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Old 10-27-2010, 10:50 AM   #1
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Fawn and Tada: help, worried about my 12 year old

So my 12 year old girl discovered lowcarb when she started mimicking how I ate about a year ago. She found it helped clear up her sinuses and she really started to turn into a beautiful kid: great skin, great hair, and slimmed to a normal-girl figure, which for her is a teeny waist and nice curves everywhere else; she does have a great figure.

About 2 months ago, she decided she is vegetarian. No fish, meat or poultry. But this child had already discovered she did well on lowcarb, so I am not kidding; this child eats no fish, meat or poultry, and also no grains.

Husband and I became concerned, so I filled the fridge with eggs, cream and cheese, the cupboards with all kinds of nuts. The anxiety started with me, so I began "micromanaging" her food, making sure she packed enough almonds and cheese for lunch, making sure she eats enough dinner, etc...because I found if I don't "manage" the meals, she'll undereat.

So far, if I make her meals, she'll actually eat 2-3 times as much as if she just grabs her soy patties or makes scrambled eggs. I made her a spinach salad for dinner one night with beans, eggs, all kinds of veggies, lots of dressing, and she ate two big plates! It means I make two meals for dinner, and that is often difficult on workdays.

Her weight is *still* normal, thank God. She is 5'2 and 110 pounds. She has not lost weight.

That's one of the things I love about lowcarb: it doesn't tend to drop your weight if you are already normal weight and you eat enough on most days.

I'm terrified she'll develop an eating disorder...of course.

Tada: ideas for meals?

Fawn: What can I add to her diet to make sure she's getting at least a close approximation of what she needs?

I wasn't going to post this here but now, I realize this child is digging in her heels and staying low-carb vegetarian. Its been two months.

And yes, I know I probably did this to her by modeling dieting behavior, so everyone, hold your judgements, because I'm already aware of this.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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Just wanted to give a little bump for you and say I totally understand as a mom. Hopefully the ladies will be in soon to give great advice.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:11 PM   #3
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My two daughters are lacto-ovo vegetarian ... one is 5'4" and about 115 lbs ... The difference is that she is not trying to lowcarb although I must say she eats very little pasta, rice, etc and it is whole grain.

My advice would be to make what you would consider pretty normal meals with whole grain pasta and brown rice. If she eats beans you are in great shape! I do things like buy the Indian pre-packaged meals at the supermarket - lentils, spinach and cheese, red bean, etc and offer those to the kids with brown rice .. that is one of my "easy quick I don't have time to cook meals". Once a week I make a crockpot for both the vegetarians and the carnivore, lol! it differs week to week.

This week it was red beans and black beans (soaked overnight first), carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, green and red pepper, large can of enchilada sauce, crushed tomatoes. I cooked it all day on low heat .. adding the broccoli and cauliflower at about noon.

At about 4 pm, I took three chicken breasts, placed in a pan on the stove and filled it half way up with the crockpot mixture. I cooked that on low until dinner time. So I end up with a large vegetarian crockpot mixture and a small saucepan of meat crockpot (which I can always add more veggie to) .. you could turn it around, take out a vegetarian version, put it in a pan over low heat, then take the chicken and put it in the big crockpot for you and dh ..

At dinnertime, I took out one chicken breast and crockpot mixture, served it to dh over brown rice. The girls prefer it without rice, so I served theirs in bowls with cheddar cheese melted on top.

Another one I do is similar vegetables, no enchilada sauce, no beans. I use a jar of Indian sauce from Trader Joe's and crushed tomatoes. I do the chicken thing for dh. When it is time to serve, I panfry tofu in olive oil and mix it into the girls' bowls - no cheese in that one.

Both of those are the ways I get non-dairy proteins into the kiddos. The dairy is easy! Just go over to Linda Sue's meatless entrees: Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes - Meatless Recipes There are lots of things there like crustless quiches, etc. What I do with that, is serve everyone a piece with veg on the side and dh might get some bacon on the side with his, or something like that.

I do not cook with nuts for my kids because I have one allergic, but it is something I personally eat a lot of in my snacks and that is a great protein source!

I really really would not be too concerned on protein for your dd if she could eat like this, but I would work hardest to get her to accept whole grain foods that one would eat in maintenance, or someone without a weight issue should probably have in their diet ... so: fruits (!!) a variety of brightly colored vegetables, whole grain bread, brown rice, sweet potato or turnip (my kids LOOOOOOOVE sweet potato fries and Alexia and McCain both make ones in the frozen case that are pretty reasonable health-wise if you son't make them homemade).

i think the key is to be positive and stress that you agree with the healthy lifestyle .. and just keep on eye to make sure she is not dieting .. my oldest tends to go through phases where she gives up cookies for a day, but goes back on them, so my advice is not to be too alarmist .. just watch to see that, say, over a week's time she is getting pretty good nutrition 90% of the time.

if I can give any more help, please please let me know! I turned vegetarian at the age of 13 and cooked for myself through my teens .. You are being a great Mom!



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Last edited by TaDa!; 10-27-2010 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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Thanks Tada! Lately I've been suggesting yams and rice to her as I don't think these are foods that will trigger her sinusitis, and they are healthy foods.

She wasn't eating beans for awhile, but I think that's changed now because she ate some kidney/green beans I marinated and put over salad, so you are right that really does open up a lot more options for her...plus more nutrients and variety.

She DOES eat fruit! Thank goodness. Not a lot, but about 1-2 per day.

Its mainly that she WILL go without food if I'm not careful to make sure she eats, and I guess I'm just so unfamiliar with that in this family! LOL!

But that's actually normal for most kids I guess...I just met with another mom friend and she says her kids are like that.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:08 PM   #5
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My 14 yo will eat very little one day, and eat like a linebacker another day!! I figure she is just blessed with the ability to be an intuitive eater .. She does eat a lot of sweets though if left to her own devices .. so I just turn a blind eye to that, and insist that she does get the vegetables, fruit and proteins in.

My little one (10) is like me and I had to teach her portion sizing and schedule all her food .. she eats like 3 meals, and 4-5 "snacks" a day, lol lol!!! in order to make sure her wight came down in line with what her doctor wanted for her .. She fixes her own "snacks" from a list of mom-approved things.

In both cases I think the kids all do best if their perception is that they are in control of their food and not Mom .. our job is to be deceptive and cook food they like to eat and so it is their "choice" to love dinner, lol!

One other thing I will mention, my dd likes to get recipes and try them to make for all of us ... Caprese salad with buffalo mozarella, basil and tomatoes, homemade quesadillas with feta, mozarella, salsa, etc etc. She finds some recipes online, some from cookbooks etc .. as someone who cooked for myself, I think it is an awesome skill to encourage a teen or pre-teen develop!

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Old 10-29-2010, 06:48 PM   #6
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I don't know if you need any help coming up with ideas for food, but there are some low carb vegetarian cookbooks. Also if you google it, you will find that there are others out there on that path as well. You sound like you are such a great Mom. Your daughter is really lucky!
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