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Kids and the PB?

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  • Kids and the PB?

    A little background because I am new to the forum.

    My kids are 5.5, almost 4 and 2.5. My baby was severely iron deficient and was very sick for a while. We are slowly getting on top of that, but I want to move my family to a more primal way of eating. The thing is that I don't want to curb the kids so much that they start sneaking foods when they get older.

    When my oldest was 2.5, she had never had chocolate milk or juice or anything junky. One day I went out to a restaurant with a friend who's child was the same age and she ordered chocolate milk for her son. I ordered it for my daughter because I did not want to discriminate or make her feel bad. My girl downed a full 8oz in 6 seconds flat and wanted more.

    She never got it, but I realized then that I had gone overboard with not giving her any sort of junk food in the past. Since then, I allowed her to have juice, chocolate milk, chips, goldfish etc as treats once in a while so she did not go crazy when she did get them at friends houses.

    It seems to have worked well, but I would really like to move away from this crap altogether, but don't know how to moderate their diets so it doesn't come back to bite me in backside when they are older. All their friends eat a ton of processed junk and I don't know how to stop my kids from ingesting the stuff without it becoming a point of contention and leading to food wars in the future.

    Any and all advice would be welcome. TIA

  • #2
    there have been some great threads on this in the past.

    primal children
    primal kids
    primal babies

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    • #3
      Thanks, I will search for the threads.


      • #4
        hi there. i also have two little girls around the same age. we don't keep ANYTHING in the house other than primal foods. i think you may be worrying too much about them going crazy for the junk when they get older. our oldest daughter is really starting to understand why we eat the way we do. try to explain it to your oldest. when we go over to our in-laws or over friends houses we will bring our own snacks. our friends think it's pretty cool though. don't worry about your kids being left out. look at all the vegetarian/vegan kids out there. being 'different' isn't so bad. just think of how much they'll be nourished. forget about the other stuff. i guess b-day parties and such are an exception, but still try to fill 'em up first with lots of hearty healthy primal foods. looking back now, i ate all that junk when i was a kid and always tell my husband how i wish my mom would of done her homework on the subject! i promise they'll thank you one day
        Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers


        • #5
          I have 2 boys, one almost 3.5 and ther other about 1.5. Both boys has always been in love with healthy foods....I credit my wife with starting them on the right path. With both boys she got them to eat/try all vegetables way before even allowing fruit because knowing that they would just want the sweetness. It helped build a good base for them that they continue. Do they (oldest one mainly) still enjoy ice cream, popcorn etc. Of course. Do they eat it on a constant basis...nope. We don't keep any of that stuff in our house, because we know not only would it tempt the boys, but also us. It's the summer, so of course ice cream sounds when we want it, we'll just go out....sure you're paying "more" than just having a half gallon in the freezer, but this way you eat it, and it's more temptations on a daily basis.

          Great point Shannon on the kids not going crazy if they're taught the right way and then are bombarded with the other stuff as they grow up. It's one thing that both of our families constantly try and pressure us with that the boys will someday live on soda and chips because we don't keep them in the house and never give them to them. It always feels like everyone just throwing their hands up and allowing things to continue the way they have...rather than tryintg to instill the right values within kids.


          • #6
            Everyone is different, but for us, moving through substitions for old favorites was a helpful part of the transition (which ds is still making--dh, well, I don't know if he'll ever go fully primal--but that is his choice to make ). So, I found ways to make bread, pasta, cookies. pancakes, etc, in a more primal manner. And I also made more and more and more of our meals very primal, to the point that now, ds and dh are fine and used to eating meat or eggs w/ veggies at each meal (we do 2 formal meals a day here, and ds snacks on hb eggs, leftover meat, fruit and veggies during the day/when he's hungry). They also do potatoes which I've been taking out of my diet--will work on weaning them from that as needed in the future. (And they both still eat white rice cooked in bone broth a couple times a week--which is the next thing I'll focus on taking out for ds. We're a work in progress )

            Because we've made these changes, ds and dh are totally used to eating meat/veg at dinner, and have seemed to have forgotten about those more carb heavy meals like pasta etc. Now the 'subs' (for pasta, cake etc.) only come out when we go to a family party where something like pasta or cake is served. BBQs we just eat the meat and veggies (or bring our own), bring our own salad dressing, and skip the mac salad, etc. Ds isn't a huge eater so he never seems to care at all about that--he's always busy playing at those things. He also has some food sensitivity issues which is why I feel I must make the subs for anything he'll be eating and bring them (or I'd probably be more lax about it). I might go out to eat more or have/let him 'cheat' more if he didn't have these food sensitivity issues, which really require me to make most everything from scratch anyway.

            I do still make cookies at home using coconut flour, stevia and maple syrup or honey, when he asks (which is probably 1x a week or every 2 weeks), and I do make 'ice cream' blending coconut milk, frozen berries, vanilla extract and a little stevia in the blender or food processor, when he wants it (again around 1x a week or so). I rarely make bread anymore (which I use coconut flour for--although I made him one of the 'chebe' mixes this past week which he really enjoyed--but as Nick mentioned, it's better for *me* to keep that stuff out of the house--hard to resist!)

            Anyway, I think moving through substitutions can be helpful for kids to not feel deprived. (Esp when they are older and have known what it's like to eat all those other foods.) Some might find an all or nothing approach more effective (esp in terms of cutting out carb cravings), but I just don't want ds to get out of the house one day and try ransacking the grocery store for things he wasn't 'allowed' to have as a kid. For now, it has worked that if he wants something, I find a way to make it that I feel is healthy enough and also doesn't contain his intolerances. We'll see what happens in the future!
            My Before/After Pics
            Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

            "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


            • #7
              Thanks for the ideas. I am in the process of cleaning out the pantry and fridge of all grains and making sure I don't buy them again. It will take another month or two and then we'll be in the clear (my DH would kill me if I threw it all away, which I must admit I have been tempted to do more than once).

              After I had my last child, I was so physically and emotionally exhausted that their eating habits really went down the toilet for a while. I am now slowly easing them back into a healthier way of eating.

              My 3 year old son has no problem with the veggies and meats, he is a great eater. My 5 year old OTOH is a carb lover and has gone off veggies, so every meal is a fight for her to finish them before I offer her more of anything else. She does like meat at least. Then my baby, who was really sick and we are still trying to figure out exactly what is going on with her is the fussiest eater of all. She does not like meat (except for the nitrate/nitrite free hotdogs from TJ), but loves carbs and milk (and veggies too actually), but she is so skinny I am just glad when she eats something.

              I have experimented with almond flour cookies, bread, scones and crackers and the kids all loved the food, so I could keep doing that instead of the grains.

              Fairyrae, where can I get recipes for coconut flour? My kids all love coconut, so that would be a great way to expand the almond flour repertoire. Also, the ice cream, do you just freeze it after you blend it or do you put it into an ice cream maker to whip it up? I think they would LOVE making their own ice cream.

              I definitely need to up my ante and start making everything from scratch, and talking to them about why we are not eating grains anymore. I have cut out gluten (recently found out I have the gene for Celiac, so have to be very careful) and I have spoken to them about that, but need to talk to them more about it and slowly change the way we all eat for good.

              Thanks for all the suggestions. I really appreciate it.


              • #8
                There are tons of ways to do ice cream--its just WAY easy to throw frozen fruit in a food processor w/ some cold coconut milk and vanilla extract and blend on the spot. It's not exactly like 'real' ice cream, but it always hits the spot for ds. Another fabulous way to make ice cream is to use frozen bananas and blend w/ coconut milk (we are dairy free so use coconut milk all the time--you could use heavy cream or something else too), and add vanilla extract and any fruit that might make it extra yummy for you (strawberries taste fabulous w/ this). That is a lot higher carb though, but still way better than 'real' ice cream. (You could probably pour any of this in an ice cream maker once blended and it would work fine too, but just take longer.) The methods I use are so simple I usually do just enough for what we want in the moment and don't bother w/ freezing it for later.

                The Nourishing Gourmet has some real ice cream I believe, that you make in an ice cream maker using raw honey I think. (Oh, here's one: I would use honey or maple syrup in place of the agave though.) Mark has a recipe in the PB cookbook too. But I think there are ways to make them free of extra sweeteners that pretty much taste just as good so we usually do that. Experimentation is half the fun though!

                We are gluten free too, and ds also has problems w/ nuts and seeds, which is why I usually use coconut flour. There are recipes available online all over the place, and any by Bruce Fife typically have a stevia sweetened version. If you google coconut flour you'll see tons of recipes--most coming from his book _Cooking with Coconut Flour_. Here are a couple I like:

                This is my favorite bread/muffin recipe base for coconut flour--uses bananas for the sweetener: Tastes great w/ added nuts, cranberries, etc. Would be yummy w/ chocolate chunks or blueberries as well...And doesn't have the eggy quality *most* coconut flour baked goods have.

                Coconut flour orange cake It can be made w/ lemon juice in place of orange juice. This is amazing. But pretty high in sugar/honey, so I make it for special occasions only.

                Crepes: http://lowoxalatepaleocooking.blogsp...ur-crepes.html I've made coconut flour crepes before and they were great--but can't find the exact recipe. This one looks good though. I'd use stevia in place of the honey, or just a dab of honey or maple syrup along w/ the stevia. (I'd just do it to taste.)

                And here are some recipes from MDA using coconut flour:

                And as far as cookies go, I typically will make macaroons (here's a good recipe-- Scroll down to one of Kallyn's posts starting w/ "OK, here is the macaroon recipe I use most often") or coconut flour ones, but coconut flour just doesn't make great cookies. (Ds is fine w/ them, but if we could do almond flour I'd use that.) Elana's pantry has tons of recipes which I'm sure are amazing, but if you want to try some lower sugar options, these ones look good and totally primal (and free of added sweeteners):

                I tried the chebe gf bread mix recently (its tapioca based) as well, and ds and dh both liked it. (It's not totally primal, quite high in starch, but has no grains and was free of ds's allergens.) I will make it again for them, but try and avoid eating it myself.

                I probably bake something for ds every week/2 weeks or so, and save really sugary/sweet things like cake for going to a b-day party. I go based on him--if he asks for something, I usually find a way to make it using mostly primal subs. But he really doesn't ask often and seems quite content w/ mostly savory primal foods, along w/ fruit (which I don't limit for him). This is something that has just evolved over time, and I think using subs was really helpful for getting him to the place he is now.

                HTH! It is SO overwhelming at first to cut out allergens and change your WOE, esp. when it involves kids. But it will get easier with time! And there are TONS of fantastic recipes out there available for free on blogs--you can really make anything primal/allergen free if you want to--it's just all about getting creative in the kitchen...

                Oh, and here are a couple of blogs that I've only recently found that you might find helpful (one is by an MDA member I believe):


                I want to add, that all of this stuff should be made in 'moderation', as extras that make up a small part of your primal diet. (I think focusing meals around meat and veggies and fat is the best way to go, for sure.) But if your kids are used to eating things like cookies or muffins or bread every day, I think transitioning them to more primal friendly substitutes is a great first step--you can continue to make them less and less a part of the daily diet as time goes on and your kids adjust.
                My Before/After Pics
                Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                • #9
                  Thanks so much for all the info. I feel like I am the one sabotaging us right now because I screw up with my food (like today I bought ice cream for everyone, even though I am not a big sweets person).

                  I need to get the almond flour out of the freezer downstairs and start substituting again. I really appreciate all these ideas, I am going to start looking through the recipes and sites and figure this out (and stop making excuses to stay unhealthy and unhappy).


                  • #10
                    One step at a time can be helpful. Maybe take one new thing/substitution you want to work on, start adding it in and make it routine. (Like, instead of ice cream, make a primal sub, etc., every time, for the next few days/weeks/etc.) When it becomes easy/part of the routine, work on the next thing. (Choosing whatever you think you most want to change first.)

                    It can be so overwhelming to make so many transitions at once, so taking it step by step, esp when your whole family is involved, might lead to more lasting changes.
                    My Before/After Pics
                    Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                    "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                    • #11
                      Thanks again for the info, the encouragement and the support. It means a lot to me :-)!