TikTok Mom shares Kids Keto Lifestyle, experts on how to do it right.
- A popular keto blogger on TikTok faced backlash for sharing the low-carb lunch she’s making for her kids.
- Experts say low-carb diets can be risky for kids, but can be done with proper planning and supervision.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
A popular keto blogger faced backlash for sharing the low-carb lunch she’s making for her kids in a TikTok video.
Abby Durlewanger, who runs a âHouse of Ketoâ keto lifestyle blog with husband Mike, said her kids are keto, prompting viewers to question whether the eating style is risky for growing kids.
Durlewanger has already amassed half a million followers on TikTok by sharing low-carb cooking tips for âbutter meatâ and bacon.
She told her TikTok followers that her whole family is on keto, including the dog. She said her 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son eat meat, eggs, dairy and low-carb products and save sugary foods for special occasions. Durlewanger immediately had a flood of angry comments and messages accusing him of malnourishing his children or preparing them for a messy diet.
In response, she said her family followed a healthy lifestyle. Experts say a low-carb diet for kids is possible, but risky without careful planning. Restricting certain food groups could leave children without key nutrients for growth and development.
Durlewanger said his children’s low-carb meals included healthy produce, protein and fats
Keto diets typically involve getting less than 5-10% of your daily calories from carbohydrates and 70% or more of your calories from fat. More flexible low-carb diets can contain up to 20% of daily calories from carbohydrates.
In contrast, pediatricians generally recommend that children get about 40-50% of their daily calories from carbohydrates, or at least 130 grams per day.
Durlewanger told Insider that she sees it as a lifestyle, not a diet, and doesn’t restrict calories or check her kids for ketosis.
His approach is to make whole foods low in sugar accessible at home. Their daily routine includes proteins like beef, salmon, and chicken, healthy fats like nuts, and items like berries, cucumbers, peppers, and avocados.
The family enjoys sweet fruits and non-keto desserts like cupcakes, watermelon, or candy on special occasions, including birthdays and holidays.
âWe never limit the amounts of food and we don’t force them to eat food. We are preservatives to provide what our children can choose from,â she said.
Durlewanger said that a pediatrician has approved her children’s eating habits, and both are healthy and active – her daughter is an A student and her son has seen his health improve dramatically after reducing his sugar intake.
She and other keto for kids advocates argue that low carb is healthier than the highly processed foods on the Standard American Diet, which include refined carbs and added sugar.
If you are giving your kids a low-carb diet, experts recommend planning carefully
Registered Dietitian Rachael Hartley previously told Insider that low-carb diets for children are of concern if done without proper precautions and expert help. Healthy eating habits for children should include whole foods and products, she said.
âIt can be safe, but it’s incredibly risky, especially when not being watched by a professional,â said Hartley, who did not specifically comment on Durlewanger’s family.
Glucose, derived from the breakdown of carbohydrates in food, is an important fuel source for the body and brain, especially for growing children. Low glucose levels can cause physical and mental symptoms like fatigue and brain fog that can rob children of the energy they need to grow, school and play, Hartley said.
, the body can produce glucose, as well as ketones, by breaking down fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Studies have shown that the keto diet has been used successfully for children as a treatment for epilepsy, but it is not without side effects, including potential growth retardation.
Children on keto are also at risk for dehydration and nutritional deficiencies, including B vitamins, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
This is because cutting back on carbohydrates can also mean limiting healthy food groups like whole grains, fruits, and some vegetables. Keto diets can also include foods that are low in carbs but not healthy, like processed meat and fast food.
Strict diets can also backfire by creating anxiety or shame around small food groups, according to Hartley.
If parents want healthy behaviors, good options include eating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods, teaching children that there are no âbadâ foods, and cooking meals together. she declared.
This article was updated on July 2 at 6:19 p.m.