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  • #16
    Originally posted by Periwinkle View Post
    Thanks Magicmerl...did a search and found some great ideas. the whole transition has me worried, but totally changing the way they are used to eating is causing me a lot of stress. I am such an emotional eater, that the idea of taking away food that makes them "happy" hits close to home. I have just come to the unavoidable conclusion that if SAD is bad for them, then they just shouldnt eat it. (Except when they visit their dad...cause my soon to be ex husband thinks the whole paleo/primal WOE is silly. I am sure they'll come back from his house sick and wired on wheat and sugar. I am sure I'll vent about that on my journal from time to time...)
    Hi Periwinkle!

    I can really commiserate. I was in the position of telling one daughter that she was a dairy-allergic celiac, and also simply taking another daughter's diet and removing a crapload of favorite foods because she had to go SCD and since she is developmentally delayed was in no position to understand the sudden changes. I just really wanted to tell you this: it will be okay. And that you aren't taking stuff away - you are replacing it with something better. If you yourself truly believe this, it will sink in with the kids, and new food favorites and new food traditions will take the place of the old.

    At this point, the celiac manages her diet exceedingly well and no longer feels sorry for herself. And even the special-needs one gets the connection between food and stinky farts and diarrhea and poopy pants.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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    • #17
      Thank you all tremendously for the great posts here! I need to come back and re-read them all to really take advantage of the advice given.

      The "I am the parent" bit is so true but also hard sometimes when it's 3 against 1. But I'm holding my ground better this time around. Honestly, they weren't eating terribly before but there was more processed food than I could in good conscience handle. They had what I call "kid food" ie chicken nuggets, fish sticks, pizzas mixed in with cooked meats and veggie meals - this means I cooked one meal for me and dh and then threw in these extras so they would have something to eat. I know, I know....so wrong! Unfortunately, I'm still playing short-order cook fixing two, three, sometimes four differnent plates a night for dinner. And I know this has to stop too if for no other reason than it's going to kill me eventually.

      I would ideally like to keep things as simple as I can. I'm not a big fan of trying to create substitutes to processed foods or trying to make baked goods primally. This could be simple laziness on my part but whatever. I just like trying to enjoy real food in it's true form with some good cooking. Ex. Dinner tonight for me and dh was baked chicken in a seasoned butter sauce with sauteed broccoli and fresh squash. Delicious! Kids wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

      Gardening: we've had one for the last 3-4 years. DH and I love it. Kids have a blast prepping the ground, planting, and gathering. But no eating. Except for the romaine this year. They would nibble pieces they would pluck as they passed by. But that's it. So the grow it - eat it trick bombed here. :P We have done u-picks for strawberries and blueberries and yes, those are favorites.

      Supplements: I did finally find a multi that everyone would take and also bought the Barleans Omega-3 liquids in the flavors. So far they are being complient with these so plus there!

      Someone mentioned leaving some grains in. For us, if it's in the house it's fair game for a battle. I literally hide the dh's loaf of bread at the top back corner of the pantry. But I also agree on the gentle approach so I had thought of letting one day a week be sort of a freebie day (within reason). I have also bought plain rice cakes to help them transition. My 8 yo eats deli turkey sandwiched in them right now. He's big on sandwiches and things that have crunch. And I do allow them a small helping of baking dark chocolate chips after lunch several times a week. I allow whatever dairy they want. The 8 yo only does milk. The 6 yo does milk, yogurt, and cheese. The 3 yo does none of it.

      I like the "take a real bite" rule. And the "as you get older and more mature...." statement is golden! I tell my 3 yo he needs to eat his "grow food" so he'll get bigger. Sometimes that will win another bit of something.

      After reading all these answers I think what I need to remember most is to 1) cook one meal only - this will be tough. I wouldn't doubt some of you out there will hear the whining coming from this house. 2) stick to my guns about all this. I teach and tell them all the time about what is food and what isn't. I point out the junk and emphasize the goodness of whole foods. And yes, I too, am told how mean and unfair I am and am threatened with "..then I'm not going to eat til there's food I like."

      They do like to help cook but it's usually short-lived and like the garden thing they still don't eat it. sigh...

      But I'm gonna keep trying. You all have reassured me that I'm not permanently damaging them and that I'm not really a mean mom even if they think so. And truly, I don't mind if on occassion they have some junk - they should have their 20% here and there too, right? Heck, I'm planning on taking them to the movies soon for the first time so I figure I'd let them have the whole experience.

      You all have given me some great ideas and encouragement! Thanks again!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by jammies View Post
        I would probably try to make the transition a bit more gentle. Could you try something closer to Weston A Price style eating for a bit? That way you can still offer foods that are a bit familiar to them that way without buying a serving junk?

        And I agree with the rules that things must at least be tasted at each meal.
        Originally posted by jammies View Post
        I agree that a junk food diet is not the right option. But being too militant about things can really leave kids with emotional/food issues later on. My nephews love to eat the foods they help prepare. They also love to get to make their own choices about things so I often make a few things and let them choose.

        Do you have the nourishing traditions cookbook? So much of that food is really fantastic and I honestly would have no problems feeding most of that food to my (hypothetical )kids.

        Jammies is right. WAP style is probably better for now and I'd recommend you buy the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Also, don't force your kids to eat certain foods. Nobody should be forced to eat something they don't want to. By doing that you'd also be discouraging free thinking, which I know I wouldn't want to do if I were a parent. Just buy healthy foods for the house and tell them if they want something else, they can come along to the grocery store and buy it with their personal money. (be warned this may lead to complaints about the size or lack thereof allowance)

        Also, look into ways of making certain foods taste good. That way, they'll probably eat more of it. Frozen (or grilled and panfried yumyumyum) bananas and frozen grapes. Sauteed apples. Make white rice and sorghum crackers with cream cheese. Homemade chips with salsa and guacamole. Cheesy broccoli. Bring them to the grocery store. Go to a good part of the store. Tell them to pick out some items. Then eliminate the not-so-healthy items and buy the rest.

        Humans are very adaptable, especially kids. People can eat just fruit and they'll survive. They can eat just meat and be healthy. They can eat just chicken mcnuggets and they'll be okay. They can eat just bread with margarine and fat free strawberry yogurt and they'll live. It's more about what you don't eat than what you do. (obviously the second two examples are of foods people shouldn't be eating) As long as they're eating enough, I wouldn't worry if they aren't eating many vegetables.

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        • #19
          Hey Alydar

          Just one last thought about the gardens and cooking and all that... It won't work quickly. It is a lot like choosing good books - the best way is to grow up with it, and let the influence and lessons sink in bit by bit.

          As for the mean mommy thing... Hell Yes! I am a card-carrying member of the Mean Mommy Club! And wanna' know what - I love it. For all their techie sophistication and stuff today, kids still depend on us to make the tough calls and be the proverbial immovable object. I do not advocate real meanness in dealings with kids, but when mine ACCUSE me of meanness, it tells me I'm doing my job. You'll do great!
          I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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          • #20
            You also don't want to make a big deal about this stuff, ok? It's a fine line between wanting to do the right thing and being a total control freak whose kids are going to eat nothing but garbage at every sleepover to come. I've had kids who come into my house and play Mario Kart the ENTIRE time they are here because they're forbidden to play video games at home. And you can see how Munchausen by Proxy people would really groove on this- "you can't have bread because you're allergic". And the try one bite rule? I did that for a while until my (now 22 year old) second son threw up across the table. My fourth stayed at a friend's house with a mouthful of chicken in his mouth for two hours because he was afraid to swallow it and embarrassed to spit it out! Lol, that's actually a funny story around here. They are all omnivores now! They eat sushi and crazy shit....

            So just keep serving the stuff you know they like. Eventually they will get bored with it and want to try other stuff. Make no comment about it. Apples and carrots and hamburgers. Next day: hamburgers, carrots and apples. Get the garbage food out of the house. When they start trolling for food they're going to bump up against pears, peppers and meatloaf and they'll try it, believe me. Wheat sucks but Cheerios never killed a 3 year old. Getting crazy over every morsel will create a kiddie bingeing problem, believe me. And freaking out because your kid ate a bunch of cupcakes somewhere is NOT the way to choose your battles.

            I have five kids, 14-28. It's not easy but when you look back it should be with laughter 99.9% of the time. War zones are no place to live. Teach by example with the food issue, forget about even talking about it for months now, and get the garbage out of the house.

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            • #21
              If you like book suggestions, the book Little Sugar Addicts has several great step-by-step suggestions on getting kinds on board with a larger diet change. (link:Amazon.com: Little Sugar Addicts: End the Mood Swings, Meltdowns, Tantrums, and Low Self-Esteem in Your Child Today (9781400051649): Kathleen DesMaisons: Books)

              You might try some of the stuff in there because it's really big on giving children a voice but also addressing the areas that are more firmly a no as well.

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              • #22
                I have to laugh- I don't think kids ever want to eat what is in the house. I overheard my boss talking to her daughter about breakfast one day. Kid was whining about "nothing to eat"... boss was rattling off a list: cereal, oat meal, eggs, toast, muffins, fruit and yogurt, make a smoothie. Kid wanted a bagel.

                Probably if you had chicken nuggets, cheerios, hot dogs and ice cream, they'd want beef and broccoli.

                http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                  I have to laugh- I don't think kids ever want to eat what is in the house.
                  I have to laugh as well - my mom was a tough old German broad when it came to food. There wasn't ever money in the house for frills of any stripe, and if we got whiney about what food we didn't have in the house, she had her standard answer: "then you aren't hungry enough."
                  I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    There's loads of good advice here!
                    I'll just support the idea of getting your kids involved with the cooking. It's how I got my 2yo (what, is that too young to help in the kitchen?) to try asparagus ("These are the asparagus you helped Mummy snap!") and creamed spinach ("Remember, you helped Mummy measure and stir in the milk?"). He doesn't exactly love them, but at least it went in his mouth.
                    Maybe the older ones could read and choose recipes (from cookbooks you have preapproved without fuss).

                    I grew up with a picky-eater sibling, and mealtime was often stressful. I refuse to cook more than one meal. I can't be too uptight about what our little one eats, since he's in daycare and gets a meal and two snacks there. It's a very healthy menu by conventional standards, but it means he's usually having some type of bread product every day and too much soy by my reckoning. I figure I'll do my best at home, and that will be the example that sets him up for life. I still thank my parents for never letting us have soda, sugary cereals or much processed junk, like chips or boxes of store-bought cookies, in the home. And we pretty much never ate fast food. As a result, I've never really craved those things, and it is normal to be without them.

                    I figure you're already doing a great job by making the choice to eat real food.

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                    • #25
                      Thanks for this thread!! It's almost a daily battle in my house and I only have one child. She is a self made lacto-vegetarian. She used to eat meat but, by the age of 2 she stopped. She's now 3, I spent over 2 weeks trying to get her to eat meat again(for dinner only) when I first went primal. It was a horrible experience. When she turned to gagging and almost throwing up, I was done. It was not worth it. No one was happy and I hated the stress. Dinner is suppose to be a time of gathering and sharing the day over great food. Not crying, and begging and frustration.

                      Her biggest problem is textures. If it's too mushy or slimy etc, she spits it out. I blame her father for this. I found out from his mom that he didn't eat meat until well into the age of 7 or 8. He also ate the same lunch everyday, for school, for 12yrs. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. And guess what they don't allow at Daycare and schools? And guess what I know my daughter would eat every day? Annoying!! His mom also told me that she was a picky eater with texture problems too. So that pretty much cements my blame. lol.....Sigh.

                      I'm at the point now where I barely know what to feed her and she is consently telling me she is hungry. I keep telling her that she needs to eat something with protein to help keep her full. "If you don't like meat then it's nuts or yogurt." She does eat most fruit and the standard veggies (cooked only) and for mains we rotate with potatoes, rice, or gluten free bread with cheese melted on it (oh yah because she only likes cheddar..melted..no other cheese). Snacks are simple. Thank God she eats plain greek yogurt and started drinking milk because she now doesn't like any nuts and will only eat peanut butter. Uggh. And this just started two weeks ago!! Gawd, I think I hate this age

                      We still put all veggies we eat and I know she doesn't, on her plate but meat, I've stopped. She gets too angry about it and will only focus on that. Every night I offer her meat off my plate but, she says no. That is where we are at. I hate it b/c I swore I'd never have a picky kid as an eater but, I have no control over this. One day she'll like meat, right? Because she doesn't even eat eggs! She's NEVER liked them.

                      Anyways, no help on this end from me. I just wanted to add that you are not alone and we can only do what we can do. Keep healthy, primal stuff there that you know they like, offer the rest and hope to god the evening becomes less "whiny" as the weeks go on.
                      Last edited by labmonkey; 07-11-2012, 10:46 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                        I have to laugh as well - my mom was a tough old German broad when it came to food. There wasn't ever money in the house for frills of any stripe, and if we got whiney about what food we didn't have in the house, she had her standard answer: "then you aren't hungry enough."
                        LOL, I've used a similar line on my son when he complains about a particular meal, but really, I feel incredibly lucky that my son has a broad palate. That kid will eat anything, even stuff adults turn their noses up at (raw onions, smoked oysters, pickled okra). But I haven't pushed the transition on him. We talk about what his dad and I eat, and what foods are best, but if he wants a piece of bread or a cupcake, I let him have it. He'll learn healthy eating by watching us and cooking and eating with us, but at 6 years old, he can get away with eating a bit of "junk" now and then. I know I ate far more junk than he does when I was his age.

                        Personally, I think that a gentler transition works best, especially with picky kids. Cut out the junk a little at a time, and replace it with healthier options, but sometimes the stress created by fighting with the kids about food is worse than just letting them eat the food. Find what they will eat and serve that. It is okay for them to eat the same thing all the time. Just give them a good multi, too. I think some days my son would live on bananas and pickles, and I'm okay with that, because it's better than living on Snickers and Coke, and it's not worth the stress to try to get him to eat something else. And don't look at just one day of nutrition. As long as it balances out over a week or a month, they should be fine.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Danielle5690 View Post

                          Personally, I think that a gentler transition works best, especially with picky kids. Cut out the junk a little at a time, and replace it with healthier options, but sometimes the stress created by fighting with the kids about food is worse than just letting them eat the food. Find what they will eat and serve that. It is okay for them to eat the same thing all the time. Just give them a good multi, too. I think some days my son would live on bananas and pickles, and I'm okay with that, because it's better than living on Snickers and Coke, and it's not worth the stress to try to get him to eat something else. And don't look at just one day of nutrition. As long as it balances out over a week or a month, they should be fine.
                          This is where we are at! Last Dr's visit they really got on me about her iron levels (with no blood test drawn, like come on!) and I told them the problem so they suggested a multi and told me to go to the health food stores for one since I didn't like the options at the standard pharmacy. Funny thing, the Dr then handed me a sheet of foods to feed my daughter. I promptly handed it back and told her I didn't need it. I know what she needs and she not eating it!

                          The last thing I want to do is take that sheet home and stress over what she doesn't eat. I remember the horrible advice I got with breastfeeding and caring for her when she was a baby. Oh she hasn't done this, that's a problem or she feeds this way, it's not the same as what they told me. Stress, stress, stress.....F*ck that

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                          • #28
                            Wow. I have to say it: I was never allowed to choose, and I was a VERY picky eater. I simply had to eat what was in front of me or go hungry. I hated meatloaf, turkey, burgers, chicken. Didn't matter. That is what was made.

                            Funny story: my two stepsons were little, six and eight years old. They had "texture" issues -- which I totally appreciate, because I have them with some things too. I wasn't told this, however, and made them a healthy dinner (at the time according to CW) of peas, mashed potatoes, and ham. Their father said they liked this sort of food (it was my first time cooking for them.) They threw it up -- or regurgitated, really -- all over their plates. I cried like a baby. So I gave in and made them what I learned they liked: tater tots, chicken fingers, french fries and pizza. Oh, and the daily hot dog, cereal and pop tart.

                            Then I had to go gluten free due to Celiac's disease. Out went all the junk food from my kitchen. They were allowed one bag of junk food and a loaf of bread. Otherwise, I cooked what I could eat, and it tended to be a great deal healthier. Oh, the regurgitating and whining ensued. We spent hours at the table. Interesting thing: kids won't go hungry. They will whine and complain -- but then, don't we all when change occurs and it's not of our own making? We throw our own fits and curse and complain. But eventually, we get used to it and it becomes the norm. After a few hungry nights, the regurgitating stopped, the refusing to eat stopped. THEN we had a conversation about each meal -- what did you like, what didn't you like. They had to eat a reasonable portion of it first, then they could choose a substitute for the next meal if they didn't like it. Before long the oldest was eating sushi and the youngest was eating raw vegetables.

                            My point is that they aren't going to suffer emotional or mental damage because you are making different meals. I stopped talking about it and just cooked it up and put it out. And eventually, they stopped making a fuss over it. The only damage comes from the vicious battles that can ensue (and their father was not a patient man.) And they also didn't hate their step mom -- they'd go to their mom's and brag about the foods they'd eaten, and she'd text me in wonder that I'd gotten them to eat such things.

                            Hang in there. You are doing right by them. And let's face it, they are supposed to hate you some times (by the time they are teens, pretty much all the time.) You are raising them to be healthy, adjusted adults -- and you are definitely going down the right road with good nutrition.
                            The Sedition of Sisyphus: Go Find Another Rock

                            Griff's Cholesterol Primer

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                            • #29
                              @ labmonkey -- if your daughter's main meat problem is with texture, have you tried crispy bacon? How about meat/bone broth? If she's a good chewer, maybe beef jerky?

                              I agree that if she's that emotional about it, trying to push things will only make it worse. If you're worried about her getting enough protein, maybe you could fortify her milk with protein powder.

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                              • #30
                                I did food battles with my oldest (now 16) following the logic that "they'll eat if they're hungry" and discovered that some children are pretty resilient and won't actually eat. Honestly, I think I partially starved the poor kid for several years when I was really really strict on foods. But finally reached a point where I wouldn't stress over her hating dinner as long as I made sure that other meals during the day and snacks were nutritious with foods she liked. One rule that went well was that you can serve yourself but you must eat what you serve, so be it only 3 green beans. Honestly though, she didn't really start liking food until she was about 14 or so, it's been a long road for her.

                                I do think I'd go nutty if I had many many picky attitudes to sort through. Maybe doing the one-meal only will work for dinner if you're feeling like they've got in good other options and snacks during the day.

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