3

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Hack my Wild Offspring

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 09, 2011 at 7:30 PM

I think I have noticed a difference in my 3-year-old's behavior when he eats less grain and sugar and cheese but we have really not been on-plan as much or as long as we should to know for sure. I know it is of course both things, but I wonder if how he acts is just who he is at a given time or if what he eats has a bigger influence than we give credit.

My experience, if I am not imagining things, is that my child seems much calmer and less slappy when we are eating well. He goes a bit kookoo-hyper when, like today, he eats things like special occasion pancakes.

My question is: do you have any experience with a very energetic child changing behavior on a paleo diet? How soon did you see changes?

Thanks in advance! SF K

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78457)

on June 10, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Good luck! Kid #2 is not so self-controlled. She would eat a whole cake and Taco Bell if I let her :)

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Baconbitch (ha ha!) so great that your kid has that awareness. I hope that *usually* keeping mine away from the stuff that makes him poorly will make him able to feel the difference when he does have an occasional treat.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:46 PM

Uncle, I agree with you and realise I probably sounded a helluva lot more sanctimonious than I should for a gal who is packing an extra 25lbs and a quasi-ADHD toddler. It's true you can only control what the kid eats if everyone agrees (and that is not the reality we live in). There is a huge distinction between kids eating well in an unstrict way and the parents who say their kids will "only eat McNuggets" etc. They can't take themselves to a drive-through and we have to be the adults about that. But if kids are eating good food that isn't making them nuts then I fail to see the problem.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:08 PM

As I suggested, you can control the kid's diet if both parents, your family and friends, and the school are all on the same page. Which basically is not likely to happen. If both parents are in agreement then at least you can control what the kids have at home, and if you take extra time to cook all of their meals (we do) you can control 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner). But especially when they are toddlers, snacks unfortunately are the key to everyone's happiness. I am content if my kids eat square meals cooked from scratch 1-2x per day, and I can not worry much about the rest.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 10, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Futureboy, I agree. He eats what I eat. And usually he eats beautifully: sardines, sauerkraut, beef, butter, bacon, eggs, and vegs for days. Today he had pancakes. Not because I am powerless before his dictatorial toddler demands, but because *I* wanted celebratory special occasion pancakes. I forget how damaging the bad carb stuff appears to be for him (and how much better I feel when I'm eating paleo) until I see the craziness in action.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:15 PM

You better believe that when I have children, they will be eating what they ought to be eating, and if they don't want to, then so be it. They can go hungry. I'm stronger, and I'm smarter, and I'm in charge. And I want them to grow every inch their little genes have allotted them, I want their brain to be as wrinkled as it can possibly be, and I want their immune systems to be as strong as they possibly can. That said, no crap like I had. I feel shortchanged, and I don't want them to feel the same way.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:12 PM

I know it's gotta be hard, and I don't have kids, so I definitely don't understand the give and take. But you're in complete control, right? They don't eat what you want them to? Fine, they don't eat. You're in control of their diet, and theoretically it should be the same as ours when they're able to eat solid food, no? Sure they can burn more starch, but is it optimal for their development? This is a two-parter as I grew up eating CRAP. My mom tried, but we were willful children, and low on time, had sweet teeth, etc. All the classic reasons parents give in to their kids.

C23ec4b85f3cbeb9ddf6bf78317d56e3

(300)

on June 09, 2011
at 10:33 PM

my 8 year old is wild as a march hare, paleo or not. she hits the ground running in the morning and doesn't slow down till her eyes shut at night. Some day's I make her go outside for a very long time... LOL but mostly, you get used to it. I do see her always wanting anything with sugar or other refined carbs a LOT, but we don't keep them around the house much so she has to make do with meat and carrots.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 09, 2011
at 09:36 PM

gluten? really? that may be but i think it's entirely besides the point. I have never seen a pancake without something sweet on top. Jam Maple Syrup, Franken-Syrup. Pancakes are a big old load of carbs with sugar on top (literally). Of course the kid will go nuts. Even my adult, stoic, man's man husband gets all talkative about 10 minutes after he eats ice cream. The gluten sensitivity is possible but probably entirely besides the point here.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Patrik, interesting. I'm off to research. Thanks!

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on June 09, 2011
at 09:01 PM

My wife has a Ph.D. in ADHD research and while diet and ADHD weren't part of her focus, she's convinced from what else she's read that it's the grains that are messing with the brain and that fixing the diet fixes most everything with ADHD, but you can't sell that as a drug.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Mine doesn't have that problem, but like all children, are far more cranky when eating junk foods or not enough protein.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Your daughter sounds a lot like mine, though she's 3. I've been having to withhold things to get her to eat protein. Last night I had to refuse to play Lego's with her to get her to eat half a chicken apple sausage (which she normally loves).

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:26 PM

Great info, thank you. I like the idea of educating your kids. We're lucky that mine goes to a Montessori school where apparently it's a "thing" that they must eat protein first in any meal, so at least that's backed up outside the home. Cheers to your beef tongue kid- that's awesome.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:24 PM

I know. Poor, poor teachers when the kids pack junk lunches!

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Maybe the rareness has an impact, yes. And you're right about the high energy nature of "special occasions" in general.Thanks for your comment!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:11 PM

I would be willing to bet your wild child has a gluten sensitivity.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:11 PM

Thanks, Rogue. This sounds a lot like my son. When I am lazy with food we suffer as a family and his friends and teachers suffer. Your answer is just the kind of inspiration I need to get his diet right and keep it right for the long-term.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 07:51 PM

I should edit to add that my child can be not only hyper but very aggressive.

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5 Answers

5
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on June 09, 2011
at 08:04 PM

My daughter(12 soon) has been diagnosed with ADHD and this shows up as impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and aggression. Diet plays a MAJOR role in determining her level of abilty to function in more socially appropriate ways. If her diet is really clean, she has patience, and a huge heart. If she eats sugar, or just has a higher carb, lower protein and fat kind of a day, we really suffer as a family...the difference is so clear, there is absolutely no denying the impact carbs have on how she feels and how in control of her behavior she is.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:11 PM

Thanks, Rogue. This sounds a lot like my son. When I am lazy with food we suffer as a family and his friends and teachers suffer. Your answer is just the kind of inspiration I need to get his diet right and keep it right for the long-term.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on June 09, 2011
at 09:01 PM

My wife has a Ph.D. in ADHD research and while diet and ADHD weren't part of her focus, she's convinced from what else she's read that it's the grains that are messing with the brain and that fixing the diet fixes most everything with ADHD, but you can't sell that as a drug.

3
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 09, 2011
at 08:04 PM

The biggest thing we have noticed with our kids (now 6 and 8) is just to keep them at an even blood sugar. Mine don't get hyper when blood sugar is too high (after sweets), but they get a total energy and mood collapse on the low end. This can mean skipping a meal, or worse, having one meal starchy/sweet and then the next one being late. Skipping breakfast is also a really bad idea. My daughter is especially bad with this, and there are times when I'm begging her to eat something with fat and/or protein. One of my tricks is a glass of full-fat raw milk (which is closer to light cream) with about 4 drops of chocolate syrup in it (just enough so she thinks it is chocolate milk).

My son, god love him, is Mr. Square Meal and he wants the trinity of protein, veg, and starch with almost every meal. He is also great about eating sushi, Paleo-style meats, even liver. He freaked his friends out by bringing beef tongue to school for lunch.

He snacks and has more starch than he has to, but I can't complain about the devotion to square meals. Virtually all kid food is starchy junk, but you have to pick your battles. But generally he has very even moods and is a delight.

My daughter is more of the bread-and-fruit vareity (totally non-Paleo) and it's a challenge to get her to eat something besides that, especially in the mornings. I do notice that when she does, her moods even out and she has solid energy for several hours. But she just can't handle a big dose of protein every day, she needs the starch. About once or twice a week she'll eat a 2x or 3x size (for her) portion of protein (our proteins are usually relatively high in fat), and that is all she can do.

In a way I would like my kids to have a fully Paleo diet, but it is nearly impossible unless both parents, all of your friends and family, and the school are all the same way. Also kids have just inherently different diets and energy levels than adults, they're in constant overdrive compared to adults and can burn more starches.

Edit: something I do with both kids is educate them on the macronutrients (protein, fat, starch). At dinner sometimes I'll go around the table and get them to tell me which each one is, and how good it is for them. They know that pasta and bread are yummy but not very good for them. I am hoping that this will lay the groundwork for a good understanding of nutrition.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Your daughter sounds a lot like mine, though she's 3. I've been having to withhold things to get her to eat protein. Last night I had to refuse to play Lego's with her to get her to eat half a chicken apple sausage (which she normally loves).

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:08 PM

As I suggested, you can control the kid's diet if both parents, your family and friends, and the school are all on the same page. Which basically is not likely to happen. If both parents are in agreement then at least you can control what the kids have at home, and if you take extra time to cook all of their meals (we do) you can control 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner). But especially when they are toddlers, snacks unfortunately are the key to everyone's happiness. I am content if my kids eat square meals cooked from scratch 1-2x per day, and I can not worry much about the rest.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 10, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Futureboy, I agree. He eats what I eat. And usually he eats beautifully: sardines, sauerkraut, beef, butter, bacon, eggs, and vegs for days. Today he had pancakes. Not because I am powerless before his dictatorial toddler demands, but because *I* wanted celebratory special occasion pancakes. I forget how damaging the bad carb stuff appears to be for him (and how much better I feel when I'm eating paleo) until I see the craziness in action.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:26 PM

Great info, thank you. I like the idea of educating your kids. We're lucky that mine goes to a Montessori school where apparently it's a "thing" that they must eat protein first in any meal, so at least that's backed up outside the home. Cheers to your beef tongue kid- that's awesome.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:12 PM

I know it's gotta be hard, and I don't have kids, so I definitely don't understand the give and take. But you're in complete control, right? They don't eat what you want them to? Fine, they don't eat. You're in control of their diet, and theoretically it should be the same as ours when they're able to eat solid food, no? Sure they can burn more starch, but is it optimal for their development? This is a two-parter as I grew up eating CRAP. My mom tried, but we were willful children, and low on time, had sweet teeth, etc. All the classic reasons parents give in to their kids.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:46 PM

Uncle, I agree with you and realise I probably sounded a helluva lot more sanctimonious than I should for a gal who is packing an extra 25lbs and a quasi-ADHD toddler. It's true you can only control what the kid eats if everyone agrees (and that is not the reality we live in). There is a huge distinction between kids eating well in an unstrict way and the parents who say their kids will "only eat McNuggets" etc. They can't take themselves to a drive-through and we have to be the adults about that. But if kids are eating good food that isn't making them nuts then I fail to see the problem.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:15 PM

You better believe that when I have children, they will be eating what they ought to be eating, and if they don't want to, then so be it. They can go hungry. I'm stronger, and I'm smarter, and I'm in charge. And I want them to grow every inch their little genes have allotted them, I want their brain to be as wrinkled as it can possibly be, and I want their immune systems to be as strong as they possibly can. That said, no crap like I had. I feel shortchanged, and I don't want them to feel the same way.

1
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 09, 2011
at 07:35 PM

our diet was just a slight shift instead of a drstic change, so i didnt notice a big difference before and after, but when that kid gets any sugar in her, LOOK OUT. it seems to have a much more dramatic effect on her than on other kids, maybe because its sucha rare thing. i see it more with sugar than with grains, but she doesnt often have grains except also with sugar (pancakes and syrup, pb&j at a friends house, etc.). of course, the times that she has sugar and grains are usually pretty exciting times that get her revved up to begin with, like at a holiday or birthday party. so, its hard to tease apart the cause of the nutso behavior. one thing is certain; she is insane.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Maybe the rareness has an impact, yes. And you're right about the high energy nature of "special occasions" in general.Thanks for your comment!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78457)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Yes, my 13 y.o. would get very hyper on pancakes when she was young. I never thought it was gluten until recently. I would put peanut butter or sugar-free syrup on the pancakes but that didn't really help either. I have noticed that since going gluten free she no longer experiences a lactose intolerance. My 10 y.o. is not hungry every 2 hours anymore (very high metabolism) and she's more focused. She wasn't ADD but she had her "ooh something shiny" moments. My moody 13 y.o. has MUCH better and more even moods w/o gluten. She even told me that when she slips up and eats bread or pizza she gets really tired and lacks focus.

So yes, I think if you carefully track your child for a week w/o gluten/sugar/dairy then introduce the culprits one at a time, spacing it out for a few days, you'll have better insight. Plus, its a good way to teach him how to self-experiment with food from an early age.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Baconbitch (ha ha!) so great that your kid has that awareness. I hope that *usually* keeping mine away from the stuff that makes him poorly will make him able to feel the difference when he does have an occasional treat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78457)

on June 10, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Good luck! Kid #2 is not so self-controlled. She would eat a whole cake and Taco Bell if I let her :)

0
29518a2572c5fe3a851170a9b1c315f3

on June 09, 2011
at 07:40 PM

when I was a little girl our teacher didn`t allow us to bring soda or food with a lot of sugar as a lunchmeal. .. we went crazy with a lot of sugar.

0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:24 PM

I know. Poor, poor teachers when the kids pack junk lunches!

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