I have been really trying to go at least 90% Paleo in my house. I do have a couple road blocks, my husband and my daughter who is 4 1/2.
The husband said he would try it and has been happy/satified with most of the meals I have cooked. As a child his mother went on a vegetarian kick for a few years and that has rubbed him the wrong way about "diets". I did explain that Paleo isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle. He misses pasta and sweet tea (we are both southerners). And coconut milk isn't going to happen. Plus he is a cheese fanatic. Gouda, Brie, ect. Add all that to his job, Army Drill Sgt. MRE's and chow halls that are anything but conducive. Not to mention they don't allow the recruits to eat the M&M's, Skittles, ect from their MRE so they are brought home by the handfuls.
The kid. She will flat out refuse to eat most Paleo. I grew up in a house of you eat what is served or wait until the next meal and yes that is what I do now. Some people think that it's harsh others think it's spot on. She has been going to the fridge and eating Greek yogurt and getting into the almond butter. This is early morning, 4am-6am. I have debated about getting a child lock for the fridge and moving everything up out of her reach. Any ideas? She loves raw fruit and most raw veggies.
I'm the one that does the food shopping and meal planning so one would think this would be easy.....not quite.
Holy cats, if you've got a 4 1/2 year old "sneaking" greek yogurt and almond butter you have a child who is eating better than 99% of her peers!
She is probably really hungry because of her self-imposed fast. 4 year olds can be soooooo stubborn so I would really be careful about letting her skip meals. She is developing, after all. Your efforts to help her may cause some serious harm. I'm not judging, mind you, because I know your heart is in the right place. However, you might end up causing some major food anxiety issues in a little girl that could last a lifetime (which can be VERY dangerous).
My 4 year old is by far the hardest to please with paleo, so I totally understand what you're going through. I know you want to stick to your guns, but realize that you are dealing with a 4 year old. Hell, most adults who KNOW BETTER have a hard time staying compliant. I would also check out Sarah Fragoso's site. She's got some great tips for making good, healthful foods that kids will enjoy. Best of luck!!!
Top priorities: 1. Get rid of frankenfoods such as HFCS and vegetable oils 2. Eliminate gluten exposure 3. Avoid heavily processed foods 4. Let your kid be a kid. A little ice cream or pudding pop here and there is not going to thrust them into a lifetime of ADHD and diabetes meds!
Best of luck, mom!
I hope you get things up and running. Takes a lot of psychology with kids and husbands unfortunately. I would love to put together a kid's community where they could exchange views with other kids who eat healthy like they do since they see so much to the contrary out there. After all we are here constantly exchanging our views...they don't get that luxury. You really need to be patient. Even if it takes a year or even two to turn them around...its the long term results that you are after not a short term success.
Anyway, my 6 yr old's favorites for breakfast are almond/coconut flour pancakes with coconut milk in them. she hates coconut milk by the way, but in the pancakes no problem. And anyway with kids who burn so much energy..a little maple syrup isn't gonna kill them.
You may have to make a lot of things at home...macaroons, meringues, coconut balls, which are all much better than other sweet junk and you can slowly phase them out. My duaghter now after almost 1 yr cannot stand chocolate, hates things that are too sweet and will leave half a desert when she is allowed to have it.
You can make great ginger ale at home as well as cherry soda, using more healthy sweeteners. (again slowly less and less and it does work)
Perhaps you're pushing an overly restrictive version of Paleo? Greek yogurt, almond butter, and cheese are fine foods, in moderation. You can sweeten tea with rice syrup to avoid fructose, or with sugar alcohols like xylitol. Rice pasta is healthy.
If I'm understanding the problem correctly she is super hungry early in the morning because she is refusing to eat what you cook for dinner, right? Sorry, but I think locking the fridge is the wrong thing to do. It's going to set her up to have major issues with food. It sounds like she has certain healthy foods that she likes. Almond butter, Greek yogurt and fruit and veggies are a great start for her. The goal is for her to be healthy, right? Why not give her the foods that she enjoys and gradually have her try new things so she builds up a repertoire of foods she likes? I really think being hard core about it and sending her to bed hungry is going to backfire on you. I remember having all sorts of food struggles with my parents when I was young and my reaction was as soon as I got out on my own I ate nothing but crap. I was in my late 30's before I'd even consider eating anything green, all because I associated it with the pain and drama that my parents inflicted on me. I'd hate to see that happen with your daughter.
I think sometimes if you talk too much about it, its a turn off to the family.
Just drop the subject, prepare what you feel is best and thats what dinner is! If I give too many options they always make it more complex simply because I've asked.
Also, I wouldnt get a child lock on the refridge, might send the wrong message. Just keep the foods you want her to have at her reach and if she's eating the yogurt and almond butter, it could be worse!! If she loves raw veggies, keep them readily available for her in baggies, perhaps with some dipping options, it sounds like you've taught her to make good choices!! reinforce the positive!!
She's still pretty young and you can keep track of what she's eating by whats in the house for her.
If you allow this child to see one person in the family eating greek yogurt and almond butter (which are great foods, BTW), and SHE can't have them, you will automatically make those the most desired foods on the planet. In a way, that might not be such a bad thing...they are certainly better than Skittles and M&M's....but she will put all forbidden foods in the same light...and they will be her new goal. The forbidden foods will be what she eats when you aren't looking, and trust me, eventually you will NOT be able to watch. If you are 'mean' enough about it, she will STILL be making up for her 'deprivation' when she is 40 years old, and obese.
She's a kid...still a baby. Please, for the health of your child, Don't make food a battleground.
push it from most important aspects of paleo- eliminating the industrial seed oils, gluten and excess fructose. they should reap tons of health benefits just from eliminating those things. then after that step maybe start slowly changing the amount of paleo friendly foods more to your liking over a period of time. good luck.
I have to ask why you have food in the house that isn't allowed? No matter what diet or lifestyle I've followed, I just make sure that any food I stock is "anytime" food. If the food isn't there, you can't fight about it.
From the horror stories I've heard about the struggles of others I think you are doing a fantastic job at home! Heck you've got a kid who loves fruits, veggies, greek yogurt and almond butter! You're way ahead of the pack momma! I agree completely with your style of food parenting. Make it and they can take it or leave it. But I agree you can loosen up a bit if only for the sake of your own sanity. Maybe make up little containers with kid-friendly foods that she likes (baby carrots and almond butter, yogurt and fruit etc) and keep them low in the fridge so she can go get them when she is hungry. Don't lose your mind over this. And let the man have his cheese and throw him some rice pasta once a week if that makes him happy. Just keep hanging in there. Change is hard. Do what you can do and remember it's a process. Take the next year ahead and start looking for ways to integrate paleo into the family. It will happen.
Help me convert my housemate to Paleo! 7 Answers