Is a Low-Carb Diet Safe For Kids? All Answers You Need to Know

By Staff Reporter, Parent Herald November 27, 03:54 pm

Is a Low-Carb Diet Safe For Kids? All Answers You Need to Know

If you're planning on taking the healthier route for you and your kids, you might have looked into going low-carb. While it has many benefits to reap (one of them being weight loss), is a low-carb diet safe for kids?

There are many mixed reactions to this, and it got me confused as well! That's why I did the research to show you everything you need to know about low-carb diets and if it's useful for kids.

Is a Low-Carb Diet Safe For Kids?

There are several reasons as to why you're planning to put your children in a low-carb diet. Some children require weight loss or maintenance, especially if they are overweight or have a condition that requires a lower carb intake.

However, even if children are overweight, having your children undergo a STRICT low-carb diet isn't as safe or beneficial as it seems!

The experts say that low-carb diets aren't a good choice for children, as they have different nutritional needs compared to adults. Growing children require more calcium and vitamins compared to adults, and these come from healthy forms of carbs such as grains, fruits, and vegetables. If restricted from carbs like these, it would affect one's growth and development, which is crucial for kids.

With that being said, going low-carb from processed sugars and pastries is recommended for both adults and children, especially those who have diabetes. I'll provide tips on lessening these forms of carbs in the next section.

How Does It Affect Them?

So, how does a low-carb diet affect children (either positively or negatively)? Besides posing an adverse effect for fussy eaters, here are some factors to look into:

It Affects Their Thinking

Because a low-carb diet can rob the vital nutrients your child requires, it can impact their thinking ability. When you go on a low-carb diet, the body uses ketones for energy, which is the reason for drastic weight loss. However, ketones have the dulling effect on the brain, which isn't beneficial for children.

Without the required carbs, children won't be able to concentrate or focus well. This isn't good when studying or in school!

It Affects Their Physical Growth and Development

Like mentioned, your child's body is robbed of much-needed nutrients, which is mainly found in fruits and vegetables. Because of this, it may stunt their growth, and they won't be able to develop as correctly as they should.

However, this depends! A study shows that low-carb diets don't affect as negatively on growth as long as protein intake wasn't kept too low.

It MAY Make or Break Their Energy Levels

If your child consumes carbohydrate-rich foods in unhealthy forms such as pastures or sodas, then this can adversely affect their energy levels. They end up feeling hyper, but crash right after, which isn't beneficial for long-term energy requirements.

However, consuming carbs in the form of fruits, vegetables, and healthier grains, can improve both their concentration and energy to continue their day without crashing. Plus, this may affect their moods because of the sluggish feeling.

For more information, here's a video on how low-carb diets affect children:

Tips on Low-Carb Diets For Healthier Children

Now that you're familiar with how the low-carb diet affects children, what are ways to help lessen the bad carbs in their diet for better benefits?

Here are some tips to follow:

          • While there's no need to calculate keto macros for your children, it's recommended to see how many carbs, protein, and fat they need daily (as this depends on their gender, age, and weight). Then, try to maintain their consumption of these main macros to ensure that they stay satiated and healthy.

          • Like mentioned, sugary beverages and food like sodas and pastures are a no-no and must be avoided at all costs because of the sugar crash and adverse effects. So as much as possible, keep these treats away from your little one and substitute these snacks for other healthier forms of sugars, such as fruits.

 • If your kid is used to consuming too many carbs (more than what's required), then start easing them into a lower-carb diet rich in fat and protein. Don't have them quit cold turkey, but to begin with a lower-carb meal to let them get used to it.

Wrapping It Up

A low-carb diet does have its perks, though they are NOT recommended for children, especially in the long-term. What I do suggest is to provide a food rich in high-quality carbohydrates to promote thinking and energy, while limiting processed carbs found in sugary treats and beverages.

Hopefully, this article answers your question, "is a low-carb diet safe for kids?" Now that you're familiar with what to do for your little ones start taking the healthier route now!

If you have any questions or want to share your experiences on low-carb diets for the entire family, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

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