Every day is Mother’s Day
Before keto, I struggled to provide the right nutrition for my family. As my daughter began to gain weight and struggled with constant hunger, the pediatricians chastised me. They issued directives such as, “give her low-fat skim milk, reduced-fat foods, make sure she is active, no juices, lots of fruits and vegetables!” I was already doing those things, but as an obese mother, I felt their advice was accusatory and that they were distrustful of me and our dietary habits.
Truthfully, I was trying. Despite a hectic work schedule and finishing a doctoral program, I was committed to the nutrition guidelines of “Five a day” fruits and veggies. I once had to defend my daughter’s lunch as reduced fat when a preschool teacher told her that the cheese in her lunch was ‘not healthy’. My daughter drank water at every meal, even choosing water when her kindergarten friends enjoyed sugary soft drinks at the end-of-year party. My sweet girl was the only child drinking water and was the most overweight in the class. It broke my heart to feel that I failed her.
Within two months after I went keto in June 2013, my daughter, who was 10 at the time, decided to join me. Her weight began to normalize. Although we both had begun to dread her annual well visits to the pediatrician, they were suddenly pleased with her weight. When one raised an eyebrow about our doing strict low carb, I shot back a mama bear look, and she quieted her comments. My daughter’s recent labs were perfect, and she is avoiding the struggle with obesity that I endured as a 16-year-old. I weighed over 225 pounds (102 kilos) when I was her age (15).
(Note that we do suggest partnering with a supportive healthcare provider if you are considering a ketogenic diet for a child with health issues; for a healthy child, we recommend a more liberal low-carb approach [or just cut out most sugar and processed food].)
We always want life to be better and easier for our children. Helping Grace follow keto while growing up has motivated me to develop recipes that she and her friends will enjoy. I committed to making this way of eating feel natural and enjoyable. Deprivation, I decided, would never be on the menu. Before keto, I had imposed calorie limits and portion control. With her hunger now managed, I no longer need to do that.
She controls her food choices, portions, and meal timing. We are partners in this endeavor, and my role is supporter and recipe co-conspirator. I’ve watched her navigate sleep overs and school or church functions where the food choices were less than ideal. She has developed excellent coping strategies, which sometimes include sharing some of her favorite keto recipes. Her friends love our food and are often willing taste testers when I’m creating in the kitchen!
The two recipes I’m sharing for Mother’s Day — Key Lime Pie in a Meringue Crust and Chicken a la Queen — are two of Grace’s favorites. The meringue crust is one she has used several times to make cookies, tarts, and other creations. The chicken dish was one she liked instantly, declaring the leftovers for her lunch the following day much to her father’s chagrin. He simply asked, “Next time could you double that recipe?”
Gladly. Of the many duties of being a mom, keeping my family happily fed and healthy is the best. It’s what makes every day Mother’s Day at our house!
Low-carb and keto recipes for Mother’s Day
GuideWe’ve asked our recipe collaborators to share some special recipes for this special occasion, and to tell us a bit about how Mother’s Day looks like in their home.
Kristie’s Mother’s Day recipes
Keto and kids readings
Can keto help certain kids? A pediatrician’s story
NewsRecently, in a story about the ketogenic diet for children with neurologic and developmental conditions, we told the inspiring story of the Nusky family, of Cincinnati. Their 8 year old son Brandon had dramatic improvements in his symptoms of Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and ADHD after adopting a ketogenic diet — and his dad lost 100 lbs (45 kg), too!
Kids and keto: can a high-fat low-carb diet help with ADHD, autism and more?
Guide As parents, we’d do anything in our power to help our children thrive and live their best lives possible. When a child has a developmental or neurologic condition, can changing to a ketogenic diet help improve symptoms, social interactions, or behavior?