I am slowly trying to transition my three-year-old twins to a healthier, closer-to-Paleo diet from a "healthier version" of the SAD (they currently eat meats, fruits, veggies, dairy, whole grains, legumes, limited sugar, limited processed foods, and at least 50% organic or local). I am a single mother and a Ph.D. student with a very limited income. My boys qualify for WIC (Women, Infants, Children nutritional supplementation program), which I must take advantage of in order to make sure we have enough food/calories to eat (especially during the winter when I can't grow my own produce). WIC works by supplying me with checks each month which I take to the local grocery store and exchange for SPECIFIC foods with some room for choice, but not much.
Here is what my boys qualify for during each two week period, including the choices I am allowed to make. I've starred the ones I'm most unsure about.
3 gallons of non-organic "regular" milk - can chose between skim, 1%, 2%
6$ worth of fresh or frozen veggies or fruit - can choose organic, local, etc.
1 lb. non-organic store-brand cheese - can choose cheddar, mozarella, colby or montery jack
1 dozen non-organic, white, store-brand eggs
1 can evaporated milk - must be low fat
*legumes - can chose 1 lb. of slit peas, kidney beans or pinto beans OR an 18 oz. jar of peanut butter
*2 64-ounce containers of juice - can choose apple, tomato or pineapple (the tomato juice doesn't have any added sugars and contains fiber)
*36 ounces of store-brand cereal -- can chose from bran flakes, frosted mini-wheats, corn chex, rice chex, cheerios or plain instant oatmeal (I'm thinking oatmeal???)
*2 "whole grain bread products" - whole wheat bread (I can get a sugar/HFCS-free brand), whole wheat tortillas (sugar/HFCS-free), corn tortillas, or brown rice (I'll add that my boys don't like corn tortillas and aren't big fans of rice so I'd rather not push grains that they can already live without.)
What do you think are the healthiest, most Paleo choices in this context? Are there any foods here that you just would not feed to kids under any circumstances, even financial hardship? The juice is the most objectionable one to me, although my boys really like the chili I make with the tomato juice and they won't eat tomatoes otherwise. Maybe it's not bad as a transition, learning food?
Thanks for your help.