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Transition foods.... from cereal to Paleo for children

by (95)
Updated about 1 hour ago
Created April 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Hello,

I have been Paleo/Primal since Nov'11 and am transitioning my family over. My children are young (6 1/2, 5 and 3 1/2) and are addicted to cereal.

(I don't buy the sugar-bomb cereal - but it's still grains)

Anyway.... am looking for ideas for transition food to get my children OFF grains and fully onto Paleo / Primal.

Any ideas?

Thank you

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95 · April 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM

paleo cereal - LOVE IT (this may be my key) thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!

Cef91a15e379e984aefefb06209da44d
95 · April 17, 2012 at 6:38 PM

these are great; thanks!!!

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11557 · April 17, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Exact question asked here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/83819/help-me-transition-my-daughter-off-of-oatmeal-granola-in-the-morning/83844#83844

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11152 · April 17, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Might try fruit and heavy cream instead :)

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547 · April 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM

+1 for all at once. I remember my mom saying "when you buy the groceries...". A skipped meal let's a kid practice some independence and willpower while facing a non-budging parent. They won't starve to death. ;)

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95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

thank you, great ideas!

Cef91a15e379e984aefefb06209da44d
95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

tried yogurt - met with resistence-- will try, try again. Thanks

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95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM

fantastic- will try thanks

Cef91a15e379e984aefefb06209da44d
95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I try to feed them grains at as few meals as I can (I have reduced my buying of such but need to STOP completely - then I can't give them what I don't have...) thank you for these ideas

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95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM

great idea - I'll try it -- thanks!

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1115 · April 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

This. When I was on the SAD I LOVED me some apple cinnamon oatmeal. Mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon hits the spot and I swear I'm eating the same bowl of warm comfort for b-fast! If I start eating fruit again, I'm betting adding apples will make me forget all about my former love.

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495 · April 17, 2012 at 1:11 PM

...I never forced him to eat though, but if he did not want to be hungry, the food I served was his only option. Sometimes he would play for an hour or two and then decide that eggs were worth not being hungry anymore. Now he just eats them right away. Constant rules, that are not bent, in an encouraging and understanding environment is all that is needed. Kids will learn to eat almost anything if presented to them often enough in the right way.

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495 · April 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Last summer I just started making scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast every day. My sons were then 1 1/2 and 5 1/2. The younger one did not mind at all but the older one cried for quite a few days. He was seriously addicted to grains. I showed him empathy but was rigid in my decision not to feed them grains anymore and explained it to him multiple times. Eventually he gave up and now he will happily sing to himself "I love scrambled eggs" when I bring him his breakfast. The bacon really helps and at first he would only eat that. They still need the ketchup though, but only get a little...

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9 Answers

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3808 · April 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM

You can take a gradual approach, or do it all at once. Some people do better one way, some do better the other.

Start introducing meals where you either don't have cereal, or start serving cereal (preferably a gluten-free type, such as most of the Chex cereals or Rice Crispies) as intended - a small serving as part of a balanced breakfast, not a complete meal in itself. That gets them used to the idea of things other than cereal as breakfast food.

When introducing other foods, start with familiar paleo-friendly breakfast foods such as bacon and eggs, grain-free pancakes/waffles/baked goods, or fruit and gradually introduce other things to whatever level of non-standardness you prefer.

Keep in mind that kids tend to be more sensitive to texture and flavor and less open to new things than adults. I'm not sure how well the sweet potato or nut/coconut "cereal" are going to go over with kids who are used to regular cereal. Those may be better to wait on until they've been paleo for a while. Or gradually add it to gluten-free cereal in increasing quantities - start with it basically as a garnish, and gradually increase the percentage of non-cereal until it makes up most or all of the serving.

Another thing you can do is serve paleo-friendly food that they already like for breakfast, regardless of whether it is traditional "breakfast" food.

And I agree with coffeeandcream - just serve what you're going to serve and be firm about it. The kids will eat when they're hungry, especially if you're serving something reasonably tasty.

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547 · April 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM

+1 for all at once. I remember my mom saying "when you buy the groceries...". A skipped meal let's a kid practice some independence and willpower while facing a non-budging parent. They won't starve to death. ;)

Cef91a15e379e984aefefb06209da44d
95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I try to feed them grains at as few meals as I can (I have reduced my buying of such but need to STOP completely - then I can't give them what I don't have...) thank you for these ideas

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3162 · April 17, 2012 at 2:09 PM

A really good transition cereal substitute is sliced almonds and flaked coconut. Add berries (blueberries are really good) or sliced bananas and whatever "milk" you will let them have, whether dairy milk or coconut milk, etc. A little nutmeg or cinnamon is good too.

The sliced almonds and coconut chips give the same mouth feel as the cereal flakes, plus a natural sweetness. It's really tasty. I would give them a very small bowl of that plus something more nutritious like scrambled eggs.

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95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM

great idea - I'll try it -- thanks!

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14877 · April 17, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Hey. So I will eat this post workout every once in a blue moon, and it's so good and carb filled. Cook a sweet potato and mash it with unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon. put it into a cereal bowl. Pour some coconut milk that has been mixed with a little vanilla whey protein powder over it. It's like a porridge consistency, sweet, and carb-ie.

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1115 · April 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

This. When I was on the SAD I LOVED me some apple cinnamon oatmeal. Mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon hits the spot and I swear I'm eating the same bowl of warm comfort for b-fast! If I start eating fruit again, I'm betting adding apples will make me forget all about my former love.

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95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM

fantastic- will try thanks

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11152 · April 17, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Bacon, sausage, and eggs? Frittatas? Yogurt and fruit? I've made little breakfast cups out of prosciutto in a cupcake tin, cracked open an egg into it, topped with mozzarella and seasonings. Really tasty! And you can make them the night before so you can serve them on the go the next morning.

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95 · April 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

tried yogurt - met with resistence-- will try, try again. Thanks

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e
11152 · April 17, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Might try fruit and heavy cream instead :)

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15400 · April 17, 2012 at 5:22 PM

  1. mashed carrot + coconut oil, same with parsnips
  2. baked sweet potatoes, baked parsnips
  3. spaghetti squash, mashed pumpkin, mashed acorn squash
  4. colorful meals (combine cubed carrots, parsnips, beets and something green that they like). Kids love when things are multicolored. You can actually make funny faces with those colorful vegetables on mashed pumpkin. So they won't be eating carrots, they will be eating the nose or cheeks of the funny face.
  5. Chicken drumstick, chicken nuggets (in almond or coconut flakes), chicken everything. Like take chicken breast and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
  6. Kids love cute vegetables. Cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, things like that.
  7. kale chips
  8. fruit, berries, bananas

Good luck!

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95 · April 17, 2012 at 6:38 PM

these are great; thanks!!!

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0 · March 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM

I homeschool and have 4 kids between the ages of 5 and 11 (3 are boys!), so I have kids to feed ALL DAY LONG. I find that smoothies are a great quick option, that helps so that I don't have to live in the kitchen (which I do most days). I have also trained my kids to eat sardines. Also we don't eat pork, so I will make my own turkey sausage patties (which are pretty tasty). Another snack item I do for the kids are organic apples and almond butter. The website www.paleoparents.com has some great ideas for snacks and kid friendly meals. AS someone stated above, I also do the soaked/dehydrated nuts and make a type of "granola", which is yummy for those types of cravings. I do confess that I do keep stocked in my pantry organic gluten free oats, and a few other gluten free items such as buckwheat, and some Bob's Red Mill GF packaged items for JUST IN CASE. This is due to 1. I may not be here to cook at times and it is easier on my husband to cook for everyone 2. I like to have food stocked in the pantry for hard times, so if I can find bulk GF items at Costco (and bulk paleo items of course), I buy them. 3. For our grocery budget! We have one income, which doesn't go as far in today's economy (and food prices are rising). Otherwise our meals are simple. We spend the big bucks on quality eggs, beef, and poultry. We stock up on organic apples, and frozen organic berries (we live in Washington state so those 2 fruits are local to here). We also stock up on coconut oil (which Costco has been carrying Nutiva at a GREAT DEAL) and organic butter. We buy pickled herring, sardines, canned salmon, and tuna. We buy our almond butter at Costco. We buy almond flour & coconut flour in bulk online (and use sparingly). A few years ago, when it was discovered that my eldest child had autism (this is way before we knew about paleo or anything), we decided that we were not going to replace all of the junk food items he was addicted to like chicken nuggets, pizza, etc. (you know the junk) with healthier substitutions (too much work making your own nuggets and blending in the cabbage to hide it), instead we decided to have a throw down with our then 2 children to eat greens and stuff. This took 2 weeks of crying at the table, but it worked!! It helped that my husband was on board with it. Now all of my kids eat greens and salads with no dressings I might add. They even have to eat or at least take a bite of stuff that previously made them gag, just to be sure they don't like it all of a sudden (squash seems to be one of these that make my 2 youngest gag). I also keep the NON ORGANIC seedles, easy peel tangerines around as they are cheap and my 2 youngest boys are SNACK MASTERS. One thing I have found is that if you feed them enough fats and proteins they are less likely to want to snack all day. Deviled eggs are another stand by. Hope this rambling helps someone. Take care :0)

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2913 · September 10, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I know you're not asking for a list of breakfast foods for your kids so I won't give you that. I'm pretty lucky that my kids prefer sausage and eggs and bacon to cereal and I always had this theory that a hot breakfast would stick to their ribs more. That would be my mother talking. Anyway, I think I'd go with giving them something gluten free to start without a TON of ingredients in it. TJ's and WF have some pretty decent kid friendly stuff, but I'd also present the cereal with some Paleo options, like bacon, eggs, fruit, etc. Then insist they eat the Paleo stuff and then they can have the cereal. Hopefully they'll get used to the other stuff. Good luck!

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30 · September 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM

This may be too high calorie for your kids to eat every day but you could try Paleo Breakfast Bread.

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210 · April 17, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Also if they love the idea of cereal but you just want to be able to possible transition them quickly you could buy some paleo cereal http://stevesoriginal.com/cart/paleokrunch_cereal/

Cef91a15e379e984aefefb06209da44d
95 · April 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM

paleo cereal - LOVE IT (this may be my key) thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!

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