Day 227 (M, 110815) — Food for Kids

Bottom Line Up Front. How do I find out, objectively, what would be the best thing to do for my kids’ diet?

Deciding What to Feed the Kids.  How do you feed your kids?  It’s a big question.

Today’s message from SparkPeople.com brought this to my forebrain with their article: A Parent’s Guide to Nutrition for Kids – Part 1, Lesson 1: Blueprint for a Healthy Diet.

The food pyramid is still the best blueprint for building a balanced diet. At http://www.mypyramid.gov, you can obtain a personalized nutrition plan for each member of the family. A healthy diet will help your children build bodies that go the distance. Here is what they need most each day.

Yeah . . . I’m not so sure about this.

I know people who obsess over what their kids eat: no fat; no artificial flavors; no artificial colors; no artificial sweeteners; no preservatives; no gluten; no pork; no red meat; no carbs; no corn; no HFCS . . . . Plus 1000 other rules about what goes in their mouths.

Lots of folks insist on using the gov’t-blessed low-fat diet for their kids.  Then again, I’ve read paleo sites which, in full self-righteous glory, condemn to the deepest and fiercest pits of hell anyone who feeds their kid a bowl of cereal.*

My point is I don’t know what to do.

My kids know about my diet and even, to some extent, why I eat like I do.  We’ve talked to them about carbohydrates and why I avoid them.  The know about (and like) my Free Days.  But should I try to get them to eat that way?  Is SCD/low carb a good diet for kids?**

Is there any actual evidence one way or the other about what is the best diet for children?

My kids eat a fairly standard diet which includes a normal mix of American food, including fast food, junk food, TV dinners, pizza, etc. in and among the homemade meatloaf, pork chops, spaghetti, soup, sandwiches, etc.

They are growing well, tall for their ages, bright, and healthy according to the doctors’ reports from their checkups. So how do I decide?

Anyone want to share what you do and why?

=====

Max Capacity Training.  Today is the start of MCT Week 10 and it’s all about abs.

MCT Day 28 is the following exercises in a 50-10 timing protocol.

  1. Heel Touches: 31
  2. Pulse Ups: 23
  3. Leg Over Reverse Crunches: 27
  4. Alternating Crunches: 23

I hate ab-specific exercises but I’ll do what I gotta do.  I’ll post results here later on.

UPDATE – Workout Review.  I was right – that sucked.  My abs hate me right now.

My abs are pathetic and I seriously doubt I did these exercises right.  I can tell you with certainty that I didn’t look like the pictures on the workout page at any point….

Two notes about this workout:

  1. Stretch your glutes and hamstrings before you start.  The Leg Over Reverse Crunches really stretch your butt and I suspect that, if you are stretched down there, you’ll have more success with them than I did today.
  2. These exercises really hit the lower abs hard.  I suspect I was not doing them correctly because the only one which really caused my upper abs to ache was the Alternating Crunches.

What to Do Next? I mentioned yesterday that I am thinking through what exercise program I’ll do after I finish MCT a few weeks from now.  Options are:

The problem with both of these options is that, while I do have some light dumbbells (20 lbs.) for curls, I don’t have the equipment at home to do pull ups or pull downs.

=====

Plan for Week 33.

Day Fast? SCD? Run? MCT?
Sunday No No No No
Monday Yes Yes No Yes
Tuesday Yes No Yes No No
Wednesday Yes Yes No Yes
Thursday Yes Yes No No
Friday Yes Yes No Yes
Saturday No No Yes N

I am making a change to my plan for tomorrow: I will still do SCD but I won’t fast since I am going to go to lunch with a coworker and a friend who works nearby.  I really love that IF is flexible like that….. =)

—–

* This is a big reason I am put off by much of the paleo movement.  The “you are not only wrong but evil” for not being “pure” thread can found in the writings of some of the major proponents of the theory.
** This is a separate question from whether or not it would be possible.  My wife doesn’t eat SCD and, without her participation, no program of mine to change the kids’ diet would even be feasible.  This post, then, is an exercise in trying to figure out what would be best, if the stars aligned and everything was as it should be to do what is best for the kids.
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6 responses to “Day 227 (M, 110815) — Food for Kids

  1. I have a nearly-6 and nearly-3 year old. We try to follow the food pyramid for the kids. I say try, because there are some days when no matter what I do, they just want to eat French fries.

    I think kids need more carbs, fruit, dairy, healthy fats than adults, since their metabolism is on fire and they are growing like weeds. My dream is to put a turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat with lettuce and tomato with some carrot sticks on a plate for them and they would just eat it up saying, “yum, thanks Mom.”

    What happens in real life is they have turkey sausage and fruit (short one) and waffle and fruit (tall one) for breakfast, lunch they are out with the Au pair (who takes decidedly less nonsense from them) and they have something like chicken, pasta, spinach, beans, tomato sauce. Yes, that is my SCD stuff with other stuff thrown in. Snack is broccoli and red peppers (raw). Dinner is whatever I can pull together. Might be pizza, might be chicken nuggets or hot dogs. Some lunches are quesadillas or cheese sandwich.

    We try to balance it out over the day/week. They are big, healthy boys. Strong, vibrant. Did I say big? The short one likes my SCD dinners and comes up saying “want some?” with his mouth open. Fine for him to eat some if mine (helps me cut calories also). But he is also getting fruit and milk and ice cream. I couldn’t deprive them if the joy if eating their way through a farmers market on a Sunday morning…

    🙂

    Interesting and thought provoking post.

  2. As with any “diet” or way of eating there will be people that are adamant that their way is right and no other way is. I am sure I have posted comments with a tone like that before but not purposely. What particular issue did you have with Dr. Harris’ blog post?

    Refined sugar and flour have negative affects on some people short term on others long term, I don’t think there is any science to dispute this currently. So if sugar and flour is bad for you, so is alcohol, so is tobacco, would you let your kids drink or smoke? Is it a harsh comment? If you know the biochemistry behind it not really.

    Low carb works well for most obese people, there is no doubt in that, but these people already have metabolic syndrome and other issues that need to be fixed, kids usually don’t.

    When looking for “proof” of something that works I tend to look at the cultures that are know to be the “healthiest” and longest life span. Those would be the Kitavans, the Okinawan’s, the Massai, the Inuit etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_diet
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people#Diet
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuit_diet
    http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html

    There is some serious debate going on in the blogosphere right now about high carb vs low carb but there is a consensus that sugar and flour from wheat (even whole grains) is part of the cause for many of our “western diseases”

  3. Well, my kids (boys, ages 6,7,10) are the opposite of my wife and me. All three tend towards thin, with the younger two both sporting a six pack. They are active and all over the place pretty much all of the time. I’m trying to get the oldest one to gain weight so he can play tackle next fall (he was short by almost nine pounds this year :o(

    Food-wise:
    *I try not to push them to eat more than they want, but I do push them to eat veggies and some fruits.
    *No juice or sodas at home. On special occasions, ok, but not on a regular basis.
    * All the Snickers they want. Seriously, I buy 48-packs from Costco and keep the box on the counter. They eat so slow that they self-regulate: half a Snickers and it’s “dad, I don’t want this anymore…” Most of the time I ask them if they want one, they all say no. Freaks. I don’t want one, no, I want to eat five.
    * We mostly buy whole grain breads and stuff, leaner meats, but then we also give them frozen pizzzas, and the regular crap I grew up on.

    Seems like if I put the food out there, they’ll just sort of graze at their own speed, and everything works out. The human body is incredibly well adapted for consuming a huge variety of stuff.

    -Charles

      • Yeah, I’ve read similar things before. But, you know, I take it with the same giant grain of salt that I took with “The China Study.” My opinion: most of the science behind nutrition is kind of iffy, because real studies of value on people would be inhumane, so we have pseudo-studies and we guess at mechanisms. Some people quit eating glutens and feel better, must be because they quit eating glutens, right? But, you know, most folks who start to care about what they eat enough to make that significant a dietary change probably made other changes at the same time, ended up eating healthier overall, and, well, maybe that could’ve been it too.

        And while some people may be affected strongly by something, it isn’t, to me, a good enough data point that all people are going to be sensitive in that way. My bet would be that anything to excess can have a negative impact some people, that many people might not have any negative reactions at all, but that a varied diet is optimal.

  4. That is a tough one, especially if the two of you don’t agree. I think with kids it’s important to let them have delicious but “unhealthy” things in small portions as a treat, just to keep it from becoming an obsession later. If you never let them have a piece of cake or a cookie, it can become some sort of guilt ridden obsession later. I would try to steer them towards more of how we eat if possible. I wish I had known all this when mine were smaller. It’s very hard to change once they get older…………
    As for the Paleo thing, I think you can use Paleo or low carb as a template and modify it to suit your body. Some folks can tolerate dairy just fine. Some folks can tolerate more carbs than others, etc. Find what works for you.

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