy I would have to give my pantry and fridge a makeover, and that's exactly what I did. I decided to start small and test the plan on myself first. Within three weeks, I had lost over 10 pounds and was never hungry. I felt incredible, and I was ready to share my new love for whole foods with my family. John has now been eating whole, unprocessed foods for two weeks, and he has lost 7 pounds. He told me that he feels better and that he is never hungry anymore! How awesome is that? With that in mind, I thought I would share some tips that I have learned over the last month that have made my life a lot easier.
1. Pack Your School Lunches
local school systems may consider pizza a vegetable, we know better! When you start packing your child's lunch you can choose what your child needs to remain well fueled throughout the day. Kids love the variety and giving small portions of 5-6 healthy items can be an excellent way to teach your kids how to make smart choices.
The sad thing is that the adults at your child's school are probably tempting your child every day with foods that are not healthy. When my son started the keto diet he would come home and tell me about every food he had to resist that day. I was proud of John because he did a very good job, but I know it wasn't easy. There was one teacher who wanted to reward him and offered him a Twinkie. When he told her he couldn't eat it she did a great job of finding him something he could have (she gave him a bag of peanuts), but not every adult will work so hard to accommodate your child. If you want to get serious about keto with your kids a note to the school may be your best bet. Other than that, you just have to hope your children will be strong enough to resist the many temptations that will come their way.
Bonus Tip: I bought a ridiculous amount of storage containers and big bulky lunch bags. Later I replaced my kid's containers and bags with these awesome PackIt Freezable Lunch Bags (just toss them in the freezer when the kids get home) and Rubbermaid LunchBlox (the kids love these).
2. Plan Well When Eating Out
We all eat out on occasion, but planning is a must when you want to make healthy choices. Before we go to a restaurant I check out the menu's online. When I find one that has some excellent choices I make sure to share those options with my family. My kids, (and sometimes my husband) need to know what they can have when we eat out. I don't focus on what they can't have, I focus on the healthy options and get them excited about their choices.
3. Make Exercise A Family Affair
Today's kids would be happy to sit and play video games all day long, but that is not the kind of lifestyle we want them to lead. That's why it's so important that they get outside and get active. The problem is that kids don't play as much anymore, so many of the games we grew up with are dying out. Instead of telling your children to get outside and play, why not go out and teach them how to play the games you loved as a child?! Not only is this a great way to get everyone active, but it's also a bonding experience your kids will never forget. Get a trampoline, go camping, just have fun!
4. Educate Your Family & Friends
When people hear that you're trying to lose weight their response can be less than encouraging. Instead of telling your family and friends what your children are not allowed to eat, focus on sharing why your family is choosing to live this lifestyle. Teach them about making healthy choices, and share the rewards you've reaped from eating healthier foods and staying active. While they may be skeptical at first, eventually they will start to support your choices, and who knows, maybe they will join you!
5. Make Whole Foods Fun!
We have to compete with Sponge Bob and Dora, that my friends are not easy! Make whole foods fun by running cooking workshops for your children and their friends. Spend time teaching your kids how to prep and store food, how to cook simple meals, and even how to grow a garden. When you put a fun spin on healthy, kids will get excited. You want your kids to want to be healthy, not because you force them, but because it's something they consider important.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! Here’s to raising happy, healthy kids!
* We strive to make all of our recipes according to our dietary standards. Our recipes have to meet the following criteria: Low Carb, High Fat, Moderate Protein, Sugar-Free (we only allow natural fruit, veggie, and dairy sugars in our diet), and Gluten-Free. You can learn more about how we eat, and how to figure out the macronutrient amounts you need daily.