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Question about primal kids and combining high fat with carbs/grains

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  • Question about primal kids and combining high fat with carbs/grains

    Hi
    We have been transitioning our 2 and 4 year old boys to a primal diet over the past 6 months with varying success. Issues have arisen re:food provided at daycare and also pressure to provide similar meals to other kids ie. sandwiches.

    We have discussed the option of having the kids totally primal for breakfast and dinner, and perhaps letting them have some limited non-primal foods, such as rice or sourdough bread at lunch time (we plan to only do this 2 or 3 times a week - to let them be 'normal' at school)

    My main question relates to the days when they will have rice or bread, hence high carbs and all the grain baddies. Will we potentially cause them health issues by including high fat and carbs combined? When they do eat sourdough, it is usually only 1 or 2 small pieces, and is thickly smothered with butter and combined with other protein/veges etc. I'm a bit confused, and wonder if they do eat grains, should it be without fat??

    Our boys are slim and healthy and very very active (and power through food at the rate of knots), and we have no concerns regarding weight, it is moreso a concern regarding heart disease and general well being. Probably a weird thing to think about for young kids, but after reading about insulin we became concerned. Do we really need to stress about children having a small amount of bread or rice or cake??? I just find that my children burn through energy and food so fast, that they seem to be hungry all day (despite having high fat foods - I even feed them straight butter!)

    I would be very grateful if you could direct me to some information on easy primal school lunch ideas, if this topic has been addressed before. I have found some information on other sites, however most of the food is dinner leftovers, and my very sensitive son is already voicing concerns about being 'different' to everyone else, and being laughed at. I guess I am trying to find a balance where I give my children the best diet, but also protect them socially and allow them to break free from it now and again.

    Thanks for your advice, it is gratefully received.

  • #2
    There is no problem with combining carbs and fat. It is a complete myth that this is a problem. Problems only arise when you eat too many calories, which can be easier if you are combining a lot of carbs and fat. Feed your kids food that don't make them seem different or get laughed at. And seriously, lol @ worrying about heart disease in toddlers. I am pretty sure they aren't really in a high risk category. Stop thinking about insulin, stop thinking about combining carbs and fats, have them keep up with being active, make sure they stay at a reasonable weight, and stop worrying.

    Many people live off of junk food for the first 20 years of their life, change their diet, and are extremely healthy because of it. As long as they aren't developing garbage eating or getting fat they are pretty much going to be fine.

    Also, restricting their diet can backfire on you when they get a taste of forbidden foods and realize that pizza, chocolate bars, french fries, and candy taste better than sour dough bread with butter.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
      There is no problem with combining carbs and fat. It is a complete myth that this is a problem. Problems only arise when you eat too many calories, which can be easier if you are combining a lot of carbs and fat.
      This is...somewhat true-ish, but also wrong at its core.

      Combining carbs and fats is among the most effective ways of gaining weight. Similar to drinking alcohol and consuming fat, when you eat carbohydrate, fat metabolism is put on hold. That means it's easier for your body to store fats in the presence of substantial carbs. Anyone that tells you 1,000 calories of pasta = 1,000 calories of steak is delusional. Carbs are a raw energy source with no essential need in the body. Fats are used to repair cells, DNA and are absolutely essential in the life processes of the body, so people can often get away with eating more "fat calories" without seeing fat gain than by eating the same amount of "carbohydrate calories". A good example would be to eat 2,000 calories of burgers and beer for a month, then eat 2,000 calories of salmon and broccoli for a month. They're the same 2,000 calories, but they'll have a profoundly different effect on body composition.

      The issue is that carbs are not inherently unhealthy. It's not about spiking your blood sugar - it's about how often you spike your blood sugar significantly. Diabetes and insulin issues are caused by having constantly high levels of insulin. Eating 300g of carbs in a day isn't as much of an issue if you eat them all in two meals. You're only raising your blood sugar around 6 hours in a 24 hour day. Spread that into 3 squares, a 10:00am coffee break, a 2:00pm pick-me-up Coke and a bedtime snack and now you've had elevated blood sugar for 75% of the day. Teach your child not to snack to keep sugar levels stable and the kid will be able to get away with a few non-Primal meals each week without ruining their health. Regular blood sugar spikes are healthy, anyway, and there is no such thing as a human diet in terms of macronutrients. Chronically low-carbing your kid is a great way to promote insulin resistance, and I would include starch in one of his meals every day. Kids eat crap for every single meal, so if they're having 2 or 3 lousy meals a week, they'll recover. As long as he's not gluten-intolerant anyway. I wouldn't worry about anti-nutrients. Phytic acid is actually an anti-oxidant and can be beneficial in the civilized world in small quantities, anyway, so don't worry about that one. There's hardly any phytic acid in white bread, anyway.
      Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 12-20-2011, 07:36 AM.
      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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      • #4
        What about gluten free breads?
        Making adventure out of this thing called life

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        • #5
          I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on this, because clearly I'm not. But your post reminded me of something I read on another website, which was discussing why many vegetarians/vegans experience "failure to thrive" and compounding health problems, yet may choose to become more and more entrenched into a way of eating that is clearly not benefitting them. The big idea was that they had come to believe, so completely, in the philosophy of how they were eating that they were unable to be objective when it came to evaluating their health in connection with food.

          I thought of this other article, because I was thinking that you are obviously a loving parent who is trying to start your kids off in the best health they could possibly be, while not wanting them to feel socially isolated (they'll get to enjoy that when they're adults ) That is really admirable, and I don't think you should feel too guilty or worried about a bit of bread here and there. Consider it their 20%, or think of it as their 'carb reload', or just think of it as a necessary thing, to be enjoyed in moderation. If they can grow up thinking of SAD foods as something to have occasionally, they will be in pretty good shape, in my opinion. Whatever you decide, don't forget that your kids' health and their 'ability to thrive' will be your ultimate reassurance. If you're open-minded enough to be objective when you evaluate how they're doing, then the moment you notice something's not right, change it. Not a big deal. If they suddenly start packing on weight, cut out the bread. Or the fat. or whatever. Nothing's set in stone.

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          • #6
            Gluten free bread is usually better than regular bread, but what are you getting with it? If it's store-bought, it usually has the consistency of a brick and tastes terrible. Most of it is made with brown rice or bean flour, so it's loaded with anti-nutrients, and they almost all contain "canola and/or soybean oil." If you can make your own gluten-free bread out of a mix of white rice flour/tapioca flour/potato starch, that's the way I'd go in my opinion. Maybe throw in a little sorghum or buckwheat for depth. Personally, I'd rather eat a homemade sourdough wheat bread that's been fermenting on the counter for three days in baker's yeast and Greek yogurt. Lactic acid fermentation over 3 days destroys most of the bad stuff in wheat, and it'll taste a hell of a lot better, too. If you can find sprouted wheat flour to make it, that's even better. But ultimately, none of it is "good". It's always best to eat whole food, especially considering how much work it is to make good, edible bread.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #7
              If they are fairly active, I really wouldn't worry about it. I like to think that their metabolisms are so rabidly high that you could feed them just about anything and they'll stay the same (again, as long as they're active)
              --Trish (Bork)
              TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
              http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
              FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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              • #8
                Your boys are still growing and burning plenty of glucose with their activity. I've always seen Paleo recommendations to NOT low-carb children. Low toxin, yes. Low carb, no. Though I'm sure this varies with medical issues if your kid has issues or develops something. A lot of folks seem to confuse Paleo for weightloss with general Paleo guidelines for good health. Carbs aren't totally evil as a calorie source, but the context makes them a poor choice sometimes!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BrassyDel View Post
                  Your boys are still growing and burning plenty of glucose with their activity. I've always seen Paleo recommendations to NOT low-carb children. Low toxin, yes. Low carb, no. Though I'm sure this varies with medical issues if your kid has issues or develops something. A lot of folks seem to confuse Paleo for weightloss with general Paleo guidelines for good health. Carbs aren't totally evil as a calorie source, but the context makes them a poor choice sometimes!
                  I agree with this 100%. If they must have sandwiches and feel deprived without them, buy a little bread machine and you can make your own gluten free bread. 1.5 cups of white rice flour with 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup potato starch,1/4 cup sorghum flour and 1 tsp xanthan gum will make a very good wheat bread substitute. Bake the bread, slice it, get some almond butter, make your own fruit preserves and you'll be able to pack them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just like any other kid. Carbs get paired with energy. A 7 year old boy is not a 47 year old CPA, haha. Make sure your kid gets plenty of fruit, white rice and sweet potatoes
                  Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                    I agree with this 100%. If they must have sandwiches and feel deprived without them, buy a little bread machine and you can make your own gluten free bread. 1.5 cups of white rice flour with 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup potato starch,1/4 cup sorghum flour and 1 tsp xanthan gum will make a very good wheat bread substitute. Bake the bread, slice it, get some almond butter, make your own fruit preserves and you'll be able to pack them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just like any other kid. Carbs get paired with energy. A 7 year old boy is not a 47 year old CPA, haha. Make sure your kid gets plenty of fruit, white rice and sweet potatoes
                    Agree with this too and what BrassyDel said!

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                    • #11
                      Thank you all so much for your comments!

                      Thank you all so much for your comments. Everything you say makes perfect sense, I think we just started to get worried, as the more we read the more evil grains seem.

                      I have been giving them sourdough as I thought this was a better version of bread (it is organic too and goes on sale at our local supermarket in the evenings for half price, so very affordable too). I have requested that my boys be gluten free at Daycare, in which case they do get that awful g/f bread and loads of rice bubbles and rice crackers. I've decided to change them back to normal diet, as it alienates them, and the gluten free options offered at daycare aren't really any better. Thankyou for the G/F bread recipe. I do have a bread maker (that almost got turfed during our big primal clean out) so will def give this recipe a go.

                      I think the more we read into the paleo/primal living, the more guilt we feel about feeding them grains etc, but you have all put my mind at ease.

                      I'm trying to make things simple for myself, as I'm finding preparing Primal food all the time quite time consuming, esp as I am running around after my two active boys all day. I will let you know what my ideas are for general meals and would love your feedback. Thanks again!!!

                      Breakfast-
                      Option 1: Some form of eggs (usually with fats and veges) +/- cheese (bacon once a week too)

                      Option 2: Smoothy made with coconut milk, added coconut oil and fruit (I tried to omit the fruit and put in melted butter and cinnamon as a strict paleo friend advised me to do recently, however ended up tipping that one down the sink). This morning made one with coconut milk, oil, pineapple and orange and they drank 2 glasses each.

                      Option 3: Yoghurt and fruit and nuts (they are hungry an hour after this one, so I might combine it with toast)

                      Option 4: Paleo pancakes.

                      I have made up a chart and each day is assigned a breakfast, so that saves arguments and fights about wanting 'cereal'.


                      Lunch:

                      We tend to give them lots of snack type foods, as we are often out and about and can't heat up leftovers. Things like:

                      Vege sticks, fruit, homemade jerky, cheese, I haven't been giving yoghurt lately but they love full fat greek yoghurt with honey so will add that back in after reading your posts today, deli meats (although in Australia a lot of our deli meat contains preservatives and nitrates etc - that can be my mission next month, to source better quality deli meat). Is luncheon sausage (polony) bad for kids??? It contains offal and other things so I thought perhaps it isn't so bad??? Ummmmmmmmmmm.... then sandwiches with sour dough, nuts particularly macadmias and dried fruit. I struggle with lunch the most and to be honest that is the meal that causes me the most distress in following this plan. Being out and about with 2 active (and always hungry boys) drives me crazy, trying to 'magic up' paleo snacks and lunches once my supply has vanished and we will not be home for 2 hours. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

                      Dinner is our best meal, and I have this pretty well organised now. We buy bulk organic meat and I use the slow cooker at least once a week, and batch cook - thanks to everyone online for all the cooking tips as it has helped me immensely.

                      I can't say how grateful I am for your comments and support. I am so excited to have found 'The Primal Blueprint' and this new way of life, and I really am dedicated to making it work for us a family. I feel so much better since eating this way, my only concern is that it does get on top of me sometimes, as I always seem to be cooking, or cleaning up after cooking, or trying to magic up food for my hungry boys.

                      I look forward to reading your comments xx

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                      • #12
                        I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but also keep in mind that they're using the fat and protein for growing taller. And anything left over from the carbs that they don't burn off by moving almost every second they're awake. Just like with endurance athletes, carbs don't have a chance to settle much fat onto them because they're using it as it comes it.

                        Just watch out for when growth slows down, but since you aren't forcing them to clean their plates every meal, they'll probably naturally cut back on the carbs as more of the protein and fat becomes available to convert for energy.

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                        • #13
                          I have a 2.5 year old boy. I really wouldn't be stressing about a few pieces of bread or pasta or rice. My boy wouldn't touch meat except smoked fish for a long time.. but is now eating chicken. Lots and lots of fruit becuase that is what he wants. He askes for muffins sometimes, and sometimes toast, sometimes fish and ham. They burn everything up running around and growing. Having said that, he's never had a lolly, has had chocholate cake twice for birthdays. As long as they are gettting food full of nutrients most of the time. some empty carbs wont do them any harm. IMO.

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                          • #14
                            My 5 year old son, fortunately, has never had much of a taste for sweet things. He prefers vinegar/salty, loves fruit and most veggies, and is insanely active. So I let him eat whatever he wants. IMO, kids are resilient, more active, and generally better at listening to their own hunger cues than we are, as long as we don't force them to clean their plates. I'm not going to worry about his diet until his growing slows down.

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                            • #15
                              It sounds like you are doing good with them!

                              How about adding a hard boiled egg with avacodo/homemade salad dressing/or homemade mayo? This is usually my go to breakfast if I need it and am running out early with no time to cook.

                              When you are out and about.. I would hit up a grocery store salad bar.. kids can really love this because they get to choose what they eat (with some limitations). Chipolte without rice/beans. Bunless burgers.

                              How about sweet potato fries for lunch with a bunless burgers? (believe it or not I hated buns growing ups so I ate them this way because I wanted to and the kids never said a word). Or homemade veggie chips with a cheese/lettuce wrap?

                              Make your own deli meat by getting a meat slicer.

                              I wouldnt worry about the carbs at all! I would try and stay away from the anti nutrients if you can tho.
                              Primal since March 2011

                              Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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