I have questions relating to feeding my family.
I have been Paleo since the end of May. I continue to educate myself and fine tune and find it impacting the way I want to feed my family-- Which is a great thing, but a hard sell :-) I'm married and have 3 kids (6, 4.5 and 2)
Having to do with my husband: There is no way that he has the mental or emotional fortitude (or the desire, for that matter) to go Paleo at this point. He has a good amount of weight to lose and I think would benefit from the mental and physical benefits apart from weight loss. But I'm not into trying to make him do anything. He's open to being conscious of carb intake, but not in limiting any particular foods (grains, dairy, etc). He's probably scared by what he sees me doing (Strict Paleo with Autoimmune restrictions). He has been open to eating what I give him and hasn't complained at all, but he supplements heavily with SAD treat food. Generally I can fix him breakfast, sometimes lunch and I mostly prepare a Paleo Dinner for everyone. What I don't control is snacks and what he eats when he's not home. My question is not how to convince him to eat Paleo, but HOW to feed him to his benefit given the fact that he's eating what he wants a good portion of the time. I've been wondering about the impact of feeding what I'm preparing, as what I'm making with myself in mind is high fat and moderate protein... Will it be bad for him (weight gain or otherwise) to be eating my higher fat foods (animal fat, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil) alongside his mish-mash die? Should I try to limit his fat or figure the good fat will help balance things out?
For the kids: I am trying to slowly make adjustments to their diet. By no means do they eat the SAD for kids. We homeschool, so they are with my most of the time with the exception of trips to granparents and friends homes. So I'm pretty well in control of what they eat (unless they are with Daddy). I have long been on the quest to prepare real foods from scratch... I made/make my own bread, granola, yogurt, pizza dough, ice cream, and almost all meals. We eat little processed foods and I have long been sweetening things with Maple syrup and Honey in place of sugar. So I'm past the stage of eliminating the obvious kid "junk", well, with the exception of cereal (though they don't eat sugared cereal). What I'm having trouble with is determining what would be the best things to tackle first and to what degree. I know dairy and breads will be hard for them to give up. Thus far I've been limiting how much of it they have and making substitutions when I can, but I have not taken those things out of their diet completely. They love their milk, bread, hot cereals, beans and pasta. I don't think a cold turkey jump would be good for them, but I'd love some input into the best way to make a gentle transition. In case it's useful information- They are all in good health. The oldest has some reflux issues, but we've been seeing a chiropractor over the last few months and that has really helped her. My older two are girls and they both have a petite build. The 2 year old is a boy and definitely has a different body composition... Think a brick :-) They were all breastfed. Two of the three have pretty broad tastes in foods. They like meats and veggies alike. The other child is pretty picky. She'll eat things, but it's a fight because there are a lot of things that she doesn't care for... I feel bad for her that meals are often disappointing and emotionally tense.
Thanks in advance for any input!
Ugh. The husbands. Mine is 6ft 170lbs of lean muscle. 7% body fat. Eats like crap. And all the time. He thinks being on a diet means "don't eat candy". He constantly brings the kids candy and junk food. All the kids are skinny, but the 10 year old has severe eczema, and he is doing GF with my Paleo.
The kids are homeschooled and with me all day. They Paleo with me for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Dinner is Paleo for me and I add rice, potatoes or beans for the rest of them. My husband eats 3 or 4 pieces of cheap white bread with every dinner! The kids don't even know they are doing Paleo - I haven't mentioned it. We just stopped going to McDonald's, bringing in SAD foods, no more baking and no sandwiches.
My husband is the only reason the kids are not 100%, but I can live with it. My obstacle is trying to convince a healthy, skinny, fit, genetic freak that he needs to eat healthier. He is enjoying seeing the results I have made - 22 pounds lost since May and some very nice muscles! He just keeps telling me, "Good job, keep at it". But he really is clueless. He brought me home a Subway sandwich the other day, and I told him, for the 1000th time, that I don't eat bread. He was like, "what do you mean, everyone eats bread". He literally doesn't think it is possible to not eat bread, even though I haven't had a piece of bread in almost 4 months.
My kids aren't picky, but I think breakfast is the hardest meal. They are used to pancakes, muffins, cereals, oatmeal, etc. I still do yogurts and lots of fruit for them so they don't have to eat meat and eggs EVERY morning. I make them smoothies. I just didn't have much of a problem taking stuff away from them. They are 13,10,4,2. They didn't really notice. I never did ask them what they wanted to eat, I just put it in front of them. So I don't have anyone "asking" for pancakes. I used to fill them up on cheap pasta and limited the lunch meat because of cost. Now that I've relaxed about the cost of stuff, the kids actually think they are eating better. They like meat!
We've been married 15 years and have kids 13 of those. I know my husband will never stop bringing home candy for the kids. I still roll my eyes every time, but I've chose to pick my battles. Good Luck!
Good question about your husband, I am interested to see the answers! I know for mine, he just ate what I gave him and when he started to lose weight he got excited and became a "believer". He is pretty easy though.
As far as your kids - I have twins who are 5 and who have always erred on the side of being underweight. My girl twin actually sees an endocrinologist because she is very (too) petite (not that the endocrinologist does anything useful about it!). I also have an 8 year old who is overweight (not morbidly or anything but definitely chubby). I spent many years trying to cater to my twins, feeding them what they would eat well (pasta with butter, mainly!) and at the same time trying to hold my older daughter back from eating too much. It was awful and the twins remained too thin, and my older daughter too fat. I think the twins have learned to enjoy the power they have by refusing food and I think my older daughter has become MORE interested in overeating as I try to 'deprive' her. It has not been fun.
So, anyway, all my kids are also SUPER SUPER SUPER picky, I mean I rarely have seen more picky kids than mine, seriously. I finally decided after being paleo for a few weeks myself, reading a lot about it, etc. to just clear all non-paleo items out of my house (major throw away and give away - we didn't have a bad SAD but still had tons of grains, sugar, canola oil, etc. in our pantry) and go cold turkey for everyone. I figured that no one would die in my experiment and my old ways of managing all the different issues weren't working so... There were a lot of tears at first - they really missed cereal and pasta for a while but they got over it. I made them banana bread muffins to eat for breakfast and that helped a lot - in the first few weeks they ate a ton of them. They do eat lots of mozzarella cheesesticks which probably aren't considered paleo by a lot of people, and also I get them these fruit leathers that they like from Trader Joes that are pretty high in sugar (I mean, concentrated fruit but still it is sugar) but otherwise they are paleo!
Typical meals are: Breakfast - (they won't all eat all of these things, breakfast is kind of a short order cook situation here) Cheese omlette, cheesesticks, pepperoni, ham, left over dinner meat, bacon, canadian bacon, banana bread muffins Lunch - similar to breakfast, hot dogs, add fruit Dinner - like last night we had grassfed beef sliders on lettuce leaves with raw milk cheddar, tomatoes, pickles, homemade mayo, ketchup, mustard and broiled asparagus. 2 of them ate just the burgers with ketchup and a few asparagus spears, the other one ate hers plain with a few bites of lettuce (no asparagus). They all had fruit before bed. They seem to be getting the right amount of calories (the twins haven't lost weight and my older dd has lost 5 lbs which is a good thing for her!) and they still complain sometimes but it is OK. :~)
P.S. When I say hot dogs, pepperoni, ham, bacon etc. I mean that I get the good stuff, nitrate free, etc. Not ideal but good enough for us.
P.P.S. Banana Bread muffin recipe - I add a pinch of salt and up the honey from 2T to 3T. http://robbwolf.com/2011/04/21/recipe-paleo-banana-bread/
I feel your pain!
Finally after 7 months, my husband decided to join me. I tried to lead by example, and tried not to preach to him; which would make it even harder to sway him if I did.
He's now come on board with me, he lost 2 lbs in 2wks, but 1-1/2" in his waist alone! He's not completely paleo, but since cutting most SAD foods out he is feeling better in general and that swollen belly is almost gone. He only has about 12 lbs more to loose so its not alot. BUT he now comes home and gets on the treadmill and started doing sit up (this is a man who sits at a desk all day and does not ever exercise much)
My suggestion is to keep doing what you are doing, make all the right choices for him in the house (breakfast, lunch, dinner where ever you can). My issue at first was I was giving him what I was eating and he was hungry, obviously he needs a large portion than what you'd eat. So make sure its proportionate for him (you might have to guess his weight, see if you can get his measurements as well and figure out what he needs to be taking in per day - minus the bad foods hes eating on his own). He might start noticing he actually likes what you are making, rather than the other stuff.
I've started sending baggies full of dried fruits, veggies, nuts (sometimes salonme and cheese) and he actually loves it. I give him a chocolate protein bar that I make, as a chocolate treat, again, he loves it!!
He's starting to make better choices now on his own as well. Again, I don't preach or judge him, I'm letting him make his own decisions, but you do have to be slightly passive aggressive in micro managing him and his food, without his full knowledge obviously!!!
As for the kids, I'd say you sound like you have a good handle on it, perhaps involve the kids in meal making and choices, especially for the one that has food issues/tensions at meals. Sometimes giving in a little bit to win the battle is worth the effort!!
My kids are grown so I'll let someone else give you more specifics with them, but making meals fun for everyone is the best advice I can give you there!!