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  1. #1
    wifeymomof3's Avatar
    wifeymomof3 is offline Junior Member
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    ?'s for parents

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    I have some questions regarding Primal for children. I have a two year old with Down Syndrome which I think Primal would benefit her greatly, especially since adult's with Down Syndrome have weight issues. Then I have a five year old who is extremely picky, suffers from excema and seems to always be congested. My nine year old daughter is starting to grow a belly and I'm concerned about her becoming unhealthy by making poor food choices.

    As, I am starting Primal, I would love for my children to start as well. I know that it will be a struggle since they've had so many years of eating poorly, in regards to the two oldest. How would you approach making changes? I know there will be some resistance, especially since my husband loves JUNK food and loves to feed it to the kids. I'm pretty sure cutting everything at once would cause chaos in the house, what are your suggestions?

  2. #2
    dragonmamma's Avatar
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    Don't mention that there are things they CAN'T eat. Instead, quietly make substitutions of things that they SHOULD eat. (That's how it works with my husband!)

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    JBGrokerty's Avatar
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    I'd like to hear more about this as well.

    I recently remarried, and my husband and step-kids (teens, they live with us 100% of the time) are not interested in living Primally. Eating has been a huge issue. Either they refuse to eat the food I prepare, or else if I'm eating straight meat, they binge and gobble everything up and complain that I didn't fix more. Either way, they are constantly looking for an excuse to run off and eat fast food every single night. My husband does this as well (and then complains about how crummy he feels, duh!). They also avoid exercise, have horrid sleep habits, and would rather schlump in front of the TV than go outside and play. (Yeah, my husband loves the way I look in a bikini, but then he totally sabotages everything I do to stay healthy... well, that's probably a different thread)

    I'd love to know how other families have handled it when only one member lives Primally, and the others are not on board, or only partially on board, or only sometimes on board.

    Help?

  4. #4
    Nick "the Caveman" M.'s Avatar
    Nick "the Caveman" M. is offline Senior Member
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    It's tough. I actually believe Mark put a post out there fairly recently about how to deal with it from his perspective on advice for how primal people to handle a non-primal house.

    For me, it's a balance. My wife and I have two little guys (3 and 1). I wouldn't describe any of the other people in my house as primal, but I'd definitely say they are more primal than most. Although my wife isn't totally onboard with going fully primal, she typically doesn't eat that many grains. She probably consumes 1 slice of bread at most a day. The rest of her food is primal. Eggs, meat, vegs and fruits. She has this hang up that she needs a slice of bread in the morning otherwise she is starving and shaky. I've tried eliminating that, but hey...if that's all it really is then oh well.

    With the kids, she is less apt to have them go heavy primal. One of our boys eats just like her....tends to eat heavier carbs (our oldest). He loves his pb&j and cereal in the morning. I try to get him to change occasionally, and sometimes I get him there. Dinner however is almost always primal, excluding maybe a cheat here and there. Our youngest is about 50/50 on breakfast being primal (sometimes eggs cooked in bacon fat, other times it's cereal).

    My recommendation would be to convert the easy things. Don't go full throttle out of the gate. At this point, you probably have a good idea of what your kids will eat and what they won't. Don't try and force the things they won't, just started tweaking the things they enjoy to a point that is healthier than their current state. And definitely try some of the recipes. I was hesitant on how my boys would like primal pancakes...they like them (my youngest devours them). It also helps if they see you eat them. I know I can put a huge pile of whatever on my plate and my youngest will put it down no matter what because he sees "dad" eating it...so it must be good.

    I've also made some cookies etc from elanaspantry.com. Good stuff. Again, my little guy would probably prefer that stuff. My oldest...eh. He's most certainly like my wife in the sweets department. But I'm trying. Don't make it a battle, they'll certainly get turned off.

  5. #5
    Meadow's Avatar
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    I do a lot of compromising and creativity in our house. No kids, but a husband who has a picky and stubborn tendency. 5 years ago when I first went gluten free, I was cooking two separate meals usually. As my cooking skills progressed, I eventually learned how to eliminate gluten AND still keep the husband happy. Now that I am primal, I am doing the same thing with all grains and sugars. I just do everything in stages, try and make his favorite things as healthy as I can, and transition to better choices over time.

    For example, we tend to eat say a 'stir fry' fairly often. Years ago that was a bottled sauce, cut up veggies/meat, and white insta rice. First I tested out homemade sauce recipes until we found one we both liked that was gluten free. Then I started learning how to cook 'real' rice, later I transitioned to brown (learning to cook this right makes all the difference), as time went on I started cooking my rice in homemade bone broth sometimes soaking overnight, and FINALLY, after going primal I started making cauliflower rice. Hubby is still mixed on the cauliflower rice, so sometimes I will make him brown rice with bone broth. I consider it a win still even if it is a grain. I just make it as healthy as I can.

    Taco night, a super fav here, is now usually grassfed ground meat or venison, homemade taco seasoning, homemade guac, salsa, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, and I put that in romaine lettuce 'taco' leaves or over a bed of shredded lettuce. As a compromise, I will serve the salad with some organic corn chips around the edge for hubby. He loves this, and it would be far better then Taco bell in the end

    If he is dying for a dessert other then just fruit, I will make a quick fruit cobbler with a nut and almond flour topping. Serve with a bit of heavy cream or natural vanilla ice cream. Yes it contains sugar, again it is still better then processed junk food.

    So just take some favorite standby recipes, and start making them as healthy as you can and consider it a win even if it still contains say some grains. Fresh homemade food in some form is always better then fast food. I will say after several years of doing this, by introducing things one at a time and in foods my husband already liked, his taste buds have GREATLY expanded!

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    I have 2 kids, 16 & 12, and they just eat what I give them. They really haven't mentioned missing anything lately so all's well. I guess it might be a little harder with younger kids, but I also think it's more important to get them started earlier.

  7. #7
    wifeymomof3's Avatar
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    Really great advice! I know I should just start slow and really make it more of a habit to cook and make food at home. I guess, really, if I start slow and eliminate one or two things at a time, it won't be so difficult (I hope). I guess, if I cook it and offer it with no other choices, then they will either eat or don't...kinda of make it their choice.

    Now, if I can find a primal recipe for fruit snacks then it might be gold!

    Thank you everyone again...I will have to keep coming back here to stay strong and not let the kids beat me down!

  8. #8
    dragonmamma's Avatar
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    You CAN make primal fruit leather. Do you have a dehydrator?

  9. #9
    puddlefoot's Avatar
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    It's been happening gradually at my house. I just realized that I never cook additional carbs for my family anymore. I used to make them pasta or something on the side but now the meals look complete to me without and I don't even consider it. I still have trouble because my husband will eat the dinner I make and then want some toast to go with it. The girls follow his lead and demand toast. He also makes french toast for them the minute I leave the house. I'm trying to get the grocery bill under control and I think that I'm going to do it by not buying bread or cookies or chocolate bars. I consider them treats, not food, and if DH wants them he's going to have to buy them for himself.

  10. #10
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    I love Meadow's reply (along with others here.) Dealing with food intolerances, substitutions have been huge for our family. Learning how to make foods we used to eat using different ingredients has been super helpful. My husband and son don't eat strictly primal, but our son is totally gluten, dairy, corn, soy free (food sensitivities) and eats mostly primal plus white rice (cooked in bone broth) and potatoes, sometimes tapioca. Sometimes beans as well, but very occasionally. I do use maple syrup and stevia to make cococonut flour cupcakes, pancakes/waffles and muffins for him. The comfy belly blog is one of my favorite for substitution recipes (yum!) IME, from early on, I've always offered him a wide range of foods and allowed him to choose. Whether he's choosing a (pretty healthy) coconut flour cupcake for breakfast or broccoli dipped in ghee (or both!), it all seems to even out. I don't put a huge emphasis on 'dessert' or 'dinner'--everything is food and he can eat what he likes--I just make it all with ingredients I feel are nourishing to his body. This has kept us from having battles about food and, I think, has led to him eating more of a balance (meat/fat/veggies/fruits etc) than he might be eating otherwise. Some meals he'll just want a lot of fatty meat, some he'll want a lot of salad and nothing else, some he'll fill up on starches. It all seems to even out for him though, and he is almost always eating *real food*, and usually primal food at that. It has worked well for us.

    Like dragonmama said, we focus on what we *can* eat. If my son wants cookies, I'll find a way to make him for them with ingredients I'm happier with. Mmmm--as for ice cream--frozen strawberries + coconut cream (cream on top of the can of full fat coconut milk) + vanilla extract + a squeeze of lemon juice + a little stevia in a food processor is amazing! You can also just combine frozen banana with strawberries (or anything else!) and a little coconut cream to make fabulous, totally primal ice cream. Finding out what your kids want, you can get really creative and find a new way to make it with different ingredients. (If you've got favorite meals you'd like to convert to primal, let us know and maybe we can help you!)

    Getting the kids involved in the prep can be helpful as well. My son is much more likely to try something if he helped to make it. Sometimes he's not in the mood though, and that's ok too.

    Like others said, I'd just go slow. Even start with one meal a day being primal (dinner is an easy one to make primal--meat + veg + a starch for those who want/need it--could be potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, etc...go based on what your family will eat!) You can work on adding primal substitutions as you learn them. And try out different recipes until you find the ones that work for *your* family. There are TONS out there once you start looking.

    One sub for cereal is to take a/b 1/4 cup nuts (any combination), put them in a food processor and chop until the nuts are in chunks. Toss them in a bowl with some raisins and cinnamon, maybe a little stevia, and pour some coconut milk over and serve. Very much like eating breakfast cereal--has taken care of my cereal cravings when I've had them. Your kids *might* like it?

    Good luck! HTH!
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