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Your Kids and Paleo

April 18, 2012  |  Life  |  Share
Your Kids and Paleo

I have been wanting to write this post for awhile. I will probably spend more time on it then necessary, but I have so many thoughts on this subject. Your kids should be eating Paleo, too.

A little background. Some of you might already know a little bit about our journey, but for all of our newer followers here you go. I (Kyle) started eating Paleo about 3 years ago.  We found out we were pregnant with Nolan and this kicked my butt into gear to eat and live a healthier life.  We had tried gluten and dairy free in the past, but we weren’t dieting, we just wanted to feel better. I was thinking we should try cutting out dairy again so I was doing some research on dairy intolerance and came upon Mark’s Daily Apple. From there the rest is really history. I ordered his book then read Robb’s The Paleo Solution and haven’t looked back.

The case isn’t exactly the same for my wife. She was reluctant to say the least. However I am the cook and I do the grocery shopping. So unless she went to the store and cooked for herself she was eating mainly Paleo. The transition for her took much longer because I don’t think she had the same issues like me. I felt so much better without dairy, grains, legumes, sugar etc in my diet. While Jamie (wife) felt OK when she ate those things. I will let you know that this is not the case anymore. After taking these foods out of her diet completely for more than a year she will feel crappy if the non Paleo foods slip into her diet. Success! Hehe.

Nolan our oldest has been Paleo pretty much since solids were introduced. I sadly admit to conventional wisdom winning the battle of oats being Nolan’s first food.  Remember this was at the beginning of our Paleo journey. After the initial oats introduction he has been Paleo ever since. And our second son Beckett is lucky. He has been Paleo since conception.

So why am I telling you about this background when the post is clearly about your kids and Paleo and my kids have been Paleo since the beginning and didn’t require a transition? A few reasons:

• We started eating healthier because of our kids. We wanted to be able to keep up with them.

• We want to provide our kids with the best life possible.

• My wife transitioned to Paleo. This was probably harder to deal with then transitioning some kids.
No really. Love you honey.

I often hear from people that they eat Paleo, but there kids don’t. I get it. Its a lot easier to switch your eating habits than your kids. Kids like routine and are addicted to cereal and sugar. But what is the point of you being healthy when your kids aren’t? I know we all want the best for our kids. And deep down we all know that eating a real food based diet is the best choice. Look at your results. Don’t you want that for your kids?

There are a ton of resources out there from families that have transitioned there families. And with my personal experience of my switching to Paleo and my wife. Biting the bullet and going cold turkey is the way to go. Would you rather have a week of your kids whining or months. Don’t allow your kids to cheat and just keep all the crap out of the house. And yes I know that kids go to parties and have snacks at school. Do your best to prepare them for these situations and if they do eat poorly its only one meal or snack. Most of the time when kids have been eating healthy for some time and then go on a bender at a party they will feel horrible. They will begin to realize why.

Another thing I have heard, which is crazy is that “I don’t want my kid to get sick when he goes to McDonalds with friends”. So wait, you are going to knowingly feed your kid crap because you don’t want them to get sick that rare time they go to McDonalds to eat. I can’t relate to that at all. Hey, I am going to make my kid smoke pot so in case he tries it when he is older he doesn’t get to high. Does that sound extreme. Not to me. In all honesty weed is probably safer than gluten and sugar etc. But in no way am I condoning smoking weed. Been there done that.

I am not trying to sound insensitive or like a dick, but lets keep it real. You are doing your family an injustice by not allowing your whole family to enjoy the benefits of eating Paleo.

I also want you to know that we are not perfect. Not even close. We eat Paleo type treats and are still altering our diets for things like skin issues etc. But we feel amazing compared to what we used to feel like and believe that we are feeding our kids the best food possible.

Bite the bullet and switch the whole family to a real foods based diet.

Oh, you thought I would really leave you with no advice. I do have some advice besides just biting the bullet and getting all the crap out of the house. That is the first thing to do though.

So, once you get all the processed crap food out of your house I would just start cooking your Paleo food and serving it. Don’t announce it to the kids. Just do it. The kids might whine and cry about wanting pasta or pizza. But, kids are not going to let themselves starve. So they don’t eat dinner. Trust me, they will eat when they are hungry. Our oldest son will skip meals or maybe just eat one portion of any given meal. This doesn’t bother me. If he skips dinner, he devours breakfast the next morning. Who said we had to eat three times a day.

I would also get your kids involved with the food. It could be either helping you shop at the farmers market and letting them pick out some food or letting them help in the kitchen. My oldest comes grocery shopping with me every week. Its one of the times during the week when its just him and I.  He always loves reminding me to get bacon and eggs. He also loves being in the kitchen. Sometimes just watching and sometimes stirring the food. Don’t be afraid. There will be spills, I just remind him to pay attention and we both clean up the mess. Our oldest has been helping in the kitchen since he was just over two. We started him out with just pouring in premeasured spices and moved on from there.

These tactics might not always work, but you will figure out what works for you. It might take some time. Power through, its worth it. Also check out the links below for some help and other ideas. You should really check out the two children books below. Our oldest loves them.

Here is Nolan our oldest writing his own recipe after reading Eat Like a Dinosaur Book.

 

Here are some links to help you out.

http://everydaypaleo.com/
The Paleo Pals Book

http://paleoparents.com/
Eat Like a Dinosaur Book

http://theprimalparent.com/

http://www.thepaleomom.com/

 

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4 Comments


  1. “I would also get your kids involved with the food.”

    This is so important! It sounds strange but too many kids grow up these days without fully understanding where food even comes from. Getting them involved in the cooking and shopping will set up them for a bright and healthy future.

    Thanks for your article.

    • Couldn’t agree more. My oldest son come shopping with me every week, comes to the butcher to pick up meat etc. And he always want to be in the kitchen. It actually can get a little frustrating at times, but try to remind myself that its worth it. Kids love helping out and being involved. They also love having choices. Giving them choices with food is key too.

      Thanks for the comment. I am going to check out your site now.

  2. I am beginning my own journey on making the switch to paleo. To clarify, you are advising that cold turkey is better than phasing out my most beloved foods like pasta? I thought my best shot at this transition would be to phase out one food at a time, like starting with desserts (I have a TERRIBLE sweet tooth) than working on grains, etc. Also, my biggest obstacle is going to be my husband. He is a processed food junky and there is NO talking him out of that lifestyle. He cannot STAND vegetables of any kind and unless I literally were to tie him down and shove them down his throat, I cannot get him to eat them. I’ve tried for YEARS when I made the switch to organic. So I have to buy him separate food, meaning temptations will still be in the house and my kids will still see Daddy eating this stuff. My second biggest obstacle is my husbands family, they too are processed food AND fast food junkies. I know when my kids go over there they will give them crap and my husband isn’t too bothered by it bc “that’s what gparents do.” We also have a tradition of family dinner at my in laws every Sunday, where all her kids and grand kids come over and sometimes other family members. This is NOT a paleo friendly affair, and I suppose I don’t feel it’s my place to ask them to switch their Sunday meals to suit only me and my kids. Than there are the holiday traditions of Thanksgiving and Christmas. What do should I do in these situations, especially when transitioning my and my children to Paleo. I wonder if this is a terrible time to start coming up on the holiday season. And do you still let your kids go trick or treating? I’m having loads of trouble figuring out the best way to make this transition. I don’t want to deprive my children of their childhood by taking away trick or treating, birthday parties, etc. bc none of it is paleo friendly and I don’t want to offend my in laws during the holidays or on Sundays. Any advice is appreciated!

    • You are asking some really great questions. Yes I believe cold turkey is the way to go. I understand that it won’t work for everyone, but when you go cold turkey you will see better results quicker. That make the success rate higher. This is all just my opinion though. If you just take things out slowly there is a higher chance of old habits coming back. For me I tried going slow at first and would eat bread or another form of gluten on occasion and I didn’t see any side effects. But when I stopped eating grains for over a month then had a sandwich I felt horrible. I haven’t had a grain since. That was 3 years ago.

      About your husband… I went through the same thing with my wife. Its really tough. You can’t change them. Just lead by example and eventually he will catch on. One thing I did do that helped it along was I do the shopping. So guess what. You eat what I buy. I am not going to make multiple meals. Hell, no! If he wants his crap he can run to McDonalds. It will be tough and if your kids are older it will be even harder. But involve everyone in the process of picking meals to eat and even maybe the shopping. Kids will want what their friends are having, but if are able to get them to eat Paleo most of the time, when they eat this processed crap they won’t feel well and will eventually catch on. I hope.

      My family was tough too. They thought I was crazy at first. Actually, they probably still do. But they are your children and let them know that you respect there choices (wether that’s true or not) but they are your kids and this is how you are raising them. They should respect that. Maybe try eating ahead of time or a very large lunch. Hopefully there are some options that they can eat that aren’t to bad. For Bdays etc we usually ask to bring a dessert and a larger portion off a side so we know there will be something for us to eat. If you google Paleo Thanksgiving or Christmas you will get a ton of results. Last year we had Thanksgiving at our house and every single item was Paleo. We used the cookbooks Paleo Comfort Foods and Make it Paleo. We had all the regular sides and stuffings. Even had pumpkin pie and apple cider. It was one of the best thanksgivings ever.

      For trick or treating we had our oldest son go out and he used all the candy as money to buy things off of us. We made some pumpkin bread and you could do little toys too. It wasn’t easy, but it worked. I know some people will let their kids pick a couple items then donate the rest.

      I also have a sweet tooth. This is hard and I will still indulge sometimes. Its scary too. Its like crack. When I am eating my meals I try to eat enough so I am not hungry before bed. This helps me a ton.

      I hope I helped a little. You will probably offend some people, but they should respect your choices. You are trying to do whats best for your family. Keep at it. It is worth it. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

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