I've been keto as a single gal, and now as part of a happy couple, and I love to prepare meals for myself and my guy! But it really is easy to get the whole family eating a ketogenic diet! I get questions all the time from moms and dads asking how to 'do keto' with kids. It isn't as hard as you'd think! Really! Keto doesn't have to boring, expensive, or 'too fancy'! I love homey, comfort food and those who follow my meal plans will tell you the meals are super tasty and yummy versions of the higher carb counterparts!
But, you don't have to just take my word for it! I asked Marni, my right hand girl, who is a busy mom of 2 boys, to answer some questions about feeding her family on a ketogenic lifestyle!
How has your decision to go Keto affected your family?
I definitely think that going keto has had a positive affect on my family! We have all lost weight! My sons eat my keto dinners often and they love the food! (they are 7 and 2). They have even trimmed down! My husband was a little hesitant at first but when he saw the positive affect it was having on my health and the weight loss, and realized how indulgent and delicious the meals were, he had no complaints!
What has been the biggest benefit to adapting a ketogenic lifestyle with your family?
I can't really pick just one! I've lost 120 lbs eating keto and with the help of my VSG surgery! As I said, my kids and hubby have trimmed down a bit as well. I also notice that my older son snacks less as he's less hungry and more satisfied. My 7 year old was already gluten free, something we did to assist with some health and behavioral issues, so going keto has helped him even more!
What has been the biggest struggle to going keto with your family?
To be completely honest, it hasn't really been hard! It's not difficult to get my 3 men to eat things like buffalo wings and taco salad! I don't force my kids or husband to eat completely keto but we eat that way at home (usually for dinner and some lunches). My biggest problem is my kids keep eating all my skinny chocolate!
What has been your husband and kids' favorite keto meals?
Skillet pizza is definitely a big favorite around these parts! My husband loves when we make taco salad as well! And as I mentioned, skinny chocolate doesn't last long in this house!
What do you do to provide non keto options that are still healthy and wholesome for your kiddos at meal times?
For dinners I often offer my kids a side like brown rice or low carb, high fiber bread. But to be honest, my kids and husband are often satisfied without adding a side. They eat off-plan things like fruit and some other snacks like whole wheat pretzels, puffed rice snacks, etc.
Has adapting a ketogenic diet with your family been easier or harder than you expected and why?
Oh much easier! I am always surprised when we are out to eat now that my husband and older son seem to naturally eat lower carb foods and avoid the carby-er foods, or eat less of them! My 7 year old requests 'roll ups' for school lunch all the time! (ham or turkey and cheese rolled instead of on a sandwich). It really just has become part of our family culture.
I've also noticed we are spending way less money on groceries and food in general. We used to eat out or order in multiple times a week, so eating at home and more home made foods has really helped our food budget!
What tips would you give to other moms who are interested in a keto diet for their whole family?
Number one, keep it simple! Start with easy recipes and things you can prepare quickly. Then start getting more adventurous.
Don't be afraid to try (once you are adapted) keto-fied recipes for occasional treats for the family like keto cookies or muffins. Guaranteed they won't be able to tell the difference, and they are going to be getting in less sugar!
Make meal prep a family affair! My husband and older son often help me meal prep! We have a weekly routine of shopping together on Sunday mornings and then meal prepping in the afternoons/evenings. It makes the whole process easier and gives children better habits!