Wednesday, May 31

In Which I Took My Kid Off Sugar and Put Him On Fat


Hey friends! I hope summer break is treating you well! I'm writing you from my living room table. Nate and Little Man are on the floor in the living room with no less than one thousand lego pieces strewn all around like quicksand between them. It's a little bit overcast outside which is pretty much par for the course in Central Florida in the summer. We're trying hard to balance working from home with a kid around, coming up with fun things to entertain him, and also trying to inspire him to entertain himself. I will report back on how that goes. HAHA!

This letter isn't about our summer plans though. I want to tell you about a subtle shift we made that is making a huge difference in our family's quality of life together and that is that we took Little Man off sugar and put him on fat.

I know, it sounds weird. But stay with me.

He's been eating us out of house and home in some sort of early summer growth spurt and every 10 minutes I'm being asked for another snack. Then for the next 10 minutes, he's bouncing and climbing over furniture, climbing on me, knocking things over (because spacial awareness is not a 5-year-old's area of expertise) and generally whirling around our house like a tiny brown-haired tornado. I know he's a kid and that is just what kids do. But as moms, we also know our kids, and we know when their behavior is "off". You know?

A month ago my husband and I decided to start incorporating more healthy fats into our life and to cut all sugar, grains, and almost all carbs to see what happened. We'd been researching and finding some really interesting results with cholesterol and triglycerides (his struggle) and with hormone and auto-immune issues (my struggle) so we decided, why not?

A few weeks in, we were already feeling like new people, but we were still feeding our kiddo his normal meals. They were healthy (ish) to be sure. Way healthier than most kids. But we noticed he was struggling to stay full, struggling to sit still (ish) while he eats, struggling to not be a whirling dervish in our house climbing on everything and knocking everything over constantly...

(Now before you sick the mom blog police on me, I know he's a kid. I'm totally cool with him being his jumping, climbing, fun-loving little 5-year-old self. But I'm also his mom, and I knew this behavior was beyond the normal. I knew the way you just know when you're a mom.)

So... we decided to do a sugar audit. And MERCY! The sugar in normal, "healthy" kids stuff is astronomical. NO WONDER he couldn't sit still. No wonder his moods were all over the place. No wonder he was never full! In his breakfast alone he was almost getting his full daily amount of sugar. And this is in healthy oatmeals and healthy brands of cereal. I smacked my head. How did I miss this?!

So what we did was we started small. We swapped the vanilla almond milk for unsweetened. We swapped the oatmeal and cereal for eggs cooked in ghee and some ham or bacon. We swapped peanut butter and jelly on bread for meat and cheese roll ups with pistachios and berries on the side. We swapped goldfish for high-quality cheese cubes as snacks. We added coconut oil to "nice cream" for our afternoon treats. And he eats what we eat for dinner so it's healthy fat and protein and veggies.

And you know what? He went from taking an hour to eat his dinner getting up and hopping around every 2 minutes to sitting at the table peacefully enjoying his meal in one normal-length time period.

He went from asking me for snacks every 10 minutes to being full for an hour or so. He went from asking me for bread to asking me for roll-ups. He still loves oatmeal and goldfish but they aren't an everyday staple. His moods have balanced out. No more giant world-shattering temper tantrums all day. He can roll with the punches better. He's not crashing and burning on sugar all day!

It has been an incredible shift. And I'm sure I'm late to the party on this but I wanted to share because if it's helped us, maybe it will help you too! High-fat kids, who would have thought?! I knew that healthy fats were important for babies' brain development so I'm not sure why I forgot about it now that he's a kid. Probably just life and all the peer pressure of cheddar bunnies and gummy's and sandwiches for kids his age. But we are all loving upping our healthy fats and cutting our sugar this summer! Our house is so much more mellow, even-keeled, and happy!

Here are some of our favorite higher healthy fat things we've added into our days in case you need some ideas for where to start...

hflc lchf kids snacks

So that's what's new with me this week! What's new with you friend?

xo, B





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