Children lacking enough carbs?


rachel1478

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I want to do another Whole 30 with my kids. My problem last time was that my 4 year old especially seemed far too lethargic for too long. He hates vegetables and fruit and it was pulling teeth to get him to eat a few bites at each meal. He loves protein though. During a two week period of our last attempted Whole 30, he was so tired and lethargic that I kept taking his temperature because he was constant falling asleep, showing no interest in his normal routine, just generally lethargic. I decided to just add some small amounts of steamed, white rice and he started doing better. How can I ensure he is getting enough carbs if he isn't eating many vegetables??

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It's not whole30, but, honestly I wouldn't worry a bit about giving him some white rice. White rice and protein sounds pretty darn good for some 4-year old palates (I assume he's getting some fat also?). Now, once you have him in non-lathargic happy form, start involving him in shopping/prepping/growing fruit and vegetables. Model behavior of eating these foods in a non-threatening manner and invite him to join you (and do it consistently, even when not doing an "official" whole30). When you find fruits or veggies he will tolerate, mix into rotation with the rice. Keep up with offering more new options as well. Slow and steady wins the race but know kids are designed to love veggies and fruit (just like all humans), it's just when we introduce other more processed, sweeter, saltier foods that the wires get crossed.

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  • 3 months later...

I am having this problem as well.  My kids (9 and 13) are water polo players.  My 9 year old is normally full of energy and motivation.  He was really tanking in the pool.  I tried increasing his fruit intake before practice.  Ultimately, I think he is going to need more carbs.

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I tried increasing his fruit intake before practice.

 This is actually exactly the wrong time to increase fruit intake. Kids benefit from being flexible in what fuel they use for energy--not loading up on carbs right before a workout will help them get adapted to using fat stores as well. The key is to make sure he is getting plenty of carbohydrate outside of that "right before practice" window. After practice is a good time for this. Starchy carb like sweet potato is better than fruit for recovery (it replenishes muscle glycogen first, while fruit is processed in the liver first), but fruit is fine for general nutrition. I wouldn't worry about limiting it for kids.

 

Keep an eye on protein and fat intake too. If he is not eating enough for his activity level it will impact energy for sure.

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  • 3 months later...

I have worried about this too.  I am only on day 1, but I am hoping to figure out a way to get my kids in the right amount of energy foods.  THis diet is full of a lot more protein than we are used to, so hopefully that will help, but we are used to eating healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc.  Do they have medical backup saying its ok for the kiddos to not have the carbs like this?  My 9 year old is allergic to sweet potatoes, eggs, almonds, etc, so he can't even do that. 

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I have worried about this too.  I am only on day 1, but I am hoping to figure out a way to get my kids in the right amount of energy foods.  THis diet is full of a lot more protein than we are used to, so hopefully that will help, but we are used to eating healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc.  Do they have medical backup saying its ok for the kiddos to not have the carbs like this?  My 9 year old is allergic to sweet potatoes, eggs, almonds, etc, so he can't even do that. 

There is no one on this forum that is medically trained, sorry.  However, before the agricultural revolution (wheat, corn, rice etc), people got carbs just fine from veggies. Potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, turnip, parsnips, beets, winter squashes etc.  Not to mention fruits. If your kids can and you want to, you could also give them white rice which, for most people, is relatively benign.

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healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc.

 

 

I think a huge part of this program is re-defining your definition of "healthy".  What nutrients are they getting from these grains?

 

Replacing them with fruits & veggies will add a LOT more nutrition to their diets.

 

My boys are 9, 11, and 14 ~ all are super healthy, smart, and have plenty of energy (trust me).  We haven't felt a "need" for grains for over 3 years now.  They have, in fact, thrived without them.

 

If you want to tell us all of your son's allergies, maybe we can help you come up with ideas.

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I have worried about this too.  I am only on day 1, but I am hoping to figure out a way to get my kids in the right amount of energy foods.  THis diet is full of a lot more protein than we are used to, so hopefully that will help, but we are used to eating healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc.  Do they have medical backup saying its ok for the kiddos to not have the carbs like this?  My 9 year old is allergic to sweet potatoes, eggs, almonds, etc, so he can't even do that. 

 

This article addresses this somewhat. They have a series of articles about raising kids eating this way -- you may find more of them interesting, though I'm not sure if they address this question in particular -- find those other articles here.

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