Meal prepping is a skill, and it will take a while to transition from the meal-by-meal, fill-in-the-gaps-with-snacks typical American mindset (we’ve all been there) to one that focuses on constructing a consistent, macros-based diet which leaves little to chance. It can be done, however, and I’ve never heard a single person who has started meal prepping say anything other than “it was totally worth it.”
When you have kids, however, it adds a whole new twist to the ball game. As a single dad of four, I know all about this. I’ve listed some of the most common challenges below, as well as tips you should try to mitigate them.
Challenge #1 – We eat different things
While keto has been proven to be safe for children (in fact, it was invented to help adolescents with epilepsy), there are as many reasons not to put your kids on keto with you as there are to do so. It comes down to individual preference and the underlying goals you’re trying to accomplish.
The most common complaint I encounter about keto is how difficult it is to stick to in a carb-addicted world. With kids, those struggles increase drastically. Play dates, sleepovers, treats at birthday parties, holiday celebrations at school… all of these introduce things that can interfere with keto. Unless there’s a medical necessity, you don’t want to end up in this situation:
Tip: If your kids aren’t on keto with you, you’ll need to plan two separate menus. Yes, it can be a bit of a challenge up front to make two different grocery lists, but once you lay the initial foundation, everything that comes afterward is much easier. To keep yourself from being tempted to cheat, change your pantry and cabinet layout: put all of the keto-friendly ingredients in one spot and everything else in another. This helps prevent temptations, or honest mistakes, and keeps everyone on their own diets.
Challenge # 2 – We eat at different times
Many “ketoers” put themselves on an intermittent fasting schedule. This restricts your feeding times to a specific window during the day: common practices include a 4-, 6-, or 8-hour period. You’re not supposed to eat outside of these times.
Kids, however, need to eat far more often. Their stomachs are smaller, their metabolisms are higher, and three meals plus one or two snacks over the course of 12 hours is normal. This is a safe space for parents, so we can all openly admit to stealing bites off of the munchkins’ plates during prep (sorry, I still haven’t gotten over animal crackers). This is a strong temptation, particularly when you’re prepping an entire meal that you won’t get to taste.
Tip: Intermittent fasting allows for unsweetened tea and black coffee outside of your feeding window, and both of these beverages have appetite-suppressing effects. Plan on making yourself a cup right before you go into kiddie-time meal prep. This will not only put something in your belly, but it will also allow you to go through the motions of holding something in your hands and putting it in your mouth—according to psychologists, those ritualistic actions are often more difficult to break than anything! You could also pop a piece of sugar-free chewing gum to help decrease cravings.
Challenge # 3 – Our macros are different
If you’re trying to lose weight on ketosis, your macros are going to look completely different from your kids who are growing and gaining weight on glycolysis. This isn’t going to be as much of a problem for them as it is for you, because cravings can be killer.
Tip: Make a list of the carb-heavy things you’ll miss most, then get rid of those first. If you have an unhealthy affinity for sugary breakfast cereal, for example, try purging your pantry and introducing your family to healthier options, such as eggs, bacon, or even hot cereals like oatmeal. Swap out snacks like potato chips for kid- and keto-friendly items like string cheese.
When you make a keto meal for yourself, increase the overall size of the recipe slightly and let everyone try it. Keep track of the winners and slowly integrate favorites into everyone’s diet; this keeps them happy and you healthy.
Set yourself up for success
Although self-control will always be necessary, the more you can change structurally, the less you’ll have to rely on a perfect record of turning down the delectable deliciousness of Krispy Kremes. The more you plan and prepare, the more likely your chances of success while avoiding an organized revolt from your kids.
The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.