Taming carb-crazy kids
Top tips for crazy carb cravings-
Marisa Crespo, our thoughtful writer and editor at Nutrition4 Kids, is always trying to engage readers with her energetic articles. She has her bachelor's degree in Nutrition and is interested in the psychology of eating as well as plant-based lifestyles. On her free time she enjoys creative writing, exploring parks and cities, and having a […]
Simple Rules Can Break the Carb-Crazy Habit
Kids love carbs–but they also need their fruits and vegetables. Sure, carbohydrates provide the energy our bodies need, but not all carbs are healthy. A lot of carb-crazy kids are hooked on the 3Cs: chips, crackers, and cookies.
Simple Ways to Make Your Kids Healthier
- Snacks should be fruits, vegetables or meats.
- Try one of our super smoothies. Freeze and serve as a popsicle if they don't like drinking it.
- No chips, crackers or cookies (or, the 3Cs), ice cream or sweets during the day
- No food or drinks (not even water) 1-1 1/2 hours before meals
- During meals, limit fluids to a few ounces until after the meal.
- Sit together at the table for meals.
- Balance the portions at each meal. A fist size of a protein, a fruit or vegetable, and a carbohydrate. 1 of each, not more. That means that if you're serving pasta (or they've ordered that at a restaurant), no bread and no cake for dessert.
- Count corn and white potatoes (in all their forms) as carb, since they are carb-loaded, starchy vegetables
- Offer only fruits and vegetables as seconds. As Bailey Koch, one of the dietitians on the Nutrition4kids advisory board says, "they shouldn't have seconds unless vegetables are first."
- If there's no room for the vegetable, there's certainly no room for dessert.
- For the child who needs to control his or her weight, you can avoid carbs at some meals altogether–substitute a second fruit or vegetable
- Once everyone accomplishes their goal of better eating, they may feel better and want to continue on that path. Or you may want to have an occasional food vacation, where the kids can choose from a broader selection–not as a reward but with the understanding that if their meals are usually healthy and balanced, they have room for the treats and carbs that were so much of their diet beforehand. But they are best after dinner so they don't interfere with their meals.
Craving carbohydrates is normal. However, carbohydrates in the diet need to be balanced with protein and fruits/ veggies at most meals. Additionally, carb heavy snacking should be avoided, and sweet treats should only come after fruit and veggies needs are met for the day.
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