2

votes

Worried about my 3 year old son (after transitioning to paleo)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I am a little bit worried about my little boy (3)! We went paleo in November (me and him) and before he didn??t have wheat and dairy but spelt/rye/oats/corn/millet/buckwheat and quinoa prepared according to weston a price. He was "healthy" and always slept well. A bit of eczema though. So since going paleo his health has gone down. Since 2 weeks he is super tired , has got a big ulcer on his tongue (he accidentaly bit himself). He??s also breaking out with spots, really pale and doesn??t look right. he cannot eat eggs and coconut milk, eggs he will wake in teh night screaming each time and coconut milk he gets terrible diarrhea.. Also when he eats too much animal protein his sleep is very disturbed.. So I am a bit stuck, he eats anything, loves his food and veggies.. he eats lots of sweet potatoes and fresh fruit as well. I am trying to keep the nuts down cause of his ulcer.. I just really need some advice as I am near including gluten free grains for him again (quinoa rice and buckwheat)..HELP!

Oh, he is getting lots of fat, avocado, beef tallow, olive oil, coconut oil (he is fine with coconut oil always has been)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 14, 2012
at 02:19 PM

This is a key finding then. If he has markers for it, it means his gut is the conduit for inflammation that will effect the rest of his body. It also means he is not assimilating nutirents correctly now. I think if you take two step backward and get hsi gut situation on track your son will really do well. You must know that the celiac history is a big issue that has to dealt with. It is not only a grain issue with kids with this.You will need to really cut his dairy too initially until you protect his brush border.When he begins to thrive on his his paleo template you will see improvement

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 14, 2012
at 02:12 PM

I think Toni is correct. Sounds to me the little guy has a leaky gut that it quite significant and cant assimilate his protein. I bet he has a combination of SIBO, and a serious bacterial flora change. We had to deal with the same thing with our youngest daughter. We persisted and she has really thrived. You have to know that this diet is how we were adapted and is ideal for our species. If he is not doing well you will have to decide to to work him up or revert back to the diet that supported the path he was previously on. Good Luck to you. I know its a hard choice but we made ours.

87b7d250ea30415ed4c1afd809f4053f

(968)

on January 14, 2012
at 01:50 PM

Maybe he has a medical problem that his previous diet concealed?

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 14, 2012
at 01:03 PM

No I am pretty sure he isn´t in ketosis - as my post below we went the docs and he has got tonsillitis. That´s where the breath must have come from..

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 14, 2012
at 01:02 PM

Thank you! I had already done that with the egg , even waited 3 months at some point but he always reacts. The coconut milk is just coconut and water :)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 14, 2012
at 06:57 AM

I'm a coder, so I think of debugging methods. This is kind of how I run my codebase too. I screw things up, then I revert to the last working revision and start again from there.

D5dff6376e17373751ccf4a10aaa0b34

(274)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:57 AM

I'm not suggesting garbage, or allowing him to drink detergent, just don't replace common sense/observation with dogma. If he wants oatmeal, beans, or things not "paleo", then let him have some. There are many kinds of issues around food, and it sounds like this might be stressful for both of them, so i'm suggesting they eliminate the stress about diet theory and just go on common sense. I agree with you not to let anyone have something from McDonalds!:)

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:52 AM

According to this website http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/consumer/archives/proteinchildren.htm, a healthy 3-year old toddler needs .55 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if he weighs 29 pounds he'd need about 16 grams of protein a day, which works out to about 2 ounces of meat. (You might already know all this - I was just curious, so I looked it up :) )

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:43 AM

If he can't have dairy, eggs, nuts, or "too much" animal protein, I'd be concerned about a protein deficiency. Wounds not healing, or healing slowly, can be one symptom of protein deficiency. However, I'm not a doctor or a child-nutrition expert, so I couldn't suggest what an appropriate paleo diet for a child might be. Whatever the problem is, I hope he feels better soon, poor guy.

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:42 AM

f he can't have dairy, eggs, nuts, or "too much" animal protein, I'd be concerned about a protein deficiency. Wounds not healing, or healing slowly, can be one symptom of protein deficiency. However, I'm not a doctor or a child-nutrition expert, so I couldn't suggest what an appropriate paleo diet for a child might be. Whatever the problem is, I hope he feels better soon, pobrecito.

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:40 AM

If he can't have dairy, eggs, nuts, or "too much" animal protein, I'd be concerned about a protein deficiency. Wounds not healing, or healing slowly, can be one symptom of protein deficiency. However, I'm not a doctor or a child-nutrition expert, so I couldn't suggest what an appropriate paleo diet for a child might be. Whatever it is, I hope he feels better soon, pobrecito.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:31 AM

Have to disagree. The psychological issues around food are McDonalds as a "reward", or ice cream for being good. There is nothing wrong with only offering quality nutrition to a three year old who depends entirely on our good judgement. No experimentation needed if all you offer is real food that excludes detrimental grains, sugars, and oils.

D5dff6376e17373751ccf4a10aaa0b34

(274)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:20 AM

yeah, that can happen with ketosis. Sounds like the kid is getting a lot of fruit though, so shouldn't be there. Could also be a cold. For sure do not diagnose that as diabetes, could be a bunch of stuff including just bad breath! Call your doctor if you have even a tiny question about what it could be. Message boards are of limited help here.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:44 AM

If my kid was breaking out in spots and obviously not thriving, I'd be switching him back without a second thought. Don't let dogma get in the way of your child's health.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:39 AM

+1 for a methodical elimination/addition diet.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 14, 2012
at 03:10 AM

I was breast fed at that age. However, it's quite unusual.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:09 AM

isn't that due to ketosis? are you sure he is getting enough carbs?

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on January 13, 2012
at 09:52 PM

There are people who breastfeed children that age, more than you'd expect, actually. Especially in circles where people do crazy things like buy organic foods.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 13, 2012
at 09:12 PM

I don't see why you wouldn't add rice. It's calming for upset stomachs, in my experience.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 13, 2012
at 09:10 PM

at three years old I would guess she's not breastfeeding...

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:11 PM

Yes it could be! But it´s not very nice to watch.. where would i get info about those diets? Thank you :)

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:46 PM

My son cannot have goat milk either.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:45 PM

Are you breastfeeding at all?

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:31 PM

I will definitely cook a bone broth tomorrow - have got some bones in the freezer. that´s a brillant idea. thanks

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Oh and butter or goat milk are a big no as he´s allergic to cows milk and goat milk.

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Hi, thanks, he doesn´t really eat high protein, mostly only for lunch. He has LOTS of carbs, sweet potatoes, bananas, mangoes, berries, squashes.. I don´t give him any coconut milk as it gives him instant diarrhea. Today I made him white potatoes and he seemed much better in the afternoon. I am wondering if he´s just ill with a virus! Because the first couple of weeks of paleo he was fine!

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10 Answers

8
A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

on January 13, 2012
at 07:26 PM

Does he really get enough carbs? he is very young and growing fast. Instead of letting him eat high-protein, go high-carb. normal potatoes are totally fine and they're amazing with any kind of fat.

He may have developed an egg intolerance and too much coconut could be an issue as well. Try to balance it out with meats and use tallow or butter. If you let him drink lots of coconut milk, try fresh goat milk instead. It's usually very well digested.

He should drink bone broth every once in a while, too! It's healing in any way.

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:31 PM

I will definitely cook a bone broth tomorrow - have got some bones in the freezer. that´s a brillant idea. thanks

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:46 PM

My son cannot have goat milk either.

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:40 AM

If he can't have dairy, eggs, nuts, or "too much" animal protein, I'd be concerned about a protein deficiency. Wounds not healing, or healing slowly, can be one symptom of protein deficiency. However, I'm not a doctor or a child-nutrition expert, so I couldn't suggest what an appropriate paleo diet for a child might be. Whatever it is, I hope he feels better soon, pobrecito.

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Hi, thanks, he doesn´t really eat high protein, mostly only for lunch. He has LOTS of carbs, sweet potatoes, bananas, mangoes, berries, squashes.. I don´t give him any coconut milk as it gives him instant diarrhea. Today I made him white potatoes and he seemed much better in the afternoon. I am wondering if he´s just ill with a virus! Because the first couple of weeks of paleo he was fine!

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Oh and butter or goat milk are a big no as he´s allergic to cows milk and goat milk.

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:42 AM

f he can't have dairy, eggs, nuts, or "too much" animal protein, I'd be concerned about a protein deficiency. Wounds not healing, or healing slowly, can be one symptom of protein deficiency. However, I'm not a doctor or a child-nutrition expert, so I couldn't suggest what an appropriate paleo diet for a child might be. Whatever the problem is, I hope he feels better soon, pobrecito.

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:43 AM

If he can't have dairy, eggs, nuts, or "too much" animal protein, I'd be concerned about a protein deficiency. Wounds not healing, or healing slowly, can be one symptom of protein deficiency. However, I'm not a doctor or a child-nutrition expert, so I couldn't suggest what an appropriate paleo diet for a child might be. Whatever the problem is, I hope he feels better soon, poor guy.

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:52 AM

According to this website http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/consumer/archives/proteinchildren.htm, a healthy 3-year old toddler needs .55 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if he weighs 29 pounds he'd need about 16 grams of protein a day, which works out to about 2 ounces of meat. (You might already know all this - I was just curious, so I looked it up :) )

6
5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

on January 14, 2012
at 01:01 PM

I wouldn??t say he was "great" on grains! I am a coeliac and my son has got the markers for it in his blood. I just would never go back to gluten for him. The first 6 weeks of paleo he was totally fine and healthy and happy. But he didn??t have eggs then and only a little bit of coconut milk where as since christmas he had a smoothie with it nearly daily.

I went to the doc with him this morning and it turns out he has got a tonsillitis. So no wonder he isn??t well !

I will continue to leave out eggs and coconut milk for now. But reintroduce white potato as he seemed much better with it yesterday. This morning he woke up much happier and I made sure he had lots and lots of carbs and fat. For lunch we had duck which is super fatty too with sweet potato chips and carrots,cauliflower and green beans fried in tallow. He loved it and looked very rosy after.

I think it??s a whole combination of things, illness, reactions to egg and coconut plus his mouth ulcer which stopped him from eating enough.

Thank you all for your insights - I don??t think though I will go away from paleo for now.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 14, 2012
at 02:19 PM

This is a key finding then. If he has markers for it, it means his gut is the conduit for inflammation that will effect the rest of his body. It also means he is not assimilating nutirents correctly now. I think if you take two step backward and get hsi gut situation on track your son will really do well. You must know that the celiac history is a big issue that has to dealt with. It is not only a grain issue with kids with this.You will need to really cut his dairy too initially until you protect his brush border.When he begins to thrive on his his paleo template you will see improvement

6
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 14, 2012
at 03:12 AM

I would just go back to the diet that was working before and if you want him to get paleo alongside you, introduce one new food at a time, just in case there are allergies/intolerances at play.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 14, 2012
at 06:57 AM

I'm a coder, so I think of debugging methods. This is kind of how I run my codebase too. I screw things up, then I revert to the last working revision and start again from there.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:39 AM

+1 for a methodical elimination/addition diet.

4
D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:27 AM

2 suggestions:

Sounds like he may be allergic to egg white. Try offering just the yolk.

Have you tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)? It may help with his diarrhea and it's very close to Paleo, no grains either. I would just be cautious with the yogurt that is suggested in the diet, since you have to be sure it doesn't contain lactose. I mean, I would try the diet without the yogurt first. http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/index.htm

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 14, 2012
at 02:03 PM

Nicole, I can't have eggs and coconut in any shape or form either. Even though I am Paleo, I don't eat a whole bunch of Paleo foods, because my body does not agree with them. Paleo is not the same for everyone. It is not a religion, there is nothing here to obey, believe, or follow strictly. As a mother, you want to make sure your child is healthy, and if he is not healthy - do whatever you need to make sure he is healthy. That's why you switched to Paleo in the first place, right?

Do you know how I got into Paleo?

I have always ate healthy, and thought I would be okay. But then, following that "whole grain" hype, I became so sick, I thought I was dying!

As it turned out, I am gluten intolerant (I actually have the celiac disease, but my blood test came back negative), and developed all kinds of health problems as a side effect of that, including gastric erosion and other complications.

So I started with elimination diet. I ate only those foods that my stomach could tolerate (mostly Brussel sprouts, Chinese cabbage and grass-fed lamb). Then, slowly, I introduced other foods, to see whether my body was okay with that or not, one at a time. About a month later I figured out what I could eat, and it is not much. All I can eat is only some fish, meat (and not all meat), some fruit and some vegetables. I cannot even tolerate butter or most nuts!

So I started researching and found out that what my stomach tolerates is consistent with Paleo diet to some degree. I have never read Dr. Cordain's book and not going to. I will only listen to my body. I learned it the hard way.

So, please, forget all those "diet Bibles" and eat only what makes you and your son feel good. We all are different. What is good for me, might not be good for you or your son and vise versa.

Good luck and I hope he feels better soon!

2
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:17 AM

Does your coconut milk have guar gum in it? That might be causing the diarrhea.
As far as eggs, buy from a good source and feed your son only the egg yolks either raw or barely cooked. That might be more easy to tolerate.
I know you said your child can't have milk, I assume you've tried raw milk? Raw milk has the enzymes necessary for digesting it, unlike pasteurized milk.
Even so, he can eat clarified butter, probably. That's when you remove the milk solids from butter. Intolerant people can have it safely.

However, you should also be feeding a lot of fatty meats, bone stocks, fatty fish... there are high-fat / low-protein fish and meat that your son can have, if high protein upsets him. Feed this to him at the same time you feed him bone stock and starchy vegetables or even green vegetables.

Also, how much is he snacking? What does he snack on?

2
D5dff6376e17373751ccf4a10aaa0b34

(274)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:06 AM

I wouldn't limit yourself to just paleo, if he does great on grains, give him grains. I don't experiment with my daughter, I let her chose what she eats generally. I think this helps avoid psychological issues around food later on and really reduces the stress around eating. I give her healthy choices and she generally takes them enough that she is very healthy. It sounds like you and your child are stressed out, that could really be affecting things too. Don't obsess, just take on a positive outlook, comfort him, and try playing around with excluding and introducing in a methodical and incremental way. As you say, it could be a virus and a whole lot of coincidence. So, skip the dogma and be patient, positive, listen, and observe. He will probably be fine. If you are not familiar with the symptoms, call your doctor and see what they think, it could be obvious.

D5dff6376e17373751ccf4a10aaa0b34

(274)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:57 AM

I'm not suggesting garbage, or allowing him to drink detergent, just don't replace common sense/observation with dogma. If he wants oatmeal, beans, or things not "paleo", then let him have some. There are many kinds of issues around food, and it sounds like this might be stressful for both of them, so i'm suggesting they eliminate the stress about diet theory and just go on common sense. I agree with you not to let anyone have something from McDonalds!:)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:31 AM

Have to disagree. The psychological issues around food are McDonalds as a "reward", or ice cream for being good. There is nothing wrong with only offering quality nutrition to a three year old who depends entirely on our good judgement. No experimentation needed if all you offer is real food that excludes detrimental grains, sugars, and oils.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:23 AM

I would work on it from the point of an elimination diet. Gaps/SCD is fine to utilize, but if you think there are certain elements...ie eggs, coconut milk (which can contain carrageenan) eliminate the possible foods completely for thirty days then slowly reintroduce. Its a process, but well worth it.

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 14, 2012
at 01:02 PM

Thank you! I had already done that with the egg , even waited 3 months at some point but he always reacts. The coconut milk is just coconut and water :)

1
C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:49 PM

Could this be a "die off" kind of thing? You know how adults experience the "atkins flu" type of thing?

Eating a whole food diet is infinitely better than eating any processed foods. As you say that your son has some intolerances/allergies, I wonder if an SCD/GAPs style diet for a week or two would help?

FWIW, I intend to do this for my kids, but I'm not too organised...

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:11 PM

Yes it could be! But it´s not very nice to watch.. where would i get info about those diets? Thank you :)

0
5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

on January 13, 2012
at 09:49 PM

Oh I forgot to say he had a metallic breath the last week which went away today! i am worried about diabetes or something like that!

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:09 AM

isn't that due to ketosis? are you sure he is getting enough carbs?

D5dff6376e17373751ccf4a10aaa0b34

(274)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:20 AM

yeah, that can happen with ketosis. Sounds like the kid is getting a lot of fruit though, so shouldn't be there. Could also be a cold. For sure do not diagnose that as diabetes, could be a bunch of stuff including just bad breath! Call your doctor if you have even a tiny question about what it could be. Message boards are of limited help here.

5cc1ca8eacc4475c79fe6e1e84665d93

(70)

on January 14, 2012
at 01:03 PM

No I am pretty sure he isn´t in ketosis - as my post below we went the docs and he has got tonsillitis. That´s where the breath must have come from..

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