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Primal children- how to transition them when they are resistant?

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  • #16
    My 7 year old is a carb fiend. He would live on bread if he could. His favorite snack is bread. Since going primal myself, I haven't gotten or made breads, and except for stuff in the freezer (some bagels and English muffins) on occasion, he hasn't had any bread.

    We have had coconut flour dumplings with chicken, and pancakes made with coconut flour. I got a package of tapioca flour from the store the other day that has recipes for quick breads, pancakes, waffles and more on it.

    Here is what I would do if she were my child. I would explain that not only is the stuff not good for her, but it is also bad for her brother, and that if it is the house, you would eat it, so you are just not going to have wheat bread in the house any longer because you love both of your kids too much. I do think there are gluten free breads out there - make/get those for her sandwiches for lunch. But I would limit those to school days. And then pack in good stuff like hard boiled eggs, fruit, nuts, cheeses if she can have them. Add in a spoonful of high quality chocolate chips for a "treat." Hopefully this will help prevent trading of foods. Also, talk to the teacher, and explain that it is more than just wanting to eat well, it DOES effect her skin and behavior, and you want your daughter on best behavior so that the class is not disrupted by her. (That may be a stretch, but I have seen too many teachers who ignore "health" issues. But they tend to not ignore behavior issues.)

    Dinners and snacks at my house are what I make. I still make most of the things I used to make, only I take out the pasta and rice, and add more vegetables. We have always eaten a lot of curries, stir fries and such. I make cauliflower casserole with cheese sauce, and sometimes include other vegetables too.

    Breakfast I make sausages or bacon, and eggs are optional, but required if they are still hungry. I just found bugs in the cupboard with remaining cereals, so most of that is now gone, and will not be replaced.

    About taking eggs to school, read "Ramona Quimby, Age 8." Ramona takes a hard boiled egg for her lunch every day. I do suggest using a pencil or some food coloring to mark the eggs so that you don't have a Ramona "bad" moment!

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    • #17
      With the food commercials on kids TV these days it can be tough to make good choices for kids without them feeling "deprived." But honestly, even though 5yo asks for Trix yogurt because he likes the commercial for it, he doesn't actually like it very much. So for an older kid a conversation about advertising and making good choices for oneself might be a good idea.
      We don't have TV subscription, just rent DVDs from the library & use netflix for specific cartoons. I guess, I have one more benefit of it identified! Good stuff.
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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      • #18
        My mother was strict. I learned to save my milk money to buy ice cream. I learned to steal. Yes I stole penny candies from 7-11 and the grocery store bulk bin. Eventually I stole funsize candy right out of the bag. I made friends with other kids who had junk food at their house. Good luck to you.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          My mother was strict. I learned to save my milk money to buy ice cream. I learned to steal. Yes I stole penny candies from 7-11 and the grocery store bulk bin. Eventually I stole funsize candy right out of the bag. I made friends with other kids who had junk food at their house. Good luck to you.
          This is exactly why I make sure I almost always have some primal goodies at my house. Elanaspantry.com has lots of recipes that aren't great but they are waaaaay better than conventional crap. My kids and their friends all love the chocolate chip cookies made with almond flour - I use honey and cut the amount in half and add some stevia instead to lessen the sugar load. I also make the cherry lara bars with dried cherries, coconut flakes and almonds ground together in the food processor until sticky and smooth. It can be made into balls or pressed into a pan with a little dark chocolate on top - also a fav.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
            My mother was strict. I learned to save my milk money to buy ice cream. I learned to steal. Yes I stole penny candies from 7-11 and the grocery store bulk bin. Eventually I stole funsize candy right out of the bag. I made friends with other kids who had junk food at their house. Good luck to you.
            Did your mother allow a lot of fruit or other carbs in your diet?

            I'm just wondering because while a lot of us seem to be describing kids as "carb addicts," I think kids need a good dose of carbs and sugar. They are constantly growing and need ready-to-use energy every few hours since their stomachs are small compared to the amount of calories they need to eat in a day. Sugar is a really calorie-dense source of ready energy, so I think that's why kids gravitate to sugary foods.

            I have a theory that kids are naturally fat-adapted, so eating a large amount of carbs won't mess them up, until they stop growing so much, of course. So yeah, if you tell a kid not to eat banana's so much because of the carbs and sugars they'll probably start scheming ways to get them in secret.

            But four bananas in an hour like Leida said is quite a bit... When my aunt visited and bought Cheerios ("they're not Honey Nut, so they don't have any sugar!") my kid ate half the box in about three hours, and complained about being hungry when I took them away (and got a massive nosebleed that lasted over an hour the next day). So I think being careful about the amount is important, and the source. And making sure they get plenty of protein and fat in a day to balance it all out.

            Originally posted by Mud Finger
            This is exactly why I make sure I almost always have some primal goodies at my house. Elanaspantry.com has lots of recipes that aren't great but they are waaaaay better than conventional crap. My kids and their friends all love the chocolate chip cookies made with almond flour - I use honey and cut the amount in half and add some stevia instead to lessen the sugar load. I also make the cherry lara bars with dried cherries, coconut flakes and almonds ground together in the food processor until sticky and smooth. It can be made into balls or pressed into a pan with a little dark chocolate on top - also a fav.
            Thanks for the link! 5yo loves chocolate chip cookies, and I was wondering how to meet that craving. He has always been a dark chocolate fan (like 85% dark), but likes cookies too. So I'll have to search out some super dark morsels, and make him a very happy little boy.

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            • #21
              My mother was strict. I remember my cousin trying to sneak me some fried potatoes after my mom forbade me from eating any more at supper, and I cried but refused. I was maybe eight or nine.

              I am telling this because I am 37 and still remember it. And I want to avoid it with my daughter. I think about it as a 90% rule. I apply no restriction to fruit and tubers for my family, and I do bake once every few weeks a gluten-free pop-overs, pancakes, syrniks etc. I never press her into finishing her plate or restricting her food intake of food.

              The older she is, the more choices she will make on her own, but what I aim for is two things:
              -not having her taste-buds dulled and f'ed by processed foods so she does not like natural foods
              -her being used to the idea that food is cooked at home and it is easy, natural and fast.

              I would like to involve her in the cooking process more often, but I did not really cooked meals while I was growing up, just helped once in a while, here and there, and I had very easy time transitioning to cooking family meals and developing my own cooking style. So, as long as she sees me in the kitchen, wears an apron, does a bit of chopping here, reads out a recipe there, dips her hands into raw meat, handles a cooked fish head, helps with setting a table and cleaning up once in a while I am happy.

              I want her to be comfortable with preparing and eating food from scratch. She gets that, she will have all the tools for healthy living on her own.
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by SarahW View Post
                Did your mother allow a lot of fruit or other carbs in your diet?
                My mother was a fairly typical 1970s mom. Breakfast was cereal and milk, usually cheerios or frosted flakes. Lunch was a small sandwich and a piece of fruit. Dinner was a piece of chicken, baked potato and sometimes a vegetable. She made homemade pizza sometimes. She made rice with a burgundy beef sauce sometimes (my personal favorite). She made pork chops sometimes.

                My sister and I would eat powdered sugar with a spoon when she wasn't home.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #23
                  From your post, I gather that your husband isn't primal? If that's the case, that's probably the biggest hurdle in making sure your house is free of non-primal "food".

                  I'll share my situation, for what it's worth:

                  My husband and I are both primal. We have his 7 year old daughter with us half of the time. Her mother and step-father are not primal by a long shot. However, when she is with us, she eats as strict a diet as we do, and loves it. She eats smaller portions of whatever we're having for breakfast and dinner. She picks out her lunches to take to school, which include carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, pesto, chicken/beef sliced into smaller pieces, hard boiled eggs, Kerrygold cheese slices, 85% dark chocolate, etc. Occasionally she'll ask for a slice of cake or a cookie if we're at a party, but we've gone over why those are things we don't eat, and she usually understands. We have had our share of her refusing to eat something we give her (when it does happen, it's the day before we take her back to Mom), but in the end, she's the kid and we're the parents, so if she doesn't eat what we give to her, she doesn't eat.

                  I understand that if your husband isn't supportive in eating this way that you'll have stuff around the house to be a temptation, but as long as he's willing to back you up when it comes to telling your daughter what she's going to eat and enforcing that, just let her know what she will and won't be allowed to eat when she's home and stick to your guns.
                  Gamer. Powerlifter. Trekkie. Yogi.

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                  • #24
                    Hey Edenmb!

                    Philosophically - your daughter has no say at all. If you really believe that, and don't bend from your purpose, she will have no choice but to come along.

                    I know you are probably thinking I don't know what I am talking about, but I have four girls, ages 9, 12, 14 and 15, and all but the 9 yo have special diets, but she is the picky eater of the bunch. The 12 yo can't have any grains, any legumes, any dairy, and no added sugars. The 14 yo is a dairy-allergic celiac. And the 15 yo can't have artificial food colors, preservatives, additives and tends to be a carb addict with its attendant insulin roller coaster.

                    Truly, really, seriously, honestly - you start to provide really tasty Primal individual foods/meals on whatever timetable you choose for your family, because you know best where you can start the transition, and just don't stop. You are the moving freight train. You are the glacier. You are the tides of the ocean and the phases of the moon - simply unstoppable. Your DD is 9 - Primal isn't child abuse, and it isn't optional.

                    Don't preach - just do. You have preached already. If your hubby doesn't want the fuss, you will have to do the cooking for a while. This forum has a recipe board - mine it for all it is worth.

                    My advice is to start slowly and continue slowly. Make one change, make it stick, and then on to the other one. And do not ever, ever, say you are sorry - you are not sorry that you are changing her food for the better because you love her. And no excuses to the parents of her friends - this is what she needs to be healthy - basta.

                    Yeah, she will trade off her lunches and other assorted stuff for a while. You can take it. What other option is there?

                    Bring her into the kitchen and goof around while you BOTH prepare food together. No preaching, no lectures, just food, and answers for her if she asks questions. Taste test a lot. Take jaunts to farmer's markets and farm stands. Note her reactions to everything, but don't get emotional either way.

                    For otherwise typical kids, hunger wins out every time. Mine have gone 24 hours-plus with no food here and there while they were getting off some food or another during their transitions into their various diets (they refused to eat) - it won't kill them, and it is a good lesson that you won't bend and the hunger only increases while those hot meals keep on appearing on the table...

                    For some courage, try reading "French Kids Eat Everything" by Karen LeBillon. It isn't a Primal book, but her adventures with getting her SAD kids - and herself - into much better eating are exquisitely entertaining - and educational.

                    And talk to the hubby - he has to promise not to hamstring your efforts with yourself or your kids. If he flat-out refuses, then you have his fish to fry before you can begin on the kids, and that is another thread...

                    Good Luck and I know you can do this!!
                    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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                    • #25
                      The easiest way to get kids into the Paleo/Primal groove is to let them help (easy for them, harder for us!). My son always turned his nose up at spaghetti squash, until...I made it with meatballs, tomato sauce and squash, and told him it was a volcano (his thing right now), the squash was the mountain, the sauce was the lava and the meatballs were lava rocks! My son got to make meatballs, scrape squash, and open cans.

                      Good luck!

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