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Children and lowish carbing - views

Just wondered what peoples opinion is of what children should be eating, bearing in mind genetics.

My husbands parents both suffer type 2 diabetes and both hold all their weight around their tummy, my husband has the same build as them and has to be very careful what he eats. Our children take after their fathers side, (I am a typical pear shape).

Anyway, both my children are a good stone overweight each (ages 10 and 8) and although I don't advocate putting them on diets, I am very careful what I give them to eat, if they eat what typical children do eat, they would gain loads of weight.

Do you think its benefical to restrict their carb intake? I'm not talking atkins here, but reducing their bread consumption etc, giving more protein based snacks (cheese strings, pepperonis etc) instead of anything with flour or sugar?

Again I'm not talking about ketosis, or reducing calories, but changing the way they eat. They have their 5 a day fruit and veg (sometimes more) and this shouldn't be restriced, (especially veggies and salad).

Just wondered if anyone else is in a similar position. The so called healthy diet the experts recommend is low fat/high carb. This just somehow seems wrong and not how we should be eating.

Any views?

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Gold Member
What about increasing the amount of exercise they do? I'm not sure that any type of 'diet' would be good for a childs mindset at this age, however, trying to ecnourage them to exercise more can only be a good thing.
yeah they do get plenty of exercise and belong to clubs etc. Again I'm not talking about dieting, but changing the way they eat for ever. If they continue with a low fat high carb diet, I can't help feeling that this long term is going to affect their insulin levels especially with their family history.


Full Member
it's certainly a good idea to get them into good habits in terms of having balanced meals with controlled portions. i think kids of that age are recommended to eat at least 3, max 5 portions of carbohydrate a day, spread over the day, but one portion is a less than you would think - 1 portion is something like 2 small new potatoes, or one small bread roll. I don't know if they are used to having more than this? vegetables and salad are pretty much unlimited so it's just about changing the proportions of the foods on their plates if necessary . this is recommended for all kids, and you shouldn't restrict it to less than this.
I hope that helps?!
Hi thanks for your imput, yeah they were probably having a lot more carbs than that. Those carb portions are quite small. Okay so its portion control with a healthy varied diet going forwards



Full Member
It is very important for children to have carbs, the slow release type - oats and grains etc. Cheese strings and pepporoni is what I would personally stay away from. Instead I would aim to give protein in the form of chicken, beef, cheese and eggs - some seeds and nuts too - so that they have essential fatty acids.
I agree that it is not a good idea to put children on a diet - it is just about making good choices.
When I feed my son I always look at the food and ask myself does it look as close to the natural product as possible? If not then it has probably been processed too much.
Just a few ideas. Also, children tend to go through phases of being a little heavier that normal - it usually balances out.

Yes that have all this, they are fed on good quality meats fish and poultry. We always have pumpkin sees and nuts etc in the house. When I was talking about the snacks, I meant instead of a biscuit or chocolate or sweets. These food items are not good, so I was questioning where a pepperoni was worse than a biscuit.

What I don't understand is, we only started agricultural farming 10,000 years ago, so before this nobody did eat whole grains etc. We ate what we could find and hunt. anything with flour is man made, do we really need to eat something we have devised ourselves, our ancestors never ate it.

Do we eat these things, because we are told they form part of a healthy diet, have we been brainwashed into eating it. I really don't know, I do think though that high carb low fat diets are not good. Food as much as possible should be eaten in its natural form the way nature intended.

In the 50's women naturally cut out bread and potatoes when they wanted to lose weight. in the 80's we were told that low fat/high carb was the way to go. Why as a nation are we getting fatter then I'm just not convinced. x


Full Member
Good point - I'm assuming there we're alternative plants etc back then? Also we've evolved so much (or so we like to think!! ) our bodies don't need the same proportion of nutrients - we feed the brain more and are much less active (I KNOW I AM!!!) so I'm thinking that that could play a big part.


Full Member
Forgot to say I could quite happily live without a lot of carbs - not a huge fan of the stodge but love the sugary stuff ( suppose that's where I get my carbs from!!)
HI Ceri, we probably ate what was in season, so in summer we would have got our fruits etc then, we were hunter gatherers so I suppose we had what was available, along with fish meat any nuts we could find etc.

I'm not saying the experts are wrong, I'm not a dietician so certainly not qualified to say what we def should and shouldn't be eating. I'm just going by gut instint.

Perhaps we have evolved to eat the amount of carbs we do now, who knows, interesting though.
I think its important to remember that carbs are important and required for growing children and for exercise, I dont think restricting bread / potatoes / pasta is something to worry about in the long term, snacks are what are more likely to impact on their long term health, just kept sugary items like chocolate and sweets in control.

BTW my food pyramid says between 6-11 portions of carbs a day?
I have a son who is obese on the scale, he is nearly 6 years of age. Now if you look at him you weould think he gets fed crap all the time and sits on the computer or watch tv for hours. In fact I have 6 children and he is the only one who is overweight , the others are actually skinny for their age. They all eat the same thing and the one with the weight problem is the one on the go all the time, he does karate twice a week and also spends hours in the garden biking and playing on trampoline.

For the last two years I have been trying to keep his weight the same and his height goes up so growing into his weight and not dieting. I have full backing from doctors and i made slight changes to his diet such as having a breakfast cereal in the morning such as weetabix, malted wheats ect instead of toast. We always have afters after each meal but this can be fruit, yogurt ,fruit lollies and occasionally chocolate or a piece of cake.

They very rarely have biscuits and i dont normally buy crisps atall unless they have school trip. Fruit and veg is unlimited and i keep a close eye on portion sizes and he isnt allowed a second helping of the carb or what i call fatty part of the meal but can have more vegetables,

So far his weight is staying the same but it is really hard as I always have to be aware that he is the only one overweight and dont want them to feel they are deprived of something because of their brother.

I also made the decision to tell him why I was makign the changes and now he knows the difference between healthy and not so good and except when i say he doesnt need to continue eating. (he never feels full so this was the reason he got so big so quick as we didnt limit what he ate and assumed he was hungry)

It is hard but at the end of the day I am doing it for his best interests and look forward to the day that he is in the normal weight range.

cdc norwich


Full Member
I think its important to remember that carbs are important and required for growing children and for exercise, I dont think restricting bread / potatoes / pasta is something to worry about in the long term, snacks are what are more likely to impact on their long term health, just kept sugary items like chocolate and sweets in control.

BTW my food pyramid says between 6-11 portions of carbs a day?
That's true, carbohydrates are essential for growing children, but keep sugary things to a minimum.

I think the 6-11 portions are adult recommendations.

I used to do talks on nutrition at schools, and the nhs website is a really good resource we used for information, and also for your kids to go on - here's the link;
Carbohydrates for kids - Kids First for Health
Julesrush, its hard isn't it. I have been so careful with my kids but I am sure genetics is playing a huge part. I see my friends kids getting fed crap like chips and nuggets, crisps etc, and they are like rakes. People say that they shouldn't put kids on a diet and too a certain extent I do agree, but you do have to look at options especially when your child comes home crying from school due to name calling. It breaks my heart :cry:
Imlosingit - I do feel that each child is totally different is not i would have 6 fat children and i havent, like it said my two girls are really skinny and my other tow sons are skinny to normal weight range (baby not included) but my 6 yr old looks like a ball . I was told by Doctor not to put him on a diet as children need fats ect to grow but to try and get him to stay the same weight but as he grew it would look more normal. I have never fed crap to the kids as it has always been my worry that i would have fat children and the problems it would bring. I always cook from scratch but more meat and veg (old fashion cooking style).

Im sure my son is going to be a rugby player as his shoulders are as broad across as my 11yr old and he is the tallest in his class but it would really benefit him to be slimmer.

I was always big at school but my mum told me from an early age to ignore bad comments and throw something back so when someone said to me ' your fat' i would just answer 'your observant got anything original to tell me i dont know ' and i was never picked on. (also helped I was just under 6ft tall aswell lol)
I went through middle school being 15 stone and eating a very well balanced diet to my twin sister being 6 stone lighter and she eat nothing but crap (we used to do our own meals as mum worked) It was until I was older and found out i had PCOS and the food i eat the most was carbs and thats why my weight crept up.

cdc norwich
Julesrush, I know what you mean about each child being different, and a lot of factors come into play, ie metabolic rate etc. Its hard though when you are feeding them a healthy "balanced" diet and they still stay overweight. I feel other parents probably judge me, and assume I feed them rubbish:-(

It doesnt bother me to be honest what other people think,I know how active he is and what he is fed so what anyone else thinks isnt my concern. I havent got the energy to worry about peoples views on my family lol
I get more comments about having 6 children , and the comebacks i have ready are well used.
eg Are they all your hubbys? (well 4 definately are, one is a toss up between two men and the other one could have been one of about 5 at a swinging party i went to)
Dont you have a tv (yes i use it to keep the kids amused when im making the next baby)
Are they all yours? (3 are the others i pinched from the supermarket and park)
Are you having anymore children (look of horror on face) Noo , I have figured out where they come from and my hubbys has said I have to stop paying the milkman that way !!

Soon shuts them up and makes me feel very smug as Im ready for them lol

cdc norwich
rofl would love to see their faces with those comebacks!! I am the youngest of 6, loved being part of a large family. Never had the guts to do it myself though. x

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