2

votes

How do I get my child to eat paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 26, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Since going Paleo I offered to cook all my family meals to help them stick to the diet. At first it was great but now my 11 year old sister constantly refuses meals, saying she doesn't like pork or steak or fat. This has made me very worried to the point of hysterics. I seem to have a lot of melt downs since going paleo from a rather calm, peaceful state after surviving raw veganism. Can anyone suggest anything?

3d0d22a4d1bb9e021cc11a960bd4e4b6

(35)

on February 16, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Or it could be the beginning of an eating disorder. At 11, when I cut meat, that's EXACTLY what happened. Just 'allowing' them not to eat until they get hungry won't work (in fact it'd be extremely counter productive) if this is the case, because the ED takes over and tells them crazy thing like not eating Monday through Friday. PROBABLY not the case, but just in case be looking out .

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 16, 2013
at 01:26 PM

Just wanted to note that it is REALLY COMMON for girls this age to profess a hatred of meat. Not sure why that is - love of cute furry animals? But they do seem to outgrow it in a few years...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 02, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Forgive the title edit, "question, help!" wasn't descriptive enough.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 11:55 PM

"They are very delicious, easy to digest and more economical than meat and a lot healthier." Um, no.

D5a52362ba91628833829a52acf1c227

on February 28, 2012
at 12:37 AM

I guess my point was that if she was super picky, you could try a quasi-paleo plan to start. Or, maybe add sweet potatoes and things like cheese. Still healthier, IMO, than wheat and sugar and processed things... and that way she may still eat the paleo foods as well as the not-quite-paleo foods to start with, instead of just being turned off paleo completely. I eat quasi-paleo since I eat rice and cheese. I figure, OKinawans eat rice... it can't be the devil. Then agian, my mum doesn't take well to rice and it affects her like wheat does. We're all different. Experimentation is good. Meh. :/

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:02 PM

I don't really like boiled potatoes. They taste a bit boring. I'd rather have berries or veggies.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:00 PM

"Even boiled onions" Boiled onions are DELICOUS!!! Great answer though.

88e0c64c631ee370f7e101a5822433b6

(10)

on February 27, 2012
at 09:48 AM

Arguing about what's "Paleo" on the internet is quite pointless, innit ? ;) Bring on rice and potatoes !

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 27, 2012
at 04:05 AM

Good point. Rice and potatos then. Rice pasta if they are going for safe starch. I will update my response.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 27, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Eric because she said "I offered to cook all my family meals to help them stick to the diet" I assumed they were giving it a try.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:16 AM

I see this with my kids...if I just keep trying to be a good example and not shove my diet beliefs down their throats (literally), they do tend to fall in line with me. I love when I overhear them lecturing each other about food choices. Priceless.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:27 AM

The person being cooked for is not paleo... Rice is not Paleo. However it is currently looked at by some as a safe starch. Just as their are many lacto - paleo folks. There are some safe starch paleo folks as well...

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:23 AM

She'll get hungry eventually......

0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

(701)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:10 AM

How these things go down usually depends on whether your original offer was a response to an actual request for help, or just your desire to steer them in a certain direction.

Ddb51a33b296f29918d3c50fcaf58359

on February 27, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Again, Gluten free rice pasta is NOT paleo. Stop kidding yourself. If it elevates blood sugar, face it. That said, if you admit it isn't Paleo, and have it anyway now and then, that is okay. No body is perfect.

Ddb51a33b296f29918d3c50fcaf58359

on February 27, 2012
at 12:08 AM

Not sure how that is Paleo?

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:01 AM

Relax, it will be OK.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:51 PM

Gluten Free Rice Pasta is really cool... My family is SAD diet and I make them wheat pasta and bread. However They do eat better than they would If we used cooking oil etc...

D5a52362ba91628833829a52acf1c227

on February 26, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Or if anything, what about rice pasta? I know rice is iffy to many paleo people, but it doesn't seem to bother a lot of people in the same way that wheat does. You could add some of that to the meals...

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:00 PM

very sensible answer. I agree. Relax. She'll be fine and so will you.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 26, 2012
at 08:59 PM

Her sister is not paleo. I am in the same boat and I cook pasta for my family. White Potatos are good as well...

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on February 26, 2012
at 08:59 PM

YOU are worried to the point of hysterics? It would seem to me that she's the one with the problem? Could it be you've gone from one extreme to another? No one needs a dogmatic cook in the kitchen.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 26, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I just noticed a relevant link: http://www.ruthsrealfood.com/2012/02/how-can-i-get-kids-to-eat-real-food-tip.html

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 26, 2012
at 08:50 PM

Maybe make that sweet potato or rice instead.

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13 Answers

7
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:29 PM

  1. I don't want you to think bad, but I would not eat pork either. I just don't like the taste. As for the fat - maybe it is a little bit too gross for the kids this age. I would allow your kids to have one dish that they absolutely hate and I would not make it. My suggestion: try chicken. Kids love chicken, no matter what shape or form. Also, chop your steak into strips before cooking - it looks more appealing.

  2. If kids get hungry and KNOW they won't get anything else - they will eat a woolly mammoth with fur, trunk and all. I know this for a fact. My friend offers to board her neighbors' and friends' kids who are very picky eaters. In less then two days she gets them to eat absolutely anything, even boiled onions. How does she do it? She does not let them have snacks, and they only eat what is offered to them at meal times. They are not allowed to pick any food from the fridge or to eat after/before meal times. She does not get nervous when they refuse to eat, she just tells them it is okay and they can go and do something else instead. No kid lasted longer than one and a half day.

  3. Give your child a choice. For example, do you want steak or do you want pork? Broccoli or cauliflower? They feel empowered and they will happily accept their choices.

  4. Get a sharp cookie cutter and cut out funny shapes out of thin slices of meat. Give this dish a funny name. Like "Shiny Stars" or something. It will look and sound more appealing. Make meatballs. Kids LOVE meatballs!

  5. Remember that you need an acquired taste to like some foods. My mom was making kidney with pickles (an ethnic dish) as we were growing up. I still love the taste! I would eat it any day! My favorite dish, even though it does not sound nice.

Good luck and remember: if they do not eat something, they are not going to starve and it does not mean you a bad mom or a bad cook. Stop feeling guilty. You are not a short order cook and you cannot possibly please everyone. Being a mother is a full-time job. Your job is not to please your kids. Your job is to make sure they are eating healthy and nutritious foods. Would you rather them be happy and eating junk or be healthy and learn to love good food?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:00 PM

"Even boiled onions" Boiled onions are DELICOUS!!! Great answer though.

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 26, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Aren't young people wonderful? You've gotta' love'em as you're banging your head against the wall.

I happen to sympathize with her point of view. I was fed whole foods as a child because I happened to be a child many centuries ago--okay, 60 years or so. So even though I was deeply addicted to neo-foods, it wasn't a horrifying switch to revert to whole foods. It was great in many ways.

But if all you've even known is neo-foods, and you're still young (think volatile and with a healthy tendency toward being self-centered) then it's neither familiar nor comfortable.

If I were you I'd try to offer things she has enjoyed in some of your meals and not worry too much about what else she eats. Over time she may become more comfortable and gravitate toward some of your healthier dishes. That's what happened with my grandson--he even lectures his dad now about grain being unhealthy and meat being good for you, which I find hilarious.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:16 AM

I see this with my kids...if I just keep trying to be a good example and not shove my diet beliefs down their throats (literally), they do tend to fall in line with me. I love when I overhear them lecturing each other about food choices. Priceless.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:00 PM

very sensible answer. I agree. Relax. She'll be fine and so will you.

5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 26, 2012
at 07:46 PM

Unless your 11 year old sister is into shopping and cooking, at some point hunger will take over and the meals you cook will be good.

Stay calm and wait it out. Get earplugs if necessary.

3d0d22a4d1bb9e021cc11a960bd4e4b6

(35)

on February 16, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Or it could be the beginning of an eating disorder. At 11, when I cut meat, that's EXACTLY what happened. Just 'allowing' them not to eat until they get hungry won't work (in fact it'd be extremely counter productive) if this is the case, because the ED takes over and tells them crazy thing like not eating Monday through Friday. PROBABLY not the case, but just in case be looking out .

4
Ddb51a33b296f29918d3c50fcaf58359

on February 27, 2012
at 12:12 AM

She doesn't have to eat pork and beef to have a healthy Paleo diet. How about chicken nuggets coated with egg and hazelnut or almond flour cooked in coconut oil or even beef tallow. Even an omelet or some chinese egg foo young made yourself can be good, assuming she will eat eggs. I like the idea of giving her a list of foods and asking her what on that list she might like. Of course, wait until she is not in an obstinate mood.

3
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 26, 2012
at 07:51 PM

Get her involved in the meal prep. Let her help with the menu planning and cooking. Younger folks tend to be more enthusiastic about food if they had a hand in making it.

1
8487a2f7fb8be0a568275667af0794c8

on February 27, 2012
at 12:25 PM

I've decided to start making her liquid fat bombs for breakfast, that way I can sneak coconut milk, eggs, avocodo into her without her any the wiser:)

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 27, 2012
at 11:21 AM

That is a pretty drastic change of diet, of course you are experiencing push back. If you spent a long time talking about how "meat is murder" she's probably still feeling pretty uneasy about its appearance on the table.

Children are often really attached to family traditions when it comes to eating and philosophy about it. If you were raw vegan for a long time, the aversion to a) cooked food and b) animal food are to be fully expected.
For many people young and old alike sushi and sashimi are the gateway foods to get used to the idea of eating more meat.

Do you possibly overcook the meat? When I first started cooking meat I was so worried about food borne illness that I cooked the crap out of it, and it wasn't very tasty. Very rare steak, or steak carpaccio might be good if she is okay with meat but having trouble with cooked. Offering things like applesauce or cranberry relish to go with pork chops sometimes wins the youngins' hearts too.

As far as her not liking fat that makes me think that might be more of a response to peer pressure about being thin and listening to CW silliness that scapegoats fat for all things detrimental to our health and girlish figures.

This is her battle not yours, no more hysterics. Cook the food, eat the food, enjoy the food, and if she finds herself hungry enough I'm sure she'll join you. Unless she's anorexic, it is pretty much her business whether she eats dinner or not.

1
D5a52362ba91628833829a52acf1c227

on February 26, 2012
at 09:43 PM

Maybe add the meat and things to some rice pasta or potatoes or something else fun.

I found some really delicious rice pasta that looks and tastes exactly like wheat pasta, but is made with rice. The shells are my favourite. I was surprised at how similar they tasted. So maybe if you had a bit of that with meals, she would be a bit more excited about the food? I know I was excited to eat it ~ I felt like I was eating "real" food (how ironic) but didn't get that carb tiredness or anything afterwards. And of course potatoes are good. I don't know many people who don't like potatoes..

Maybe just make some quasi-paleo meals that she'll like. She'll still be eating healthier than the rest of her friends most likely, and also maybe she'll start to associate paleo with deliciousness...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:02 PM

I don't really like boiled potatoes. They taste a bit boring. I'd rather have berries or veggies.

Ddb51a33b296f29918d3c50fcaf58359

on February 27, 2012
at 12:08 AM

Not sure how that is Paleo?

D5a52362ba91628833829a52acf1c227

on February 28, 2012
at 12:37 AM

I guess my point was that if she was super picky, you could try a quasi-paleo plan to start. Or, maybe add sweet potatoes and things like cheese. Still healthier, IMO, than wheat and sugar and processed things... and that way she may still eat the paleo foods as well as the not-quite-paleo foods to start with, instead of just being turned off paleo completely. I eat quasi-paleo since I eat rice and cheese. I figure, OKinawans eat rice... it can't be the devil. Then agian, my mum doesn't take well to rice and it affects her like wheat does. We're all different. Experimentation is good. Meh. :/

88e0c64c631ee370f7e101a5822433b6

(10)

on February 27, 2012
at 09:48 AM

Arguing about what's "Paleo" on the internet is quite pointless, innit ? ;) Bring on rice and potatoes !

0
E3c48625c04cbfc6f800cfbbc9ed2b77

(0)

on February 16, 2013
at 08:33 AM

I'll never forget my mother making this red bean meal, (maybe now as an adult that would be something I'd really enjoy) and really, truly hating it. I was a good kid and ate most things she made, she was also a great cook. But there were a few times where I really hated the food, wasn't trying to be rude, it just seemed horrible to me.

My mother was a no-fuss type, and I'll never forget how horrific it was in Australian Summer when the temperature dropped, but the bugs and mosquitoes were still around. She sent me outside to sit at the outdoor table, locked the door and wouldn't let me in until I finished those horrible, horrible red beans. I wasn't even hungry and was getting bitten all over and she just refused to open the door.

Eventually after a few hours (there was a kitchen clock so I do not exaggerate, but she tries to play it down) she opened the back door and let me inside.

I found the whole thing humiluating, and pointless. Don't force your kids to eat stuff they don't want. I'd rather habve gone to bed hungry.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 01, 2012
at 11:51 PM

How about some plant proteins in lieu of meat?

My family likes quinoa casserole, chickpeas stew, creamy chickpeas with vegetables soup.

They are very delicious, easy to digest and more economical than meat and a lot healthier.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 11:55 PM

"They are very delicious, easy to digest and more economical than meat and a lot healthier." Um, no.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 27, 2012
at 05:12 AM

The book the The Perfect Health Diet has some tasty recipes that should help the diet appeal to the entire family.

0
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on February 26, 2012
at 11:42 PM

Ask her for recommendations of what she does like. Make a nice long list of stuff she enjoys, and then you can add those to your meals. There are probably side dishes that she likes that you can make alongside, especially on days when you're making an entree she doesn't care for. So for my kids, I'll make kale chips or sweet potato chips or rice on days when I'm pretty sure they won't like the entree. The other alternative that is offered in my home is that they can have a nut butter sandwich with apples any time they don't like the entree. Maybe you can create an alternative choice for nights she doesn't like the offering?

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 26, 2012
at 07:52 PM

Cook some potatoes or rice alongside each meal. This will allow you to eat what you want and your sister will not bother you as much...

Ddb51a33b296f29918d3c50fcaf58359

on February 27, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Again, Gluten free rice pasta is NOT paleo. Stop kidding yourself. If it elevates blood sugar, face it. That said, if you admit it isn't Paleo, and have it anyway now and then, that is okay. No body is perfect.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:27 AM

The person being cooked for is not paleo... Rice is not Paleo. However it is currently looked at by some as a safe starch. Just as their are many lacto - paleo folks. There are some safe starch paleo folks as well...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 27, 2012
at 04:05 AM

Good point. Rice and potatos then. Rice pasta if they are going for safe starch. I will update my response.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:51 PM

Gluten Free Rice Pasta is really cool... My family is SAD diet and I make them wheat pasta and bread. However They do eat better than they would If we used cooking oil etc...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 26, 2012
at 08:59 PM

Her sister is not paleo. I am in the same boat and I cook pasta for my family. White Potatos are good as well...

D5a52362ba91628833829a52acf1c227

on February 26, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Or if anything, what about rice pasta? I know rice is iffy to many paleo people, but it doesn't seem to bother a lot of people in the same way that wheat does. You could add some of that to the meals...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 27, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Eric because she said "I offered to cook all my family meals to help them stick to the diet" I assumed they were giving it a try.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 26, 2012
at 08:50 PM

Maybe make that sweet potato or rice instead.

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