Healthy children need enough nutrients to grow and develop well. During this phase, the needs of a healthy diet are more important than ever as this is the critical phase and the optimum phase for a child to grow healthily. With this in mind, some parents probably thought that it is best to let their child eat whatever they want but truthfully this has led to rising cases of obesity among children. Hence, healthy diet has been introduced to help a child avoid this episode or to help obese child to have a much healthier body weight. One of the diets is a low-carb-diet.
Low-carb diet may seem familiar for adults but is it actually alright for a child? A child is not the miniature of an adult. This means that a child’s needs are never the exact same as in adults. If that is the case, is a low-carb diet safe for a child? In general, yes, it is safe for children as there are no studies showing significant problems with a child having a low-carb diet.
A low-carb diet in general means a diet that limits the intake of carbohydrates. Not to be mistaken with no carbohydrates at all, a low-carb diet is more on restricting the amount rather than a total elimination of carbohydrates from daily meals. A healthy low-carb diet is often a vegetable-based and adequate protein. Low-carb diets mainly focus on avoiding sugar or simple carbs that possess high glycaemic index. A high glycaemic index food or drinks are substances that rapidly increase the blood sugar level. These can cause a child to easily develop diabetes and obesity as high glycaemic index foods contribute to development of cardiometabolic conditions.
While a low-carb diet may seem like the best option for a child with diabetes type 1 or obesity to control their blood sugar level and their body weight, it can actually benefit any children who practise such a diet. A low-carb diet for a child helps a child to have a healthier life as they are getting all the good nutrients without the presence of processed food or junk food that is high in refined sugar and many unhealthy ingredients. Reducing processed food and food high in carbohydrates not only helps to avoid a child to develop diseases related to metabolic issues, but also helps them to improve their brain function so a child can have good concentration, stable mood and always have good level of energy.
Although a low-carb diet seems like the best option for a child, parents or guardians need to know that it is not always easy to introduce such a diet to a child. This is because it can be difficult for a child to accept a new meal which is different from what they usually have. To introduce the new low-carb diet does not necessarily mean to immediately make big changes to their existing diet. Make sure the food seems normal for them to eat and appetising enough. Try to take it slow and not force or punish the child if they do not want to eat such a diet because doing so may create a negative experience which eventually leads to the child never wanting to eat a healthy meal. Hence, a parent needs to learn how to make a low-carb diet more fun and appealing for the child to try. This can be done by making a mundane meal look interesting or serving ‘the rainbow’. A rainbow meal is a meal made with colourful vegetables and fruits to help create an attractive food appearance. One thing for sure, a child always follows or copies what they see so a parent that shows a good model by eating healthily themselves can boost their child’s own moral to have a healthy meal.
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