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  1. #1
    AuntPol's Avatar
    AuntPol is offline Senior Member
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    Need to work on kid's diets

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    I have two kids (dd11 and ds10). Both are underweight and small so definitely do not need to lose weight. Both have sensory integration dysfunction and have issues to food due to texture (though in opposite ways). I homeschool both so I don't fight too many battles in food because I have enough with other things and can only handle so many a day. My temper seems more calm now that I am eating primally and not having those major carb drops so maybe I can handle a couple food battles now.

    DD11Slightly short and underweight (50%ile so not too bad) but overall very cute. However, she is ALWAYS hungry (and you will see why when you read what she will eat). She probably has undiagnosed ADHD. She is my biggest struggle with school (gifted but doesn't give a flip about anything but disney stars, justice clothes, and hanging out w/ friends). Actually, she and I butt heads all the time and have since she was 3. Thus, the reason I don't have food battles.

    Will not eat meat. She does not like the taste or the texture. She will eat a very tiny amount of rotisserie chicken (1st day we have it) and an ocasional chicken nugget if forced or if dessert is on the line. She will not put red meat or pork in her mouth even if means being grounded and missing dessert. She used to eat scrambled eggs and hard boiled eggs (whites only) until some kids at her old public school made fun of her for eating it. Since that day, she will not touch them.

    She will eat yogurt if it is sweetened and flavored (but only strawberry or strawberry/banana) and has no chunks in it. SHe likes yoplait kids and gogurts. SHe drinks skim milk but has no issue with 1% or 2% if that is all the store has. SHe will eat cheese if it's own pizza, a quesadilla, shredded in a taco shell, macaroni and cheese, or a grilled cheese.

    She eats peanut butter and spreads it on her waffles or eats with apples. She won't eat plain nuts or try the almond butter. No beans.

    Veggies -tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, salsa, cucumber slices, baby carrots, lettuce, celery
    Fruits-canned peaches, pears, mandarin oranges and applesauce; apples, pears, watermelon, strawberries, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes

    Loves pasta (penne, egg noodles, ramen), waffles, pancakes, and bread and basically lives off it. She prefers white to whole grain but I buy whole grain most of time. She will only eat white rice. She loves cereals but not any real "healthy" ones so we mostly let her have them as a dessert. If starving, she will eat Cheerios. Panda Puffs are a current compromise. Corn is a hit or miss item for her, depending on her mood.

    Like most kids, she loves candy (especially if it's red), chocolate (only plain hershey's or m&m's though), cupcakes, ice cream (only vanilla w/sprinkles), cookies (but not any w/oatmeal), etc. She likes to drink red gatorade or fruit punch if she's out but will get Coke if they don't have fruit punch. She won't drink any juice. We try to limit access to these things but they seem to abound at every function we attend.

    She loves potatoes -baked regular, boiled red potatoes, mashed french fries on occasion, tater tots preferred over fries -will not eat them oven roasted. Will not eat sweet potatoes.


    DS10

    I think he is a natural primal eater. However, while both are underweight, he is almost too skinny. He will go all day without eating sometimes -especially if he has to fix it. He is interested in nutrition and tries to make healthy choices most of the time (at least he will pick up cheese instead of donuts given the choice). He has Aspergers so any changes for him have to be very gradual.

    He likes almost all meat -won't eat white chicken unless it's in a nugget or crispy chicken strip (and of course, I HATE the taste of dark) or any meat mixed in a casserole (except lasagna). He loves scrambled eggs and is big on sausage and bacon lol. He will eat the occasional hard boiled egg (white only); His red meat has to be cooked rare. For his birthday, he had the Melbourne at Outback and ate it all, including the fat. He loves the fat.

    He loves to drink milk but only skim. He can suffer through 1% if he HAS to. He does not care for yogurt but loves yellow cheese (monterey jack and sharp or medium cheddar). White cheese on pizza or mozarella sticks (but not string cheese for whatever reason).

    He likes peanut butter w/apples or out of jar and will eat most nuts. He has not yet tried the almond butter I bought but I think he will in a few months. He usually will try something after repeated exposure.

    Veggies -loves lettuce as long as it's crispy (ice berg and the crispy end of romaine); carrots and broccoli (raw only); tomatoes only in form of spaghetti sauce, salsa, and tomato soup; occasionally he can be talked into a pepper strip. Celery w/peanut butter

    Fruits-watermelon, apples (only very crispy ones); orange juice (but not oranges)

    Likes pasta and bread -doesn't mind whole grain. He will not eat sandwiches at all. LOVES pretzels and will eat goldfish and only pringles chips. Corn is hit or miss but usually okay if it's grilled corn. He could care less about canned corn or boiled corn on the cob unless he's really hungry.

    Potatoes-loves oven roasted if I make it small enough to get crispy, thin french fries, tater tots if they are crispy cooked, but not mashed, or boiled. He will eat it baked if he's hungry enough. He will not eat sweet potato fries either. It's one of the few things that he won't try despite many exposures.

    He likes some sweets -reeses and ice cream/milkshakes are his favorites. He would eat ice cream for dessert everyday if he could. He will drink Coke any chance he gets even though he has read how bad it is for you. Other than that, he doesn't seem to care and only indulges at events. He loves hot chocolate in the winter.


    As you can see- trying to come up with a meal that pleases both is hard and that is before you add in my husband who's rather picky himself. I don't really feel the need to make them completely primal but trying to decide what to fix first. HFCS? Food Colorings? etc.? Right now, I am focusing that lunch and dinner must have a protein source and at least one veggie. With my daughter, I might be able to bribe her to try new things if she gets something like a new outfit from Justice (but w/ my budget she would have to try a signicant amount to reach that -not a one bite thing but more like a hundred bites or more.

  2. #2
    MariaNYC's Avatar
    MariaNYC is offline Senior Member
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    What about fish?
    Meat has many different textures -- which texture is a problem for your daughter?
    Btw, I don't see how 50%ile is underweight. That is perfectly average.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

  3. #3
    Tawny's Avatar
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    They sound like my kids, except my daughter is 12!

    All of us, me included, used to eat all of the things on your list. I went completely overboard a few years ago and would buy nothing unless it was "healthy" - lots of organic pop tarts and cookies to replace the other stuff (that got very expensive). The kids protested a little, but they actually liked some of the new stuff (no wonder - all that sugar!) My husband has been no help - to this day he will bring home doughnuts, cupcakes, and other leftovers from work...

    The turning point for my daughter came when she was constantly complaining of being hungry at school. She loves science, so we decided to try an experiment - she was going to get two fruits in her lunch and see if that would sustain her better. It did.

    Then we tried eating eggs for breakfast - she found that she could make it to lunch without a growling stomach.

    Because she saw first hand how eating the right foods makes her feel better, she has been more open to making changes and to reading stuff on her own. A year or so ago I forwarded her a link about what McDonald's chicken mcnuggets are made of - she is the first to tell her friends that they are crazy to even suggest getting something to eat there.

    All of these things occurred after I discovered the importance of eating real food, but before I began to eat primal.

    We are now working on getting rid of the bread - hard to do, because she doesn't like most meats or cheeses, but does love peanut butter. A couple of days a week I give her celery and peanut butter, and every day she gets the two fruits, a yogurt (yes, it's of the Trix or some other candy-yogurt variety) or string cheese, and a treat, usually an oatmeal raisin or peanut butter cookie or homemade trail mix. I also send milk or water with her everyday. It is far from perfect, but much better than it used to be and better than 99% of her peers.

    My son loves cereal and anything salty...otherwise, he eats pretty primal. I used to get so annoyed with him because he would refuse to eat bread!

    It has been a very long process to get to where we are, and we still have a long, long way to go. The best advice I can give you is to choose one meal, make it an experiment, and go from there. Make a plan, let them choose what they want for one meal or snack every day.

    Best of luck to you - it's a tough job, but you can do it!

  4. #4
    AuntPol's Avatar
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    Fish is a no go in this house -I'm allergic to shellfish and the smell of fish makes me puke. The sight of raw fish filets, fish heads, tails, and bones makes me sick to my stomach too. I have to rush past that section of the grocery store. I can eat fishsticks if they are very cripsy and drowned in ketchup but I don't. My husband is same way except he can eat tuna (but I have to be out of house for him to fix it lol).

    My daughter does not like much of anything that has to be chewed. We've tried steak, hamburgers, meatloaf, hamburger helper, roasts, stews, pork tenderloin, pork chops, bacon, sausage links and patties, etc. Pretty much anyway you can fix meat, we do it. She will not put in her mouth period.

    I say she is underweight because she is on the slim slide for her height. She varies between 30-50%ile any given year. She seems to get to spot and stay for long periods. She wears a 10 slim and they fall off her without a belt. She looks tiny next to some of her same age friends and has always been one of the smallest kids around. However, she is not a child that you look at and want to feed right away either lol (my son is close to that point though -especially when he tries to be manly and takes off his shirt). SHe actually has some muscularity to her body compared to other girls her age. I think she is completely perfect but I'm biased too lol.

    She does make decent choices when eating fast food compared to most- she prefers Taco Bell (cheese quesadilla) or Wendy's (baked potato and side salad). At McDonald's or Burger King, she gets a burger (eats bun w/ketchup and tosses meat) and apples instead of fries. Her snacks of choice are popcorn and snack size fruit cups (unless doughnuts are around -she loses her brain over doughnuts. We do have lots of battles over doughnuts.)

    My husband does not eat healthy at all -no matter if you go by CW or Primal standards lol. He never has eaten healthy. However, he thinks he does. He had his gall bladder removed at age of 34. He has zero desire to eat healthier or get in shape. Everytime I have dieted in the past, he bakes something the day I announce I am trying to eat healthy. He loves to bake cookies and will make THOUSANDS over Christmas (and cookies are my weakness). If he had to choose between staying married to me and not making cookies for Christmas or making cookies and getting divorced, he would make the cookies. We have had marital counseling over it. Every year, he promises the counselor that he will cut back and every year, he increases the amount he makes. Not baking cookies is more grounds for divorce for him than me cheating on him. Ditto fudge, candies, pies, and brownies. This year, I asked him to do holiday baking over one weekend and I will get a hotel (he thinks I'm kidding!).

    Breakfast: usually skips, or eats granola bars or instant oatmeal; recently started eating carnation instant breakfast. Wekeends he eats fruity pebbles with chocolate milk
    Lunch: Skip or fast food or pbj's at home or frozen burritos
    Dinner: whatever I fix but no cooked veggies except onions. Skips a lot of the raw ones too. If I don't cook, he eats frozen burritos, pot pies, hot pockets, canned ravioli. Eats ice cream almost every night.

    Drinks lots of juice and gatorade -water will not touch his lips. He's not too big on sodas though -gets lemonade or slushies or fruit punch.
    He drinks lots and lots of milk. He will not eat yellow cheese or any melted cheese (doesn't like pizza but will eat it). I would say he gets the majority of his calories via drinking.

    He won't eat sweet potato fries either but he loves baked sweet potatos and sweet potato casseroles. He won't eat brown rice except with chili over it. He loves those Lipton rice packets though. He doesn't like mashed potatoes but loves potato salad. The smell of broccoli, squash and zuchinni makes him squeamish (he can tolerate it but he can tell if I made it that day as soon as he opens the door).

    I don't eat game meat, organ meat, dark poultry, or seafood or hardboiled eggs (people say I make the best deviled eggs ever but I can't stand them- texture thing). I don't like avocados, rosemary, mushrooms (like the flavor not the texture though), coconut, brussell sprouts, turnips or artichokes. There are some others that I don't care for but can eat (eggplant, cauliflower, cabbage, cilantro, cantaloupe, and honeydew). I don't choose those latter things for myself but I eat them when they come in our produce box. Still trying to find away to like eggplant -love flavor but texture is too mushy. I worry about doing primal not liking coconut or avocado! I'm willing to give them another go around. Unlike the others in my family, I will try new things and even old things I didn't previously like (except fish -it's the smell).

  5. #5
    Tawny's Avatar
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    I think there might be more going on here than just trying to move to a healthier way of eating.

    And maybe your husband needs to open a bakery?

  6. #6
    Jason VT's Avatar
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    Try not having bad food around. Your kids will eat anything once they're hungry enough. Trust me.

    Also, if your kid really does have ADHD (or something similar) then lectins have been linked to it's manifestation.

    I fight the same battle with my wife about our kids' eating habits and her argument is always: they're kids, let them enjoy food for now. The connection between what they eat now and what they'll eat in the future somehow eludes her.

    My biggest recommendation would be to purge your cuboards and keep them purged.

    I do not envy you your battles.

  7. #7
    doug's Avatar
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    One thing that you might want to try is making the homemade ice cream recipe that Peter from hyperlipid makes or similar recipe and use that as a treat. I think his calls for 6 egg yolks, pint of cream, glucose powder to taste. The trick to this is that the ice cream itself is extremely high fat and filling and you can control the degree of sweet (cutting back each batch).

    You could also just ban sugar and sweets. Until the kids get sweet cravings in line its going to really undermine their food tastes. Removing grains and sugar is paramount. Rice/potatoes are better options if they need the starches.

  8. #8
    free3337's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntPol View Post
    trying to come up with a meal that pleases
    A meal that pleases your daughter is bread and sugar. If you want to please her, then feed her bread and sugar. Hopefully you're convinced that's very unhealthy. If so then you have to convince and encourage your daughter to step away from the bread and learn take pleasure in good and non-toxic foods.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntPol
    She used to eat scrambled eggs...until some kids at her old public school made fun of her for eating it. Since that day, she will not touch them.
    that's pretty messed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntPol
    She loves potatoes
    You can do a lot with potatos. Check out some of the posts here. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/search?q=potato
    Some cultures have lived very heavily off tubers and retained apparent health and physical vitality. There are lots of neat traditional tuber recipes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poi_%28food%29 comes to mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapioca http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava#Human_food . Could make something like fries fried with a ton of nice fat: they can soak up fat well I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntPol
    He would eat ice cream for dessert everyday if he could.
    I don't think this is a actually a bad thing... Except commercial ice cream is high in sugar. But you can make your own at home and use honey, and less of it, or maybe something like glucose powder which avoids the fructose. Once you've gone off sugar for a while, i find it really doesn't take much sweetner to make something taste more than adequately sweet. Plus I suppose artificial sweetners (like stevia say) are an option. you could can even make nice ice cream with coconut milk too if you want to avoid the dairy aspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawny
    Because she saw first hand how eating the right foods makes her feel better, she has been more open to making changes and to reading stuff on her own. A year or so ago I forwarded her a link about what McDonald's chicken mcnuggets are made of - she is the first to tell her friends that they are crazy to even suggest getting something to eat there.
    This is awesome advice i think. Kids aren't by nature necessarily irreconcilable. Earlier i suggested "encourage your daughter to step away from the bread and learn take pleasure in good and non-toxic foods."... What i meant by that was not 'Eat this or else!', but rather, as seen in this quoted example, more like 'Why don't you try this, and see if you don't feel better?' or 'Why don't you take a look at some of this interesting evidence...'. Kids are like little people in some ways. If you try to outright control or trick them they will resist no matter what. The only option is to get them on your side, on board, believing in the idea. I don't think there's hope for your daughter health wise unless you actually convince her, somehow, in the general primal idea (or at least in the idea that some foods are toxic and damaging and need to be treated appropriately).

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntPol
    My husband does not eat healthy at all -no matter if you go by CW or Primal standards lol...He has zero desire to eat healthier or get in shape.
    sounds like kinda a big deal to me. i think what parents do, how they act, what they believe in as inferred by their actions, etc, are all pretty influential on a kids development...

  9. #9
    AuntPol's Avatar
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    Well breakthrough #1 -my daughter ate a scrambled egg today and liked it.

    We have agreed to work on tackling HCFS first. The kids are a bit put out because fountain sodas all have HCFS and they usually only get soda when we eat out or go to movies and thus, it's fountain. I am thinking one a month would be okay (I don't want to over restrict because I feel it will lead to sneaking) I am not sure if HCFS is really worse than sugar or not but it "sounds" scarier thus easier to convince them not to eat it.

  10. #10
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    Throw away the percentile chart. They are outdated and a terrible way to judge the health of a child. As long as your child is growing, and meeting milestones, and generally healthy focus on that.

    My kids are younger, but one way I've increased the fruit and veggie intake in my older kids is to let them choose "mystery" veggies or fruits. We look up where the produce comes from and different ways to prepare it. Then they help me with that preparation. Everyone agrees to eat whatever we make, for at least for one meal. Plaintain stew? Oh my gosh, that was the worst stuff we've eaten, but we all dutifully ate it (and followed it with ice cream). Star fruit? Awesome. They like the fact that they are included in the decision making, and the preparation of the meal. They really can't complain if they are the ones who chose what was for dinner and helped make it.

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