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Do you feed your child paleo and where do you draw the line?

by (15)
Updated about 22 hours ago
Created November 12, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I have a 17 month old daughter who goes to daycare 2 days a week. I developed Crohn's disease about 4 years ago, and after years of being in constant flares, lots of medication and following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (basically GAPS and similar to Paleo), I finally got things under control after I had my baby. For me, I feel like the key to my finally not flaring was seriously reducing my workouts. I follow a paleo diet now, and still take some basic medication but thankfully have been in remission now for over a year and a half. My dad had Ulcerative Colitis, so I know at least part of my developing Crohn's was genetic.

So far I've only given my daughter paleo foods, and I bring her lunch and snacks to her daycare. She doesn't seem to notice much now that her food is different, but I know eventually she'll realize she's not eating the same foods as the other kids. I'm wondering for those of you who have kids, how diligent are you with feeding your children paleo, and is there a point where you just let your kids eat what they want?

I don't want my daughter to develop an eating disorder, and I don't want her to feel different than the other kids, but I do worry that she has the genes that could make her susceptible to Crohn's, so I'd like to try and do what I can to prevent her from developing it.

At home I plan on continuing to make paleo foods, but I wonder when she's older and especially when she goes to school if I should just let her eat what she wants outside of home. Any suggestions or ideas of what has worked for you?

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1097 · November 12, 2013 at 11:48 PM

plus 1. The worst thing my parents could ever do was *tell* me. The things I've learned from them and have incorporated most in my life have been things they've shown me. Explanations accepted, force or being upset... definitely not so much. Usually when I did 'wrong' things it was because I thought they were wrong, anyway.

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1312 · November 13, 2013 at 6:55 AM

you are not going to win them all. You just have to win enough. Be firm and consistent at home. I got enough out of it that my daughter ( going to college in 2 years) will eat eggs, parmesan, broth, and some vegetables every day.

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15 · November 13, 2013 at 5:15 AM

I feed my sons a mostly paleo diet. They eat candy sometimes, or other junk when their mom or another family member thinks it appropriate (I'm the only one who tries to eat paleo all the time), but I make sure to try and offset it with meals of high quality. Is this optimal? Absolutely not. If I had my way, my kids would be butter-guzzling, beef-gnawing machines. But when they see their mom eating junk from time to time, there's really no way for me to convince them that processed foods don't taste good or are bad. Because, you know, processed foods do taste good. They're hyperpalatable by nature, and growing taste buds are easily seduced.

Do the best you can. Even if you keep their diet paleo at home, they'll eventually grow up and have to face the "dark side" of food. If you instill an appreciation of whole foods in them from a young age, then perhaps it'll serve them well in the future. Or maybe they'll come to patronize McBeetus with frequency. It's impossible to say, and as a parent, you can only do so much. Don't stress over it. Sounds like you're doing your part.

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208 · November 12, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Eventually you can't control what they eat. The best you can do is provide a quality meal at home and same for what they take to daycare or school. At some point they might rebel, but eventually I think most will realize that eating good real food is better tasting and better for health. Forcing kids to adhere to a strict Paleo diet might backfire. I grew up with friends who's parents never allowed them to have soda and of course as adults they drank soda all the time. I was the other way, and drank soda as a kid and never touch it as an adult.

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1097 · November 12, 2013 at 11:48 PM

plus 1. The worst thing my parents could ever do was *tell* me. The things I've learned from them and have incorporated most in my life have been things they've shown me. Explanations accepted, force or being upset... definitely not so much. Usually when I did 'wrong' things it was because I thought they were wrong, anyway.

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