1

votes

Young paleo children?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 02, 2010 at 11:05 PM

We have a 5 ?? year old daughter. For the most part, she eats what we eat but she???s pretty picky so we make some minor modifications and exceptions. The main exceptions are gluten free waffles (w/ maple syrup), rice, beans, potatoes and some chocolate. Gluten bothers her stomach so we???ve already eliminated everything with gluten as well as most dairy. She eats pretty often, but never a lot at a time and is rail thin (48??? tall and 42 lbs). We try to get her to eat more at meals but she gets full but is hungry again in an hour. That being said she has good muscle tone and is always playing and active so she burns tons of calories. I???m thinking that given her activity level and weight she should be eating more carbs, but I don???t want to go overboard. Any paleo parents out there have any suggestions on getting kids to eat more as well as recommendations on kid friendly food ideas? We???re not trying to fatten her up; I just want to make sure she gets everything she needs.

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on November 10, 2010
at 07:22 AM

I'd give you more than one vote up if I could. Excellent advice from this mom of 4.

2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on November 04, 2010
at 04:24 AM

Dale, your kids are very active -- you can err on the side of trying to get more protein & fat in them, but you'll need to monitor them to find out if they truly do need more carbohydrates in their diets. You'll know if they act a bit "loopy". I'm not a huge advocate of "gluten free" processed crackers, waffles, etc. I'd rather see root vegetables. BUT, you know what she'll eat. You might try topping her waffles with roasted sweet potato puree and see if she likes it. then you might be able to ween off the processed carbs in favor of vegetables & fruits.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 06:02 PM

Well said. You described her very well. She's daddy's girl and an only child so I tend to over think things a bit. :-) Thanks.

72cf28e37a38f43991566df2409ae750

on November 03, 2010
at 04:58 PM

Having a 5 year old who is a picky eater and a two year old who isn't, my experience is not ensuring that my kids eat enough carbs but instead to try to limit the carbs so they'll eat protein and fat. I don't think there is a minimum amount of carbs kids need to eat, so it's probably optimal to make sure your daughter has plenty of real foods to eat and not worry so much about the macronutrient profile.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 03, 2010
at 04:46 PM

Seeds don't want to be digested. But most of them are fine with passing undigested and getting deposited somewhere. ;-)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on November 03, 2010
at 02:56 PM

If there was any evidence of pomegranate seeds being deleterious to one's health, I'm open to reading it! Would probably make me reconsider the 1 to 3 pomegranates that I consume annually.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on November 03, 2010
at 02:55 PM

Until now I had never read anything about pomegranate seeds (also called arils) being bad to eat - in fact my first exposure to the idea of eating them fresh was Mark's Daily Apple. Actually, since the arils are surrounded by a pouch of juice and fiber, it was analagous to me to eating strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. - all of whose seeds we inevitably eat when we eat the fruit. MDA on eating pomegranate seeds fresh: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/eat-with-your-hands-recipes/ MDA on the antioxidant content: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/health-benefits-of-cranberries/

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on November 03, 2010
at 08:55 AM

@familygrokumentarian -- why do you think pomegranate seeds are healthy? If anything, eating pom seeds is probably not Paleo. Generally speaking, seeds don't want to be eaten, ergo their toxins/defenses.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 12:51 AM

She used to love eggs but I think she got sick of them...maybe we'll try making deviled eggs together.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 12:46 AM

Mmmmm, blueberry smoothie. We'll definitely have to try some of these. Thanks for the tips!

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 12:07 AM

Thanks for the thoughtful answer Cheryl. Let me clarify a bit. Besides the exceptions I listed above she does eat what we eat for the most part. She always takes a “courtesy” bite of whatever we have and her favorite meal is pork chops, broccoli and carrots. I think her problem is that she doesn't want to sit still long enough to eat as much as she should. :-) Maybe I got too scattered in my original question. My biggest concern is related to carbs. Should we intentionally feed young, active kids more carbs than we eat and if so, what are some ideas for the most paleo way to do it?

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5 Answers

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6
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 03, 2010
at 04:36 AM

I am not sure you should worry too much about thinness as long as she is healthy. In my family, I have seen them skinny as a fence post on all kinds of diets, including carby diets. When they are young that is. Seems like some kids are just on the skinny side. If I was you, I would simply observe if the child is healthy and active compared to others her age. If she does not get sick much and is strong and smart, then perhaps it isn't broke and so does not need fixing. If you look at the younger stages of most animals, smaller meals more often is common. If I were you, what I'd concentrate on is making sure that she gets sufficient of all nutrients. Fitday.com is good for that. And I would feed her a variety of healthy nutrient dense foods and get her into good habits now. And it sounds like you are already doing that. As long as her natural hunger is driving her to eat sufficient amounts of food, then I see no real problem. Kinda sounds like she eats to live more than she lives to eat. This can be a very healthy mindset.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 06:02 PM

Well said. You described her very well. She's daddy's girl and an only child so I tend to over think things a bit. :-) Thanks.

5
2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on November 02, 2010
at 11:33 PM

Full disclosure -- I am not a parent.

However whenever I see "{xxx}-friendly food" as a descriptor, I have to respond. I am a nutritionist and I firmly believe food is food. Asking for "kid-friendly" food typically assumes that kids won't eat what you eat. Aside from alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs, your kids can do what you do, with smaller portions. Do you agree?

That said, think about how she was fed from infancy to this point, and ask yourself if you would have eaten those things, albeit maybe not pureed.

Best bet from other parents I've counseled as well as my own experience from MY parents ... eat real food, provide them options to choose from, figure out if picky eating is due to taste, texture, temperature or some combo of that, and move on.

Kids will eat WAY more than we give them credit for, and usually do when foods are in abundance (meaning easy to get to, and they're permitted to eat until they're full), nobody is pressuring them to eat in a certain way or within a certain time frame (wolfing down breakfast because they're late for school, for example).

Suggestions - get her involved in selecting foods at the store (or growing stuff if you're up to it), and start involving her in food preparation. If she's a mature 5 1/2 YO, she can learn to use a knife, stir things in bowls or pots on stoves. You'll probably want to wait until she 8-ish before allowing her access to the oven.

Let her try things and tell her taste is important, so trying things out helps to know if the preparation needs adjusting. Within a year you'll know if she's going to be a skinny picky eater for a while, or if you just need to experiment more with texture & temperature to be certain she likes/dislikes, allergic/non-allergic, prefers raw/cooked or how prepared (sauteed/roasted/baked, etc.).

It's a process, but can be really fun for you and your child.

2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on November 04, 2010
at 04:24 AM

Dale, your kids are very active -- you can err on the side of trying to get more protein & fat in them, but you'll need to monitor them to find out if they truly do need more carbohydrates in their diets. You'll know if they act a bit "loopy". I'm not a huge advocate of "gluten free" processed crackers, waffles, etc. I'd rather see root vegetables. BUT, you know what she'll eat. You might try topping her waffles with roasted sweet potato puree and see if she likes it. then you might be able to ween off the processed carbs in favor of vegetables & fruits.

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on November 10, 2010
at 07:22 AM

I'd give you more than one vote up if I could. Excellent advice from this mom of 4.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 12:07 AM

Thanks for the thoughtful answer Cheryl. Let me clarify a bit. Besides the exceptions I listed above she does eat what we eat for the most part. She always takes a “courtesy” bite of whatever we have and her favorite meal is pork chops, broccoli and carrots. I think her problem is that she doesn't want to sit still long enough to eat as much as she should. :-) Maybe I got too scattered in my original question. My biggest concern is related to carbs. Should we intentionally feed young, active kids more carbs than we eat and if so, what are some ideas for the most paleo way to do it?

72cf28e37a38f43991566df2409ae750

on November 03, 2010
at 04:58 PM

Having a 5 year old who is a picky eater and a two year old who isn't, my experience is not ensuring that my kids eat enough carbs but instead to try to limit the carbs so they'll eat protein and fat. I don't think there is a minimum amount of carbs kids need to eat, so it's probably optimal to make sure your daughter has plenty of real foods to eat and not worry so much about the macronutrient profile.

0
8f1ee9463e27045b41dcbc4a11e4719c

on November 03, 2010
at 05:49 PM

As the mom of two gymnast, one of which that is the National Trampoline champion right now ( Sorry, proud mama moment) I have always dealt with the can't sit still long enough to eat thing. Both girls were very small, very active, and very healthy. I always based my decisions about their eating habits and activity levels, on their overall heath. If they were fending off sickness and maintaining that energy through out the day then I did not think of adding anything special to their diet. Now they are teens, who are eating Paleo, Crossfitting 4 days a week, and competetive gymnasts at the top of their game....so still active and most definatly still small!

0
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on November 03, 2010
at 12:40 AM

For my almost-11-month-old and my 3.5-year-old, I have found that coconut milk and blueberry smoothies (I often use wild frozen blueberries) are universally celebrated, and a nice source of nourishing calories.

Besides fattier smoothies, caloric dips can also be a good option. Think guacamole, creme fraiche, spinach-artichoke dip, etc.

Finger foods are always a winner, too, as I'm sure that you've already discovered. Pomegranate seeds, avocado slices, macadamia nuts, grain-free granola bars, sweet potato fries (perfect'em in this PaleoHacks thread), D-I-Y miniquiches that the kids can assemble themselves.

The easier it is to eat, and the more involved they were in making it, the higher your odds of success, in my opinion. :)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on November 03, 2010
at 02:55 PM

Until now I had never read anything about pomegranate seeds (also called arils) being bad to eat - in fact my first exposure to the idea of eating them fresh was Mark's Daily Apple. Actually, since the arils are surrounded by a pouch of juice and fiber, it was analagous to me to eating strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. - all of whose seeds we inevitably eat when we eat the fruit. MDA on eating pomegranate seeds fresh: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/eat-with-your-hands-recipes/ MDA on the antioxidant content: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/health-benefits-of-cranberries/

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on November 03, 2010
at 08:55 AM

@familygrokumentarian -- why do you think pomegranate seeds are healthy? If anything, eating pom seeds is probably not Paleo. Generally speaking, seeds don't want to be eaten, ergo their toxins/defenses.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 03, 2010
at 04:46 PM

Seeds don't want to be digested. But most of them are fine with passing undigested and getting deposited somewhere. ;-)

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 12:46 AM

Mmmmm, blueberry smoothie. We'll definitely have to try some of these. Thanks for the tips!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on November 03, 2010
at 02:56 PM

If there was any evidence of pomegranate seeds being deleterious to one's health, I'm open to reading it! Would probably make me reconsider the 1 to 3 pomegranates that I consume annually.

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on November 03, 2010
at 12:15 AM

As a parent of three one being a very picky eater, I have tried the "getting them involved" & some time's it does not help. We have grown our own, let them help prepare, and assist in food selection etc. For my picky eater, I give her plenty of what she does like. Keep trying, things always change as they grow older.

I feel very lucky all my kids like eggs, and especially deviled eggs. They help me prepare it and we do our little taste test along the way.

Also, If you find a veggie she likes, I would load up on that for the time being and add butter and/or hollandaise sauce for added calories & fat. This looks like an easy recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/hollandaise-sauce-recipe/index.html

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 03, 2010
at 12:51 AM

She used to love eggs but I think she got sick of them...maybe we'll try making deviled eggs together.

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