As someone who's recently gone paleo from a WAPF diet I have gradually decreased my own grain consumption to currently being gluten/grain free and feel a lot better myself, but I am still giving my kids sourdough, rice etc. I don't want them to think I am a complete food nazi (they already think I am obsessed with food!) or give them food issues (my sisters and I all had eating disorders) but I am happy they know what healthy food is. The problem is I am not totally convinced well-prepared grain is bad for those with healthy guts and they like bread - I also think kids need more carbs than adults (my two active ones certainly do) and potatoes are not too popular round here, neither are sweet potatoes although they like rice and I could do more rice noodles etc as I already buy rice pasta. Neither have any food allergies, illnesses, or even get sick very often, both very strong and healthy kids.
I just want to feed them as best a mother can so should I take them full paleo with safe starches and completely ditch bread at home or allow them a few slices of sourdough? Oh, my husband is not very supportive, thinks I am too strict already and buys them bagels when he's home at the weekend!
I try to view paleo as a diet of inclusion rather than exclusion. Include the things you should be eating in abundance and there will be less room for the things that you shouldnt be eating. Assuming you are relatively healthy, the damage is in the dose and without overt confrontation, you will have reduced their dose of the bad stuff.
Kids are more resilient, but they're also pickier and constantly growing. Their brains are still developing - they need calories. There are times when you've got to feed them whatever they'll eat. I probably would've thought differently before I became a parent - when you have a toddler whose eating habits often border on what looks like starvation, sometimes you've just got to do what works. I would never deprive my kid of food knowing he'd happily eat some rice.
Also, if you're feeding them properly prepared grains, you're doing legions better than most people, and perhaps setting up their guts to be healthy and grain-friendly for life. I read somewhere (don't recall where, so let's call this anecdotal) that we become averse to grains around age 30. Giving them grains prepared in a way that make them more digestible and make their nutrients more available is probably a lot better then giving them industrial bread.
Yes. I think you should. Your husband's opinion matters and if he thinks you are already too strict then why try a diet that is even more restrictive? Peace and happiness should not be undervalued. If your family thinks you are obsessed with food you need to listen to that especially given your own history of a disordered relationship with food. I don't think a few slices of sourdough bread should be allowed to cause disharmony within the family.
If you want to change then do it VERY gradually. Offer fewer and fewer grain choices over time. Look at some paleo bread options. I'd keep the rice. Maybe look at offering some buckwheat options (pancakes/cereal) as you start to drift from gluten grains? If potatoes aren't too popular perhaps you could try some new recipes? (just wondering if you are withholding fat or cooking them in such a way that they are not very tasty?) I've never met a kid who doesn't love mashed potatoes or hash browns or fries (even baked).
Good luck! (you are NOT a bad mother no matter what you decide here)
Well, my point-of-view is that kids are just little people. My little guy only gets what we eat, and that's pure paleo, no grains, no special kid food. He's doing really well, and since he can't go out and drive himself to the grocery store, he doesn't get to complain about the choices (though, he never has, and loves the food we give him).
I don't worry about the whole "eating disorder" problem by being so concerned about food. I believe it was in "Good Calories Bad Calories", but it could have been in one of the other books I read, I can't remember exactly. But it's the wheat messing with your dopamine signalling that often drives people into eating disorders, especially anorexia. There were a bunch of studies quoted where getting people off the grains caused dramatic turn arounds in anorexia because their brain chemistry normalized.
So since he's not getting any grains or other "stuff you can eat" only gets real food, I'm not too concerned. Plus he's growing crazy fast and getting super strong, and hasn't been sick EVER (he's been 100% paleo since birth, and mom was 100% paleo for pregnancy). I think if food is good for me, it's good for him; likewise, if it's bad for me, it's bad for him. If I wouldn't eat something because I consider it poison (after reading the science), then why would I give it to my kid?
How old are you kiddos? Mine are almost 6, 3 and 1 and we've been paleo (or at least, gluten free) for the past few years. I think you've just got to do your best. I agree wholeheartedly with Jessica - especially if you're the only one in your family eating this way! That's just going to make it exponentially harder.
Soaked and fermented grains are better than what most people are eating! If you're already fighting an uphill battle, give yourself a break. Those are my two cents.
But also, try to include as much good stuff as possible!
I tried the WAPF diet but it just didn't work for me, because of the grains, even if "properly" prepared, so I am full-on Paleo. No grains at all, no corn, and almost no refined sugar of any kind (even honey).
My kids (7 and 9) would never deal with my diet. I do think that kids have different metabolisms than middle aged men like me so that is probably ok. They also have different tastes due to probably legitimate evolutionary reasons (avoid bitter vegetables due to toxicity, favor quick and easy calories and lots of small snacks/meals).
I don't push my diet on my kids or family but I do set some guidelines. We don't ever have fat-free or fake foods in the house, everything is full fat, and made from good fats. 90% of the cooking is with good fats. I never buy bread, pasta, or any processed foods, though my wife might (she is not paleo). I make it a point to make "safe" starches (sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice) as often as possible. We have large portions of vegetables with every dinner and insist that the kids have at least 3 or 4 bites of greens with every dinner.
These subtle changes have really changed their diets. We now have pasta once every week or two instead of 3-4x per week as we used to. They rarely have bread at home. Both of my kids love crispy roasted kale which we now have several times per week. They enjoy the safe starches (who hates a roasted potato with butter?). My son has even taken a liking to liver. They are not paleo, but i think are hittingg many of the high points with occasional "cheats", maybe they are 60% paleo which is a lot better than most of their peers who are 0%
However, they still get some treats and snacks and i make them chocolate chip pancakes every now and then. They know from me that this is a treat and not great for them but they are allowed to eat it for now, and i hope that this will cause them to make good food choices as they grow up.