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At what age is it good to skip breakfast?

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  • At what age is it good to skip breakfast?

    So I know Mark has written before about kids and fasting, saying that kids should have a steady food supply. About teens, he has commented that his son simply eats so much it would be difficult for him to fast and still consume his calorie allotment.
    For 15, maybe 16 years, if the child is not highly active, is fasting - even so little as skipping breakfast every day - beneficial or harmful?
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  • #2
    I think it may depend on the reason for fasting. Truly not hungry? Beneficial. Not waking up in time to eat and not getting enough calories? Harmful.
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    • #3
      No, IF is not recommended for growing kids or teens.

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      • #4
        I think teeneagers fasting would be a bad idea. I would probably have been ok fasting at 22-23 or so. Not younger.
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        • #5
          I stopped eating breakfast as a teen and didn't pick it up again until I was in my 30s. I just didn't care to eat that early and my mom was never on me about it b/c I usually ate something at first recess at school. It was just how my body rolled.

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          • #6
            Because of my own reference point (n=1), I don't like the idea of forcing a child to eat. Especially a teen. When I think of all the glasses of Instant Breakfast I swallowed as a teen just to shut my parents up, I get sorta pissed.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
              No, IF is not recommended for growing kids or teens.
              Pfft. Think again. Kids are GREAT intuitive eaters. My kids eat two meals a day almost every day. They eat large meals and don't snack. Probably in part because we don't force feed em. If they are hungry they can eat, and if not we don't make em.

              However, I can see my kids growth spurts coming a mile away (3 and 5 year old). At these times they seem to double their food intake, but still may only eat two meals. Very infrequently do they want a third meal in a day.

              Like I said great intuitive eaters....and intuitively they IF on their own. Until we were tricked into thinking we need more meals a day we probably were all more like this.

              All that said food is available to my kids. They just choose to eat two large meals. I don't think you should force a kid to eat....or to fast. But even as a teenager it ain't gonna kill em to go hungry once in a while. With teenagers I would be more suspect of the motives. Is it cause they just aint hungry and eat all their calories at a couple meals, or is it some misguided approach to lose weight and look like a cover model.
              Last edited by Neckhammer; 08-01-2012, 09:16 PM.

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              • #8
                " Kids are GREAT intuitive eaters."


                This!


                Kids should eat when they are hungry not some externally derived feeding schedule. That way the grow up learning to listen to what their body needs. They should also not be encouraged to "diet."

                If the child/teen is inactive perhaps engaging them in activities you both could share might be beneficial in more than one way.

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                • #9
                  I flat out refused to eat one more breakfast when I was 13.

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                  • #10
                    My kids are good intuitive eaters too. Some mornings the just can't force down a meal and I let them pack it with them to school. Their school is very open to letting kids eat intuitively. Some days they eat maybe a few bites of their lunch at school, then finish it as soon as they come home, followed by a hefty snack and dinner 3 hours later. And dessert. So yes, *occasionally* one of them might IF for 6 hours. Its not deliberate, and they more than make up for the calories within 24 hours.

                    When they're active they eat more in a day. Some days they graze, some days they cram it all into two meals and a a couple of snacks. They know they can eat as much fruits and veggies as they can 'forage' in the kitchen and I know they're truly hungry when they help themselves. When we have lazy days they barely eat anything (unless the lazy turns to boredom).
                    Sandra
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                    • #11
                      Intuitive eating is different, especially kids who have access to food but just choose a lower meal frequency.
                      . But encouraging kids to actively fast (as in consciously skipping meals or going days without eating because they're trying to follow an IF protocol) is just guess work as pretty much all the studies on IF are done with healthy adults. Several sources I've read said IF should not be recommended for kids, pregnant women or diabetics.

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                      • #12
                        I remember sitting in 4th grade with stomach pains from breakfast. Don't know if it was the milk, or the cheerios. I do remember that it was about then that I didn't want breakfast anymore. I never ate breakfast after 13 (freshman/highschool) Tried later on (40's) breakfast is not my most important meal.

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