Pregnancy, raising paleo babies and concerns

by (343) Updated July 11, 2011 at 1:34 PM Created July 09, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Okay. I am in the process of trying to become pregnant. For the past two years, I haven't had any dairy, wheat, gluten or soy. For the past 30 days, I have been strict Paleo.

If I remain strict Paleo while pregnant, and while breastfeeding, are there any potential pitfalls for my future children? Let me explain:

If my child is only on a paleo diet when born and when a toddler, and he/she accidentally has some dairy or wheat, will he/she have a bad allergic reaction?

For those of you with children, how do you raise a paleo-child and keep them safe from poisonous foods. Are you're children strict paleo? Or do you let them make their own food choices and let them have cake/pizza as birthday parties, etc?

Oh, the reason I don't eat dairy is because of an intolerance (gas, hives, eczema, hair loss).

Thanks for your help.

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12 Replies

3916 · July 09, 2011 at 5:19 PM

I've debated how to answer this because I don't want to come off as preachy, but I really think it's okay to allow them the occasional birthday cake, etc. It's so easy for a child to feel like an outsider if they can't partake of these normal childhood activities and I don't think a piece of cake once in a blue moon is going to kill them. As long as they learn overall good habits I think they will grow up healthy.

183 · July 09, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Keeping kids paleo is way too much work, in my experience. We try to keep their diet as paleo as possible at home (ie baby is fed on grass-fed butter mixed with squash, bananas, carrots, not crap like rice cakes), but controlling the snacks at school, birthday parties, and other outings would mean way too much fighting & restriction with our independent, sweet-loving 5-year old. Basically, it's really easy to control what they eat in our environment, really hard to do it in other environments, so we do it where it's easy but not where it's hard.

I admire parents who raise their kids fully paleo, like I admire parents who homeschool their kids and teach them lots of awesome things, but the amount of time & energy required for these is more than I choose to give to parenting.

1771 · July 09, 2011 at 9:32 PM

If I could go back and eat paleo throughout my pregnancies I so, so would.

As for kids & paleo, we eat mainly paleo at home, but the kids do have a few things that aren't quite paleo too. My 3yo understands that done foods are good and others not so much. I read somewhere (here or a blog) that someone told their kids that foods made then strong or weak. This works with my DD & I hope as she gets older, she will be able to make the decisions by herself. Her favourite foods are bacon, lamb & potatoes and she'd prefer fruit to sweets. I can't complain!

The reason we came to a paleo way of eating is because I have diabetes & my DS has food allergy issues & we found that he started to put on weight (he's small for his age) when I cut carbs from my diet. He has started to thrive without dairy too.

Tonight, we went to a friends house for a party/BBQ. I took along 100% burgers & gluten free sausages for me & him. Good job as almost every single item of food contained wheat, spart from the butter & pickles!

However, I did buy some small cherry bakewell tarts for my kids to eat instead of the wheat based cupcakes on offer. FWIW, if I had more time I'd have made the cakes myself. They're young now & I can control a lot of what they eat, but I'm going that they will understand more and make the right choices for themselves.

I think laying a good foundation is better than not trying at all iyswim.

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4873 · July 09, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Personally I think letting them go Non-Paleo once in a while would be a great way to teach them to listen to their body.

I can remember having symptoms at 9 that I now attribute to gluten. Although I was raised on Non Pasturized Whole milk, whole grains, Super Granola (homemade, of course), Veggie Lifestyle, I never felt restricted or damaged by the fact that we didn't have Turkey at Thanksgiving or any other ritualistic behaviors. It actually made me quite independent in my decision-making, hence I am here.

It is good to be different. Why be a sheep when you can be a wolf on the periphery.

285 · July 09, 2011 at 7:56 PM

I don't think that you can really enforce a paleo lifestyle on your children, without them having major issues that arise from going to a friend's house, snacks at school, etc. That being said, when I make food, I try to keep the basic concepts of raw veggies and non-hormonal meats.

My youngest is naturally inclined to eat eggs and bacon for breakfast, while my oldest doesn't think that breakfast without toast is breakfast at all. I make her Ezekiel toast (as a compromise) with honey on it. It's all about trying to teach them the basics, while allowing them to at least enjoy the (terrible for you) joys of being a kid. I ate cake as a kid, and I still managed to recover.

10194 · July 09, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Great question. We have a toddler who eats Paleo --- and yesterday celebrating a birthday we gave him some (non-Paleo) chocolate bday cake. Guess who was up all night crying because his tummy hurt?


Wasnt too happy with myself last night & this AM.

2741 · July 09, 2011 at 5:08 PM

We switched to paleo shortly after my son's first birthday. I do my best to protect him from gluten exposure, but he's only 18 months and he still eats stuff he finds on the floor. He's had bad diarrhea from gluten exposure and he's swiped another toddler's cracker before I could stop him, eaten it, and had no reaction. It's different for everyone, but I don't see any downside at all to a paleo pregnancy and raising a paleo kid. I've observed other kids my son's age and their crazy mood swings, sugar highs and lows, and aggressive behavior and I can't help but wonder how much of it is related to their diet of processed food.

1548 · July 10, 2011 at 6:31 AM

We have 4 kids, the last one conceived and raised 100% off of the SAD. SHe is 6 months old now and her first solid food was some chewed up ribeye. Hers was the easiest of the 4 pregnancies, the fastest and easiest of the births, and the healthiest baby of the bunch. That is saying something because all of them were healthy. I actually delivered #4 and here eyes opened as soon as she was out. If you think that is neat I gotta tell you the story about how my wife had to coach some dummy how to deliver her kid while she was giving birth.

Kid #3 had rashes, #2 has stomach and bathroom issues, and #1 had behavior issues, all of them have benefitted from going with whole foods. We don't necessarily go low carb with them, they can have sweet potatoes and sometimes regular potatoes, and peas and carrots and the like.

My kids keep themselves away from bad foods. My son knows how he reacts to sugar, my daughters know what grains do to them and they are happy and satisfied knowing that they can have all the meat, cheese, fruits and veggies they could ever want. They don't have any interest in sandwiches or donuts and don't care about pasta. THey have spent the bulk of their lives just eating the good stuff and none of the killer filler crap foods.

11555 · July 10, 2011 at 12:30 AM

If I could go back 30+ years I would raise my daughter completely paleo at home, but allow her to make her own choices when at friends etc. Even small children will notice that their family eats differently than others. Give them the reasons and your advice, but let them make their own choices when outside the home. Natural consequences may teach them what works or doesn't.

I personally found that a complete ban on candy did not work for my child when it was revealed that a neighbor was secretly feeding her candy, since "kid's NEED to have sweets." I regret over reacting to my daughter which just made her feel guilty for no purpose. On the other hand I'm don't regret my words to the neighbor who thought she had the right to correct what she saw as my errors in parenting. But kids will eat sweets when out and about by their own choice.

The ultimate results though are that my now 30+ daughter eats pretty healthily since she was raised that way at home (at least according to the CW of the day). She eats lots of veg, fish and little sweets, although not paleo.

547 · July 11, 2011 at 1:34 PM

My ten month old has been Paleo since day one. I am finally relaxing a tad -she had like one bite of ice cream- however she has never eaten grains or bad oils. Where I have had cheat meals, she has had essentially none. However, when the time comes for birthday parties and the like, I am not going to be hovering over her. I figure she will be eating under my roof for some years to come. I don't feel it is any harder to keep my kid paleo. If anything it helps me adhere better because we eat the exact same thing at meals.

361 · July 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I am pretty lax about what my kids eat out of my home. If it isn't something that will upset their tummy (no juice for the 2 year old), I will let them have it. Home is another matter. I buy and prepare all the food. Since everything is good for them, they pick their own snacks and they are free to eat whatever part of the meal they choose.

when my kids birthday's roll around, I dont make a big deal about serving healthy food. but, I do take a bit of ribbing from friends about my gluten free cupcakes.

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