My new years resolution is to move my kids towards a more paleo style diet in 2011. My kids range in age from 8 to 14. I have one child with mild autisim and another with ADD, so that's the primary motivation driving this change.
They currently eat the SAD rich in grains & legumes, omega-6 PUFAs, and HFCS & other sugars.
The switch to paleo 3+ years ago was easy for me, but my kids (and wife) need more variety. I'm off to a good start with dinner & breakfast, but they are still eating the SAD for lunch and snacks.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for kid friendly meals or snacks, I would love to hear them!
I would think this is a great time to experiment with the "paleo baking" type stuff. It really helped me transition to have brownies and pumpkin bars and carrot cake cookies as snacks. The ingredients were all "paleo". That way they can have something sweet and it's miles better than a Hostess or Little Debbie type snack. I eventually didn't need them anymore, but it made me feel less deprived during the transition.
We eat things like egg salad and chicken salad in a half green pepper shell or on portobello mushrooms instead of on bread.
Lunchmeat rolls with cheese and bacon in the middle are a great quick snack.
Hard boiled eggs are super easy too. I make a dozen every week and just keep them in a bowl in the fridge.
Cut up melon with strawberries and blueberries is a delicious snack. I know we worry about too much fruit, but again it's better than traditional snacks when we are talking about kids.
Veggie snacks like cucumbers, carrot sticks, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and the like are great even with a ranch dip or something to talk them into it.
Hi, have you checked out the site pecanbread? While not paleo, it is all about supporting the nutritional needs of kids with special needs. I believe the diet is SDC (specific carbohydrate diet) from the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. No grains, lactose, potatoes, and so on. If you haven't checked pecanbread out, it may be a helpful resource that will support your paleo groove. Ideas from other parents may be helpful. As an early interventionist who has worked with young children on the spectrum, I send you my best wishes for happy meal times together.
If you can pack smoothies (as in thermoses), that might be an attractive option to initially reluctant kids. Also try fatty dips (guacamole, creme fraiche, etc.) with dippable crudites or nuts. Trail mix is another popular option.
Involve your kids in selecting and packing their items as much as possible for "buy in". Take your changes gradually, too if you sense resistance. Good luck with your resolution!
If you need further inspiration, I post pics and details about my daughter's packed lunchbox lunches three times per week here.
Bacon, cheese, and heavy cream are all great for showing people paleo can taste good. Heavy cream with berries is great, as is ice cream made with heavy cream, egg yolks, and stevia. Bacon slices actually make a good lunch too, as does cheese.
While these might not be paleo in the strictest sense of the word, they are certainly better than rice krispies and will probably help the transition.
everydaypaleo.com is awesome for food ideas!
For snacks: a small bag of nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate (maybe nibs), and shaved dried coconut from tropical traditions is awesome
Also, you can grab a dehydrator from the bass pro shop for about $50 and make jerky and your own dried fruit without added sugar.
I can ussually cajole my kids (4,6,7) to eat all the vegetables and meat on their plates with the promise of banana "icecream". Slice banans, put in freezer for a few hours, put in food processor for about 5 minutes (you have to keep scraping the sides down every so often) and it turns into softserve "icecream". You can add berries or peaches to alter the flavor. It is a great natural dessert with no added sugar for my skinny little high metabolism boys.