Pre-teen wants to join in on SCD, suggestions?
My 12 year old daughter has had some weight gain in her stomach and above hip/lower back area over the last couple of years. I had hoped it was hormonal and/or a "phase" but it has not subsided. She is now becoming very insecure about it and is begging me to help her loose weight. Is there a modified version of the SCD that is appropriate for a growing and developing young person?
The Best Answer
I would, of course, consult a GP, but the only food groups you're cutting out are simple carbs, which no physician reccomends, dairy, which plenty of people live without because they are allergic or intolerant, and fruit, which is redundant if you are eating proper vegetables. I know that if she is not yet at her adult height and she is not obese, just overweight, for her age and height, most docs would recommend trying to keep her weight the same and she will literally 'grow out' of her overweight condition.
From what I know (and I'm not an expert), this way of eating is not lacking in any nutrients a growing child would need. The vitamins one would get from fruit are also available in vegetables, as is the calcium and vitamin D one would get from dairy. I would take care to make sure she is eating the right kind of greens and enough of them to get the nutrients she needs. Calcium is critical for young women.
I am a teacher, so I am enough of an expert to talk about this part--
Make her a part of the effort to eat enough of different vitamins and calcium through greens--it will turn vegetables into a rewarding project if you have a kid who doesn't like them. Most kids also love to be investigators and find the hidden vitamins and nutrients in different kinds of food and build a complete diet for themselves. Make it about building a correct diet, not restricting. Girls this age can get obsessive about restricting and that is not the message you want to send.
Get her into labels, not for calories but for the vitamins and nutrients and ingredients. Most kids think it's gross to eat a bunch of fake stuff -- I know I live with a 7-year-old who loves to read labels and tell me all the ingredients that aren't food.
Don't make it about restrictions-- make it about eating more of the 'good' things (encourage healthy thoughts about food throughout her lifetime). Challenge her to come up with 100 foods she can eat on this plan, or 200 if that's too easy. See how many of those different things she can eat in a month. Challenge her to try one thing per week she's never tasted before if she has had low to moderate exposure to different vegetables. I had never tried my favorite, asparagus, until a step-parent dared me around her age.
Good luck! Hopefully one of the bajillion things I said was useful!
IMHO, I wish I started eating this way when I was a kid rather than what has been shoved down our throats by the federal 'nutritional guidelines'.
You might want to moderate the Cheat Day so she doesn't fall into the cycle of binge eating. Make it a fun day of enjoying food and doing stuff together. Include yogurt, fruit, starchier veggies. It will also be a great way to teach her reasonable portions for treats like ice cream (one scoop, not the whole pint), chocolate (a couple of squares, not the whole bar).
Make sure she's getting enough calcium and other minerals.
Another way is to go Primal/Paleo.
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