How Do I Explain Fasting to My Kids? 

Discussing and handling certain situations with kids can be tricky at times, especially with young kids who want to know the “how” and “why” of everything they hear. Further challenges occur when kids try to mimic their parents in everything. Kids often repeat what they hear and imitate what they see. For this reason, you need to be mindful of the things you’re inadvertently teaching your child (1). Here are some common questions a mom might face.


What kids might ask:

“Mom, why do you want to starve yourself?” or “Mom, if you don’t eat, why do I have to eat?”

What you could say:

Your kids are basically asking you for the reason why you fast. This type of question needs to be handled carefully. Explaining weight loss might not be appropriate for them; it may cause concern about body image. However, instead of shrugging them off and leaving them curious, you can tell your kids about the health benefits of fasting other than weight loss. Explain how it helps boost your energy so that you can play with them, or how it reduces the risk of multiple diseases which you might face due to age. While talking to kids about the benefits of Intermittent fasting, keep in mind that children have very sensitive brains; naming diseases might trigger concerns. Children might worry about your health, believing that you are unwell or have high chances of getting seriously ill.

You can tell your kids that fasting helps make healthy cells in your body so that you’re a powerful “Super Mom”. As fasting also has a huge impact in improving brain health, you can tell your child how it makes Mommy more intelligent even though your brain is getting older. And a smarter Mommy is better at helping kids with homework!

At this point, you want to emphasize that fasting is only for adults. Mommy can do that because mommy’s body is no longer growing, unlike kids who are growing taller and taller every year. Adult bodies have different health needs that kids don’t need to worry about yet.


What kids might ask:

“Mom, you are picky too …. you don’t eat pasta, rice, bread (carbohydrates) ….”

What you could say:

Try to emphasize on the fact that growing bodies have different nutritional needs. Kids and teenagers need different nutrients and shouldn’t try intermittent fasting, nor should they cut down on certain food groups like carbohydrates. You may want to back up your answers with authoritative figures like doctors (2), or refer to scientific studies under the “Fasting Science” category.



In summary, kids have curious minds, and a lack of proper communication and guidance can be detrimental for them. It is recommended to have a talk with your kids regarding your fasting habits and how it helps you get healthier and smarter, just like 3 nutritious meals per day help them grow healthier and smarter.