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Thread: Forcing teen aged kids to eat primal at home. page

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    BrakemanSlova's Avatar
    BrakemanSlova is offline Junior Member
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    Forcing teen aged kids to eat primal at home.

    Primal Fuel
    I have a problem that I'm sure lots of parents have. But it's not about little kids - it's about a teenager - so things are more complicated.
    When my kids were little we ate what I thought was healthy food, you know, whole wheat bread, beans, lean meat, potatoes, etc. and not much sugar or processed food. I used to make my own bread every day and I added gluten! Can you believe? So basically, I gave them the high carb and gluten habit.
    Fast forward to the last 4 years. I found the paleo/primal diet and have become more and more strict about it. My husband and kids were not super thrilled about this but my husband has gradually come around somewhat (if I feed him yummy stuff), and my two adult daughters are slowly (and with a lot of college-cafeteria-will-power difficulty) coming to believe in the primal lifestyle.
    The problem is my youngest daughter who is still at home. She is almost seventeen and is not interested in health. I have tried to give my kids a lot of personal responsibility (we are unschoolers, except that I am forcing her to go to the gym - thanks for the recent post about that) and my husband does not support removing everything my daughter likes to eat from the house. But when I buy her bread and lean pockets (ugh) I feel as though I am providing her with poison. If she calls Dad when he's out, he will bring her chicken nuggets.
    I keep telling her that her adorable figure is thanks to me keeping grass fed organic hot dogs in the house. And, I'd like to find a way to stop buying her the bad stuff.
    Any suggestions or thoughts on forcing teenagers to eat better? Or at least not enabling the SAD?

    Catharine in Austin, TX

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    Silvergirl's Avatar
    Silvergirl is offline Senior Member
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    Not sure what you can do without your Husbands support in this. I personally, would refuse to bring anything like that into the house myself, and say in good conscience I can't buy something for you that I believe to be harmful, but try and ignore that Husband brings chicken nuggets for her. She will be off on her own before long and eat what she likes, all you can do at this point is to continue to lead by example.
    Starting Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, goal weight in November 2012.
    Now 95lbs and holding.
    Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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    ^Ditto. Frankly, she sounds strong willed like her mom. 😊 So the more you force it, the more she'll fight you. And bringing up her figure is pointless because she's young and believes that will last forever. NO ONE can change a young person's mind about that! Life will. Ease up on her. She will find her way. People don't like to be controlled, even with good things. Just keep cooking good things and eventually she may be interested. Likely, she'll gain the freshman 15 when she hits college and be anxious to find a remedy. That will start a cycle of looking for ways to lose weight that will eventually lead her to a lifestyle change. That OR she'll get a paleo boyfriend and follow his advice even though it's the exact same thing you've been telling her for years! Kids...Teens...the worst! 😜


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    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    As a parent of a previously unschooled kid (my son is 16 and now does independent study at a local high school) I have a problem with the word "forced". The only time we have ever "forced" our son to do anything was for medical reasons. Perhaps the word doesn't mean the same thing for you as it does to me.

    All that aside, in our house we just keep foods that are primal if my son wants to eat something else while he's out with his friends, I figure it's doesn't amount to much given his overall diet. As it turns out he doesn't like fast food, doesn't even like the smell of it. When he meets his friends at Burger King he waits outside. The other night at a friend's house they made Annie's mac & cheese, far from primal but no point in making a big deal of it.

    As fas working out goes a year ago he and his dad joined a gym and started working out together. During this time my son has noticed that there is a direct connection between what he eats and how he feels/looks. He chooses to eat primal, he specifically asked me not to make even primal desserts except maybe once a week.

    My suggestion would be to include her more in things, if you aren't working out with her start to. As far as food goes, maybe you and your husband could agree not to buy her fast food, if she wants it she can go get it herself. But I wouldn't make any big, overt statement about it. Buy some yummy primal/paleo cookbooks leave them out so she can look at them and if she wants to cook with you do so. She may just want to eat those non paleo foods because you're against them. If you believe in unschooling I suggest extend that philosophy to letting her make her own choices about food. Be patient, trust that she will eventually come to what is best for her.
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about "forced" either. She's a kid, the parents provide the food. You are not obligated to provide her with a separate menu of junk food. Junk food is not the natural diet of growing children, and it is not child abuse to provide other foods instead.

    I'd be saying, if you want to eat something else, you can buy it yourself with your own money and eat it elsewhere. And when I say "your own money", I'd be meaning that she doesn't get a special stipend for junk food. It's her choice what she spends her allowance on.

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    leighlu's Avatar
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    My daughter is 19 and I have been primal for about four years. She knows I don't buy anything I consider crap. She either eats what is in the house, or buys her own. I am a single mom, so no dad to contend with, which probably makes it easier. If we eat out she orders what she wants. I think that she will come around eventually. I do not police what she buys with her own money.

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    Emtropy's Avatar
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    Forcing teen aged kids to eat primal at home.

    As a sixteen-year-old girl myself, I concur that it is in our nature to be incredibly stubborn and awkward about many things. If she feels like you're dictating certain parts of her life - even though you're not, you just have the best interest in heart - she may refuse. Teenage hedonism and that.

    Like the above posters have said, all you can do is provide healthy food in the house, and if she wants junk, she can buy it. I also suggest having "healthy" junk, like chocolate (milk and dark, but no junky ingredients; like green and blacks, or endangered species) or Haagen-Dazs ice cream in the house for occasional treats; just so she feels like this healthy lifestyle isn't anything hostile, and moderation can indeed be practised. Along with that, you could make paleo treats together, then main dishes.
    I'm not an emo, I swear

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    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    If chicken nuggets are something she likes you could make chicken parmesan at home and cut the pieces smaller. Depending on how strict you are with your diet you could use GF bread crumbs and parmesan or if you don't do grains at all I hear pork rinds work. Homemade chicken parmesan is so tasty she'll probably end up preferring it. You could even prep it all and keep it in the freezer ready to cook when she gets a craving.
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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    BrakemanSlova's Avatar
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    Thanks Everybody! I just found all these responses - thought there would be email notices.
    @Silvergirl - I know I just have to set a good example, so true.
    @edennperez1 - You crack me up about the boyfriend. Ha. Yes, I'm sure that life will teach her some lessons about health.
    @Urban Forager - You are so right about not enabling but not lecturing and forcing. And thanks for the "nugget" substitute ideas. It will be easier when I get my renovated kitchen back - 4 months of making ghee in a toaster oven...
    @Emtropy - So great to hear from a teenager. Love your suggestions about treats - I always reach for the Green and Black when I fear I will eat something bad. And ice cream is a pretty good birthday treat.
    @eKatherine - I'm Catharine too. I think having her buy it and eat it elsewhere with her own money is where we are headed. If I can get Pete to go along...
    @leighlu - Just like to eKatherine: I think I will stop enabling her. Unfortunately I think it's primal for Dad's to want to give things to their daughters! He can't say no to them, haha.

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