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  • Parents - Primal for young athlete?

    OK, I'm looking for a little input from other primal parents trying to get their kids on board, my 12 year old son is a hockey player and in great shape, also a damn fine defenseman...but he balks at primal

    I've been primal for about 5 months now and have been slowly removing the non-primal items from our house, as I'm the only one... The problem is my son would probably leave home if I took away his eggo waffles and syrup - ARGH! As well as some of the other non-primal foods he eats.

    I cook most of our meals at home and he eats well when we eat together - it's the school lunches, after school snacks and breakfasts! I can't get him to eat eggs and bacon in the morning...or really anything besides eggos - and he literally had a meltdown when I told him in the store I was no longer going to buy him poptarts.

    I've discussed it with him and he's pretty rational for a 12 yo, but he just said, "mom, I'm healthy - why do I need diet food?" I told him that it's not diet food, eating better would make him a BETTER athlete, faster on the ice and he would grow bigger and stronger...(he's on the smaller side of normal but really muscular and lowwww body fat)

    I need suggestions on how to approach it with him - he's already a hell of an athlete, plays AAA travel hockey all over the midwest...??? I'm kind of stuck!

    Anyway, I am picking up groceries today and of course he requested strawberry poptarts and I have a mental block against buying them...but when I come home WITHOUT them AGAIN - this conversation is going to happen....

    any ideas are appreciated!

    forward,
    pbj
    my info:

    If you can't tell the truth about yourself, you can't tell it about other people --- Virginia Woolf

    My journal

  • #2
    You are not alone!

    I don't have a magic bullet remedy but I will share my gradual approach to getting my kids to eat real whole food over processed junk. I have 2 active athletic boys (13 and 16) living at home. We are a family of athletes and are all in good shape and no one is really trying to lose weight. I've been preaching a 'whole foods' approach to eating for quite some time and have slowly eliminated many of the staples that were once in the pantry. The crackers and pretzels are gone, the vegetables, nuts and fruits are plentiful but I still get the 'why can't we eat pasta for dinner like everyone else' complaints.

    I decided to approach this as a long-term project without expectations of something happening overnight. For example, I have gradually decreased the number of Cheerios boxes in the pantry and have increased the local, fresh eggs that are in the refrigerator. I tell them their stash is all I will buy for 2 weeks. I have challenged them to eat eggs more days of the week than Cheerios and it's working. I also offer last night's leftovers as an option and they are a bit apprehensive to have dinner for breakfast but sometimes they bite and eat chicken. Slowly, they are viewing the Cheerios as a treat and they are eating more eggs especially when there's bacon on the plate, too. I haven't said they can't eat cereal but I've been striving to give them better choices which has resulted in having them eat less cereal. I'm constantly telling them about why real, whole food is better than processed food and slowly it's sinking in but I don't expect them to change overnight or completely and I can't control what they eat at their friend's houses.

    Be patient and keep up the great example. I can't help to smile and know that something good is happening when they have come home from practice and eat a salad of organic mixed greens while I cook dinner because as they put it, 'there's no good food in the house.'

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pbj View Post
      OK, I'm looking for a little input from other primal parents trying to get their kids on board, my 12 year old son is a hockey player and in great shape, also a damn fine defenseman...but he balks at primal
      12 years old? Here's a better reason to eat this way than just athletic performance: Health Correlator: Looking for a good orthodontist? My recommendation is Dr. Meat

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for replying - I was afraid the thread got moved off the front page and then no-one would ever reply! lol

        Anyway, we cook at home alot, and my son is now having healthy afterschool snacks as often as his beloved poptarts. Breakfast will be a struggle though - he does like eggs / bacon and I think we will start with one day a week and weekends for non-cereal/no-eggos breakfast.

        my husband is kind of on-board with primal so he backs me up...well we back each other up regardless! That makes it easier to make changes.

        From the eating out standpoint, we almost never do - our son would always rather eat at home.

        I guess there aren't huge changes that need to be made - I just feel so awful purchasing crap for my son that i wouldn't touch myself....
        I would gladly give my life for him...but I'll by him crap to eat?
        frustrating - but small changes are being made, and slowly we'll get rid of those damn pop tarts!
        lol

        forward
        pbj
        my info:

        If you can't tell the truth about yourself, you can't tell it about other people --- Virginia Woolf

        My journal

        Comment


        • #5
          You could meet him halfway and make Paleo pancakes with real maple syrup. Using nut flour however really isn't much healthier. You can make Oopsie pancakes out of just eggs and cream cheese, though.

          If he is anything like a young me, though, I'd just feed him tons of steak. I could never complain about steak. Nothing wrong with steak for breakfast. It's a bit expensive, though.

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          • #6
            I recently made coconut flour pancakes for my 2 and 4 yr old and they loved them. I let them have syrup, but I ate mine with honey. I also made a double batch and refridgerated the left overs. Still good, and my kids took them to daycare.

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            • #7
              If he gets allowance tell him he can buy Pop Tarts with his own money if he wants them, but you won't be buying them anymore. Then offer some Paleo desserts as an alternative to spending his money.
              Maybe also see if the coach would be willing to talk about how sugar impacts performance.

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              • #8
                Thanks!
                All pretty good suggestions - he is slowly coming around - no poptarts for a month so far and while he asked for them once - I just said "No honey, they don't help you grow stronger and healthier. Let's pick out another snack" which seemed to work. we bought extra bananas and cottage cheese on that trip.
                He reads labels with me,,,he always has - I guess he's gotten more stubborn as he got older....and it's definitely harder to get him to go with me to the store now. It used to be enought for me to point out that there was too much sugar and fake ingredients in something for him to put it back on the shelf.

                I also have to work on 'reward foods' he is healthy and athletic, though after a particularly grueling hockey game or track meet he will want a sweet treat. I need to stop that sweet 'reward' and turn it into something else.

                He loves meat - chicken, pork, beef and would eat fish every day if he could - he eats his veggies and since I cook at home all but mainly one meal a day (lunch at school m-f) his choices are pretty good. I haven't cut pasta out entirely, but we have rice or potatoes for most meals and pasta is maybe 2x per week.

                jumbe - interesting thing you mentioned about his coach - his track coach wants them to load up on carbs of course, but hockey is a different story. It's 45 min of intense, 60 second sprint sessions on the ice, followed by 1-2 min rest (small team with 2.5 lines) and his coach has told us that he is the only one on the team with any fire left in the third period and said "it must be because he eats the most real food out of all of them"

                like anything else in parenting, do we ever know if we are doing it right? All we can do is try our best

                forward,
                pbj
                my info:

                If you can't tell the truth about yourself, you can't tell it about other people --- Virginia Woolf

                My journal

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sugar or carbs are needed so.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by js290 View Post
                    12 years old? Here's a better reason to eat this way than just athletic performance: Health Correlator: Looking for a good orthodontist? My recommendation is Dr. Meat
                    I'm sure that matters at a certain age but not 12.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wondering how it's going?

                      We have the same issues here re: social stuff. Also, they do still like to have treats. We talk a lot about blood sugar and how it's not good to have that spike so much with grains AND sugars combined. So cereal, in our house, is a Sunday afternoon treat... AFTER the good protein filled breakfast.

                      I did about the same as one of the first posters said, gradually reduced the junk while gradually increasing the good stuff. Occasionally, when we ran out of something, I would say, "I'm not going to to the store to buy *just* that junk food. I'll get some next week with our next big grocery shop. It won't kill you to go a week without it."

                      That said, we rotate a lot of foods in and out of our regimen. For example: we'll do a very heavy week of eggs, then take a week or two off, then do a couple of egg heavy weeks maybe. It's not strange for our kids to hear: "We're doing a _________-free week this week just to give our bodies a break from digesting it."

                      We also explained that it is like exercising the same body part hard every day. We don't do that because our 'parts' need rest time. We approach the digestive system the same way.

                      When we make big changes re: treats (which can tend to climb up gradually without notice), the second week is generally the worst... then life takes over and the focus shifts to something else.

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                      • #12
                        That's a good way to put it kimsaria - He definitely understands working out and getting rest time. It's still going well - I like the rotating idea though, we might try that. I tend to mix it up daily and he always has a say in meal prep...and he likes to help. I'm still dealing with the personal issue of buying things that he likes, but that I know offer him no nutritional value whatsoever.... but it is less and less
                        thanks!

                        forward,
                        pbj
                        my info:

                        If you can't tell the truth about yourself, you can't tell it about other people --- Virginia Woolf

                        My journal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My husband and I are two weeks in. Last weekend I cleared out the pantry and fridge of most of the non-paleo stuff. We have three boys, 1.5, 3.5, and 9. Our 9 year old is a red belt in karate, and loves his carbs! Fortunately, the boys are fast becoming great little carnivores. I've left them some of the Easter candy, and just plan on not replacing stuff. I've just gotten the cookbook, and I plan to sit down this weekend with my oldest and let him mark all the recipies he wants us to try.

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                          • #14
                            I try to focus on how my kids feel when they eat certain foods. Both of my girls feel crummy if they eat too much bread or sugar, and they know it. Their downfall is ice cream and chocolate. I'm trying to get them closer to 85%, but they are really into white chocolate or milk chocolate. They can tolerate milk, but if we get ice cream I try to minimize the bad ingredients if possible. They usually eat their veggies first! Yay!

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                            • #15
                              I decided to approach this as a long-term project without expectations of something happening overnight.

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