The keto diet seems to be everywhere right now. People are loving the low-carb, high-fat diet because of the promised weight loss results. For many individuals, they find it's easier to follow and stick with since you don't have to give up quite as much. But, many registered dietitians are not in favor keto because it doesn't encompass a well-rounded diet. And as Stephanie Clarke, registered dietitian and co-founder of C&J Nutrition suggests, it's especially unsafe for kids to be placed on the keto diet.
"I don't recommend that children follow a ketogenic diet unless under the strict supervision of a medical team as treatment for seizure disorders/epilepsy," Clarke told POPSUGAR. Children need carbohydrates and protein so they can develop and grow properly, and if a child is on the keto diet, all of those foods are limited, which could eliminate important vitamins and minerals. It's vital that children receive potassium, magnesium, fiber, calcium, and zinc — all of which can be scarce if on the keto diet.
"We always advocate for a completely diet-free, weight-neutral approach when it comes to kids' nutrition and eating — and adults, too, for that matter," Clarke continued. "It's so important to teach children a healthy relationship with food from the start, and to let them explore food in a judgment-free and guilt-free way." She added that putting children on extreme diets like keto can later affect self-esteem and even turn into eating disorders. When it comes down to it, it's best to teach children about well-rounded, healthy eating choices to promote the proper growth and development and avoid including them in your diet routines.