Why Kids Love Carbs

young girl eating pizza on the beachOne of the major reasons that kids love carbs is because, like many of us, they have become addicted to sugar. While carbs in the form of bread and cereal are a more stable source of sugar than, say, a popsicle, they still break down into simple sugars and kids’ bodies have figured that out.

In many households, main sit-down meals have been replaced with small frequent meals and snacks on the go. Instead of a meal, kids look for a quick fix in the refrigerator. This tendency to eat small meals throughout the day has de-conditioned their ability to burn fat”their stable, calm, non-emergency fuel. This contributes to the sugar craze, because not only are they now craving the taste of sugar, but their bodies are relying on it as the main energy source.

When the body is asked to make long trips between breakfast and lunch, and then lunch and supper, it begins to burn fat efficiently. The longest trip was traditionally the one from supper to breakfast. It wasn’t that long ago that supper was as early as 5:30 or 6:00, and after that, the kitchen was closed and kids along with grown-ups fasted from supper all the way to breakfast. During this 13-hour fast, kids reset their ability to burn fat as a natural fuel and then break the fast with breakfast.

As a result of being good fat burners, they remained calmer, rarely gained weight, and were not nearly as addicted to sugar as kids are today. So, part of the sugar craving cure would be to get your kids fed handsomely three times a day. Don’t eat in front of the TV and make sure they don’t leave the table until they are completely finished eating.

Remember the old saying: If you eat standing up, death looks over your shoulder.


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  • lyn detroy

    Wow, this brings me back to my childhood. 3 square meals a day, no snacks except 1 piece of fruit, and only 1 sweet on Sunday. We were never overweight or hungry! I thought my father was wrong in denying us the daily trip to the corner store with the neighborhood kids. Way ahead of his time. We were not allowed white bread or the hard rolls from the bakery. All soups were homemade, and so was the Sunday cake. Good lessons to keep.

  • Moira

    I grew up the same way as Lyn, and now I’m trying to get back to that way of eating! I agree with everything in this post except that I don’t think kids should have to eat everything on a plate if they are feeling full already. That’s the one mistake my mother made, I think.

  • Patricia Conant

    After practicing the suggestions from Dr. John’s book The 3-Season Diet off and on for five years, I can say from experience that my body feels better eating three meals daily, encough water for my particular constitution (Pitta-Kapha), no snacks, eating 60% of my calories at my noon-ish meal, eating light for supper and breakfast, being mindful of body movement throughout the day, and allowing myself to be imperfect and practicing the 51% rule (which is doing it ‘right’ at least 51% of the time, so my body ‘gets the message’ and can trust that I am working toward healthy eating and lifestyle). When my focus is to allow my stomach to completely empty between meals, I can tell that I am burning fat after that because I feel calm, satisfied and strong. We have been bombarded with suggestions for eating all day long for 25 years, and the schools are full of heavy, sluggish children. It is time to step back and look at the newest research, clarify WHO would benefit from eating 4-6 meals a day, and allowing ourselves to consider the efficacy of Dr. John’s suggestions regarding healthful eating patterns for the majority of people. While the original intent of frequent meals back in the 80′s might have been to prevent blood sugar issues, I am wondering if ultimately it was a good piece of information for hypoglycemics, gone viral! What do others think?