3

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Paleo Families - What non-paleo foods do your kids eat regularly?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM

I have been paleo for nearly 10 months, and am now on autoimmune protocol. As such I am very strict about my diet. My four children ages 16 - 7 have increasingly improving diets as over time they have become more aware of how their body reacts to certain foods. Our dinners and breakfasts are paleo, but I oftentimes get stuck for lunch. And we do buy pizza abt once a month. And I feel extremely guilty about buying bread, but they do eat it at times. While we eat almond butter most of the time, there is usually peanut butter in the cabinet as well. What kinds of non-paleo foods do your kids eat regularly and how long did it take to make the entire house paleo. Or is that even a goal?

I firmly believe in this lifestyle and have seen drastic improvements in my health. But, it can really be challenging at times to feed a growing family. 90% of our meals are prepared from scratch and we eat organic, so we definitely have made lots of progress, but am just curious as to what others do and have in their pantries.

Thanks.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Your comments shouldn't apply to me, nor anyone else. As parents, it's our job to keep our kids safe. Contrary to what the former first lady espoused, it doesn't take a village to raise my child. It takes his father and me making the decisions, keeping him as healthy as possible, so he can become a healthy adult and make informed decisions himself.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:35 PM

that's great that you're already seeing such great results. It's an investment of time, for sure, but I'm trying to get them involved also in the cooking and prep parts to the best of my abilities (not always easy to get them to help...)

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:00 PM

Good to hear. I dont eat rice, but the kids do, but of course they run and jump a lot more than me. Thx.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 01:41 PM

If there are no issues with rice, it isn't necessary to cut it out. If you are trying to extend your food budget, rice is a very cheap way to do it. I can't eat it because rice is a major glucose bomb and it does terrible things to my blood sugar.

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on September 18, 2012
at 11:52 AM

Up the omega 3 bigtime (like 10-20 grams a day with flaxseed oil) and acne will be gone in a matter of days.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:30 AM

Thx. The acne issue is exactly the reason my 16 yo decided to become paleo. It was amazingly easy to win him over. Two days no milk, no sugar and his face looked remarkably better. "Keeping it stocked" is really what this boils down to. Menu planning, shopping, cooking consumes an enormous amount of time, and though I am keenly aware of the importance of doing it, the reality is they sometimes eat less than ideal. My 12 yo daughter was also a sugar addict, also like I was. She is also very anxious and I told her to self-monitor her mood and even she has seen tremendous improvements.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:14 AM

My 16 y.o. is far from being a "little person" and needs lots of fuel, hence my question.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:12 AM

Really appreciate the honest answer. It is interesting that this board is filled with people who are 80/20 or 90/10 paleo. But yet expect children to be 100%. Also thx for the reminder abt riced cauliflower, I will start making that to replace their occasional rice.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:01 AM

Thanks for being a voice of reason. In my household I have no concerns about them rebelling from the "strict" food choices. They completely understand the relationship between health and nutrition. I have provided a strong foundation of the science of why we eat the way we do. The 16 yo began his paleo journey because of acne. Then noticed he felt better. The 9 y.o realized he was lactose intolerant and chose not to do dairy. I have told them they are free to not eat any food that makes them feel bad (limited to the AI list). They are definitely partners in their health. Thx.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 09:51 AM

We don't use food as a reward here either, and I buy all of the food that comes into the house so that isn't the issue either. The issue is feeding a large family in the real world, not in some theoretical bubble. We are all are on the path to wellness - and none of us have arrived at perfection. Telling a young child no to occasional birthday cake is quite different than feeding 4 children, including a 16 year old athlete, 3 meals a day, every day. In fact the 16 yo wants to be 100% paleo, but also needs to eat a lot. It is a balancing act that gets better each week.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:50 AM

Says the 22 year old with no children. Optimal health is a good idea for everyone, regardless of age. To quote Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, "It starts with food."

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:45 AM

what world do you guys live in? what kind of results are 6 year olds looking for? there's so many other factors in health that don't involve food.... now you have been downvoted for a ludicrous response

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:44 AM

I was highly amused. And I agree with you 100%.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:38 AM

I don't worry about the downvotes. I figure people need to keep hearing it, so I'll keep saying it. There's nothing more important than your health, and food has the biggest impact on health. If that means you miss out on some birthday cake, fine, deal with it. No excuses, no exceptions. Lots of people just can't handle that and always want a reason or an excuse to eat badly. I don't judge people for eating badly, but I don't feel bad for them when they don't get the results they want either.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:28 AM

that's your opinion and your entitled to it just as i'm entitled to mine. i think it's less than logical to restrict any kids diet barring any food allergies.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:19 AM

i didn't downvote miked........

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:09 AM

yeah clearly my comment wouldn't pertain to you then. obviously if you are allergic to something, don't eat it. i figured that might go without saying but i guess i assumed too much... i think it would be a different feeling of being socially isolated if it's an allergy, everyone can understand that but if a kid isn't gonna partake in his best friends bday cake cuz it has too much sugar and mommy wont let him, then i think it's a little different

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:03 AM

Woo hoo...down voted for trying to keep our kids as healthy as possible. (By someone without kids, no less.)

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:02 AM

Wouldn't they also feel like social pariahs? They can't eat whatever their friends are eating all of the time. Clearly my son has intolerances to some foods, not unlike an allergy. It's my job to keep him as safe and healthy as possible.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:57 AM

lol when did i say eat food that your allergic to? you are crazy

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:55 AM

Well, let's see. When my 8-year-old eats wheat or consumes too much sugar, his digestion goes to hell and he becomes constipated. Not fun for anyone in the household. He finally realized the connection. Would you say the same thing to the parent of a child with peanut allergies? Oh, just give them some peanuts; let them live! Except, if they are allergic to peanuts, they won't. So, yes, I control what is in the house for him to eat. Friends and family know what he is to avoid and respect my wishes. They all remember the ER visits because of the severe constipation.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:50 AM

+1 for you.....

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:49 AM

im glad your not so lost in the "paleo is the only way for everyone to eat all of the time" mindset. it's more than a little ridiculous especially when it comes to kids.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Great question. Really curious to hear what the responses are.

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6 Answers

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3
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on September 18, 2012
at 06:06 AM

I find that acne is a great motivator for teens. I explained that it could be a sign of inflammation, and explained how modifying one's diet to eliminate sugar and refined flour was a good way to calm down that inflammation. Instantaneous interest. Acne is really agony for a teen. Now my 19-year-old won't touch sugar, drinks a bit of kefir every morning, snacks on fruit and hard boiled eggs and nuts, and won't eat cheese or bread or ice cream. His skin is slowly clearing up. Very slowly. But the main thing is that now he thinks about what he eats and is learning to cook simple basic things from scratch.

I can't comment on young children because we only started eating this way recently. If I could do it all over again, I would never have bought all that breakfast cereal or juice, or spent all those years making homemade whole wheat bread! Never mind the flour tortillas, cookies and chips we indulged in. There are so many great paleo snack options, I cringe at the recollection of the cheerios and goldfish and chewy granola bars... Somehow mine seem to have survived, they're not overweight and they're very healthy. We don't have any junk in the house, so when they need food the stuff they forage for is whole and natural. It's just a pain keeping it stocked.

I think there is some merit in the idea of allowing treats when away from home, so they don't feel ostracized. Total adherence could backfire once they're old enough to spend money. My youngest has a much harder time with the idea of no sugar in his diet - he's a sugar addict like I was. I have gradually stopped buying the things he craves (Nutella and peanut butter) and provided TONS of apples, bananas and nuts so he can transition from refined sweet stuff to natural sweet stuff and then hopefully ease off on that. He still eats his morning egg on a piece of toast though. And I know he buys candy with his own money, but I don't nag him for it. I just tell him it probably won't help his skin. It's his choice.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:35 PM

that's great that you're already seeing such great results. It's an investment of time, for sure, but I'm trying to get them involved also in the cooking and prep parts to the best of my abilities (not always easy to get them to help...)

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on September 18, 2012
at 11:52 AM

Up the omega 3 bigtime (like 10-20 grams a day with flaxseed oil) and acne will be gone in a matter of days.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:30 AM

Thx. The acne issue is exactly the reason my 16 yo decided to become paleo. It was amazingly easy to win him over. Two days no milk, no sugar and his face looked remarkably better. "Keeping it stocked" is really what this boils down to. Menu planning, shopping, cooking consumes an enormous amount of time, and though I am keenly aware of the importance of doing it, the reality is they sometimes eat less than ideal. My 12 yo daughter was also a sugar addict, also like I was. She is also very anxious and I told her to self-monitor her mood and even she has seen tremendous improvements.

4
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:21 AM

I eat pretty strict paleo and my wife has recently started the Whole30. We cook most meals at home and they are paleo, so my 3-year-old daughter gets a lot of good food. She loves meat. However, I am not convinced the health benefits of 100% clean diet outweigh the pleasure of eating cake, candy, ice cream, pizza - especially for a toddler. It's a choice I'm willing to make for myself, but I'm not ready to force it on her. She is healthy and active, so we definitely let her have ice cream and candy and chips and crackers sometimes. I don't think it will cause her any permanent damage and when she is older, she can choose how she wants to eat.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:49 AM

im glad your not so lost in the "paleo is the only way for everyone to eat all of the time" mindset. it's more than a little ridiculous especially when it comes to kids.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:50 AM

+1 for you.....

3
5fbdb4d1266cfbd9dd36b4c219bbdb96

on September 18, 2012
at 03:14 AM

I think for the ages of your kids, it really has to be more about teaching them what foods are the best and teaching them to try to choose the right foods as much as possible. The occasional sandwich isn't going to kill them. Perhaps you can find a food to substitute for it that they enjoy eating and taking to school and that is great...however, especially for a 16 year old, I think it is important for them to make these decisions for themselves.

My daughter is much younger and isn't really able to make decisions at this point, so at home, I surround her with what I feel are the best choices for her. When we are out at a birthday party, or family event, she gets some treats. I think that is a realistic way to teach her to live....try to make the best choices most of the time.

I truly believe that the more pressure and limitations you put on children, the more they will rebel when they are able. I think back to high school when my Mom was so strict and hardcore with rules, and then I went off the college and went off the rails. Everything in moderation.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:01 AM

Thanks for being a voice of reason. In my household I have no concerns about them rebelling from the "strict" food choices. They completely understand the relationship between health and nutrition. I have provided a strong foundation of the science of why we eat the way we do. The 16 yo began his paleo journey because of acne. Then noticed he felt better. The 9 y.o realized he was lactose intolerant and chose not to do dairy. I have told them they are free to not eat any food that makes them feel bad (limited to the AI list). They are definitely partners in their health. Thx.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on September 18, 2012
at 01:53 AM

None. I've decided that this way of eating is optimal for my health, so it's optimal for my kid's health too. I don't buy any "bad" food, he doesn't have access to it, so he can't eat it. Kids are just little people and they should just eat like little people. We don't to treats or rewards based on food. Food is fuel.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 09:51 AM

We don't use food as a reward here either, and I buy all of the food that comes into the house so that isn't the issue either. The issue is feeding a large family in the real world, not in some theoretical bubble. We are all are on the path to wellness - and none of us have arrived at perfection. Telling a young child no to occasional birthday cake is quite different than feeding 4 children, including a 16 year old athlete, 3 meals a day, every day. In fact the 16 yo wants to be 100% paleo, but also needs to eat a lot. It is a balancing act that gets better each week.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:03 AM

Woo hoo...down voted for trying to keep our kids as healthy as possible. (By someone without kids, no less.)

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:38 AM

I don't worry about the downvotes. I figure people need to keep hearing it, so I'll keep saying it. There's nothing more important than your health, and food has the biggest impact on health. If that means you miss out on some birthday cake, fine, deal with it. No excuses, no exceptions. Lots of people just can't handle that and always want a reason or an excuse to eat badly. I don't judge people for eating badly, but I don't feel bad for them when they don't get the results they want either.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:44 AM

I was highly amused. And I agree with you 100%.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:14 AM

My 16 y.o. is far from being a "little person" and needs lots of fuel, hence my question.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:19 AM

i didn't downvote miked........

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:45 AM

what world do you guys live in? what kind of results are 6 year olds looking for? there's so many other factors in health that don't involve food.... now you have been downvoted for a ludicrous response

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:50 AM

Says the 22 year old with no children. Optimal health is a good idea for everyone, regardless of age. To quote Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, "It starts with food."

1
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 01:47 AM

At birthday parties, my 8-year-old is allowed a small amount of ice cream; no cake, no other junk food.

While it's in season, organic corn-on-the-cob makes an appearance on our dinner table every two weeks or so, and he and my hubby enjoy sprouted corn tortillas once in a great while. They will, on rare occasions, eat white rice, but that is extremely infrequent since they discovered how good riced cauliflower works in its place.

It took about 2 months to completely turn the household Paleo and there is far less resistance now. I do most of the grocery shopping, so they eat what I buy.

Edit: We also always have dark chocolate around. Excellent with sprouted almonds and sea salt.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:12 AM

Really appreciate the honest answer. It is interesting that this board is filled with people who are 80/20 or 90/10 paleo. But yet expect children to be 100%. Also thx for the reminder abt riced cauliflower, I will start making that to replace their occasional rice.

3f0a69f164d8fac2cdee80c19526f83f

(205)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:00 PM

Good to hear. I dont eat rice, but the kids do, but of course they run and jump a lot more than me. Thx.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 01:41 PM

If there are no issues with rice, it isn't necessary to cut it out. If you are trying to extend your food budget, rice is a very cheap way to do it. I can't eat it because rice is a major glucose bomb and it does terrible things to my blood sugar.

0
Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:45 AM

i don't have a family so i can't comment on that but i do have to say, hearing you guys talk about how you don't let your kids eat any junk food is a little scary. let your kids live a little man. i can't believe some of you won't let your kids eat anything un "paleo". i would wager a bet that if you never allow your kids any junk food when their with their friends, number 1 that there gonna feel like a social pariah and number 2 there gonna go nuts on junk food whenever they get the chance to break away from you. its like those kids who's parents are so scared their gonna get in trouble if they let them hang out with their friends that they never let them go out but once the kid gets out of their sight for a half a second they find a way to get into trouble anyways. just let the kids be themselves. provide healthy food for them but don't set limits on what they can and can't eat with their friends. that's just not smart or fair in my book.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:09 AM

yeah clearly my comment wouldn't pertain to you then. obviously if you are allergic to something, don't eat it. i figured that might go without saying but i guess i assumed too much... i think it would be a different feeling of being socially isolated if it's an allergy, everyone can understand that but if a kid isn't gonna partake in his best friends bday cake cuz it has too much sugar and mommy wont let him, then i think it's a little different

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:28 AM

that's your opinion and your entitled to it just as i'm entitled to mine. i think it's less than logical to restrict any kids diet barring any food allergies.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:57 AM

lol when did i say eat food that your allergic to? you are crazy

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:02 AM

Wouldn't they also feel like social pariahs? They can't eat whatever their friends are eating all of the time. Clearly my son has intolerances to some foods, not unlike an allergy. It's my job to keep him as safe and healthy as possible.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:55 AM

Well, let's see. When my 8-year-old eats wheat or consumes too much sugar, his digestion goes to hell and he becomes constipated. Not fun for anyone in the household. He finally realized the connection. Would you say the same thing to the parent of a child with peanut allergies? Oh, just give them some peanuts; let them live! Except, if they are allergic to peanuts, they won't. So, yes, I control what is in the house for him to eat. Friends and family know what he is to avoid and respect my wishes. They all remember the ER visits because of the severe constipation.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Your comments shouldn't apply to me, nor anyone else. As parents, it's our job to keep our kids safe. Contrary to what the former first lady espoused, it doesn't take a village to raise my child. It takes his father and me making the decisions, keeping him as healthy as possible, so he can become a healthy adult and make informed decisions himself.

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