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-   -   Tips for putting 13YO on LC (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=868328)

rachel2writer 01-07-2015 08:13 AM

Tips for putting 13YO on LC
DH, DD19, and I are all completely on board with eating low carb. DD13 needs some encouragement.

Her school nurse checks students for Acanthosis nigricans (a fancy word for a dark patch of skin on the back of the neck, also often on the groin and armpits). This is often an indicator of prediabetes/insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome/obesity. So far, her blood sugar is good, but that could change. DD13 is also quite overweight - 5'3 and 190 pounds or so. She also has a strong family history of type 1 and type 2 diabetes - my sister died from complications of type 1 three years ago, and I know DD13 is worried/stressed about that.

All 4 of us are overweight or obese and all 4 are at high risk for developing diabetes. It's time - past time to get the kids on this WOE, too. And now.

DD13 LOVES to bake and LOVES candy, bread, cakes, and so on.

Anyhow - any tips/suggestions for making the transition easier for her? Favorite low carb baked items? Ideas for changing up her school lunch? She's been taking a PB and J sandwich, chips, cereal bar, and juice for lunch - I know AWFUL!

Dottie 01-07-2015 08:18 AM

Wraps using lettuce leaf or low-carb tortillas (Joseph's low carb tortillas and lavash are both really good) might be a good start. Wraps are generally accepted as a "normal" food, so she shouldn't catch any flack from that from her schoolmates.
Greek yogurt with nuts?

Mimosa23 01-07-2015 08:24 AM

Heve a look in the recipe room for some baking/bread recipes...

And check out Maria Emmerich's cookbooks, she has one on sweets/baking and one for kids and a savoury one as well... On her blog she has tons of really great recipes that are truly delicious! I've tried out several on my unsuspecting non-LC friends and nobody even noticed that it was LC!

Good luck with the transition to LC!

Sexyback 01-07-2015 08:33 AM

Teenagers are hard... especially at school. Wraps are a good idea as an alternative to sandwiches, like Dottie mentioned. My suggestion would be first to start with finding out what low carb foods she does like and build from there... bacon? sandwich meats? cheese? veggies with a good low carb home made dip? maybe some veggie chips (kale) with sea salt, to replace the potato chips? Make a list of what she does like and you can create a hodge-podge lunch list of items she will enjoy. Focusing on what foods she does enjoy and is allowed to have will empower her, as opposed to focusing on what she shouldn't have, which can be really discouraging.

I always caution the idea of finding replacement baked goods early on in the transition. She will probably be disappointed with the outcome and get discouraged, OR she could use the "it's low carb" as an excuse to eat too much of the treat when she's going through the initial carb withdrawal.

Good luck!

clackley 01-07-2015 08:43 AM

Bacon - start with bacon recipes!

AsmallerME 01-07-2015 09:33 AM

Google Linda Sue's website and use some of those recipes if you're not already familiar with them. My super picky pre-schooler even loves most of them.

For lunches, even baby steps there would help. Give her water. Crystal light pack if necessary to make it seem like juice. Do a sandwich wrap. Even peanut butter and low sugar jelly on a low carb wrap would be better. I love the mama lupe wraps from netrition. You can make her cheese chips or pack her nuts as a side.

You know what she likes so focus on her favorite things for the first week or two so she is more excited about it.

I love turkey rollups, chickensalad on a wrap (or plain), big steaks with green beans, spinach with garlic sautéed in butter, quiches, crispy bacon, etc. Oh, and spinach lasagna and chili. So many things. The first few weeks sometimes need to be extra decadent.

If she loves to bake, have her help you make fun low carb things. Flax muffins are good. Cream cheese muffins are amazing. Even egg muffins may make her happy - eggs, cream, cheese, veggies, sausage - all cooked in muffin cups for quick easy breakfast options.

grneyedldy 01-07-2015 11:35 AM

If she really enjoys baking there are so many wonderful recipes out there. Have her take a look at the All Day I Dream About Food blog. That should get her excited about the wonderful things she can eat. :up:

synger 01-07-2015 12:36 PM

I agree with other posters that your best bet might be to start with things she already likes and move from there. As someone who began chunking up around puberty myself, I remember with shudders of horror the dietary changes my mother forced on me. She meant the very best, I know, but it sure felt like punishment to me.

It sounds like the rest of your family already is interested in LC. Is this new to you, or are you already eating LC family meals? If not, maybe you could change your family breakfasts and dinners first, and leave her lunches alone for now. That way she's not singled out, if the whole family is eating the same things. As she begins to find things that are lower carb that she likes, you can talk about ways to incorporate those foods into her lunches, too.

Help her to find a low-carb recipe she can make herself that she likes. Helping her "own" a recipe makes it special. (I still make "Synger's Cheese Ball" that I learned as a teen for every party I throw, 30+ years later.) If she can cook a cheesy chicken bake for family dinner and gets rave reviews, she may be more interested in taking it as a leftover in a lettuce or LC wrap the next day for lunch. She won't be eating "weird" food; she'll be eating HER food, that she made herself. It's very empowering!

The other thing to consider is that you are the one doing the shopping. Find some low-carb or high-fiber bread for her sandwiches (I like the Fiber One White 100 calorie bread. It's not touted as low-carb, but it's much less carby than regular bread, especially if you subtract out fiber, and it's pretty normal tasting). As time goes on, tell her that next week we won't be buying chips for your lunch. What do you want to take instead that has lower carbs? Or give her a choice between low-carb options (do you want some nuts or some flax crackers?) Help her make one substitution every few weeks, and by the time six months has gone by, she'll have fully low-carb lunch options.

Also keep in mind that "low carb" can be relative to what she's already eating. Aiming for fewer than 50 grams/day may be too much of a change at first. Even getting her down to 100 grams/day will be an improvement, and a success. That's still "low carb" compared to the 50% + carbs of the Standard American Diet.

Don't make her change EVERYTHING all at once, or if she's like me, she'll fight you hard. She didn't get this heavy overnight. It's not a race. Small changes can really add up over time.

synger 01-07-2015 12:47 PM

Another lunch option for a 13yo is to see if she might be interested in bento box lunches. It's a Japanese style of lunch where instead of sandwich/chips/cookie/fruit, you have little separate packages of pretty veggies and meat and rice, often decorated very creatively. Obviously, you wouldn't do the rice, but there's a LOT of info out there on how to make bento lunches. She might really get into planning and creating her own pretty, tasty, healthy lunch, especially if she already likes baking and such.

Search for "low carb bento" to get ideas. It'll be a slight cost outlay for special little cups and dishes, but it's worth it in the long run to get her involved and to give her a lunch she'll actually EAT.

cheeky1178 01-08-2015 12:31 PM

Baby Steps in the right direction still get you there :)
I completely agree with everything Synger said! I would be very careful about talking about dieting too much or pushing her to LC if she doesn't want to. I was forced at age 10 to start dieting and all that led to was closet and binge eating which i still deal with at age 36.

I would just make small reductions here and there. Dinner, everyone else is low carb so she gets a totally low carb meal there, because that's what you cooked not because she's on a diet. Breakfast you can just let it go for now or there are some great LC biscuit recipes for egg sandwiches as well as cereals, granola or that she won't even be able to tell are LC. If she likes bacon and eggs she can eat that too when she wants to. If her blood sugar is normal then that might be enough of a change for a long time.

Lunch can also be tweaked without her even noticing just by choosing lower carb/lower glycemic choices. As some already suggested there are breads that are lower in carbs then regular wonder bread and you can replace her regular jelly with reduced sugar or sugar free jelly. LC tortillas are great for wraps but won't seem weird to her or her classmates. For Chips, popcorn has both lower net carbs as well as a lower glycemic load then say pretzels or potato chips. You can jazz it up with those shakers of powdered flavors. I also find the serving size seems much larger. Juice needs to go but I'd start with reduced sugar versions and then after a while try watering that down a little. If you're ok with her drinking crystal light you could do that too, it gives me headaches so I might not go that route but it's your kid not mine ;)

For baking and candies there are some great LC blogs out there, I can not say enough about All Day I Dream About Food, LOVE HER. I breathe I'm Hungry is another one I love :)

If you just make the smallest changes and it's a positive experience either because she loses weight or just feels better without all the "YOU"RE ON A LOW CARB DIET" attached to it then maybe she'll want to get more involved.

MarblesLongGone 01-08-2015 12:37 PM

If you are buying real food for the rest of the family, why do you single her out to feed her unhealthy junk? My boys all transitioned to controlled carb.

rachel2writer 01-08-2015 01:31 PM


Originally Posted by MarblesLongGone (Post 17149424)
If you are buying real food for the rest of the family, why do you single her out to feed her unhealthy junk? My boys all transitioned to controlled carb.

We are all transitioning to lower carb right now. Nobody is singled out.

rachel2writer 01-08-2015 01:34 PM

Thank you to everyone else who offered great suggestions. She is very excited to experiment with her cooking and was thrilled with the bento boxes suggestion. Our whole family is excited for a big healthy grocery shopping trip Sunday after we get back in town.

mainemom 01-08-2015 02:23 PM

I 2nd the bento style lunch. My daughter has one of those kind of lunch boxes with several small containers that snap into a cold back, then fit in a soft lunch box. She takes leftovers of whatever LC main dish I've made - cold cubed meat, usu. She also takes a small container of full fat plain Greek yogurt sweetened w/EZ Sweetz and French vanilla Capella drops - delicious. Then pours some frozen wild blueberries on top (they're thawed by lunch time). I bought her some of those cute little bento forks and her friends are always interested to see what she's eating that day. She's been doing this for a couple of years - she's 15, by the way. She doesn't mind eating cold leftovers, but I know some do. If she did, an option might be to heat some stuff in a microwave and put in a thermos style container. Good luck!

zipp2play 01-09-2015 10:46 AM

I too would suggest just making the changes in what is available at home. Even as a family, discussing weight loss a lot, can lead to problems. It is a fine line. At minimum you can control what she has as options at home to eat. If you don't buy it, she can't have it.

That only lasts for so many years though. My DS16 now, if we restrict him too much just goes out and buys what he wants. It's his money, I can't stop him.

It is tough. I have DS16 and DD13. I completely understand how hard it is.

Big Stevie 01-09-2015 11:27 AM

Welcome to the low carb world.

First: You guys can totally do this! Look at these boards, there is a lot of success here. Follow the plan and you will be successful as well. I have been able to get off all my pre diabetes related drugs, and many others have here as well.

Second: EAT! You do not need to be hungry on this diet. If you are hungry, you need to eat. If you eat the foods on the Induction Food list and keep your fat intake up, your body will naturally be full. It is awesome. But don't be afraid to eat. Especially for the first couple of weeks. (I am on maintenance right now and actually started to gain a few pounds because I wasn't eating enough. Strange but true.)

Third: There are a ton of great recipes to be made with lots of great "real" food. You and your daughter will be able to cook some awesome stuff. Her passion for cooking won't be diminished. I cook so much more since low carbing.

Fourth: You gotta convince her to stay away from the high carb stuff. When you eat it, it elevates your blood sugar and then drops it. That makes you hungry. Your body needs to live off fat and protein, not High Carb crap. This will be hard with a teen, I know I have three, but hopefully the quick results she achieves on this program will motivate her.

Fifth: Find ways to get healthy fats into your diet. I like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, and fat on meat. If you keep your fat intake up, you won't get craving for quick sugar fixes.

Sixth: Cook big food! Keep plenty of food in your house. When you are hungry you need to have something to grab so high carb doesn't become an option. I usually cook a big meat item on Sunday and use it throughout the week. Like a whole ham, pork shoulder, pot roast, or a couple chickens. Once you cook that stuff, you can then use it on a moments notice. Pot roast and eggs make a great breakfast and it takes less than 5 minute to cook. Chicken can be mixed with eggs, torn up with mayonnaise for chicken salad, put a quick sauce over the top for dinner. You get the idea.

Seventh: Water is your friend. You need to drink a lot of it. I helps to lose weight especially in the beginning. You need to flush a lot of stuff out of your system. Drink 1 ounce of water for each 2 pounds of body weight, up to a maximum of 128 ounces (a gallon) a day. So your 190 daughter should be drinking about 95 ounces of water a day. (You will pee a lot at first but your body gets used to it.)

Eighth: Stay off the scale! Weight once week or once a month. Don't focus on the daily scale it will just drive you nuts. Another great guide is your clothes. When they get loose, you have lost weight. Don't let the scale rule you.

Finally, If you haven't already, read the Dr. Atkins book New Diet Revolution. Yes there is a lot of info here and elsewhere, but the book has it all. THIS IS A WAY OF EATING, not a diet. You will need to eat like this the rest of your life. It gets easier and easier as time goes by.

Avicenna 01-10-2015 08:08 AM

If you haven't already, what about buying a couple explanatory books like _Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It_ or _Wheat Belly_ as well as the Atkins book and leaving them lying around so she can peruse them at their leisure if she wants so that she gets an understanding of why and how this works?

(I would advise against giving them to her, as this could be very sensitive with a teenager, but just making them available or letting her see you read them.) In particular the first title would be of interest to most adolescents whether they would admit to it or not.

Also... instead of focusing on weight loss, why not just focus on changing over to healthy habits and making healthy choices (which includes leaving behind sugar and white flour), through modelling healthy decisions, only making healthy foods available at home, and occasionally discussing why they are healthier if it comes up.

(To compare, I genuinely had no idea WHY sugar made people gain weight beyond calories until someone explained insulin and weight gain to me in my early 20's.)

Also, I second encouraging her to take on the challenge of making baked goods that the whole family can enjoy (while, at the same time, I am not sure I would feel comfortable encouraging the heavy consumption of most artificial sweeteners especially splenda/sucralose...so perhaps considering the option of naturally sweetened baked goods or else baked goods with sweeteners that seem safe such as erythrytol or stevia).

At her age, it may not be necessary for her to go fully low carb in order to for her to feel and see health benefits, so it may be that just going for a 'most of the time' approach will be a good start.

GME 01-10-2015 09:27 AM

Lots of great ideas here already, but my best suggestion is to fix her a big, filling breakfast before she leaves home- eggs, bacon, cheese- so she isn't hungry at school.

Is it "cool" at her school to walk around with a coffee cup in the morning? (It was at my son's high school). If so, make her some kind of drink with fat in it to sip through the early morning (on top of the breakfast)- could be LC hot chocolate, or coffee if you want her to have it, whatever she likes.

If she starts the day full and nourished what she brings for lunch isn't as important and she won't be tempted to eat the junk from her friends or the cafeteria.

She can probably do the subs just fine because she is young and if they help her stick with it they are worth it.

I am impressed her school nurse screens for AN.

rachel2writer 01-12-2015 12:57 PM

Yesterday was her (and the whole family's) first official day low-carbin' in together. We packed up the high carb junk to give away to friends, and I spent a few hours prepping and pre-cooking a bunch of stuff for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. She loves Scotch eggs, so she enjoyed one of those for brunch, and we had a cheeseburger meatloaf and sauteed green beans for dinner. Later, she asked what to pack for her lunch today. After I listed off all the options (like we have to do for our teens who can't see the mountains of food in the fridge or pantry!), I told her to make herself a smorgasbord. She hadn't heard that word and was excited to learn a new term. She packed her lunch bag with summer sausage, cheddar cheese, some olives, celery and ranch, and a scoop of tuna salad.

The rest of the day, she was very grumpy and headachy - maybe just a teen thing, but maybe carb withdrawal.

She gets to pick out a low carb dessert recipe for next weekend, so we will pick up those ingredients later in the week. I really think getting her involved in learning some new recipes and methods to cook low carb will help her stay motivated.

GME 01-12-2015 01:43 PM

Sounds like a great start!

grneyedldy 01-12-2015 02:51 PM

Yes it sounds like a great start. My husband just started (day 5) and I think the grumpiness is a combo of things.....at first missing the carbs and being irritable about not having them, then the actual physical changes the body goes through converting to fat burning and last a kind of a grieving, so to speak for beloved carb favorites. The first week is tough.

sbarr 01-12-2015 04:18 PM

Good luck with your daughter - let her know carb withdrawals can be rough and to give it at least a week.

I'm encouraged to see that she was excited and you're doing this as a family.

synger 01-12-2015 05:10 PM

The first week on-plan, I get rather grumpy, too. I hope she's feeling better in a week or so.

Thank you for updating us. I'm very interested in how she (and your whole family) does.

rachel2writer 01-16-2015 10:44 AM

Today is day six, and everyone seems to have improved in moods and cravings so far. With all four of us eating low carb, though, I can't believe how much food we have gone through this week!
We've tried a few recipes for treats. She wasn't crazy about the peanut butter fat bomb, but really liked the no bake chocolate cheesecake muffins and the cheese crisps. Yesterday was a good sign - she came home from school and grabbed a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (we call it a peanut butter lollipop at our house!) and a cup of whole milk. That's a major improvement - the week before she came from from school and poured a tall glass of grape juice and grabbed a handful of triscuits.

synger 01-16-2015 11:19 AM

Glad to hear you're all doing well. It can be a tough transition at first, but it's easier when the whole family is doing it together. Thank you for the update.

rachel2writer 01-22-2015 10:00 AM

Both my girls lost around 3 pounds the first week and both are enjoying the even energy and mood that low carb give them. We threw out the last bits of sugar, flour, and random junk hanging around the house the other day, so they can eat when hungry and select anything in the house to eat.
Sunday is my weekly prep day, so I bagged up deli meat, olives, nuts, raw veggies, pickles, boiled eggs, sliced cheese, and precooked burgers and sausage patties. That makes packing lunches and having snacks super easy! Feeling very positive so far.

synger 01-28-2015 11:26 AM

So glad it's going well for your whole family. Dietary changes can be stressful, and having everyone involved will make it easier to maintain long-term. Thank you for keeping us updated!

lighterbeing 02-04-2015 07:11 AM

So wonderful the whole family is working together at this! My husbands thin so I have to prepare a Carby side for him. Thankfully he likes potatoes and is ok with reheating the leftovers. It is a bit pricey not using fillers...rice, noodles. Etc. But so worth it. I stir fried grated cauli for the first time last week and it was delish!

Wendi-Bell 03-09-2015 08:39 PM


Originally Posted by rachel2writer (Post 17157668)
Today is day six, and everyone seems to have improved in moods and cravings so far. With all four of us eating low carb, though, I can't believe how much food we have gone through this week!
We've tried a few recipes for treats. She wasn't crazy about the peanut butter fat bomb, but really liked the no bake chocolate cheesecake muffins and the cheese crisps. Yesterday was a good sign - she came home from school and grabbed a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (we call it a peanut butter lollipop at our house!) and a cup of whole milk. That's a major improvement - the week before she came from from school and poured a tall glass of grape juice and grabbed a handful of triscuits.

Great job! My 16 year old is a LC'er. Some days she loves it, other days, not so much. She didn't like fat bombs at first. After a few weeks, once the taste for real sugar is gone, you may want to try them again.

Wendi-Bell 03-09-2015 08:41 PM

Sorry, just saw the date of the original list.

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