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Pre-teens, partial primal

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  • Pre-teens, partial primal

    My almost-teen daughter eats our primal meals, but also eats grains and sugar. Not crazy amounts, and not lots of highly-processed junk food, but the usual SAD (ice cream, occasional pie or cupcakes). She is probably about 60/40 paleo

    Some concern that healthy-high-fat PLUS sugar/carbs could lead to gain of fat, especially since she is mid-puberty.


    We discuss eating choices, and how our choices make us feel, and she knows the paleo/primal guidelines, but is somewhat resistant (a teen-thing) in attitude ("but, I like white potatoes..."). Ironically, and happily, her previously heavy-carb-eating previously overweight (now fit and almost trim) dad is the one leading the conversations with her about this. We don't want to put pressure on her it because it seems like that might make a rebellion. And not interested in triggering an eating disorder.

    Thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Be thankful and patient.
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

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    • #3
      When I was 12 my diet consisted of soda, french fries, white pasta with parmesan, ice cream, soft pretzels, and nacho "cheese" Lunchables, and no one could convince me there was anything wrong with that for pretty much my entire teen years. Definitely be thankful your tween is open-minded--although I agree with you that the sugar+fat combo is dangerous, health is something she needs to learn in her own time. Hopefully being surrounded by a healthy family will eventually move her in the right direction. I have to say that for me, it took going away to college to finally wake me up to how awful my diet made me feel...constantly tired, mentally foggy... You should just keep the conversation around how proper diet is the way towards happiness.. maybe make a point of saying "ugh, I felt so exhausted today until I ate that salad, now I'm ready to go!" etc. and hopefully that will make connections in her mind so next time she's tired she goes for the veggies not the RedBull. Just my 2 cents as a reformed carboholic. Sounds like she's in a good starting place to make health a priority for her whole life! You can't rush these things though...hold tight and know you're doing all the right things by setting a good example

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      • #4
        And you might wanna just concede the white potato point... or try cooking up sweet potatoes the way you'd normally cook white ones and see if she doesn't end up liking those just as much. I like to fry up sweet potato slices with garlic and some salt and everyone I've fed them to (including my boyfriend who's health knowledge would be basically zero if it wasn't for me grilling him all the time about his habits) has said they smell and taste delicious.

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        • #5
          Thanks for th input. Patience is definitely part of the process, and learning through experience. And it is certainly nice to see her pouring the EVOO and homemeade mayo on salad

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tallpinespaleo View Post
            My almost-teen daughter eats our primal meals, but also eats grains and sugar. Not crazy amounts, and not lots of highly-processed junk food, but the usual SAD (ice cream, occasional pie or cupcakes). She is probably about 60/40 paleo. Some concern that healthy-high-fat PLUS sugar/carbs could lead to gain of fat, especially since she is mid-puberty. We discuss eating choices, and how our choices make us feel, and she knows the paleo/primal guidelines, but is somewhat resistant (a teen-thing) in attitude ("but, I like white potatoes..."). Ironically, and happily, her previously heavy-carb-eating previously overweight (now fit and almost trim) dad is the one leading the conversations with her about this. We don't want to put pressure on her it because it seems like that might make a rebellion. And not interested in triggering an eating disorder. Thoughts on this?
            Stop buying potatoes & she'll stop eating them. There will be a rebellion, but a hungry tummy will dictate her surrender. My mom said we had to eat what she served us, or we could go hungry, or go begging around the neighborhood for scraps, lol.... She was a ballsy lady who taught me that tough love can be the best love sometimes...
            "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
            "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
            "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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            • #7
              1/2 primal is a massive improvement over what a young person would normally eat. There is nothing particularly bad about primal fats in the presence of SAD carbs, weight gain is caused by excess calories (in a healthy young person this is very straightforward, metabolism is high and oriented away from fat gain anyhow) NOT by any certain combo of fat and carbs. Thank your daughter for being open to healthy eating ideas and encourage her to make good choices. White potatoes are semi-primal anyhow *not paleo, but actually not bad for you*. One of the sillier paleo / primal rules is no white potatoes.
              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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              • #8
                Is your daughter overweight?
                Fats are healthy, and she should probably have plenty. But when she has plenty fats and protein and nutrients you can add in as much good carbs as long as she doesn't gain too much fat a high carb high fat diet which is healthy won't make her fat or unhealthy unless it's too many calories. Which probably won't be the case very fast in her case. I'm a also a teen and my maintenance level is around 5000 calories..

                Also I think real ice cream is the healthiest unhealthy thing. It's just the sugar. Which is lower on the list to avoid than vegetable oils or wheat.


                Everything I told here is just what I have learned on this forum
                well then

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                  1/2 primal is a massive improvement over what a young person would normally eat. There is nothing particularly bad about primal fats in the presence of SAD carbs, weight gain is caused by excess calories (in a healthy young person this is very straightforward, metabolism is high and oriented away from fat gain anyhow) NOT by any certain combo of fat and carbs. Thank your daughter for being open to healthy eating ideas and encourage her to make good choices. White potatoes are semi-primal anyhow *not paleo, but actually not bad for you*. One of the sillier paleo / primal rules is no white potatoes.
                  We have white & sweet potatoes in our cupboard, And brown rice, oh my! I'm not making rules or demonzing any foods. Hell, I use brown sugar once in a while, when a recipe just cannot work without it... My example of the white potato was from her own text of her daughter's teen rebellion. My son is 6 & he's become very rebellious the last couple of years(which is normal & healthy). Long gone are the days when he was 2 & would eat anything I put on his plate. If I let him get hungry enough, by god, he'll eat his greens & get a 1/2 banana as a reward...I hate using food as reward or punishment, but I/we cannot let the lil guy run the show & dictate eating menus & timings as the adults have to work & he doesn't...
                  "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                  "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                  "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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                  • #10
                    My daughter has done some of the reading has pointed out that we can have some white potatoes, so that is probably a good and easy compromise. And she is not overweight. Just trying to find balance as a family (which is primal in and of itself).

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                    • #11
                      Why would you want to restrict your growing child from eating potatoes or rice, that's kind of crazy? And if she wants to eat bread, milk and oatmeal with a bit of sugar there's probably more harm done in scaring her away from those types of foods. The only things I would really be restricting is stuff like soda, fries, donuts, etc.
                      Last edited by Forgotmylastusername; 07-30-2012, 08:43 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I think that kids get much more of a free pass than adults. As long as you are eating unprocessed (i.e. not junk) food I would pretty much give her free reign. The whole point is to help her grow into making healthy choices for herself, right?

                        We occasionally let out eldest girl overeat on sweets, and the punchline is that she is getting pretty good about making the link between what her body doesn't like (despite the mouthfeel).
                        Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                        Griff's cholesterol primer
                        5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                        Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                        TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                        bloodorchid is always right

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