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Thread: Primal Parents - How do you do it? page

  1. #1
    Rebecca's Avatar
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    Lurker, first time poster.


    So we are a two-working parent household with 3 kids (5 yr old and 2 yr old twins). So I am trying to move use gradually to a primal lifestyle.... but like a cruise ship, it's taking a VERY long time to turn it around. The 2 yr olds are in the not-try-anything phase, the 5 yr old is much more workable.


    My question is this: Where do you other primal parents get the willpower/energy day in and day out? How do you get everything done and get to bed at a decent hour? During Thursday dinner, how do you deal with the flying spoons and 'no like it' over and over? I know there's no secret but....


    If you are a primal parent with primary care-giving duties and are feeding your family primally, getting 7 hours of sleep night, and eating organic/grass-fed... HOW DO YOU DO IT?


  2. #2
    RogerDeRok's Avatar
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    My daughter actually really likes my food, although being a typical kid she likes sweets and other starchy snacks (which I cave in and keep a little bit for her in my house).

    Since I'm divorced I'm not able to get her on a primal diet because she's only with me half the week, the other half she's with her mom, who happens to be a vegetarian, so she gets the completely opposite side of the spectrum there.


  3. #3
    Travis G's Avatar
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    If they don't like it, then don't make them eat it, but don't give them any other options. Tell them, "It's this or go to bed hungry"


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    Our kids have been paleo since birth (which I'm sure makes it easier). They still love to go on carb binges (fruit/juice/veggies), but if the choice is meat or nothing they have no problems eating a good steak for dinner.


    You wouldn't let your kids touch an open fire, or play with electricity, so don't let them eat poison. It's up to you as a parent to ensure your kids safety and guide them in the right direction. Kids respond well to boundaries if you are serious and stick with them. Just don't give in to them (and I know it's hard when they whine or use their cute eyes on you).

    A few bad nights is worth the lack of arguments from then on.

    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

  5. #5
    Geoff's Avatar
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    Much respect, Tarlach, for going paleo since birth. It's the best (and probably easiest) way to go. As a parent with 2 young kids, I'm going to weigh in with a somewhat different perspective.


    If you're transitioning kids back to primal eating from SAD, then lay some ground rules on which there are absolutely no compromises (no sugar, no boxed foods, no grains), but other than that don't sweat it too much or make mealtimes a battle zone. Brawling at the dinner table stresses you out and doesn't accomplish anything constructive. There are almost certainly some fruits or veg that the kids will like. If your kids want to eat nothing but organic cukes, grapes or raisins for a meal - fine. Just introduce/offer new veggies or meats that you're also eating at each meal but don't freak if (when?) they don't eat them. It takes some kids a long time to accept new foods. Involve them in age appropriate discussions at mealtime about your food choices to give them an understanding and also a voice in the process. No, the kids don't control the process, but they'll "buy in" better if they feel like their desires are being heard. Ask them what veggies they'd like to eat and why, for instance.


    Long term, I predict the biggest challenge you'll face isn't what happens in your home, it'll be what will happen at birthday parties, school events, etc. when you're not with them. Lay a groundwork early that explains why you eat the way you do and you'll help avoid making ice cream or birthday cake a "forbidden fruit" that your kids dive for as soon as you're not around.


  6. #6
    karlin's Avatar
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    It's not easy, but it does get easier. One thing I finally put my foot down about was no tv with commercials! They advertise the worst sugary junk, and my kid always asks for it, even though he knows I'll say no. PBS has great kids shows with no commercials, or just pop in a dvd if you truly need a break.


    You first step is probably nutrition education. Explain how protein and fat make us healthy and strong, and that sugary carbs make us tired and fat. I know it's not that simple, but kids start to get it pretty early on. My son loves carbs too, but he knows that he must get protein first. I am not 100% with the kid, as he is in school and really needs to feel normal. But, we do our best. Meat and/or cheese (or other dairy) is the basis of his diet, followed by non-junk carbs. If I absolutely have to get something into him before school (if he's refusing to eat), I make him a hot chocolate protein drink (almond milk, cocoa, stevia, whey protein powder, and heavy cream).


    I keep a couple kinds of cheese sticks in the fridge all the time, as well as natural fruit leathers and some fruit and veggies in the house for snacks. It keeps him away from crackers or candy bars. If he wants a bar, he gets the larabars made for kids (dates, nuts, crispy rice, chocolate, etc.). Not the best option, but they are gluten free and relatively lower carb than most candy bars.


    Find some meat that your kids like. My son is allergic to corn, so most breaded chicken is out...though we found a local place selling homemade chicken patties. Very natural, and no corn....and he loves them! He also LOVES to help cook...and kids that help make their own food will often eat it. The older kids can help scramble eggs. The younger ones can peel boiled eggs. My son (who is 6), helped me brown some beef the other day. He also loves to flip hamburger patties or even just turn on the oven or set the timer. Cutting fruit is also a favorite for kids, or being allowed to spread their own butter over their veggies. I've resorted to drawing faces on the cheese stick packages at times because my son loves it.


    It can be tough, but also rewarding. I see my son's overall health improving. He still gets sick, but recovers very rapidly. He's got great color, and is taller than almost all his classmates. He also sleeps so much better, and his seasonal allergies have improved. Not only that, stable blood sugar makes him wonderful to be around.


  7. #7
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    My kids are 5 and 9. The 9-year old is much easier to deal with in terms of diet; the 5-year old is a nightmare! That said, she does eat okay when I look at the big picture. The main thing I notice is that 1 food type per meal seems to be her deal. Just steak or just the veggie; she won't mix them (eat steak and her veggie). And sometimes she's just not hungry so I don't make her eat. So, I guess you have to keep the big picture in mind when dealing with the kidlets. Eventually the 5 year old eats okay over the course of the week.


    We were never really on the SAD but we did used to eat grains Weston A. Price style. I have no problem with the kidlets eating some occassionally, I just don't base meals around them anymore. They also get whole fat yogurt and the usual very bad treats on birthdays. We did have to have a talk about treats -vs- everydat foods but that was with the 9-year old. So now we have "treats" once a month (they get 1 small bag of potato chips. Other than that, we just don't have the "bad stuff" in the house.


    And, we all go to bed really late! My kids don't go to school, so we're able to get away with that. My hubby also gets home pretty late (7:00 or later) so if we want to have some family time no one goes to bed early. When I need them in bed, I go to bed & the kids all go with me. It's inconvenient for me but then I just wake up earlier & have some time then.


    Things do seem to get easier when they hit around 6 - 6 1/2; I guess they're not so concerned with personal power or something! At least they're becoming rational at that point. Do what you can, Rebecca, & don't stress too much (LOL, I know!).


  8. #8
    Primal Mama's Avatar
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    Hi Rebecca! I know how you feel, since I feel the exact same way sometimes. Baby steps work, start with getting rid of juice and sweets, replacing them with more primal options and go from there.


  9. #9
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    I'm not a parent yet but when I do become one I will definitely do my best to raise my kids in a Primal if not Paleo way. I imagine having the healthiest, most capable and happy kids in the neighbourhood.


    But, I also imagine Child Protection Services taking them away from me or at least investigating me when word reaches the teachers that I feed them all that saturated fat and don't give them any heart healthy whole grains or fruit juice, I let them run around outside without shoes on, skip meals, sleep naturally without pillows, and do all these crazy and unhealthy things we're naturally inclined to do.


    It's just paranoia but that's how I feel when I imagine dealing with the rabid dog of Conventional Wisdom.

    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

  10. #10
    Rebecca's Avatar
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    I actually have a very solid background in exercise physiology and nutrition. Thankfully we are already no juice, very few cookies/cupcakes/sugary snacks. We've always been uber-health conscious as former competitive athletes and I'm not worried about CW... I tend to do what I want anyway. The sleep thing is super important for all of us - kids need and get at least 11 hours, I need 7 but only get 5 by the time I finish with meal prep, lunches etc. So I guess it's just a merry-go-round I'm on it.

    Thanks for the advice. Keep it coming!


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