So you’ve heard about low-carb kids? Is it dangerous? Why would you raise your kids low-carb?

The importance of whole food nutrition in children’s health and development cannot be stressed enough. All children will benefit from lowering their sugar and carbohydrate intake, especially from processed and junk foods.

And here’s how you do it.

collage of cover page and inside pages for the free eBook "How to reduce sugar from your child's diet"

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Is keto safe for kids?

Is keto safe for kids and how far should you reduce the junk carbs from your child’s diet?

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Removing or reducing junk food and junk processed carbs and sugar from your child’s diet is a nutritious way to fuel their growing bodies.

How much you remove sugar and junk food from their diet is down to your personal desire for a healthy diet and any other health factors that you need to discuss with your physician.

What Do Low-Carb Kids Eat?

If you are raising low-carb kids, the emphasis should be on feeding them tasty nutrient-dense meals and reducing sugar from your child’s diet.

Children shouldn’t be relying on sugars, refined grains, and high-carb snacks.

Kids should be basing their meals on whole foods, unprocessed foods, and nutrient-dense foods … and no one can argue with that.

Low carb is all about going back to basics – meat, vegetables, low sugar fruit, seeds, nuts, and healthy fats. Real food is simple food.

1: Low-Carb Kids – why they benefit

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Children eat as much sugar by the time they are 8 than adults only 100 years ago, consumed in their entire lifetime.

All children will benefit from ditching junk food and lowering their sugar, ultra-processed carbs, and wheat intake.

My children are low-carb kids, not NO-carb kids. I emphasise their meals to be from whole food sources that are naturally lower in carbs from nutrient-dense sources. When you base your children’s meals on whole real food, they almost become low-carb by default.

Images showing the low-carb kids guide and various lunchbox ideas

You don’t need to be so strict with children’s dietary carb intake, if they are in a healthy weight range, as they are generally more insulin sensitive than adults are, so their body can deal with sugars and nutrient-dense carbs more efficiently.

Overweight children may need to be controlled quite tightly. Studies have shown that children eating a ”low carb high fat’ diet, lose more weight and keep it off far better than those on a ‘calorie-restricted low-fat diet’.

2: Low-Carb Kids – busting the myths

banner showing hero low-carb kids

If you are new here, every parent needs to read the Top 10 Low-Carb Kids Myths.

Surely children who live low-carb will be missing out on something essential? Surely kids need carbs for energy? And why should kids be restricted?

Here, we take a closer look at the top ten myths and uncover the truth behind kids and low carb.

Infographic showing the top low carb kids myths

3: Low-Carb Kids – The Sugary Truth

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This is a quick video that helps explain how carbs affect blood sugars, fat storage, and some quick tips to reduce sugar.

4: Parent Resources

Infographics and printables for you to help planning lunch boxes easier.

A little girl that is eating watermelon

All children will benefit from drinking fewer soft drinks (and energy drinks are an absolute no-no), fewer cakes, fewer sweets, less ice cream, fewer chips and stopping drowning their food in tomato sauce (which is just as high in sugar as some chocolate sauces).

50 Keto Kids Snack Ideas + FREE eBook

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5: Low-Carb Kids – start their healthy future today

low-carb kid eating broccoli in a super hero cape banner

Children’s bodies are growing at a rapid rate, and if we don’t feed them the essential nutrients they need for all the complex mechanisms that are going on inside their body, we are setting them up for a very unhealthy future.

Remember, chronic diseases don’t occur overnight, they take decades to develop. So a healthy future begins in childhood.

Many diseases of adulthood are now seen in children at an alarming rate. Type 2 diabetes was once termed Adult Onset Diabetes, but it can no longer be called this.

It is so sad when some children exist on litres of soft drinks, hot chips, pies, McDonald’s, KFC, Subway – DAILY. Next time you see a bunch of teenagers hanging out at the mall, what are they eating? Usually, some kind of takeaway washed down with an energy drink. Zero nutrition.

Their growing bodies have begun their an addiction to high energy foods, they neglect whole foods, and are probably have some nutritional deficiency.

Try and really think about what your children have eaten in the last week. How many times did they eat vegetables? How many days did they drink fizzy drinks? How many times did they enjoy a home-cooked meal with you?

A plastic container of food, with a low-carb lunchbox and a high-carb lunchbox showing their carb values

If you wish to begin reducing the carbs for your children, you can use the same stepwise approach that adults do.

Cut out the most obvious places that sugar and ultra-processed carbs lurk. And slowly introduce real whole food in their place.

To see what I pack each day for my low-carb kids, join my FREE – Low-Carb Lunch Club and my closed group – Low-Carb Lunch Box hacks.  Come and join in the fun. I’ll see you there.

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6: Low-Carb Kids – what do they need?

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I want to teach my children about having a healthy lifestyle –

  • for their bodies to be well-nourished (which is different from well-fed)
  • to be able to concentrate at school
  • not eating to excess
  • enjoying treats
  • eating real whole food
  • making good choices
  • enjoy trying new foods (our family rule is “you don’t have to like them, but you do have to try them”)
  • being active is fun
  • health and nutrition are a priority

Children need healthy FATS – they keep you full for longer, contain essential fatty acids, and supply the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Children need protein – building blocks of their growing muscles.

Children need quality nutrient-dense carbohydrates – but nowhere near what people think. Nutrient-dense carbohydrates such as full-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, berries and of course vegetables are the staple source of carbs in our household.

Children need vegetables – fibre, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, phytochemicals and all the other hundreds of compounds that haven’t even been discovered yet.

Fruits and vegetables should not be seen as equal. Fruit is incredibly high in carbs, especially fructose.

Eat whole fruits (and never fruit juice or dried fruits), as the whole fruit contains fibre and nutrients, but don’t consider they are equal as vegetables. Be aware of the fructose content of fruit, and limit to 1 or 2 pieces a day.

Go for low-sugar fruit such as berries. Cut back on high sugar tropical fruits such as pineapple, melons, grapes, etc.

7: Low-Carb Kids – how to encourage veggies?

banner showing kids cooking healthy meals

How many parents do you know where they just laugh and say their children just WON’T eat their vegetables? It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure they are properly nourished.

It’s the convenience of not having a battle at the dinner table that allows them to refuse vegetables.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is easy, I have been through this struggle myself, but establish a few family rules, one at a time, which let them know it is not negotiable. Go slowly as it may be a big change for some families. Be proud of what you have achieved. Little by little.

  • Our first family rule is they have to try everything. They don’t have to like it, but they have to try it
  • Keep introducing that food (maybe weekly) until they enjoy it, this may take what seems like forever, but you do get there
  • Get them to smother the food in something they do like to hide the taste (remember, they HAVE to eat some of it)
  • Flavour your vegetables. My children would turn up their noses at most greens until I made them zoodles, mashed cauliflower, and broccoli/cauliflower bake. I almost cried at the beginning when my youngest asked for more, a proud mamma moment.
  • Put butter and cream cheese on the table instead of tomato sauce (way too processed and full of sugar). Let them flavour their own food. They have control and won’t battle so much.
  • Put twice as much of something on the plate as you know they will eat and then you can negotiate they only have to eat half (sneaky psychology, but man this one works).
  • Get them to choose what to go in their lunch boxes. I know what each of my children’s tastes is so I make their lunch box accordingly. I’m not saying I make totally different lunch boxes, but where one has tomatoes and feta, my youngest will have capsicum and carrots. I still add one thing a day to push them. At the moment, it’s a cherry tomato each day for the boys. They know I will check each day to see if it has been eaten if not, they have to eat it before they eat their afternoon tea.
  • Try the low-carb chocolate zucchini cake, it’s an easy introduction.

I would say I am pretty good at what I feed them at home (all the pictures you see, are our actual meals), but I don’t restrict them in any way when they are at friends or at parties.

mockups of devices showing low-carb lunches cookbook and a buy now button

No one likes a diet bore or a food restrictor. It would be great if other parents made good choices, but really, it’s not making up a huge part of their diet.

This would be different of course if your child has a true food allergy or intolerance, but my children never have.

Images showing low-carb lunchboxes and high carb lunch boxes

My focus at home is always restricting carbs and restricting poor food choices.

Eating out is a tough one but with practice, you can instinctively choose menu items which are lower in carbs than most OR adapt what is on offer to become low-carb (swap fries for salad).

Most cafes sell wheat and sugar-laden cakes, muffins, doughnuts, sandwiches, juice, …. and sometimes there is no other choice. That’s ok, just make sure they have the best of what is there and NO juice. Save your $$$ and ask for a jug of water. Try and adapt what is on offer.

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8: Low-Carb for Kids – tips for eating out

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Subway? Easy. Just order a Sub of the day as a salad for $2 more, or order the thinnest wrap they offer.

Mexican? Yum. Order a naked burrito or a salad packed with colourful vibrant healthy ingredients, and add extra salsa, avocado and cheese.

If you visit McDonald’s, a quick healthier option would be to choose a small burger meal, choose water over a fizzy drink and replace the fries with a side salad. To serve, simply open the burger and put the meat patties, sauces and cheese on top of the salad. Voila, the regular meal would have been 870 kCal, 133g carbs, this instant bunless burger salad meal is only 204kCal and 4g carbs!!!!! It just takes a bit of thinking outside the menu.

My children rarely drink soft drinks, I prefer they drink water (or on occasional circumstances, diet drinks). I know there is a lot of controversy about artificial sweeteners, but I personally choose them if the only other choice available to them are sugar-sweetened beverages such as fizzy drinks, flavoured milk or juice.

For some children who are reliant on regular soda, this can be a stepping stone to coming off sugar-sweetened beverages completely. I believe there is a short term place for diet soda, but not in the long term.

“strive for improvement, not perfection”

mockups of devices showing low-carb lunches cookbook and a buy now button

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  1. “It’s your convenience of not having a battle at the dinner table that allows them to refuse vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is easy, but establish a few family rules, one at a time, which let them know it is not negotiable. Go slowly as it may be a big change for some families. Be proud of what you have achieved. Little by little.” Yes! Yes! Yes! It can be done! We are an example and sound very similar to what you described above!

    1. That is so nice to hear. It is hard work, but so rewarding when they try new things and change their attitude towards foods they aren’t so keen on. I think most of us grew up having to eat our vegetables, there was no negotiation. It all starts by making a few simple changes, and a few family rules, one by one.

  2. I did my big food shop yesterday 🙂 no chips, muesli bars, white bread, chocolate yogurts etc! Instead I topped up on veges, eggs, fruits and healthier options. I’m excited to get my son eating better 🙂 today he has a sandwich, meatballs, half a banana, carrot sticks and a little pottle of hummus. I will have some days without a sandwich when I start making your lunchbox recipes 🙂 but I’m so proud he has gone to school with no processed food except the whole grain bread! First time 🙂

    1. Well done!!! You have made an incredible start. It will take time, be proud of yourself. Every little change you make is brilliant. This is exactly why I started Ditch The Carbs, to encourage others, especially families. xxx

  3. Loved reading this! Our kids eat low carb at home and I’ve been thinking ahead to when they start school, how to pack a lunchbox. I can’t wait to read what you do! When we go to McDonalds (or any fast food joint), we ask for the burger to be wrapped in lettuce instead of put on a bun. It is cheaper than ordering the burger and the salad and then I don’t feel bad for throwing the bun away. I’ve been surprised, but every place I’ve asked to do that has: McD, Carls Jr (has a low carb burger), Arbys, Jimmy Johns, Smashburger and every sit-down restaurant I’ve gone to has done this also. And they usually use a lot of green leaf lettuce. So yummy!

  4. MichyInNZ says:

    Thank you sooooo much for this awesome site.
    We have just started our low carb lifestyle and with 3 little boys to feed it is a challenge but I’m encouraged each time I see them wolf down an egg roll with beef and cheese or an oopsie sandwich with cream cheese and salmon and trying the veggies on their plate 🙂
    Did my first shop yesterday and was horrified at the price but I did stock up on loads of cheap meat that was reduced and then bought salmon which I’ve never done before. One thing that I’m finding really tough is the amount of time I’m now spending cooking in the kitchen and at the stove or oven – is this normal or am I missing something – I’m now cooking breakfast, some snacks, lunches and dinner :/ and unfortunately slow cooked meals are a definite no go in my family as everyone dislikes the stew concept.
    Anyways thanks again for a superb site.

    1. That’s brilliant that you are making such a huge change. Cost wise, I am writing a post at the moment about how to eat well and still stay on budget, so watch out for that. But what is clear from asking on FB is that simple is best. Buy whole chickens, not pieces, buy cheaper meats, don’t go for expensive eggs, buy vegetables at a cheap green grocers, stock up at the butchers, and buy not buying snacks, biscuits, cereal, muesli bars … will also save $$$. Time wise, I make scrambled eggs in the microwave each morning (and teach your children if they are old enough), and once a fortnight make a huge batch of grain free granola, lunch is chopping up various vegetables, cheese or leftovers, and dinner I find I have got into a routine now so my new recipes are just as fast as my old ones. Hope this helps. Libby.

  5. My husband and I have been eating LCHF for quite some time, and have recently been transitioning our 2.5 year old daughter. We’ve never really eaten processed foods, but sugars and starches (in their more natural forms) have always been part of our diet. She’s quite happy with what we feed her, but we struggle the most when it comes to the well-meaning people in her life who want to feed her. It seems a sensitive issue, telling people we don’t eat sugar, so please don’t give her cookies, cake, pop, etc. (the obvious culprits). People tend to get offended. I’d be interested to know how other LCHF eaters approach social situations with their children. I noticed, Libby, that you write somewhere that you don’t enforce the diet when your kids visit friends or on special occasions. I struggle to think those times are ok for exceptions. If, for example, my daughter is in someone else’s care two afternoons a week, all it takes is half a can of Wattie’s baked beans, a bunch of fruit, a Cruskit or two and an Anzac biscuit for her to be bouncing off the walls with around 20 teaspoons of sugar added to her day. She comes home saying, “I LIKE sugar, mommy!”

    1. I totally agree. It is so hard when well meaning people associate sugary treats with love. I accept the trade off of parties and fun, with extra sugar because it’s not a huge part of our diet, however if they are in someone else’s care twice a week, that is different. Are you able to send her with afternoon tea or request tiny changes? Friends who visit me with allergies often bring their own snack box and that’s great. Can you suggest what to feed her? As they get older it becomes even harder as they are involved in sports, school, fundraisers, clubs etc who all have afternoon teas, parties, celebrations, end of term treats etc and they all see their one as an individual one off, but collectively it adds up tremendously. And when others don’t see any harm in snacky treats, I feel huge guilt if I say no to my children, and pressure to say yes and accept their hospitality.
      I am so grateful because mine don’t react to sugar, but I am mindful of their weekly intake. If they have a blow out one day, I remind them next time they ask that what they have already had this week and that seems to make more sense to them rather than wiping the slate clean each day. I also think about how much sugar we cut back on, on a daily basis. No cereal, no bread, no wheat, no sugar, no processed rubbish. We do the best we can which is 1000% better than if we did nothing. Be proud of how well she eats with you.
      I would love to hear what others do.

      1. Thanks for that, Libby.
        Yes, I always include LCHF snacks with her backpack, but I imagine our friends feel she’s being deprived somehow, and that’s why they give her treats or bake cookies with her, etc. They don’t seem to take our no-sugar requests very seriously. I imagine that’s because LCHF is so counter-cultural and rests on a huge lack of information.
        When people ask you why your family eats sugar-free (or LCHF), do you have a standard answer? I’m trying to formulate one that doesn’t come across as judgmental or offensive. I’d love to have a simple way of explaining that we believe sugar is “poison”, addictive and contributes to poor health.
        Any suggestions?

        1. I tell people if they ask that we are sugar free and low carb, then either people reply ‘wow how do you do that’ or some are quite dismissive and don’t ask any more. I don’t emphasise the wheat free, high fat to begin with unless they ask because it puts some people off and like you say, is counterintuitive to them. Some friends really want to know what it is all about, then I explain as much as they want to know. It has helped that a recent documentary has been on in NZ so everyone is talking about sugar. Hope that helps x

  6. I’m so proud that my 16 month daughter like steamed broccoli and recently we’ve been starting the day with a broccoli omlette fried in coconut oil

    1. That’s fabulous news. Those moments will encourage you to keep going, well done. I smile every time I make progress with my children. When my 7 yr old (who even hates roast chicken) comes and asks for more silver beet, I am one proud mamma.

  7. Hi. Looking at school packed lunches and attempting the meatloaf recipe this weekend. (Not the best cook so we’ll see what happens!) Just want to check that the meatloaf is ok to eat cold? Im sure it will be nice as a dinner but not sure if either me or my son will eat cold?!

  8. My 8yr old daughter was place on LCHF diet for weight. We pack our lunches, but our biggest struggle is with breakfast especially since she doesn’t like eggs. Prior to starting LCHF our breakfast consists of pancakes, cereals and sausage biscuits. Any suggestions? what does your children usually have for breakfast.

      1. I’m trying to convert my VERY fussy six year old son with Adhd to a lchf lifestyle. I have been following lchf for almost a year now and besides the obvious weight loss am feeling so healthy and happy. I have a question regarding weight loss, he is already too thin and I am scared he is going to lose weight which he really can’t afford to do. I have tried him on chia breakfasts and he cannot stand the texture. Also the chocolate granola he doesn’t like. I’m stuck on breakfast and lunch. Loves eggs, not boiled and bacon, cucumber, chicken, sausage and that’s about all. Please help!

        1. Ok so he could live on bacon and eggs? Does he like scrambled eggs? I have scrambled eggs almost every morning in the microwave with a LOT of butter and salt. You can also add cheese, bacon, diced sausage etc and any left over veggies. As for chicken, lots of mums are managing to get their kids onto my bacon wrapped chicken strips. Sausages are great as long as you can find ones that are gluten free (they may have a little rice flour) and a high % meat. These 2 things indicate they haven’t got many fillers and are of better quality than others you may find. You won’t want him to lose weight so add in lots of healthy fats when you can. I have butter, cream cheese or grated cheese etc on the dinner table to encourage them to eat their greens! And that healthy fats help them absorb the nutrients too. As for lunches, take a look at 1 month of my kids lunches. Just do the best you can as often as you can to keep you and him happy 🙂 I hope this helps. Let me know.

  9. Hi Libby!

    I’ve always seen your recipes around, but haven’t actually really navigated my way through your site…
    Well done – it is awesome!!!
    And I just LOVE this info page on the kids – am definitely sharing this one on my site too.
    When I read this, it was as if you were inside my head – I have a lot of the same rules and feel so strongly about what my kids eat. {Obviously I feel strongly about what we all eat, but as you said, it can be a battle sometimes with the kids}
    I’m going to e-mail you re this, I’d like us to talk.

    Anyways – thanks again for a stunning site!

    Heidi x

    1. Aw thank you Heidi. What a wonderful and kind comment to leave me this morning. Yes it can be a battle but that is why so many children are allowed to get away with poor food choices. It takes a while, but the satisfaction when children actually choose to eat nutritious food over junk is so heart warming. The other day my 8 yr old chose fish pie at a cafe! – this is the boy who used to hate roast chicken! Result! Makes all those meal time battles worth it. Thanks again for stopping by and writing such a wonderful supportive message. Libby x

  10. Hi Libby, I have had great success losing weight with LCHF so far but what should I do to maintain my weight now, as I don’t need to lose more weight?

    Also, how do you incorporate LCHF into a childs diet when they are already underweight? My son isn’t doing LCHF as he is very skinny but I would like to cut out sugars and excessive carbs. I’m not sure what direction to go with him. He eats lots of carbs and doesn’t gain weight, but he always has stomach aches. He has a fair amount of protein and he isn’t excessive with sugar but he does have it.

    Thanks
    Helen

    1. If you want to start increasing your carbs so you no longer lose any weight, do so through foods such as vegetables, nutrient dense fruits, nuts and dairy. As for a child who doesn’t need to lose weight, I would increase the protein and carbs from nutrients dense vegetables, fruit, nuts and dairy also. It sounds like he is doing brilliantly already with little sugar, a fair amount of protein and a healthy diet. Children are more insulin sensitive than us adults so by cutting out the obvious places of sugar and processed carbs, he is already on the right track. My main focus for my children is eating real whole food cooked at home. What do you think is the cause of his stomach aches? Does he eat wheat, grains, gluten free foods?

  11. rebeccamontrone says:

    As a practicing holistic nutritionist, I agree with MOST of what I read here. One disagreement is urging kids to eat a certain “amount.” Appetite should be respected, and an unspoiled appetite is the very best guide to how much food is needed. Never negotiate about taking “one more bite!” How do you know your child needs “one more bite?” The second disagreement is HUGE – DIET COKE? REALLY? I’m shocked someone so into nutrition could even suggest such a thing. Otherwise, I am using many of your suggestions for my clients who are kids and need to eat healthy in the low-carb, low-grain, low-sugar way. Keep up the good work, and thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecca, I totally understand your hesitation regarding diet coke, I am moving the same way. The way I look at it is that we eat out at a fast food chain so incredibly rarely (maybe twice a year) I would rather them have a diet coke than a sugary soda but I am reassessing this as time goes on also. But I still stand by this advice for many whose children have known nothing else other than regular large sodas all their life and using a diet drink might just be a stepping stone to getting off them entirely and just drinking water.

      1. We always travel with water bottles, and we are non-negotiable about sugary drinks. Just bring your own!

    2. If your child is falling off the weight scale like mine, he probably does need “one more bite”. In fact, he probably needs a little bribing and coercion to get him to eat a decent amount on any given day. My child has no appetite

  12. Hi Libby. Let me first say that I’m a huge fan and love your site. It’s been a great inspiration in my healthy living this past year!
    I was just wondering if I could get your advise on something. My 2 yr old son absolutely LOVES fruit. He doesn’t eat any other sugars, but I fear he’s eating too much fruit (well, I fear I’m letting him). He is a good LC eater (eggs, sausage, veg, cheese) but wants about 2 servings of fruit at each meal, and now that he can talk he will ask for it. I guess it’s my ‘go-to’ option also when he doesn’t eat/finish his meal. I generally stick to raspberries, kiwi, strawberries, & blueberries but he will also have oranges, bananas, & apples on occasion. My gut tells me I should hide the fruit and dish it out 1-2 times a day only, and not give in when he asks for it. OR… Since its fruit, and since he doesn’t eat any other sugars, this may be OK. What would you do?

    1. Great question. I allow my children to eat more fruit than I would as they are active, fit and healthy, but 1-2 pieces at each meal is too much and he clearly has a sweet tooth. Fruit is wonderful as it does have fibre, vitamins and minerals, but the volume of fruit and fructose he’s consuming is actually now making up a large part of his diet. If he isn’t finishing his meals, is he still hungry or is he just wanting a sweet end to his meal (I know that feeling all too well). How about cutting him back to 1 piece of fruit only after each meal, and cutting back on the bananas. My children used to eat them once or twice a day, and now it’s more like once a week, or they are allowed half in a smoothie. You’re doing a fabulous job already that he likes a variety of fruits, but maybe try and stick with the berries. Does he like them frozen? he could suck on them and they will take longer to eat. How about apple slices but with nut butter to keep him fuller for longer? Or how would he be if the fruit bowl ‘ran out’ occasionally and there was none left? I’m not suggesting stopping the fruit, but just cutting back. Here’s a great article on sugar in fruit by Zoe Harcombe. Good luck 🙂

  13. Hi Libby- My 2 year old was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 1 week ago. The diet the dr has put him on is really starting to bother me. As someone who has followed a (not strict) paleo diet for 2 years I am basically having to feed him the complete opposite of how I eat and how usually feed my family. I am finding that I am counting out goldfish trying to get to the amount of carbs to match the insulin he is taking. I feel like his new diet is all carb and hardly any nutrition. (They don’t count vegetables as carbs) When I ask about giving him less carbs I am told that he needs all those carbs for brain development. I am not sure what to do. 🙁

    1. Stephanie says:

      I have a 2 year old boy who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January. The dietitian and doctor said just count the carbs of all foods he eats to give him his insulin. He needs the carbs. I had to read and am still reading on the internet how to manage his blood sugars. We are planning to go gluten free because i read type 1 diabetics can get celiac disease. Certain foods will make his sugars go higher. I feel that i rather he get his nutrients from fruits and vegetables than junk.

  14. I have recently moved to a low carb diet and I really want to go that way with the kids. My biggest issue will be weaning my 5 year old off sugary drinks.
    My seven year old has always loved milk and water but my five year old has always had a sweet tooth and has very weak milky hot chocolate (ie sweetened milk!) or squash.
    Any tips?

    1. Well done on deciding to get them off their sugary drinks. Firstly if they are really reluctant, start to dilute the squash/juice so their sweet tooth is diminished and eventually the sugary drink will test bland and unappealing. Also explain to them that they are being weaned off the drinks and to enjoy the last bottle you have as you aren’t buying any more. That helped my children be aware of what we were working towards (I used this technique more with certain foods than drinks, they loved water anyway). This also has the benefit of letting your children know that even if they get a diluted drink, it is better than next week when there will be none – and you must mean it. Do not ever buy squash/juice again, even for a special treat, as they will see a chink in your motherly armour and they will hunt you down until you give in (only kidding, but you know how destructive “pester power” is). Part of the ethos of going sugar free and low carb is to give up our sweet tooth. We want our children to learn from an early age that sweet tastes should be rare and not a daily occurrence. A milky hot chocolate could be made occasionally with cocoa and stevia, but not to be relied on otherwise they have just swapped one sweet taste for another. You are doing brilliantly and starting while they are young, which they will be grateful for in years to come when they don’t crave sugar like we do (or once did). 🙂

      1. Hi, what do we give babies when we introduce them to solids? I have 8 month old twin grandchildren who are now bottle feed and I can’t get over how many carbs they get. I would be grateful for any ideas

        1. I am not allowed to give advice but I can tell you what I would do if I had my time again. I wouldn’t give my children baby formula which is full of HFCS, sugars, glucose and soy additives. I wouldn’t give them baby rusks, baby biscuits and baby rice. I wouldn’t feed them rice crackers every time I sit down to keep them quiet. All these ‘products’ are not much more than fortified cooked starch. I would never give them juice or dried fruit. I would never buy packs of raisins (60% sugar) for them to suck on all day long. And I’d pretty much stay away from anything with a cartoon on the cover.

          When I was weaning my babies, I pureed our own meals and froze them (spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, roast dinners, soups, curries, chilli). I rarely bought cans/bottled food unless it was an emergency or for taking on a trip when there was no where to heat or keep food cool. I would feed them avocado, real meat, cheese, whole fruits, berries, pates, vegetables galore and nuts and eggs when it was considered age appropriate. I would also start as my children developed, pureeing less until there are lumps in their food. I am convinced too many feed pureed food for too long which sets children up for disliking certain textures. I completely understand some children have sensory problems and I empathise with those, but for most, it can be turned around. No child will starve if you feed them lumpy foods as they get older, they may get incredibly hungry, but they will know that dinner is a bit lumpy tonight and there is no second option. I also believe this is true for new flavours. My children ate curries and chilli con carne from a very early age.

          Teaching them different food textures, tastes and smells set them up for a much easier childhood. I remember sleep training my children (they slept through the night at 3-6 months) so try to take the same approach to feeding. It takes a little time, there will be tears and tantrums (probably from the parents too), but in the long run – incredibly worthwhile.

          1. Thanks for that Libby,
            If they don’t have baby formula what would you give them? One of the twins has bad reflux and both have eczema. They are happy and sleep well.

  15. Sabrinah Ahmad says:

    I’m eating low carb diet in my entire life. It’s great to maintain a healthy body weight even after giving birth. Introducing low carb diet to kids is a good choice because we want them to have a balanced meal, nourished their diet and it is not about weight loss only.

    1. I love your story. That is exactly right, it’s not about weight loss (although that is a lovely side effect for those who want it) but it’s about eating whole food, real food and unprocessed food. It’s about crowding out the junk with nutrition and remaining healthy and happy 🙂

  16. Gabrielle says:

    Hi, I really want our entire family (hubby, 7 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old), but it seems so expensive. Don’t get me wrong I’m full aware of the long term health benefits and that I should look at as an investment in my families health and whilst my family can afford to switch to a low carb way of living, I long for someone to provide low carb, low cost advice to low income earning families afflicted with health issues related to a high carb, high sugar diet. Is it possible for these families? If so, how? The book could compare pricing of low carb and high carb grocery lists over a period of time, now I’m rambling.

    Dreams of low carb, low cost book or resource, I really do love your low carb kids recipes. We are planning to follow your meal plans this weekend. What advice would give to ensure we implement safe practice with the children?

    1. Hi Gabrielle, I totally understand, it does appear to be more expensive but it is because junk food and processed food has become just so cheap. I cook for our family of 5 and I believe our food bill has remained the same as I no longer buy crisps, bread, cakes, sweets, ice cream, snacks …. and we don’t eat out much. I have an article that you may find helpful “how to eat healthy and save money”. You can now start buying the cheaper fatty cuts of meats (now you don’t fear the fat), stop the cereals (it beggars belief how expensive they have become) and cook at home. There are some great tips in that article from readers too. There will be a transition phase where you are still buying some of your old foods and now buying new low carb real food, so it may appear to be more expensive to begin with. I also stopped buying multivitamins, protein powders, and other ‘health’ products and put that money back into real food. Many people wont spend $5 on a dozen eggs but will happily go and spend $5 on a coffee. For me, it’s about where I now choose to spend my grocery budget.

  17. I really struggle with my daughter as she is allergic to all dairy, beef, soya, and coconut.

    any tips particularly for lunch boxes. Thanks in advance.
    I am trying to switch her to Hemp milk rather than the oat milk she has been drinking since she was 2yr old (on medical advice) shes now 5 years. she loves veg except salad greens and will eat chicken, pork and lamb without problem. she prefers ham and sausages but I am trying to move away from those due to the added junk in them.

    1. Can she tolerate nuts? Almond milk (you can even make your own easily so you know exactly what went into it). What about goats milk, sheeps milk etc? Can she tolerate eggs? Boiled eggs, poached, crustless quiche.. It’s great that she likes chicken pork and lamb. Maybe try chicken wrapped in bacon, tandoori chicken (omit the yoghurt), scotch eggs (use ground/mince pork), spring rolls with ground/mince chicken, pork schnitzel chopped into pieces, lemon shrimps. If she can tolerate nuts then much baking can be done with almond flour/meal. Ham and sausages are OK as long as you buy ham off the bone and it’s not that pre-formed rubbish, and sausages go for 80% meat or more with very little additives. You might even find a local butcher who can make them for you. Or I even make little sausage ‘shapes’ out of ground/mince meat such as my lamb kebabs. I feel for you, but it already sounds like she eats a wider variety of foods than many ‘picky’ eaters so she should feel proud of herself. She likes vegetables and meat. Well done.

  18. Hi. I found your page by googling the whole low carb diet for children. My daughter is 7 years old and severely over weight. At first I though by cutting a little of this and a little of that would make a difference. But I’ve come to the realization that if I don’t make a radical change in her diet, she’s never going to lose weight. I’m very conflicted about this, I really don’t know where to start so she doesn’t feel deprived of things she likes. Her pediatrician tells me that I have to give it time and she’ll eventually grow into her weight. But honestly, I know she’s so over the weight she should be at, waiting is not an option. It’s not like I want her to get skinny, I just want her to be at least close to a normal weight range. I’m just lost and desperate and feel so alone in this issue. Do you have any ideas for me on how to start and stay consistent so I can get her to a healthier weight? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

    1. Will she talk to you about this? Does she want to change the way she eats and help get herself healthy? At some point you may have to commit to being strict, but start with one thing at a time, with no going back. So for example, improve her breakfast and no more cereal, juice, flavoured yoghurts or toast ever again. Then improve dinners, then finally the hardest will be the snacks and school lunches. If the food isn’t in the house, she can’t eat it and can’t be tempted. Show her my recipe archives and get her to plan a weeks meals? Plan some treats for the weekend? Is she old enough that you could treat her to the movies or a manicure instead of food when you go to them mall? It is such a difficult dilemma as a mother. I was put on the Scarsdale diet when I was 11 and hated every minute of it because it was all about deprivation, LCHF is completely different as she can increase her healthy fats to feel full, cheese, cold meats, avocados, eggs, bacon, fully loaded salads, coconut cream ice cream etc etc. Good luck CC, she is in good hands. xxx

    2. Devorah Tucker says:

      Our pediatrician said the same thing, not to worry about my daughter’s weight, she would grow into it, etc. That was when she was in kindergarten. My husband, other daughter, and I did not have weight problems so I think she (the doctor) truly thought she (my daughter) would grow Into her weight.

      Now she is 12. She has not grown into it. She weighs more than I do, and I am currently 20 weeks pregnant. With TWINS. She is obese, and I wish so much that I had not listened and had acted back when she was younger. It would have saved her the embarrassment, frustration with clothing, creeping blood sugar levels (we monitor them.,,her A1C is higher than mine–mine was 5 when it was tested last month, and hers was 5.7 two months ago…at the top of the normal range!), stretch marks that will never go away, etc. I feel responsible. We failed her. She is a child, and we allowed this to go on when my husband and I both knew something wasn’t right. Well, while we were not giving her sweets, she was getting them at school and friend’s houses, and when she started earning an allowance she started buying them. I cleaned her room out recently and found hundreds of candy wrappers. Now that she is 12, it is MUCH harder to control this behavior. She has money and is old enough to buy candy without me knowing about it. Every time she wants to go for a bike ride, I worry she is riding to the soft serve joint a few blocks away, or to the convenience store. Every time she spends the night at a friend’s house, I know she will probably binge on whatever she can. If we had stopped this when she was younger, I think it wouldn’t be this bad. But giving her bread and pasta was making her crave the sweets, and it was just an endless cycle.

      Right now I have her (and all of us) on a LCHF diet. Yes…this pregnant woman, too. Turns out that is probably the healthiest diet for pregnancy, too. I do eat fruit, and allow her some watermelon everyday after she walks the dog for 30 minutes. That is her big treat. It is working, but I cry at night sometimes, worried and feeling guilty about this. I believe some people are just more sensitive to sugar, and those are the kiddos you see who become obese, cannot stop eating carbs. She has been on the LCHF diet for about a month now, and recently told me that it feels so “free” to not think about food all of the time anymore. These poor kids with this sensitivity. It has been torture for her.

      I think you are right to do something now. Just don’t be too strict. I do allow her to eat things if, for example, there is a birthday at school. I don’t want her to feel left out. But this Friday she knows they will get donuts in band class, and she asked if she turns it down, will I get her Starbucks instead. This would be a sugar free latte. I said yes, for sure. And I trust her…I have no choice. Thankfully next year she will be in Jr. High, and probably have less snacks at school.

  19. We have started a LCHF way of life as my daughter is overweight even though we have always eaten healthy with no soda drinks and rubbish food, I suspect her body cannot handle Carbs such as bread, pasta and rice. We have started properly a week and a half ago and now she has a bladder infection. Is this a side affect and should we add some of the above carbs back in to her diet and go a bit slower? She has had protein at every meal, should we have a bit less and up the veges even more?

    1. I have never heard of a bladder infection when you go low carb, in fact many people say they actually stop getting them because of the reduced sugar in their urine, perhaps it was a coincidence? Drink plenty of water to help flush the bacteria out. How quickly you reduce your carbs is up to you, if you do want to go a little higher, do so by choosing nutrient dense carbs such as leafy greens, berries etc.

      1. I agree. Less carbs and sugar means bladder infections go away, as well as yeast infections and athletes foot (which I had a problem with). Maybe your daughter is sneaking candy or other high carb treats, from friends or buying them at school. If she’s feeling deprived she may be binging when she’s away from home. My 10 year old recently told me she and a friend of hers often switch snacks or parts of their lunches. Ugh! When I was 12 I would leave for the bus stop early and walk to a gas station a little ways away, use my lunch money or allowance to buy candy, go back get on the bus etc. They also sold ice cream and sodas at my school so many times that’s all I’d buy for lunch. I’m grateful that more and more schools are taking that junk out of the schools, but we have a long way to go.

  20. Any ideas for children’s lunches when trying to follow a ketogenic diet and the school is nut-free.

    1. Take a look at one month of my children’s lunch boxes (link is above in the post). My kids are low carb not keto so there will be things in there you want to avoid but leftovers are king! Go for grain free KFC but use a small amount of coconut flour instead of almond meal, make the grain free granola bars but with seeds not nuts, ham, cheese, boiled eggs, low carb sushi etc etc. I have 3 children at 3 schools, all with different rules. My youngest is at a nut free school so I know how hard it can be (oh how I’d love to send him to school with so many things) so I have learned to adapt some of my own recipes so he is able to take them. Even my nut free kale pesto is a good one to try. Also take a look at my recipe search for ideas. Good luck x

  21. Lindsey Kliewer says:

    Hello Libby! I am struggling with knowing if I should restrict my kids at all or just let them eat whatever everyone else is having, when what everyone else is having seems so excessively full of sugar. I know hat you said that you do not restrict your kids at parties and such, and I love that idea, but I live in the US and it seems like everyone wants to give my kids sugar!!!! Church, grandparents or aunts, small group, are all weekly activities that we do. Part of the buy in I got with my kids being sugar free at home was that they won’t be restricted when we are out, but I am having a hard time following through. Also, I feel myself wanting to isolate so I don’t have to give them the sugar that they will be offered. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

    1. I completely understand, this is such a tough one. Can you ask your children to limit how much they accept? If they are out and offered sweets and soda, I told my children there were allowed a drink OR some food if it were offered to them at an event so they didn’t feel left out and the host wasn’t offended. Most people understood and are happy with that. As time went on, they know the rule is now definitely zero soda and only a small juice if that is all the host is giving. They know if they don’t self limit, I will. So they understand they would rather enjoy a moderate amount than nothing “it’s better than nothing” my 13 yr old tells my 9 yr old (gosh, I sound mean). When we are out and they are offered lollipops at the hairdresser, DIY store, supermarket etc, if they say no, I give them $1. Well, you should see the look on my kid’s faces when they ask me for a dollar after they have happily turned down the sugar and I hand them the money – priceless. I also believe it is important for us as parents, to tell these shops it is no longer acceptable to hand our sugar. The message is getting through.
      One last tip, when soccer season started last year, I send a private message to the coach asking them not to reward every single game with cupcakes and chocolate as it makes parents life so hard if we are giving up junk food. They were so delightful and said yes. It became occasional, not a regular thing. And it was so easy to do at the beginning of the season rather than stop it halfway through when there would have been an outcry. Good luck xxx

  22. I have been eating Keto for about 1.5 months. My 11 yo son, who consistently since the day he was born has been in the 94-97% for both height and weight, asked if he could join me in my eating style (completely his idea). He just started (today is day 3), and I plan to approach it similar to you, in that things at home would be controlled, but some allowance when out and about. He would be allowed more fruit (though he was never a big fruit water).

    I had one question, do your children drink cow’s milk? He misses milk and I know my hubby is concerned about calcium. He is used to 2% but he looked at the label today and was shocked at how high the carbs were. Looks like whole Milk has the same carb level with lower fat obviously. I had him try cashew milk today and he didn’t like it at all.

    1. What a great way to start, keep them low carb as often as you can, and occasional outings won’t matter too much. I truly believe that is why it us sustainable for us for so many years. Yes my children drink cows milk, although I only allow them their “daily glass”. My children use to drink bottles of milk until I discovered how many of their carbs where coming from the glass and glasses of milk. There is much controversy regarding milk and it’s role in calcium for bones. Many are saying it has been over-stated how effective dairy is to produce strong and healthy bones. My children eat plenty of cheese, broccoli, leafy greens and almonds etc, all good sources of calcium, so I don’t feel they are missing out. Well done and good luck 🙂

    2. I’ve had success in mixing heavy cream, almond milk and water — it makes a very close approximation of milk.

      1. Yes–and now there is cashew milk (no carbs-Silk brand) and this tastes fantastic with some heavy cream–my treat!

      2. I read your comment last night and had a crack at this in my morning coffee. I’m new to the whole low carb diet and have been using full cream, great idea thanks very much!

  23. I work in a small rural Pediatric clinic. I suggest your page to the parents of kids who have elevated insulin levels. We see this almost weekly.
    Love the info you have and I am happy to share it with them!

    1. Candi this is amazing. What a superb comment to read this morning. I am working on a kids book as we speak, so stay tuned. I’m hoping to release it within the next month. Thank you so much for taking the time to let men now about your clinic, what lucky kids to have someone like you to help them, and recognise high insulin needs to be seriously addressed. 🙂 Send them all my love.

  24. Pavlina Rubesova says:

    Hi Libby, I’m 100% behind you with raising up children low carb. I personally have been raised up on very high carb diet. I from Czech republic (but living permanently in NZ last 5 years) and our typical breakfast at home was a cake, some kind of porridge or cereal. For lunch it is normal to have a sweet meal too! For example dumplings with fruit and cream, pasta with sugar, poppy seeds and butter, sweet bread with custard and honestly this would be our lunch at school same days! We had normal meals too. But still pretty heavy on carbs.

    So there is no surprise that I have 90% of my teeth filled with amalgam, and had always problems with skin ( acne, eczema, rosacea, liver spots). Somehow managed to stay skinny, probably due my physically demanding job and high amount of fiber in my diet. As I have followed the typical healthy diet most of my adult life (low fat, minimal meat, high fiber, alot vegetables, fruits and grains).
    However this kind of diet kept me skinny but never solved my skin issues and made my candida problem lot worse.
    I have done a lot of research on this especially since my daughter was born. As I wanted the best for her and avoid the problems I have had most of my life so far. And that brought me to High Fat Low Carb way of eating. I have been on this diet for about a month and half and feel that I have found my peace with food and my body. Although it will take probably at least a year to heal internally. My skin has already cleared and I don’t feel hungry any more! Prior to that I had to eat every 2-3 hours otherwise I would have really bad cravings for sugary food.

    Sorry for such a long comment!
    Where i’m going with this is, I hope by now you get the picture that I am quite passionate about this subject especially for kids and eczema sufferers. And I would love to spread the message further, so more people can benefit from your work. Please contact me if you be interested in any collaboration. You have done so much awesome work on your website and I would love to help to spread the word around!
    Look forward to your reply!
    Regards Pavlina

    1. Eva Serrano says:

      This looks like me writing this comment. 🙂 brought up in Czech Republic , now living in the UK for many years I can 100% relate to this. Also about to go try strictly high fed low carb and yep my 4 years old suffered with horrible eczema which I thankfully managed to clear through nutrition. The only things what bathers me now is the mouth full of amalgam! I do feel like nutrition freak who tries to convince people to look into their diet unfortunately this is not always easy. I am in in process to get certified as a nutritional therapist to see if people ( specially my family – my mum and sister suffers from migraine ) takes me finally seriously. Good luck in spreading the wise words about healthy nutrition!

      1. Hi! I am new to this. My 9 years has Bern sufflering from eczema for 3 years. I would really much like to hear what u’ve done to help your kid since u sounds like you had a successful experience with it. Thanks a lot and happy new year!

  25. Read the literature yourself. Much of it is available for free online. The literature doesn’t come down strongly in either side. As another poster said that site is biased for vegan diets. However, this site is biased for low carb diets. The only things the literature universally agrees on is to eat whole food, lots of vegetables, and no trans fats. The rest of it seems to depend on the person.

  26. The problem we have is the aunties and grandparents! We have tried explaining to them about how low carb is good for not only children but also adults and they just do not get it. We had an incident only yesterday at my mums house as she was having our son for a few hours. My mum was offering him chocolate, bread, juice all the things we do not eat so he ate nothing at all and when we arrived she went mad at me. I explained to her that is not something we eat as its all bad for him but she looked at me like i was the worst parent in the world and just said whatever. How do I make her listen when she doesnt want to listen?

    1. Oh Sian, I completely understand your frustration. The number of people who simply do not understand how modern food is chronic carb loading our kids. If you told her you were vegetarian I wonder if she would have honoured your choice? All you can do is keep trying and maybe take your son next time with a packed lunch? Or get your son to do some special low-carb baking and tell her how much he is looking forward to sharing his treats with her? As parents, we want to do the best for our children, and if others around us do not understand (yet), they may one day understand or learn to accept your choices. Why not join my Low-Carb Lunch Box Hacks group where we chat about all aspects or raising low-carb kids. 🙂 Big hugs to you. You are doing an amazing job.

      1. I am in a similar boat as this woman, Sian, whose mother is at odds with her over what to feed her child. I live with my in-laws. My mother-in-law offers candy as a treat to my 2 year old son for everything. For giving her hugs, for letting her change his diaper… If he asks for candy or for a cookie she just gives it to him even if I am in the process of dishing up dinner and I have talked with her and my father-in-law about it (especially because my son has a genetic kidney disease and his diet is very important with regards to that) and she tells me she understands and then she gripes about it and complains about it to everyone behind my back and goes ahead and gives my son sweets, treats, white-rice… right in front of my face. (White rice is probably given more than even candy and cookies. My mother-in-law is Korean and has white rice with every meal and so she mixes rice with all of his meals that she feeds him, even eggs. She gives him seaweed and rice as a meal if he won’t eat anything else, even when I am preparing food.) It is very difficult, even when I tell her what his doctors and dietitians said about what food he should and shouldn’t eat. It scares me. I am exploring the keto diet because it is said to slow the production of kidney cysts and I know I will have to be extra careful ad really put my foot down. But I don’t know what to do when I’m at work and she is home with him.

        1. She is sadly slowly giving him chronic disease fuelled by sugar and processed food. Killing through kindness. Sadly it is how so many of us have been raised, to show love through food, especially sugar. Maybe you could show her this video. It is very visual showing how well-meaning and loving families are a huge part of the obesity crisis. Sugar here. Cakes there. Fries (or rice) with everything. She is obviously loving and well-meaning but at the end of the day, he is your child and you have to be his biggest advocate in life. Our children are everything, and so is their health. Chronic disease doesn’t happen overnight, they occur from eating habits learned in childhood (and so she is setting him up for a life of extremely poor food habits) and from decades of eating inflammation-causing food with zero nutrition (cookies, candy, cakes, ice cream). My heart goes out to you. It’s hard enough living in a world of ultra-processed food surrounding us wherever we go, let alone without the support of your loved ones. xxx

  27. my daughter is 2.5 year old. is there any age you would recommend starting for kids? I’ve always tried to give her carbs, protein and veggies – is she too young to “ditch the carbs”?

    1. As long as you feed your children real, whole food, they become lower carb, almost be default. The emphasis I place on my children is not carb counting, but real wholesome food that is naturally lower in carbs. No one can argue that the high carb processed food that surrounds us is good for anyone, let alone growing children who need all the nutrition they can get. And nutrition, is what is lacking from our current high carb processed food pyramid, based on pasta, wheat, bread, rice, sweets, cakes etc. Why not join my Low-Carb Lunchbox Hacks group to see what I pack each day. It all give you an idea of what my kids eat on a daily basis.

  28. What an aweome and helpful site! Im currently trying to help my 9 year old get her weight back on track. I personally have had success by lowering my carb intake, so that is the plan for her as well! Im always looking for meals and especially snacks that are low carb (more low starch, really). I consider myself very lucky that she actually likes a variety of vegetables! She also loves seafood, especially tuna steaks! Im looking foods that are also filling (fiber?), as we are also working on portion sizes!

  29. Thank you for the detailed Post!!
    I started Keto for my kids (9) and (7).
    Its two weeks and they seem to be getting adjusted to it.
    My Daughter has started complaining of joint pain (in elbow and knee) since yesterday, i am worried if this diet has anything to do with it.. Should i be visiting a doctor for any kind of tests before i continue the diet for my kids?

    Thanks!

    1. I cannot give medical advice. But what I will say is that most people who begin low-carb have reduced inflammation and reduced joint pain due to the lower sugar levels which are inflammatory. If you are at all worried about your daughter, please visit your Dr to see if there is anything else happening here.

  30. Hi! I am assuming you don’t regularly count carbs for your kids. But I am curious about how many carbs a day would you say your kids eat? Do you have a ratio of fats/protein/carbs you would recommend for younger kids (less than 10 yrs)? Do you recommend increasing that carb ratio as they get older or lowering the carb amount? Thanks for your opinion!

    1. Gosh, I’m sorry, but I’m not even beginning to go down this rabbit warren of counting and advising on macros for kids. It depends entirely as to their weight, health, growth spurts, medical conditions etc. I make it simple and base all our meal on lower-carb whole foods. They eat plenty of quality protein as they are all still growing. For my boys, I give them extra protein (for example an extra sausage or chicken) at the dinner table compared to my 17 year old who has stopped her growth spurts as her growth is slowing down and more gradual than my 11 and 15-year-olds. They eat until full, and if still hungry? I fill them up with non-starchy veggies, healthy fats and more quality protein (so no nuggets, processed ham etc). If your child has a medical condition that needs to be monitored closely such as T1 or epilepsy, then yes, you will have to count them and monitor macros. But for most readers, I am just trying to encourage ditching the junk food, processed carbs, sugar and getting back to whole food as close to nature intended it. I hope that helps. 🙂 I have just been interviewed on a podcast regarding this exact subject. You can listen to it here.

  31. Hi, Thanks for your awesome article. I think for Low Carb Kids the emphasis should be on feeding them tasty nutrient dense meals. Children shouldn’t be relying on sugars, grains, and high carb snacks. Low carb is all about going back to basics – meat, vegetables, low sugar fruit, seeds, nuts, and healthy fats. Real food is simple food. Am I right?

    1. YES!!!!! There are so many myths out there that our kids are on some weird whacky restrictive diet. We go back to the whole real foods that are also lower in carbs. I emphasise the “lower in carbs” part because so many people say they eat whole foods, yet still base their diet around juice, fruits, dried fruit, honey and whole grains. All of which cause chronic high blood sugars. As a family, we enjoy lower carb food, nutrient dense food, healthy fats and moderate quality proteins. It’s pretty simple but it becomes complicated when we have to clarify the myths out there. We eat simple, healthy, fresh unprocessed food and become low-carb almost by default 🙂

      1. Rabia imran says:

        Hi please help as my son is 12 years old and is overweight what do u mean by low carb diet is it keto dirt? And can we give children grains legumes and brown rice or that’s off limits thanks

        1. I suggest you download this handbook (it’s free) to get started. How To Reduce Sugar In Your Child’s Diet. It gives you easily actionable steps to reduce sugar and processed carbs. How much you lower the carbs from your child will depend on any advice you have been given from your healthcare provider. Some children go extremely low (sometimes keto) after medical consultation and medical advice for a medical/health condition, whilst others just want to lower the carbs from junk sources and keep nutrient-dense carbs such as dairy, nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables in place.

  32. I have been concerned about my son’s weight ever since he started eating full solids. He has such an appetite, and is just off the charts in growth. My pediatrician kept telling me not to worry about it, that there is no such thing as an obese baby, and we don’t even think about that until he’s two. Well, he’ll be two next week, and I put his height and weight into the chart, and he is obese. I’m sick about it. I swore that wouldn’t happen to my baby. He never drinks juice, we rarely eat out. I cook all his meals from scratch, but apparently I screwed up somehow. I need to lose weight too, and so on thinking about transitioning is to a low carb diet. I know how to do this for myself, but for him, I feel lost. What veggies do you stay away from for your children? Obviously potatoes… But do they eat squash? Carrots? Obviously leafy greens would be unlimited. When I am dieting, I go extreme. And that’s fine, because I’m not growing, and I’m trying to lose body fat. But I don’t want him to waste away, I just need him to slow down a bit and let his height catch up. I’m not trying to put him on a diet… Doo you have a list of vegetables you encourage your kids to eat?

  33. Anjo Norg says:

    How do you feel about children drinking whole milk?

    1. My children do drink whole milk, but I definitely limit how much otherwise they would drink gallons and milk is still high in lactose which soon adds up. 100ml = 4g, so a cup 250ml = 10g. This is another reason why I also switched from milky coffees to creamy coffees. 250ml – 350ml milk vs 2 tbsp cream which is only 1-2g total and keeps me full for sooooo long. Great question Anjo!

  34. Lynn Winsper says:

    I love this site, some great advice. I have been doing low carb for 2 months due to auto immune, and have also shed over a stone!
    My beautiful daughter is 9 and is, as her BMI says, overweight. She is very body concious. She is very tall but also had some excess fat. She’s been doing low carb with me for 3 weeks and is trying very hard. She is eating more fruit, snacking on cheese and coconut flour waffles. Meal times are hard as she eats no veg. Only thing I can get her to eat is buttered carrots. She has struggled and not even lost a pound yet. She gets on the scales every morning, and then looks disappointed. She isn’t gaining though, just maintaining.
    She has had the odd chocolate treat but ive tried to count it in her daily carb allowance and gone for choc as opposed to sweets. Its hard as it’s Easter here so choc is in abundance! I’m worried that if I’m giving her lots of good fats in not helping her. Should I lower the cheese, cream intake? Or maybe calorie count? I’d appreciate your advice x

    1. The emphasis I use with my children is to eat whole food. I don’t calorie count or carb count for them. I make sure my kiddos shy away from excessive fruit, especially high-sugar fruits such as grapes, tropical fruit such as pineapple, melon and dried fruit of all kind. I also limit how many low-carb treats we enjoy. Part of the ethos of living this way to rely more on savoury foods than sweet treats. There is a place for low-carb baking, of course, to help get off the sugary and high-carb treats, but they should be reduced. I encouraged my children to eat more vegetables and a wider variety of foods with these family rules. 1: You don’t have to like it, but you do have to try it. 2: They were allowed to leave 1 thing on their plate (but I amped up the other veggies I knew they would choose). 3: Treats and after dinner desserts made less and less of an appearance each week. I understand as a parent it is so tricky balancing healthy eating, with any future body conscious issues. You’re doing an amazing job. Take it slowly. Maybe allow her to find some low-carb recipes she would like to try and cook with you? Why not join my Lunch Box group where we share our lunch box and healthy eating ideas? You can see what I pack for my 3 kiddos and hubby. 🙂 x

  35. Nancy M Libby says:

    Constipation seems to be an issue. We have been on the low carb (keto for me) way of life for almost 5 months. My little guy (age 10) had severe constipation issues. Outside of drinking more water, what am I doing wrong? The rest of our familyof 6 seem to at times be constipated, but I am feeding lots of leafy greens. Help!

    1. In my experience increasing salt intake helps a lot. You flush a lot out since you retain less water eating less carbs. Also, definitely making sure you are getting enough vegetables. I do way better on 40 net carbs, all from low carb veggies, than at 20 net carbs. Also, dairy is a huge contributor to constipation. I’ve done many forms of low carb. 20 net with dairy and I was miserable. 20 net vegan, just couldn’t enjoy my meals. 30 -40 net dairy free, all carbs from veggies or eggs has been fantastic.

  36. This is great, and as they say, prevention is better than cure. Having a healthy diet for them early will surely give them better health in the future and will help them be healthy. Just having to feed them healthy is the challenge I think.

  37. Donn Krake says:

    I believe that avoiding packaged foods could be the first step for you to lose weight. They might taste excellent, but prepared foods include very little vitamins and minerals, making you try to eat more simply to have enough vitality to get with the day. In case you are constantly ingesting these foods, transferring to cereals and other complex carbohydrates will aid you to have more vitality while eating less. Thanks alot : ) for your blog post.

  38. Are there any guides to portion sizes for Low carb kids. I know that there’s food pyramids and portion guides for the ‘normal’ diet that lists portions but of course I don’t think I can take those as reference as they like to emphasise carbs.

    I tend to do unlimited veg/salad but I’m never sure when it comes to the other parts of a meal. Would to much protein or fat still be detrimental if just going of the same unlimited mentality?

    Could a macros/portion guide be made for kids?

    1. Hi Rachel, it’s tricky to give a guide for serving sizes for children as it would depend on their health status, how much weight they have to lose and other emotional factors and habits that may need to be broken/. Most parents who want to support their children’s weight loss begin by focussing on whole foods that are lower in carbs and no sugar. Prioritise protein for growing children, non-starchy vegetables and some (but not to excess) healthy fats. It’s a slow but steady path, and teaching to recognise true hunger signals is key rather than eating for emotions and boredom (it happens to us too right?). It sounds like you’re doing great giving unlimited veg/salad to help bulk up meals. This is an article showing protein portions. This free guidebook may help you.