Keto for children is as safe as it is for adults if done correctly! This is a simple sentence but I wanted to start this article with this statement. Yes, originally, the Ketogenic diet was designed for treating children with epilepsy. However, it became extremely popular in the past 10 years due to obesity epidemy all over the globe. The unhealthy lifestyle, industrial, overprocessed and high-carb, vegetable oil-rich diet brought humans to the level of sickness, obesity, psychological problems… Unfortunately, this includes children too.
It all started with epilepsy
Evidence shows that a ketogenic diet is promising therapy for epilepsy. According to scientific research, the ketogenic diet is a diet regimen that helps reduce the incidence of seizures and is often used to help treat epilepsy. A scientific study from the American Epilepsy Society yields interesting results. Examining people who could not be treated by conventional medical therapy but by a ketogenic diet alone, it was found that the number of seizures had decreased by more than 50 percent, of which 28 percent had no longer reported seizures. The dietary regimen of a ketogenic diet lasted 13 months.
What we know today as the ketogenic diet was once the first choice to treat epilepsy until pharmaceutical companies have launched not-so-safe antiepileptic drugs. Thanks to a parent of a 20-month-old boy suffering from hard epileptic seizures, treating epilepsy with the ketogenic diet is now used by parents more often. After only 4 days, the child’s seizures stopped and never returned. This is how the Charlie Foundation was created.
But it can be beneficial for many more health issues and conditions
Keto for children could be beneficial in other cases too. As we know, restricting carbohydrates brings us in the state of ketosis. Our body uses ketone bodies as energy instead of glucose. Ketogenic way of eating has been used successfully to handle epilepsy in children and adults since 1921. However, many don’t know that epilepsy is common in children who also have autism. A study published in 2003 demonstrated that some children with autism on an intermittent Ketogenic diet encountered a notable decrease in autistic manifestations.
Keto for children with diabetes?
Keto for children with diabetes is quite uncommon but research shows promising and beneficial effects. Especially in children with type 2 diabetes. Children treated with a ketogenic diet have improvements in the quality of life through the diet without any significant unfavourable effects. The vast majority of investigation in children with diabetes has been conducted with those with type 2 diabetes and obesity. The research for Type 1 diabetes, however, is not done so often.
“The ketogenic diet may be an effective short-term, and possibly long-term, therapy for pre-adolescent and adolescent children with type 2 diabetes.”I was positively surprised to find this article on diabetes.co.uk official website.
Within a few days on a Keto diet, a child with type 2 diabetes can have blood sugar levels decreased to a healthy level! In many cases, it will decrease to a point where the use of medications can be excluded.
Keto diet for children with type 1 diabetes
The research in this field does exist but it is limited to case studies. In cases of children with type 1 diabetes, there is proof that a proper ketogenic diet lowers the requirement for insulin. It reduces the number of hypoglycemia and improves HbA1c levels. A case study showed that the paleolithic ketogenic diet may halt or reverse autoimmune processes destructing pancreatic beta-cell function in T1DM
A case study by doctor Csaba Tóth from Hungary has revealed that a clean ketogenic diet may help to slow down the development of type 1 diabetes in children.
A nine-year-old boy, recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, was able to come off insulin for two years by following a ketogenic Paleo diet.
Keto or Low-Carb for obese teenagers
Ketogenic diets show meaningful encouragement for helping obese teenagers to lose weight and regain health. Luckily, there are enough studies that show a Keto diet to be a healthy and successful way to treat obesity in adolescents. We have to understand, an average child or teenager eats 10 times more sugar than an average adult. It’s hidden in all foods that are usually marketed as children-friendly. From oatmeal, corn flakes, GMO fruits, fast food, fried food and industrial sodas and chocolate treats.
If by some science fiction event, all children would be teleported to another planet for just 5 years, the candy industry would cease to exist! Children are their targeted group and their inability to decide what’s healthy, is the week-spot of parents. Lead by emotional sugar addiction, children often blackmail parents into buying them treats and sweets. This goes on in cycles.
But how to make it really children friendly?
I could probably write an essay on this subject. However, I will give my best to put it into simple 12 lines. In general, it’s not much different from what we are promoting as the healthiest version of Keto. Yes, I am talking about KMD! If you share your KMD meals with your children, at least once per day, they would benefit from all the healthy nutrients. Not to mention the vitamins, minerals as well as taste, looks and feel. KMD makes Keto enjoyable and has multiple advantages and anti-inflammatory properties when compared to other types of Keto.
12 bits of wisdom on Keto for children
- Everything should be prepared from scratch at home. industrial food can’t be safe in today’s world. Paleo approach is good, but even better is the Keto Mediterranean!
- Children love chicken, but to make Keto therapeutic, we need to increase omega-3 and reduce omega-6 intakes. For this reason, reduce chicken and include easily digestible meats. Such as rabbit, lamb, veal, fish
- Be creative and create attractive, colourful dishes and even Keto or low carb treats. Children, more than anyone, have a strong visual connection to food. If some food is tasty but unattractive to see, they will not eat it.
- If they keep refusing high nutritious foods (liver, seafood eggs), try searching for creative recipes that will mask these foods. Our Keto liver pate or quail egg mayonaisse are excellent examples.
- They can have fruits every day! However, if you choose low-glycemic index fruits, this will greatly help the therapeutic effect.
- Monk fruit is the safest sweetener for children. They will not complain about the aftertaste, as with stevia. You will be able to make Keto cake, cookies, chocolate, gumdrops and other treats. We have more than 200 recipes here.
- Children usually don’t like to eat vegetables, but they love jellos and cream soups. Blender is your friend here! You can also sneak some vegetables in smoothies with berries and nuts.
- Exclude cow’s dairy in total! Children will benefit from goat or sheep milk products more than you will believe. Regardless of the condition or goal, A1 casein from cow’s milk will increase indigestion and inflammation.
- Try eating the same dishes. If they feel they have to eat different meals from the rest of the family they usually develop dislike. Show them how you are enjoying eating the same meals. Make tasty starters, soups, main courses and always finish with a small portion of Keto dessert.
- If your only goal is a reduction of body fat, don’t have to aim for Keto, but a Low-Carb diet. This can include Emmer, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots, carrot and other not-so-much Keto foods. Low glycemic index should be your guideline.
- They love experiments. Include them in food preparation and food gathering. Make a trip to a farm where you’ll buy organic pasture-raised eggs, butter, goat milk. Take them to the forest to collect edible berries, mushrooms. Teach them to fish if that’s your hobby.
- Develop a friendly and supportive relationship with them. Support them and be the best example of positivism that Keto has on emotional wellbeing. A happy parent is the happiest image we hold as a memory from childhood.