As everyone heads back to school, we think about everything our kids need on a daily basis and communicating those needs to their teachers and school staff. When Nora was on the keto diet, we shared our experience in 3 parts:
Bringing keto to kindergarten, part 1
Bringing keto to kindergarten, part 2
Bringing keto to kindergarten, part 3
Now that she is a big 5th grader who has been seizure-free for 6 years (whoo!), back to school time is a little less stressful.
However, she is still a special little one. I got a call from the school district nurse during the first week of school, which took me by surprise. She was again checking in to see if Nora had any new seizures or treatments that the school should be aware of. I was grateful for the call, and reminded of the importance of continuing communication with the people around her. I told them that although we have weaned her from the keto diet, and from MAD, we still think about what “eating healthy” looks like for Nora, which is avoiding high sugar intake–the possible “sugar bombs” that can come with school events (although her school has adopted a smart “healthy snacks” policy that should work for her now too!). Nora is also a pro at evaluating food presented to her, and politely declining if she is in doubt. She also has some preferences developed through her diet experience that we are happy to continue to support.
For breakfast, she asked me to make some of her MAD About Granola about a month ago. However, it largely sits untouched (I eat it with yogurt some days), because she has discovered a kind of cornflakes that she really likes. But she still prefers half and half on her cereal! She has tried whole milk, but doesn’t like it as much. So each day starts with a bowl of cereal with half and half.
She still packs a lunch for school each day, which she does herself. Her Mission Balance Low-Carb tortilla are still her favorite, usually with butter, peanut butter and a drizzle of honey. She often takes cheese and a piece of fruit on the side.
After school snacks are now much more conventional. She loves Coconut Bliss ice cream (preferably chocolate peanut butter) or bars (chocolate). The ratio is quite good, even though it has more carbs than she used to get a day. We have also had apple pie and apple crisp around the house, thanks to our apples and pears trees this year. We are happy to let her eat those homemade treats now, and more open about similar kinds of treats in small servings, preferably paired with some fat.
We are still getting used to the idea that she can eat a typical diet, although we want to hang on to the healthy aspects of the keto diet. It’s a nice lesson to reiterate that a healthy diet is low in sugar. But I don’t want to give either of our kids food/control issues as they enter their teen years. We continue to strive for a healthy relationship with food, remembering that “healthy” can mean something different for everyone, depending on their food allergies, intolerance, treatments, and preferences.