Doing the ketogenic diet alone is highly rewarding and fulfilling. However, doing it with the people you love makes it many times better.
Eating, by nature, is a social activity. This means that we enjoy food most when we eat it with others. Keto is no different. If your family is able and willing to join you on your journey, you are in luck.
However, doing a low-carb high-fat for an entire family can be quite challenging. Coming up with meal ideas every day for your family, especially with picky eaters, is extremely tasking.
If you are facing this problem, this guide is for you. You are going to learn how to do keto for a family and get a bonus family meal plan for a day.
Keto for families is simply eating a low-carb high-fat diet with your lovely family. Whether you are a parent who wants to bring your children and spouse on your healthy eating journey or you would want to involve your sibling(s), or you are preparing food for a sports team or your roommates, you are cooking for a family.
The same tips for feeding a family can be useful for anyone cooking for more than one person.
Cooking for a group has to take into consideration the likes and dislikes of everyone that is eating the food. Given how different we all are, it can be quite the job to please everyone at every meal.
Children are especially challenging to feed on any diet, let alone a highly restrictive one like keto. Speaking of children, you should not put a child or teenager on a ketogenic diet without consulting a doctor.
Children and teenagers have very high metabolic rates that require reliable and immediate sources of energy which is mostly found in carbohydrates.
The consequences of not doing the ketogenic diet right are also much more serious in children. Nutrient deficiencies like iron and fiber can result in life-long health conditions. Even if your doctor gives the green light on putting your children on keto, consult a registered dietitian to help you with designing an efficient meal plan.
Keto kids’ diets are only recommended in special cases for epilepsy or other serious medical conditions, and always under close supervision by a professional.
While the ketogenic diet can be highly rewarding especially if done with the whole family, it can also yield some negative experiences.
Practically, it can be rather tasking for some. Some of the practical challenges you may face are:
Beyond the practical challenges of the diet, there may be some side effects especially at the beginning of the diet. Some of these are:
Getting your family to do keto with you may be difficult in its own right, but the real challenge comes with preparing the meals to feed everyone.
The good news is that it is not impossible to succeed on keto as a family or group. Many families around the world are eating low-carb and are loving it.
Some of the tips that can help you enjoy your experience include:
On the ketogenic diet, high-carb foods should be limited or eliminated from the diet. Such foods include:
On the other hand, you should include high-fat foods. While it is important to keep your carbs low and your fats high on keto, it is also important to focus on whole unprocessed foods.
For example, while mayo is a very ketogenic food, it should not be a staple on a ketogenic diet. Some of the best ketogenic foods are:
While shopping for keto, you have to focus on healthy high-fat low-carb foods. The stars of your food list should be healthy fats, low-sugar fruits, and non-starchy vegetables.
Examples of keto-friendly non-starchy vegetables are:
Low-sugar fruits include:
Healthy fats sources include:
Other ketogenic foods include meat, fish, eggs, plain yogurt, chicken, and seafood.
Keto family meals should not be that different from individual meals. The only difference is that family meals are cooked in bulk.
Some meals are more family-friendly than others. Family-friendly keto meals should be easy to batch make. For example, frying omelets for everyone in the family may be difficult and time-consuming. However, making a casserole in the oven is easier and requires less time.
Below is an example of a family-friendly keto diet plan for a day.
Calories: 12,075 | Macros: 218.6 g net carbs, 755.4 g protein, and 679.6 g fat
|Whole Greek yogurt
|Keto shepherd's pie
|Grilled chicken breasts
|218.6 g net carbs
|755.4 g protein
|679.6 g fat
If you’re still in doubt about putting your family on keto, below are some answers to the questions you might have.
Unless your doctor prescribes it, kids should not follow a ketogenic diet. Some healthy snacks for kids include: fruits like watermelon and strawberries, plain yogurt and even, cheese on wholegrain crackers.
One of the most convenient recipes for families is an egg casserole bake.
It depends on the individuals in your family. It may take some time and planning in the beginning, but it should be manageable after this.
While some children can thrive on a low-carb diet, it is not encouraged to put a child or teenager on a ketogenic diet without the advice of a doctor. Children and teenagers have very high energy requirements because they are rapidly growing.
Restricting their diet without the guidance of a qualified professional may result in nutrient deficiencies. If your child has epilepsy, the ketogenic diet is highly recommended to control the frequency of seizures. However, it still has to be done under the guidance of a doctor.
While it would be nice for everyone at home to go on keto, sometimes it is not possible. Certain people are not able to tolerate low-carb and high-fat diets.
People with a history of the following conditions should not start a low-carb high-fat diet without permission from their doctors:
If you are considering keto for an overweight child, consult your doctor or pediatrician first. The guidance of a professional is required.
Teenagers are at a delicate stage of growth in regards to body image. If teenagers are exposed to restrictions without counseling, they can develop disordered eating behavior.