Yes..... It can happen! Your sweet, kind, loving Keto Kid can become a calculating, sneaky food stealer. Your smiling cutie can put on that black knit cap, sneak into the kitchen and snarff down chips, cookies and goldfish crackers without you even hearing them! They will probably even lick up the crumbs! Your only sign..... dropping ketones........breakthrough seizures.
What can a parent do to Subdue the Sneak?
Here are a few ideas.....
1. Lock the Pantry
2. Lock the Refrigerator (takes a bit of creativity but it can be done)
3. Put non-touchables out of the child's reach
4. Install the small battery powered magnetic door alarm that will alert you to open cupboards.
5. Kitchen Open/Kitchen Closed - The entire family should be adapting to this. One of the most difficult things for a Keto Kid is to see everyone else "grazing" in the kitchen when they are not allowed that pleasure. No one grazes anymore! Kitchen is open. Meals are prepared. Kitchen is cleaned up. Kitchen is closed until the next meal time.
1. Remember it takes time for the brain to "forget" the tastes that your child has acquired during their lifetime. Be patient and understanding but be consistent and unchangeable when it comes to the Diet. Enforce rules followed by an increase of love and understanding.
2. Point out to your child that everyone should be eating in ways that are healthy for their bodies. Every body is a bit different and requires the determination to abstain from certain foods and drinks. Help them understand that although their meals are very different from their friend's meals, they are not alone in having to abstain from foods that they love.
For example..... Noah knows that I don't like to eat foods that are high in fats or sugars. So, while I am searching for his foods, he will pick up foods at the grocery store, read their labels and point out what I shouldn't and should be eating. I'm not perfect either and I explain to Noah what happens to my body if I cheat (Hello - Muffin Top). Noah's Diet has helped our entire family to be more conscious of our eating habits. We constantly tell him how lucky his is to eat pig bacon while the rest of us eat our turkey bacon. If we as parents can't control our eating and stay away from unhealthy foods....... how can we expect our children to do the same? Self Control is best learned by example!
Both of Noah's Grandfathers are Diabetic. Our elderly neighbor is also diabetic. Unfortunately, our neighbor (a man we adopted as another grandpa "PoePoe") chose not to exercise or adjust his eating habits during his lifetime. He is in the end stages of renal failure. Our sweet Poepoe has lost both legs due to gangreen. It has been a very sad time for him. We love him and see him as much as possible. But, I have tried to point out the importance of the "Diets" that our Grandpas are on because of the needs of their bodies. This has had a huge impact on Noah and his willingness to eat his Keto foods.
3. If your child is old enough to reason, remind your child of the consequences of "sneaking" food. How it feels to recover from their seizures. Show them videos or clips of them seizing or other children (available on the net). It is scarey but it will help them to understand the seriousness of their cheating. Lovingly take them in your arms and describe how happy they have been since their seizures have been diminished. Talk about this issue during regular conversation and not after catching them cheating. It's not about guilt. It's about choices and consequences.
4. Involve your child in the planning of their meals. Much of the "sneakiness" is in an effort to feel "in control" of their lives. Most children can eat what they want, when they want to eat and take as long as the desire to down the food. Our Keto Kids cannot. That is rough and it can cause power struggles over when, how and what to eat. Sneaking can sometimes be just another attempt to gain some type of control.
Ask your child what they want to eat. Do your best to incorporate it into their meals or copy it as much as the Diet will allow. For Noah, one Ritz cracker makes him happy. He doesn't have to have a huge baggie of Ritz to feel included. One cracker seems to keep him feeling like he is actively participating in normal kid-like eating.
When there isn't a happy medium, find something else that perks their interest instead. Keto Ice Cream is a winner for us and a great fall back. Whipping Noah's cream, adding melted Coconut Oil, peanut butter, pecans and some chocolate flavoring - then freeze. Candied pecans are another huge hit! They are "sweet" and he loves it. Butter and coconut oil melted, sautee the pecans, take out of the pan, add a bit of sweetener. Served with cheese stick and milk. Yummy!
Hope these ideas help you to Subdue Your Sweet Sneak!
I love my Keto Kid!