We do the same thing to kids as we do to adults but even more magnified because we say their metabolisms are so high they will burn off their carbs. As an unhealthy, obese society in the US we load up on "hearty carbohydrates" to give us energy and keep us full. Wow, what a terribly unhealthy pattern we have created and most of us don't even know it. Did you know it is SUGAR (aka carbs of any source) that creates insulin resistance, excess body weight, artery hardening, inflammation, joint pain, hormonal imbalance and false hunger to name a few lovely side effects of over indulging in carbohydrates. I see parents get so excited they provided their infants with "healthy" alternatives to processed foods by making their own baby food. AWESOME! I applaud the efforts, the issue is when that healthy alternative is packing 30-70 g of sugars from fruit or starchy veggies. In a pint sized growing body that is an absolute flood of sugar. While their systems deal quite well with sending in insulin to get blood sugar stabilized, years of repeating this pattern creates insulin sensitivity issues, childhood diabetes, fatty liver disease in children who obviously aren't drinking alcohol, but instead taking in excess fructose and other sugars.
What do we eat if we limit sugar? We plump up the fats! Healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, coconut butter, olive oil, grass-fed butter, fats from grass-fed organic meats, wild caught fish, raw nuts, chia and hemp seeds to name a few examples. Fats DO NOT MAKE US FAT!!!! SUGAR DOES!!! I need this mantra to be part of the fiber of your family's eating framework. Fat has gotten a bad wrap and a low fat diet has created an over-carbed, hormonally deranged, grumpy, Frakenfood laden society. YIKES! Moms and dads we need to change this around for the generations we are raising.
Think "Fat first, portioned protein and curtailed carbs". If you can follow this simple guideline, your child's health, energy levels, brain power and hormones will all be more evenly, effectively and efficiently fueled for life!
I believe you should always know the WHY behind the things we ask you to try for your children. The more you know about what food does in the body, how it impacts our health and well-being, the more often I believe you will make the effort to make better choices.
FATS MANY WONDERFUL JOBS:
Aid in absorption of certain vitamins
Supplies essential fatty acids
Maintains cell membranes
Improves brain health
Assures normal growth and development
Enhances nervous system function
Lowers lipoproteins (reduce the risk of heart disease)
Strengthens cell walls
Aids calcium absorption for stronger bones
Helps the body produce strong white blood cells to boost immunity
Improves blood glucose and insulin sensitivity
Helps prevent the buildup of fat around the center of your body (hello, lean abs)
Reduces the risk of certain cancers like breast, colon and prostate
Improves skin health
Improves lung health
There is NO essential nutrient found in carbohydrates that we must have or our health would fail. There are however, nine essential amino acids found in protein that if we lack any one of them for any length of time, protein metabolism becomes impaired and disease and dysfunction occur. There are two essential fatty acids to well-being; omega 3’s and omega 6’s (also known as polyunsaturated fats). When we do not take in sufficient amounts of either of these fats everything from stunted growth, heart disease and skin rashes to dementia and impaired neurological, visual and intellectual development can occur and trickle down into the next generation. Does a low fat diet still sound like a smart idea for your most favorite people on the planet? Heck no! It is also vital for pregnant women and those trying to conceive to take in ample amounts of fat, which should tell us all something. There is no scientific evidence for making carbohydrates essential to life. Our body has the incredible ability to adapt to restricted carbohydrates and turn to fat for the primary source of fuel. In fact, our body will more efficiently burn fat for fuel (dietary intake and stored body fat) than when we are still relying on high carb intake for quick energy. Our body will also create sugar from excess protein to feed any functions the body may require use of glucose for. Pretty stinking smart of us humans! We need to get out of our own way, stop listening to conventional nutrition advice being touted as truth when in deed science is now proving old myths wrong and let our body work its magic.