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Old 12-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Help for my 12 year old

I have a 12 year old son. He is active... plays baseball and basketball. He not "fat" but definitely pudgy in the waist. He had his check up today and the doctor was talking to him about things he could cut out of his diet to get healthy and lose a few pounds. The doctor is definitely a fan of eating lower carb. I don't think he expects my son to cut them out completely but to lay off the pastas, chips, cake, cookies etc. I guess what I want to know is should he just gradually cut out things? Or if he wants pasta should I make it for him and just give him less of it or say no pasta at all? I think this is a big transition for an adult so I can only imagine it will be tough for a12 year old.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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Does he want to lose the 'pudge'. If he's not the one wanting to make the change I would think it'll be harder. Maybe you can suggest he try eating like you do. Just to see how he feels. All three of my girls are low carbers because that's what I cooked. Just cutting out the sweets would be a good first step.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Yes now that he is in middle school he is more self conscious about it...I agree that cutting sweets is a good first step. Also in his lunch tomorrow I packed him a few pork rinds instead of chips... they are flavored ones and he likes them so that can be one switch.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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With children this age, any eating restrictions have to be initiated by the child if there's to be any successful outcome.

My suggestion would be to discuss with your son what he considers 'essential' and what he believes that he can 'give up' for a healthier WOE. You should contribute the nutritional info--e.g., chips are a problem not only because of the carbs but the bad oils so often used in their manufacture, but there are many 'healthy' pastas on the market.

It's not necessary to be in ketosis to lose weight, and simply 'adjusting' his diet may be all that's needed for a boy his age. You should plan his WOE together, but be sure to give him decision-making power. Your role is coach and cheerleader.

Last edited by Leo41; 12-18-2013 at 03:14 PM..
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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Leo41... that makes total since. I am definitely thinking small steps. I honestly don't think he could completely cut carbs. I am seriously being rid of the junk food... it's not good at all no matter what your WOE is. I want something he can do long term to make him a healthy teen and then adult.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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I have been working on my 12 yr old son's weight for nearly a year now. I did speak to him at the start, not about his weight, but about fitness and health because he wasn't fit enough to keep up during his soccer games. I took him for a run every day during the holidays, initially it was more walking than running and now to keep up his fitness, he goes for a run before he can play on the computer. This was very challenging at the start, but now he is fit , it is easy. This may not be needed for your son if he is already active. My son did fencing and karate , so I had thought he would be fit , but it turned out his cardio fitness needed work.
I started serving him less at dinner . He can always get a second helping and sometimes he does, but it means he is using his appetite to guide him, not just how much I serve him.
I stopped baking or buying sweet stuff and told my children that if they wanted cake or biscuits then they had to bake it themselves. I have all the ingredients here and will help them bake , but they have to do the work. The children hardly ever want to put the effort in, so that cut down consumption a lot.
Sometimes I don't serve higher carb sides at dinner time. I might do a roast chicken and instead of roast potatoes, I will have roasted pumpkin or cauliflower plus greens, that kind of thing. If the plate is full with three or more veggie options, they won't notice or care so much about missing potatoes or rice.
When I do serve rice or pasta , I serve less.
We only do dessert for birthdays and celebrations, so if he wants dessert other times I suggest fruit.
I don't single him out, so he doesn't feel different or deprived at mealtimes, he gets what everyone gets.
I am not sure if he has actually lost weight as I never weigh him, but his tummy (the only place that was podgy) looks much less and he is definitely much fitter!
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
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I am planning to put my kids on a health diet for many health reasons(autism,food allergies etc)
One of my plans is to sub flour with coconut flour and almond flour.This will considerably lower carbs.I already started baking with them and kids love it.There are so many cookbooks and blogs these days.I love Elanas and Maria Emmerich recipes,also the LowCarb High fat dessert cookbook.You can also search for recipes for nut breads,coconut and almond breads.I plan to buy pasta online or use shirataki.

You can also buy almond and coconut breads from julian bakery.Once the goodies,bread,pasta and crackers are taken care of,plenty of meat and veggie dishes and nuts and cheeses should take care of the rest.For any fruit lovers I would use berries or fruit flavored extracts.
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mega goal : 170 : Combined weights of 3 pregnancies will be gone forever
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mega goal : tone allover,close and repair my diastasis and hernia(down to 2" from 10")
Push yourself. Because no one else is going to do it for you.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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great advice... thanks so much!
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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Hi, Baseballmom - my 14 yr old daughter is in a similar situation. Fortunately, she's a huge meat fan and really likes good food more than junk. She hates the hot lunch at the high school. This year, we bought her one of those bento-box style lunch boxes, with a variety of different sized containers that click together onto a cold pack, then that whole thing goes in her lunch box. I always cook a low carb main dish for dinner (along with a carby side for the rest of the family) and some type of LC vegetable. We usually have some type of meat dish leftover, which we cut up and put in one of her containers. She also takes yogurt with blueberries. I have converted her to the full fat, Greek style plain yogurt (we like Greek Gods) which we sweeten w/EZ Sweetz and vanilla Capella drops (tastes like pudding!). She used to hate yogurt 'til she tried the good stuff. She also supplements w/a little container of nuts, if she still has the munchies, but she is usually quite satisfied w/her protein dish and yogurt. To make it fun, I got her some little cocktail toothpicks and some cute picks online that are used with bento boxes. She says her friends are always jealous of her good lunch and curious what she has. She doesn't ask for dessert, as the yogurt and blueberries satisfies her sweet tooth. At dinner, I'm lucky that she usually zeroes in first on the meat, then the starch later, by which time she is usu. mostly full. Her breakfast is always eggs of some kind, but DH insists on serving bread and orange juice, too - he's still convinced of the whole "balanced diet" myth and thinks she needs the bread (but that's a whole OTHER story...). Like you said, small steps are good. An overall cutting back of carbs is good for all of us, I think. Good luck, and keep showing how good lower carb food can be.
"...had we been discussing disorders of growth - why some people grow to be more than seven feet tall and others never make it to four feet - the only subject of discussion would be the hormones and enzymes that regulate growth. And yet, when we're discussing a disorder in which the defining symptom is the abnormal growth of our fat tissue, the hormones and enzymes that regulate that growth are considered irrelevant."
- Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #10
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Ask him if he wants to try pasta substitutes:
Zucchini noodles (made with a julienne peeler or spiralizer)
Shirataki noodles (an acquired taste)

Or adapt recipes for the whole family--big meat balls with lots of veggies instead of spaghetti and meatballs
Meatza instead of pizza
I saw a recipe for "lasagne" using thin slices of turkey in place of noodles--I tried it and it was great.

We get around the bread issue by serving things without bread--a scoop of chicken or tuna salad instead of a sandwich. Roll lunch meat around a slice of pickle or avocado and he will love it. A container of peanut butter to dip apple slices in instead of a peanut butter sandwich.

We try to make it matter of fact so it doesn't seem too different, but ask your son if it's OK first.

I would also suggest having plenty of low carb snacks on hand. He doesn't have to be hungry or cut calories. He should not feel deprived. Stock up on:
Hard boiled eggs
Cheese sticks
Pork rinds
Roasted pumpkin seeds (great substitute for popcorn!)
If you have a dehydrator, you can make veggie chips of various kinds

And kudos to his doctor for recognizing low carb!
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