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  • Primal eating for children



    I know Paleo eating is the optimal diet. I understand why & I feel best eating this way.

    It makes sense to me that my little Paleos can thrive on this type of diet as well. But they're ALWAYS hungry.


    My oldest daughter will be 10 this winter. She's built just like me, lean & mean. Like me, she can eat and eat a lot. Unlike me, she has a tendency towards yeast issues. As a baby we both had thrush while nursing & she had frequent yeasty diaper rashes.

    We're able to control it my not eating any sugar - at all. Occasionally, she'll have a slice of fruit. For instance, both she & my second daughter (she'll be 7 this winter) had a quarter of a pear each the other day. Within FIVE minutes, both complained of belly aches & had diarrhea. Then they were fine. My son (who will be 4 in March), was fine with his quarter, as was I.

    So I think they're sensitive to sugar. My firstborn has had many incidents where she's been at a party & has eaten a bowl of fruit salad & either vomited or had diarrhea or both, within 10 minutes.

    No biggie, we just avoid sugar, even in fruit form.


    I'm just trying to give the whole story here...


    So I'm aware that carbs in general lead to sugar cravings & carb cravings. (I'm half way through Primal Body, Primal Mind - LOVE it!!)

    I just have this block in my mind about completely cutting high carb foods from the kids' diets.

    Once in a while (maybe once a week), I'll cook some jasmine rice in homemade bone broth with a big strip of kombu & serve it with raw butter & sea salt. They're so much more satiated after having this with their meat & veggies.

    Or, maybe a small potato each, loaded with raw butter.

    I seem to react to such high food carbs depending on how my adrenals are doing at the moment. I've always been able to eat a little bit of my rice cooked in this manner. But if I eat even a spoonful of white rice at a restaurant, it's heart palps, dizziness & sweating immediately. I assume it's the lack of fat combined with it that accounts for this.


    So the consensus is, rice is a grain. I know it's super high in carbs. So are potatoes - but they're also tubers...not grains.


    How low carb can I go with my kids? They tend to go for animal protein, fat & veggies first & foremost, but they (especially my oldest), also like some carb. These kids can eat animal fat like you wouldn't believe. I swear they could live on scrapple & butter for the rest of their lives. (The scrapple we get is from pastured pigs & made with just buckwheat! sooo delicious.)


    I'd love to hear from anyone who has any knowledge on raising "primal children."


  • #2
    1



    If young children are not extremely sensitive to carbs they can usually tolerate lot more carbs: i.e. LC parents who can't tolerante bananas have LC children who can eat two bananas a day without complaint.


    So young children diet can be higher carbs without negative consequences.


    BUT if the young children we're talking about are very carb sensitive with a tendency to irregular blood glucose, moodiness, depression, nightmares and so on then you can actually go very low without conseguence.

    I have known hypoglycemic kids who couldn't eat more than 30 grams of carbs a day but grew healthy and without problem. Hypoglycemic kids have been following low carb diets even before they became fashionable.

    For example Vincent was an 8 year old who would eat everyday a very LC diet of sardines, bacon, hamburger, cream cheese, chicken, salad, eggs and steak in order to control his hypoglycemia.

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    • #3
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      Niklas you are advocating carbs in the diet of children because they seem to have more tolerance to them than adults? That makes no sense to me.


      Matasequoia, your kids can perfectly thrive on an only-meat diet provided that your meat is free-range and organic. So a very low carb diet made up of good animal protein and fats, and salads should be perfectly fine, and probably the healthiest possible way to go.

      “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
      "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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      • #4
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        Exactly Sinner, as long as you're tolerant there's no reason to avoid extra carbs. I follow a primal diet but I still know people who are healthier than me on an high-carb diet with foods that I could never eat.


        It simply works for them and I have no reason to believe their diet is harming them. I don't think carbs are unhealthy or pathological and don't believe much in the meat-only extreme and see no reason as to why someone who can tolerate extra carbs shouldn't have those extra carbs or couldn't even benefit from those extra carbs.

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        • #5
          1



          I, on the other hand, do see many reasons why even a moderate carb intake, even if appearing innocuous at the time, can greatly increase your risks of experiencing long-term health risks.

          “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
          "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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          • #6
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            Must agree to disagree

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            • #7
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              I just read the title as "eating children is primal...." and well, I guess if you captured them from some other tribe........


              SS, certainly agree, long term ingestion of carbs has nothing to be gained from it! Not to put an absolute measure, but I can see no harm in existing day to day on an average intake of sub 30/40g (just my impression) from limited veggie sources.


              In all the reading I've done, some high/moderate level of carb intake is implicated in so many degenerative diseases! Not to be paranoid, but why eat with the upper boundary in mind? I aim for the lower.


              Raising a child from cradle to teen on the best Primal foods possible seems to be ideal. These are the formative years, literally the skeletal, muscular, endocrine, neurological health will be set by what they eat now. It sets them on a course for long term compliance as well. Give them the best you can, not just what they seem to tolerate.

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              • #8
                1



                I have to agree with SS & Acmebike too, sorry Niklas!


                Niklas, have you read Primal Body, Primal Mind? It's an excellent book, rather new.


                The author promotes hardcore low carbing. I haven't read anything about children in it yet, but I hope she touches on the subject.


                I guess I can see the evils of rice. But potatoes? I know I feel the effect of potatoes, definitely too carby for my body. But I think Mark says tubers are okay. I think I just need to figure out some more filling sides for the kiddos. Piece of meat, non-starchy veggies drenched in butter & coconut oil are our basic meals (or stews), so if I could find something to fill in the blank, they might feel more full.


                They're fine with a very low carb breakfast & lunch - it's usually dinner when they want MORE. Perhaps this has to do with their need for tryptophan? I also thikn that this might be the ideal time to eat more carbs, rather than earlier in the day.


                My second daughter has trouble with dairy, or I'd offer cream every night. None of us eat gluten, or grains, really. Other than that, we don't have any known food allergies or intolerances. I have made things with coconut milk before - like with cocoa, stevia & a bit of gelatin, but I don't like using canned food because of the risk of BPA. I can only afford so much raw butter, or else I'd give them spoonfuls before bed. But at $11/lb, it's too costly.


                Oh, and my oldest seems to have hypoglycemia issues too, not surprisingly. I think she craves carbs more than the other two because of her tendency towards yeast. All the more reason to really limit carbs.

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                • #9
                  1



                  Just thinking, on the veggie side of things, there are halfway points between "potato" and "cabbage".


                  What about sweet potatoes, winter squashes (pumpkin, butternut...), parsnips, beetroot...?

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                  • #10
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                    Is anyone familiar with Dr. Richard Bernstein?


                    In his book, The Diabetes Solution, he talks about which veggies are "okay" as far as creating a strong insulin response.


                    Beets are loaded with sugar, according to him - a no-no (though I ferment my beets & carrots with fresh ginger a la Sandor Katz.)


                    Also on the "no-no" list are:

                    carrots, corn (no kidding), tomatoes or tomato products, all beans (chili beans, chickpeas, limas. lentils, sweet peas, etc. - string beans & snow peas are okay), onions, except in small amounts, parsnips, potatoes & winter squash. But he says pumpkin is okay...hm.

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                    • #11
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                      Primal Body Primal Mind is an awesome book. However, I have come to the mind that what she is striving for in there with her very low carb approach is life extension (and health, of course) that is achieved by taking our bodies out of the growth state and putting us in the repair and regeneration state. This is great for an adult, however children still need to be in the growth state. I don't think they need high carbs but I don't think they should be limited to the degree that she recommends for adults either. Keto diets have been used in children to control epilepsy and some other diseases, but it has also been shown to slow down their growth. If they are getting lots of good quality animal fat and protein then I would allow their cravings to guide them a bit with the carbs. I agree with others that the potatoes and rice are probably not the best. I see behavior problems from them with my kids and stomach aches myself. Root veggies and squash is great though. My kids LOVE mashed butternut squash with loads of pasture butter in it. I think with using more paleo carbs your kids would still stay in a zone of being low carb but not so low that it affects their growth or keeps them hungry.

                      Good luck

                      PaleoMom's Diet Recovery Journal
                      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread82059.html

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                      • #12
                        1



                        Some tubers and roots seem to be the lesser evils, because they where around during Grok times, have a lower glycemic index and appear have been consumed in significant quantities only as a last resort during meat-scarcity, which could have resulted in humans developing a tolerance to them.


                        Tubers and roots are starch storage structures in plants that don't offer any macro or micro nutrients that we can't get in much higher quantities and quality from paleo foods.


                        The above being said, they can be delicious, so consuming them sensibly and sporadically could be cost-effective in terms of quality of life.


                        But the fact still remains: they are a completely unnecessary addition to our diet. Unless we engage in unnaturally strenuous physical activity like a triathlon, for example.

                        “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                        "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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                        • #13
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                          SS --- no problem with persuasive writing in that post!


                          Well said.

                          It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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                          • #14
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                            Paleomom, I have never heard about growth limitations in infants on a ketogenic diet. Do you have a link to the source?


                            lol Grandma

                            “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                            "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1



                              Thanks for chiming in, PaleoMom.


                              I often cook winter squash in homemade bone broth & add some cinnamon & nutmeg. Once I serve it, I top it with a big gob of raw butter & some Celtic salt. *yum*!


                              I think I need to make that tomorrow...


                              Carb comparisons:


                              sweet potato (114 grams) 24g carb, 7g sugar.

                              white potato (138 grams) 29g carb, 2g sugar.

                              long white rice (158 grams) 45g carb, 0g sugar.

                              butternut squash (205 grams) 22g carb, 4g sugar.

                              acorn squash (205 grams) 30g carb.

                              spaghetti squash (155 grams) 10g carb, 4g sugar.


                              A sweet potato & a white potato seem pretty darn close in carbs, don't you think? (I couldn't find *exact* measurements for comparison, but they're fairly close.

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