Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
May 23, 2013

Raising Your Kids on Primal Foods (plus Mealtime Strategies for Picky Eaters)

By Mark Sisson
203 Comments

The Ol' Stink EyeThe fact is, feeding children is never for the faint of heart or stomach. It’s an entirely different solar system when it comes to dining experience – the noise, the spills, the frantic pattern of go-get-this, can-you-help-me, cut everyone’s food until your own is stone cold, precise timing of chewing to complement your expected participation in knock-knock jokes – you get it. In the years my children were small, Carrie and I would relish the times when we were able to go out to dinner alone or when family members took the kids and we had a solo meal at home. The silence and ability to eat – uninterrupted – at a normal pace were enough to make us ecstatic. I think most of the time we didn’t even talk – not a word, and we each understood exactly why.

I think it’s safe to say this mismatch in preferred ambience often coincides with a mismatch in tastes. While the Primal Blueprint can be plenty child-friendly, in many cases it’s a trickier proposition for the small set, particularly if they’re used to conventional fare. Although we’d all, I’m sure, like the same perfectly Primal family affair, a lot of us don’t end up there. As hard core as we might be, sometimes the kids just aren’t so much.

You’re Primal. Maybe even your spouse is Primal (or close enough). It’s not that you haven’t tried. You’ve spent weeks – maybe months trying to transition your child to the Primal eating plan. For some, maybe it’s recurring cycles of effort over the course of years! You’ve read the books and the boards for ideas. You’ve laid out carefully crafted menus, collected all the ingredients, and experimented with an insane number of recipes. You’ve perused and “pinned” hundreds of ways to manipulate the plate presentation. You buy mini-swords, doilies, and cocktail toothpicks in bulk. Martha Stewart would be proud. Your kids, however – meh.

Sometimes it’s the taste. Other times it’s the texture. For some, it’s just the sheer, staggering force of habit. They know what they like, and that’s it. Research confirms what parents have observed: a child’s familiarity with a food determines how full he’ll feel as a result of eating it. Familiar foods are just more satisfying to kids. After a while, even the biggest believers get worn down if they’re trying to instill a significant shift in their children’s diet. With hundreds of dollars of food thrown away and dozens of cooking hours gone, it’s hard to keep justifying the misery.

I know folks – good, healthy, well-intentioned people who are strongly committed to eating Primal – but feed their kids SAD. They themselves wouldn’t touch the Cheerios or Gold Fish crackers their kids are snacking on, but there’s the paradox. It boggles the mind, sure. Still, having had kids, I get it. Having been worn down by the fatigue and the arguments and the cajoling, fed up with the wasted time and money, they finally just throw up their hands. Though perhaps bothered by guilt in certain moments, over time they learn to justify it in their minds – as we all justify many things in life. The kids are so young, they tell themselves, their bodies will burn it off. They don’t see any obvious differences in behavior or general health. They give them a multivitamin. Maybe they look at the way they ate growing up and tell themselves, “If I survived that, my kids can too.” They’ve given up the internal conflict.

However much I identify with the fatigue and frustration – and respect parents’ needs to make independent compromises based on their given situations, the actual science is less understanding. Research suggests early nutrition impacts cognitive functioning in the adult years and even by the age of eight appears to reduce IQ. In terms of overall health, we know  how nutrition sets us up for epigenetic changes – positive or negative. We know how even the roots of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity can begin in childhood.

In other words, good nutrition matters even more to them than it does to us. Though we might be motivated to stave off mortality or aging – i.e. maintain what we have longer, their bodies’ and brains’ very ability to reach their basic potential is on the line. What they eat today will determine what they’re capable of for the rest of their lives. Likewise, the habits they begin early on can cement pretty quickly. The older they are, the more the window closes on making dramatic change in diet and exercise. Unfortunately, there’s no way to sugar coat that point.

I don’t mean to throw those points out there in the interest of inciting a massive guilt trip. I didn’t feed my kids 100% perfectly all the time. It’s not passing judgment, but it is about passing on information. Doing so, with support and strategies, can help us individually brainstorm and prioritize. The fact is, I think there’s major stress in our culture – now more than ever – to be the perfect parent in dozens of ways that weren’t even on the radar screen when most of us were growing up. I’m sure we could go on for days talking about all the things we used to do that we’d never let our kids try today (e.g. lay on the floor during car trips, bike across town alone, etc.). I’d say the vast majority of today’s pushes toward perfection should be chucked, repudiated, scorned and named the worthless wastes of time and energy (and often hindrances to personal development) that they are. Nonetheless, one of the few genuine priorities worth having, I think, is nutrition. When it comes to kids’ food, fighting the good fight matters – as early and as often as you can.

Creating Strategic Versions/Substitutions

Many people find focusing on strategic substitutions allows them to preserve their sanity while making sure their kids are fed decently. Grass-fed organic hot dogs, sans buns can win over most kids. Homemade jerky or nut butter offers a healthier version of less desirous packaged foods. Parents learn to make gluten free versions of chicken fingers. They make their own sweet potato fries. They figure out how to make better fish sticks. They bake root veggie chips with healthier oil options and sea salt. I can’t tell you how many parents I’ve heard from already – on the boards and in emails – who say Primal Cravings has been a godsend (their words) for this very reason. The recipes look like food their kids would recognize and want to eat. There’s a mind to texture and simplicity that will work well with kids’ palates. Most children I know want uncomplicated food.

Using Copious Varieties (or Quantities) of Desired Condiments

There’s the assumption that most kids will eat a lot of things if they can put ketchup on them. Why not? I’d suggest making your own, but why limit it? Kids love the concept of dips and sauces, and I think I’ve got a good book somewhere for that, too.

Planting Forbidden Fruit

This defies reason, but sometimes the best strategy is to prepare a healthy (but kid-friendly) Primal dish and put it aside, tantalizingly almost – almost out of reach, in a place or position that makes the the child suspect it’s “for the adults” (for guests, even better) or not ready to be brought to the table. There’s something in children’s impish (or reptilian) little brains that makes forbidden food – even when healthy – seem that much more appealing. A friend’s daughter was so anti-meat that she wouldn’t even eat bacon. (Collective gasp.) One day, the husband was cooking a second batch of bacon for dinner and had put the plate with the first on a far counter to keep himself from eating it. His little girl ran in, saw the slightly obscured plate, gleefully grabbed a piece and absconded with it while he teasingly called after her to get back there and help, police. Within 10 minutes, she’d repeated the same move a few times and eaten half the batch. Since then, they’ve used the same technique to get her to eat other meats. For the “harder sells,” they go all out in making the platter look more enticing and forbidden looking (e.g. on the fancy china, in behind one of their wine glasses). Of course, it means she ends up eating most of her dinner on the run instead of at the table (so much for family dinner), but their perspective is this: at least she’s eating well!

Bartering Food for Freedom

This introduces another strategy – one we used with our children. Make certain foods or meals “roaming” approved. In other words, the parent grants freedom to skip sitting at the table if the kid will eat the healthy fare. Lay it out in a fun, festive, or otherwise eye-catching buffet style. Put on music. Teach and practice conventional manners at easier meals.

Some people might cringe at the idea of a toddler run amok and family dinner down the tubes – especially if there are other, older children. It highlights another important point. We all have our personal priorities, our chosen compromises, our sacred cows, our deal breakers as parents. This goes far beyond issues of decorum to the food itself. As I’ve said often, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Getting your kids to eat better isn’t an all or nothing proposition. It’s your call. Maybe you’re a solid no-GMO above all else. Maybe you’re first and foremost anti-gluten or grains. Perhaps your main goal is promoting veggie intake. Whatever goal you commit to, you’re making a positive difference in your children’s health and opening your mind – and theirs – to the idea that food choices matter.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take the poll, and add your comments below.

[poll id=”37″]

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

203 Comments on "Raising Your Kids on Primal Foods (plus Mealtime Strategies for Picky Eaters)"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
PrimalParkGirl
3 years 4 months ago

Seeing as I experienced blood sugar disregulation pretty much from childhood (I was one of those ‘Mum, I’m hungreeeeeeee” kids), I’m glad I discovered primal/paleo eating before becoming a parent.

Tom B
Tom B
3 years 4 months ago
We’ve tried, believe me. We’ve run the gamut of puking it back up (steak, seriously) and then flat out refusal to eat for days. My older kids (11 and 9) will puke before eating something good for them. My 3 year old and 14 month old actually like steak, and that can cover ‘stew meat hunks’ and other large chunks of meat. Ribs, pulled pork, etc. The older two? nope. I’m not home every night due to work travel, so my wife is left to fight with the four of them, some nights peace is better than fights.
Kidsdowhatyouallowthemto
Kidsdowhatyouallowthemto
3 years 4 months ago
I think its the fault of the parents. This deserving attitude that is knowingly and unknowingly passed on to the kids. What’s bad is some parents don’t even think they are teaching their child these behaviors. I have many friends who spent their childhood in foreign countries and they didn’t get a choice – you ate what was given to you. Granted most of that is because there wasn’t much choice to be had but why can’t those principals still apply in the land of plenty? How about instead of asking kids what they want you let them know what… Read more »
Little A
Little A
3 years 4 months ago
Having been raised by one such “strict” parent, I can say that its actually really damaging to kids to be like that. It teaches kids that bullying is okay, that if someone doesn’t do things you like, you just need to scare them into submission. Or in my case, it turned me into an antisocial, shy kid, who was too afraid of her mother to invite friends over or even go outside to hang out with them, and now refuses to speak to my mother because of the way I was treated. By being under the freedom of my dad,… Read more »
Kathy
3 years 4 months ago
I so agree with you, Little A. You can’t bully someone into eating what you want them to eat. Food is a very personal part of a person like clothes or music choice and they should choose healthy foods of their own volition. Except when they’re very young when you can mold them. I’ve seen adults who were forced to eat foods they didn’t like as kids who now have problems with those said foods and cannot stomach them. I was never forced to eat anything by my dad as a kid and I’m able to stomach all sorts of… Read more »
Gunnersaurus49
3 years 4 months ago

Good on you,

Nice to hear you learned a lot whilst suffering growing up, working out the right path and to pass on your knowledge.

Well done, seriously good on yourself.

Nick
Nick
3 years 4 months ago

You’re absolutely right! I tie my kids down to the chair and threaten to slit the dogs throat if they don’t eat their dinner……

You’re an idiot…don’t come on here blaming parents. That is directly counterproductive to the point of the article.

Erik W
Erik W
3 years 4 months ago

“You’re an idiot”. Seriously? What a reaction from you to someone who dares suggest that parents actually lead instead of plead. You sound like a typical spoiled child raised in a “democratic” household, meaning you learned that there should be no limits for your behavior and sense of self-importance. Typical for your time.

Crissy
Crissy
3 years 4 months ago
I employ the “this is what’s for dinner, eat it or don’t” method. However, if my 3 year old refuses to eat any of it (and we’re usually talking food she previously gobbled – roast chicken and veggies), I cover it up, put it in the fridge and bring it out for the next meal. Even if it’s breakfast. She’s gone 2 whole days without eating food because she is stubborn and didn’t want to eat what was given to her. She is very slender – 3rd percentile for her age – so when she refuses to eat for two… Read more »
Jill M
Jill M
2 years 4 months ago
My God… You would let a toddler go two days without food just so you can force them to eat chicken and veggies? She likes scrambled eggs, those are easy and healthy. It’s not like she’s demanding Oreos! Why not just give her the eggs to begin with? What’s the point of all that struggle – to the point she gets sick?!?! Seriously, wtf. I’ve been reading MDA for years, and this is the first post that’s ever compelled me to respond. I can’t believe it. PS – I like nearly everything, as does my 2.5 year old, and we… Read more »
Anna
Anna
2 years 4 months ago

Why not? There is nothing inherently wrong with cold chicken and veggies for breakfast. If you broaden your horizons a little, you will realize that there are no fixed attributes that predefine specific foods as “breakfast” foods. Have a look around the world – anything goes.

Kids are people, too
Kids are people, too
3 years 4 months ago
I don’t think kids are that robotic or thoughtless. They are astoundingly capable of their own thought, and manipulating fear into them using your power of being ‘adult’ is pretty awful. Age is not indicative of maturity or ability. I work with kids and I can tell you they’re smarter, more loyal and more true to themselves than most adults I’ve met in my life. Give kids a bit of credit. You know how they say ‘eat/train for the body you want, not the body you have’? I believe it’s the same with kids: treat them with respect and you’ll… Read more »
Telly telly
Telly telly
3 years 4 months ago
@ Kids are people, too: Thank you for your thoughtful post. It actually made me tear up. I have 2 young children that will pretty much eat anything & eat almost everything that we eat but I attribute at least some of it to (good) luck. To the PP (Crissy): while my kids (3 & 1) are generally great (& mostly paleo) eaters, there is no way I would let either of them go 2 days without food because they refused to eat what I gave them. I would hardly call whipping up some scrambled eggs “giving in”. Some days… Read more »
Michael C
Michael C
3 years 4 months ago
Are you really considering the consequences of what you are saying? How it reads to me is, “If an authority figure tells you something you should do it or be afraid of the consequences.” Personally I don’t want my kids to grow up to be followers and cogs in the machine. I want my kid to question authority if it seems illogical and to argue (logically and respectfully, not emotionally) with people. I treat my kid like he’s a human and expect him to treat me and everyone else the same way. This doesn’t mean he always gets his way.… Read more »
Emily
Emily
3 years 4 months ago
Although I am not a parent, I am a kindergarten teacher, so I see a huge range of eating habits among my 23-25 students each year. In my experience, the best approach for the absolute pickiest children is to find a few healthy foods that appeal to their palates and introduce more gradually. Most children have primal foods they love- apples, nut butters, bacon, eggs, something. They can eat their half-dozen foods and then you can add something similar, for a child who likes watermelon, cucumbers. Young children often need ten or more tries to accept a new food. I… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
3 years 4 months ago
I disagree with the approach that some parents take when it comes to eating and mealtimes. I had the parents that would save uneaten meals for the next meals. I did not like the approach to say the least. It was a power move in my opinion. In my home, with seven children ages 9-27 through the years I had only one rule when it came to food. Try one bite, if you do not like it you never have to eat it again in your life! I have traveled the world, will eat almost anything and have made mealtimes… Read more »
Catherine H
Catherine H
3 years 4 months ago

Do you have kids?

Tangytam
Tangytam
3 years 4 months ago
It makes me so sad to read some of these comments. That parents feel forced into using some extreme, and sometimes damaging, approaches to feeding their children. There is help available! Even a lot of doctors have no experience or knowledge about effective techniques for dinner time. Two resources available are Ellyn Satter’s works and Dr. Katja Rowell’s site, The Feeding Doctor. Please take a look at these resources to help you with the minefield it is when your child is combative when it comes to meal time. It’s about changing behaviors and allowing your child to come to the… Read more »
Lisa
3 years 4 months ago

Personally I don’t have much experience with this. My kids always ate what they were served and we always served healthy stuff – there was just simply no discussions about it. And we’ve always demanded a “no-complaining” at meal time. Eat, or don’t – but no complaints. My kids are now 10 and 12 and LOVE food. Any kind of healthy food, any veg, and they love trying new things. I think a lot of people just make too big a deal of it….

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 4 months ago

+1. And I think most of the problems children have mentally and physically today are due to the food they pound down as well as what their parents ate pre pregnancy. After we raise kids on all this Conventional Wisdom crap (not this community hopefully), Weston A. Price thought it would take 4 generations to get back to becoming healthy humans. I think we are in real trouble and hope we can get out of this mess.

Alison Golden
3 years 4 months ago
We have the same experience. Zero tolerance for complaining has been key for me as the person who goes to the effort of producing the meal, as well as a “thank the cook” ritual. Appreciation for the work (including appreciating the person who earned the money to pay for the food) that goes into a meal just seems good manners to me. I never know what to say to people who say their kids are “picky”. Neither of my kids are picky at all but I don’t have the experience to say whether it’s nature or nurture. Now my kids… Read more »
Jamie
Jamie
3 years 4 months ago

You’re very lucky. You have “abnormal” kids. Ha! My kids 4 and 6 have no problem not eating for an entire day if it means not eating something they think looks or tastes bad. They will happily accept any punishment I give them for complaining or crying about the meal they don’t want to eat. I have accepted that I cannot make them eat a certain way for every meal. I just hope they are paying attention to how their parents eat and slowly start to follow it. Very good article. Painfully close to home.

Kiachu
Kiachu
3 years 4 months ago
Its all nice and fluffy and a great bumper sticker until you have a child with multiple food allergies, will gladly starve rather than put a sweet potato in their mouth and continues to lose weight, falls off the growth charts and you have to put them on a medical formula that feed kids with GI tubes, plus douse what they do eat in olive oil. No thanks. Meal time has been a nightmare since she got on solids. She has a big bowl of grits or oatmeal every morning, all the white rice she wants drizzled with olive oil,… Read more »
AriaDream
AriaDream
3 years 4 months ago

Is that some kind of medical condition? We know that the sense of hunger can be broken… it’s a rare mutation, but children can be born who produce no leptin. And some kinds of chemotherapy can mess up the part of the brain that controls appetite. When we see those children, who stuff themselves uncontrollably, we know something is wrong. Can hunger be broken the other way, so a child will gladly starve? I do wonder. Because I know I and my sisters would never have gone completely without food for days.

Christina
Christina
3 years 4 months ago

Have you heard about GAPS? An MD named Natasha Campell-McBride developed a a diet to treat kids who have a chronically leaky gut, and symptoms include things like very poor growth and hyper-pickiness (as well as a variety of other things: http://www.gaps.me/ ). I haven’t tried GAPS, but it has a huge following and success stories abound. It’s not that far removed from Primal, so it wouldn’t be a huge stretch for you. Good luck to you and your family…that sounds very difficult.

Aloka
3 years 4 months ago

How did you start out? Were they always told to eat it or leave it even as babies? That’s what I’m doing with mine. If he eats he eats if not maybe he is not hungry. I don’t try and cajole.

Lisa
3 years 4 months ago
I agree with Alison above – it’s a matter of good manners. Just like we taught our kids to behave in other situations, we taught our kids from the very beginning how to “behave” at the table. No punishments or stuff like that, just firm “rules”. We’ve always been big on “respect” – and that goes in both directions. You respect the person that cooked (and as Alison said – also the person who earned the money). My daughter does not eat mashed potatoes or other mashed veggies, simply because she can not handle the texture. It’s the only exception… Read more »
Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
3 years 4 months ago
Our kids are allowed to eat or not–their choice. They are 4 and 6. Many nights the younger daughter will not eat a bite. By morning, she is quite hungry and will mostly fuel her day in the morning. We also don’t offer snacks. But, if they are hungry in between meals, we have dried Hungarian salami or bacon that they are permitted to just grab off the counter. Now that it’s warmer weather, I never call the kids in for their meals. I simply place the bowls outside and they run over, eat and then run off to play.… Read more »
Louise
Louise
3 years 4 months ago
Allison and Lisa have it right. I taught my daughter to be polite and to behave appropriately (at the table and elsewhere) as a little girl. We had reasonable, clear rules: one bite for each year of age, no complaining. No other option. She tried everything, and liked most of it. Now, as a young teen, she is still polite, and also has the self-discipline and self-respect to eat healthy without my supervision. She’s proud of her “strange” lunchs, stew, sweet potato, curries, salads, etc. And, unlike her mom at that age, she has an ideal body composition. I think… Read more »
Joanne
Joanne
3 years 4 months ago
I’m aiming for this as well, but because he’s my stepson, not my biological child, his father has the last word, and so I try not to step in even though I’m the one who prepares the meals. If he decides to give his son yogurt and cereal as “dinner”, I won’t argue, even though he knows I don’t agree. That said, making chicken nuggets “breaded” with milled flaxseed was a hit with him. He didn’t even want dip with them, which is awesome. I think we need to give him more credit. Encourage him to eat just small bits… Read more »
Heather
Heather
3 years 4 months ago
If only it were that easy. Congrats to those that have kids that do everything you ask. I have raised both of my kids the same. They both have the same set of rules to follow. One will eat anything without a fuss, the other would rather starve than eat certain things. The personality of the kid plays a HUGE role in how compliant they will be with a diet. That being said, both of my kids do eat very well. They are pretty much primal at home and both kids love their fruits and veggies. When they are at… Read more »
leida
leida
3 years 4 months ago
Just yesterday, I was making beef roast and french fires for my folks, and my soon to be 7 kiddo wanted sweet and sour sauce (like I made when we do Chinese inspired things-and-dips meals), so I set her up with a can of nothing added tomato paste, soy sauce and raw honey, and let her create her own sauce. Not only she did not want ketchup, she made daddy to eat her sauce instead, and asked for the rest of it being packed with her meat for lunch at school. Soy sauce may not be the best ingredient, but… Read more »
Bjjcaveman
3 years 4 months ago

These are awesome ideas…. That still sort of make me glad I’m not at the point of having kids… Yet.

zack
zack
3 years 4 months ago
It’s the time/money wasted that keep me from getting him there 80% of the time. Also, he likes grilled cheese. I get the good cheese but put it on bread. I do the best I can with the bread (no HFCS) but it’s still BREAD. The trick will be finding a primal bread that is close enough to still make a grilled cheese or other sandwich when needed. I make primal chicken nuggets, meat balls, he likes spaghetti squash and sauce… eggs, almond flour muffins on occasion… he loves fruit, raw veggies… brussel sprout chips, brussel sprouts, BACON…. It’s those… Read more »
zack
zack
3 years 4 months ago

I should say the other issue is that my wife and I make a batch of something and eat it lunch/dinner for 3 days and that’s something I don’t expect my 3 y/o to put up with. Also, we eat a lot of chicken/egg/tuna salads to save $$ and he’s not too into those.

Ham-Bone
Ham-Bone
3 years 4 months ago
Harry Mossman
3 years 4 months ago

When I want a grilled cheese sandwich, I make a quesadilla. (organic, sprouted tortillas) The young kids I know love quesadillas. (My own sons are in their 30s.) Yeah, I know – still grains. Whatever.

Purists will probably scoff at this post of Mark’s. But it is posts like this that will enable Primal to help many millions of people, as opposed to rigid paleo, which will always be an elitist subculture.

Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 4 months ago

If you’re trying to get him off bread, maybe start with open-faced sandwiches? One piece of bread instead of two and more meat/veggie fillings. If that goes well, move from there to alternatives to a slice of bread – a lettuce wrap might be a hard sell, but raw stuffed red bell pepper halves are pretty tasty and look fun.

Not sure what to do about the grilled cheese sandwiches – I’m on his side with those!

Shannon Davis-George
Shannon Davis-George
3 years 4 months ago

Zack, try looking for the Paleo/Primal bread recipes that use almond butter instead of almond flour. The butter makes a bread that has the same mouth feel as grain bread. Add about a 1/4 cup of tapioca flour to the recipes, though. It helps make the bread “fluffier.”

zack
zack
3 years 4 months ago

Good idea! I’ll search for some. Do I just add tapioca flour to what’s already out there?

Catherine H
Catherine H
3 years 4 months ago

Just run out of bread. He’s 3.

Or try Elena’s Pantry. She’s got a good grainfree bread recipe.

Luke
3 years 4 months ago
Very timely post I have a nephew who is an extemely picky eater and a super busy single mom sister. It’s a double wammy. I’ve been tryin to make a smoothie that just packs as much real food into it as possible. So far my frozen sweet potato, acocado, spinach, coconut milk, and berry smoothie has NOT been a hit. I assume smoothies would be a good vessel to get alot of nutrients In for a really picky 4 year old. Anyone have any recipe there kids love? I would love to pass a few my sisters way. Thanks Ps… Read more »
Ruth
Ruth
3 years 4 months ago

Avocado goes nicely in smoothies. Just serve it in an opaque glass because it can make the smoothie look muddy.

Ruth
Ruth
3 years 4 months ago

Whoops! Should have reread that recipe you said! Maybe the sweet potato is too much, as it the spinach. Better to transition slowly, like a coconut milk, avocado, banana and berry smoothie and then add in other ingredients as he gets into it.

Alison Golden
3 years 4 months ago

My kids like spinach, celery, parsley, banana, avocado, orange, lemon, kiwi, apple, pear. It is a lot of fruit but the sweetness brings it off and they’ll drink it. Over time, I’ve been able to increase the amount of smoothie they’ll drink at breakfast (along with scrambled eggs and bacon) and lower the fruit content.

Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 4 months ago
Is he old enough to run the blender? Kids are more likely to eat something their not sure about if they have a hand in making it. Even just letting him drop the ingredients in might help. Color is also a huge selling point for kids. Muddy browns and greens are really off-putting for most kids. Berries are a good sell and have a little less sugar than apples or bananas. I also think kids have a hard time mixing food groups – to them, mixing fruits and vegetables can seem weird and gross. Throw in something like zucchini that… Read more »
Luke
3 years 4 months ago

“Lying isnt always horrible” this will key Hhaha thanks for the suggestions will pass them on!

Allie D
Allie D
3 years 3 months ago
My kids, one of whom is extremely picky and in the 5% for height and weight, love The Green Monster Smoothie. 3-4 chunks frozen banana a few chunks frozen pineapple 6 oz coconut almond blend milk 8 oz coconut milk yogurt 2 tbsp almond butter and a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach I use the coconut/banana/spinach/almond butter as a base and swap out the pineapple for berries or avocado/cacao or whatever i have on hand. I’ve also thrown in chia seeds occasionally. I’ve never tried sweet potato per say, but I have used some of those fruit/veggie puree pouches… Read more »
Ruth
Ruth
3 years 4 months ago
Both of my boys are gluten free. My older boy has very sensitive taste buds and texture receptors, and has declared he no longer likes fat, even though he used to eat butter by the spoonful when he was young. So I compromise and make rice and quinoa with bone broth and butter. I have to get fat into him somehow… My younger is more primal, but again, I hide bone broth and butter in his rice. They both love Paleo Pals (the book) and know the deleterious effects of gluten, so I’m doing a very long transition to primal.… Read more »
Colleen
Colleen
3 years 4 months ago

Yes, it is more difficult when both parents are not eating the same and that kind of food gets in the house, b/c the kids will want it. My husband went along with primal after seeing his blood pressure drop just from cutting out soda and eater lower carb (our first step) before we found primal.

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 4 months ago
Definitely easy to start when they are younger. We went primal when my daughter was 3, so eliminating grains at home not a big deal. She has SAD snack at preschool (we don’t have any noticable health issues so I decided not to battle this). We talk about how this food is not healthy. One day we walked by the pasta at the grocery store and she said remember when we used to eat that? She knows we like to eat food with nutrients b/c they are good for our bodies and has said some amazing things along these lines… Read more »
Paul67
Paul67
3 years 4 months ago
We’ve “boiled the frog” slowly at our house. I went primal first in an effort to stop my declining health and roll it back (which it did). My 17 year old son followed three weeks later and showed spectacular improvement in his track times. Then my wife joined at the 10 week mark. She’s been struggling with her health for 15 years (CFS) and has experienced tremendous healing, a process that still continues. Then there’s my 11 year old daughter. I am at the 18 month mark now, and she is fully primal at supper (the first meal to go),… Read more »
Steve
Steve
3 years 4 months ago

My kids forage for their food in the woods behind our house.

trackback

[…] Daily Apple / Posted on: May 23, 2013 Mark’s Daily Apple – The fact is, feeding children is never for the faint of heart or stomach. It’s an […]

Ham-Bone
Ham-Bone
3 years 4 months ago

Gosh dang I needed this today. Thanks Captian Caveman! I had my first run-in with CW at day care and need to prepare myself for many more years. This sentence will help.

“What they eat today will determine what they’re capable of for the rest of their lives.”

That. Says. It. All.

Diane
Diane
3 years 4 months ago
Sitting here with my three year old who is eating sausages and a paleo German pancake. Last night was lox, butter, eggs and blueberries. At home we are 100 percent primal. Outside they have more freedom and do eat some wheat (gasp!). My six year old loves tasting food and we talk nutrition ALL THE TIME. I categorize food into two categories – crappy and not crappy. Easy for my young children to understand though my husband does not get it by his frequent cisits to Jack in the Box…. Yes it is more time consuming. Yes sometimes they don’t… Read more »
Vettech
Vettech
3 years 4 months ago

My husband, like yours, is supportive of my choices but wants nothing to do with it himself. He honestly believes he is living proof that the SAD is not unhealthy. Sigh, it makes it hard to get my kids on board while they see him dipping oreos in his coffee every morning!

Ruth
Ruth
3 years 4 months ago

My husband, too. He loves Raisin Bran and doesn’t think he has a belly (he does). I gave him Wheat Belly, written by an MD because he really won’t read anything else I give him. If it’s not written by an MD, he won’t read it. He still hasn’t read it, hopefully soon.

Stace
3 years 4 months ago

Kudos to you guys…my boyfriend refuses to give primal a try and it’s been driving me CRAZY. He suffers from excema and asthma, and has put on a few pounds since we started dating. I just want him to feel how I feel, and be happy with himself (I know he’s not). Sigh. I couldn’t even imagine trying to get my (non-existent) kids to eat healthy if he wasn’t on board with it too. Someday…someday.

Anna
Anna
2 years 4 months ago

I think it is lame when a husband and father will not join in a healthier eating plan, knowing what is at stake. It is the height of irresponsibiilty. I know what I’m talking about, with a partner who smokes and won’t quit. Not even for his kid’s sake.

tina
tina
3 years 4 months ago

Thanks! I needed this post. It takes a little bit of effort and motivation. Of course time and energy, but well worth it. And we need little reminders like this to stop slipping and make our kids some paleo food already.

Joy Beer
Joy Beer
3 years 4 months ago
Thank you, Mark, on so many levels for your kind and compassionate approach to this today. I thought it would be SO hard to convert my picky eater a year and a half ago, but having her help fix the food, and making it a requirement to sit and have fun and talk while eating was all so much more wonderful that she took to the new food and in fact, LOVED it. Within two months she was eating challenging foods like braised kale, and spicy ground meat casseroles with fancy veggies in them… eggs, steamed broccoli, and a fresh… Read more »
Alison Golden
3 years 4 months ago

I’d say you’re doing a great job teaching! 🙂

Ravey
Ravey
3 years 4 months ago
My kids are in their 20’s now and only one lives at home. We also have an adult relative living with us. I went primal first, then my husband about a year later. It took a while, but I gradually moved to completely primal cooking and shopping. If the other two want non-primal meals, they have to buy and prepare them themselves. Guess what? They don’t. So their main meals are healthy, primal fare and they enjoy them. True, they aren’t keen on the liver and fish and I do accommodate that by cooking them when they aren’t home or… Read more »
Tom B-D
Tom B-D
3 years 4 months ago

Awesome, way to go. Sounds like a success story waiting to happen!

Melissa
Melissa
3 years 4 months ago

+1

Stace
3 years 4 months ago
So when are you submitting your success story for a Friday read? =) Congrats! And definitely don’t beat yourself up over it…I’m a 20-something “kid” and I don’t blame my parents for how they raised me with food. I really wish we had known about being primal and I could have avoided a lot of weight issues growing up, but I know they did the best they could for me with the knowledge they had. Now I’m teaching them how to be primal, little by little, and slowly educating them on what being healthy really entails. I like the fact… Read more »
Lucy
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t have kids myself, but I’m getting to the age where I’m starting to think about them a lot. I’m grateful that I’ll have the opportunity to feed my kids primal right from the beginning.

Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 4 months ago
Cool, I hope you do Lucy. My first was totally conventional- I had low iron, took iron supplements for it, and had a fair bit of fatigue and morning sickness back when I was 22. Four years ago (36yrs) with my second I still had morning sickness but iron levels were fine- I was on the WAPF diet and soaking/sprouting/fermenting grains, then cooking or dehydrating then grinding in to flour. EFFORT. Now I’m 40 and pregnant with my third; iron (everything) levels fine (full primal) plenty of energy, and NO MORNING SICKNESS. Just thought I’d mention this for when you… Read more »
Aldergirl
Aldergirl
3 years 4 months ago
I just had to say, that it doesn’t always work out that way. I’m glad it did for you, though! I was certain I would have an easy pregnancy. I’d been primal for two years, eating liver and heart, all the good veggies, lots of steak, some fruit, and no grains. My anemia was gone and I was finally building muscle. My mom never had any morning sickness. I figured I’d done everything right and my genetics were good, so I would breeze through pregnancy. It didn’t happen:(. I’ve had nausea, light-headedness, and shortness of breath/weakness. It’s slightly better now… Read more »
Bee
Bee
3 years 3 months ago

Thank you. This is (mostly) what it’s been like for me (a full evening of bone broth cooking was a total nightmare). I’m in month six and still don’t really want meat, but I keep trying.

David Gardner
3 years 4 months ago

one of my sons, who is now 16, to this day has an aversion to any food that is colored yellow.

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
3 years 4 months ago
My wife, bless her, suggested a family-wide Whole 30 (prior to that, I was the only one Primal, the rest were maybe 60%), and it made a huge difference. The main thing is, don’t have SAD food around! The kids adjust really quickly to eating what is available. Another big help was taking the kids shopping and asking which veggies they wanted. We had no idea our daughter loved artichoke (maybe she just decided to?), but that has become a regular thing. And, yes, sauces! Or at least a nice amount of olive oil, salt, and dill on those green… Read more »
molly
molly
3 years 4 months ago
Primal food choices for kids at school, parties, sports, etc, primal food is not always available and not always convenient, especially as they get beyond age 10. Plus, we know as adults how hard it is to “pass” when the food is social. My kids understand primal living and eating, and generally would choose a primal meal over anything packaged or fast-food, but they do like pizza and are slightly addicted to sugar, which I think only goes away with very, very purposeful elimination of sugar from the diet. And my 13-yr old drinks coffee with coconut oil most mornings… Read more »
Chad G
Chad G
3 years 4 months ago

1st thing is kids are going to eat junk. It is just going to happen. The best you can do is to give them good stuff and remember Hunger makes the best sauce. Get them to busy to eat, make them wait a little for supper and then have them try something new first. When they are hungry things will taste much better.

Kim
Kim
3 years 4 months ago
It wasn’t easy choosing a vote category. My kids eat primal meals without even realizing it and there are times when we’re better at feeding them strictly primal, so maybe 30-50 percent primal. My kids are not picky eaters at all. Compared to other kids in the lunchroom, my kids are anomalies – vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein – very different than Fluff on white bread. So, yeah, I might throw in a graham cracker smeared with nutbutter, but I try to look at the overall nutrition. Could I do better? Sure. But I’ve had several moms tell me I should… Read more »
Aloka
3 years 4 months ago
What a helpful post. I have a 8 month old who has been 100% primal so far and I plan to keep him that way for the first year. After that most people who have older kids have told me best of luck, it’s not going to happen. But for those who’ve raised primal babies, do they develop a taste for the real stuff? Or do they all just meander towards sad? I think that would be a helpful post, if you’ve started out with a baby so young, how to stay on course. I agree with mark, nutrition for… Read more »
Tracy
Tracy
3 years 4 months ago
I’ve got a 4 year old and one year old who are basically 100% primal. It is how we eat at home. Outside of the house, I’ve been very strict about gluten and dairy, more flexible about certain other things, but still pretty nutritious real food. They both love their food. The old y-o was shovelling in home-made liver pate today (4 y-o not so much, but I don’t force it). I try to lead by example, making good choices that they can emulate. If we’re out socially, and there is something she wants but can’t have, I try to… Read more »
Kate
Kate
3 years 4 months ago
I think presentation is a HUGE thing with kids. My four year old niece drinks what my SIL calls “dragon blood”, which is just juiced green veggies sweetened with a little fruit. She gets excited to drink it and has no idea that it’s good for her. How do people combat the grandparent influence? I see all of my niece’s healthy eating habits go out the window when we’re with my inlaws. There’s also the times when the kids spend the night at friend’s houses… when I have my own kids I don’t want to be the weird mom who… Read more »
Stace
3 years 4 months ago
I don’t have any kids, so take this opinion however you’d like, but I really think you shouldn’t stress over the things you can’t control. Like the sleepover thing, it’s out of your control, so don’t try to insist on anything. The best thing you can do is talk to your kids and educate them on making healthy choices, and why those choices are good for the body. I don’t typically like “if” statements, but I really think that *if* someone had explained to me as kid growing up that food is fuel, it’s there to nourish our bodies, and… Read more »
Maxime
Maxime
3 years 4 months ago

It’s a good post, but it’s always for people with kids that wasn’t primal all their life. What about people who will soon (soon as in like 4 years…) have a kid ? What should we feed him to have optimal health ? Bone broth ? Breast milk ? What, when he will be reaching a age to eat solid stuff, etc ?

From a young primal couple

Aloka
3 years 4 months ago
When they reach and age when they start eating solids, you can just feed them softer mashier versions of everything you’re eating yourself. I don’t think that’s the challenge. The challenge is when they have been primal for the first 1-2 yrs and then step out into the world influenced by peers is when it’s going to be hard to keep up. Also grand parents, aunts, uncles, are going to say, why is your kid on a diet, he’s a kid he should be eating cake. Ofcourse the best compromise I think is to only have primal fare on hand… Read more »
Melissa
Melissa
3 years 4 months ago
As a ‘nana’ who has been blessed with having her one y-o grandchild living with her, I have read that breast milk/ formula provides all the nutrients needed but a child has to “learn about food”. My grandson has been “eating” since around 7 months but it’s really about exploring colours, textures and tastes. (They say to introduce ‘food’ when your baby starts watching you eat and when they’re trying to put things in their mouth) Foods he seems to gobble for 3 days in a row may suddenly be tossed on the floor the next. Thankfully mom offers a… Read more »
Christina
Christina
3 years 4 months ago

Hi, I know this does not answer your question, but just want to recommend: if you’re thinking about conceiving, definitely check out the Weston A Price or who are pregnant. It’s all mostly Primal, but with a lot of specifics on what to emphasize. (This blog post from Nourished Kitchen sums it up really well: http://nourishedkitchen.com/the-teeth-tell-the-tale/ ). Hope that is helpful to you, and good luck!

Christina
Christina
3 years 4 months ago

Woops–not sure what happened there. That should say “check out the Weston A. Price foundation, which has a slew of recommendations for couples who are about to conceive or who are pregnant.”

Aloka
3 years 4 months ago

I think it’s really important for moms to be passionate about nutrition though. It’s sad that all parents want to raise healthy children but have no idea what a healthy diet is.

I think eating primal food at home and eating ice cream when out is a great compromise.

I plan to make primal desserts often so my son doesn’t eat awful ingredients. So the primal cravings recipes will sure come in handy for me.

Janet
Janet
3 years 4 months ago
My kids are 13 and 17 and they’ve been quasi-Primal since 2011 and fully Primal for a full year. Like many of the commenters here, we don’t have any non-primal food in the house, so if the kids want to eat, they are going to eat primal. End of story, no compromises. I promise you, they won’t starve, as long as you don’t cave in. I care too much about them to compromise their health with crappy food. They are old enough to know why we eat the way we do and have felt the benefits themselves. It took a… Read more »
Jules
Jules
3 years 4 months ago
My daughter is 14 months and now is almost 100% primal. However, I struggled immensely with breastfeeding so she was only breastfed for 3 weeks which is something that I now feel horribly guilty about. I read the ingredients on a formula can and want to cry. Otherwise, people are usually amazed by what she eats. She eats broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, olives, and loves onions. She also eats a very wide variety of spices. One day I gave her a fed garlic cloves that were soft from the crock pot and she gobbled those down. She even… Read more »
Nannsi
Nannsi
3 years 4 months ago
About the “pickiness:” a child learns by observing and copying what her adults do. She’s keenly aware that grown-ups make choices. So why shouldn’t she? Also, she’s beginning to see herself as an autonomous being. Once she knows she has options, she’ll test her independence by trying them out . The Terrible Twos (not very far away for the both of you) are all about making choices, and learning to deal with frustrations of sorting out what doesn’t work from what does. So encourage that independence, and avoid unnecessary conflicts! Make sure all her choices are primal, and leave it… Read more »
b2curious
b2curious
3 years 4 months ago
Jules, please try to let go of that “mommy guilt” for not breastfeeding your daughter longer. It’s tough, I know, I still have occasional twinges for not breastfeeding my oldest for longer (8 weeks). you made your decision based on your personal situation and the knowledge available to you at the at the time. That you know better now is irrelevant to your past situation. Earlier today, I read a blog with the following statement on it “I’m not trying to be right yesterday, I’m trying to be right today. Sometimes that means admitting that I was wrong and making… Read more »
Joanne - The Real Food Mama
3 years 4 months ago

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Bekki
Bekki
3 years 4 months ago
My kids eat Primal most of the time. Luckily for me (and them!), I knew a lot about it before my first child was even born. My now four and two year olds went straight from breastmilk to fruits, veggies and meat. Now, they beg for green smoothies, avocados, nuts, and plain Greek yogurt. Their dream is to eat their body weight in fresh fruit on a daily basis! The trouble comes whenever we go out to eat. Kids menus are woefully unhealthy. I’m not going to fight them in the restaurant, but I do try to minimize the damage.… Read more »
Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
3 years 4 months ago

I wanted to offer what we do in restaurants–we never order off the kids’ menu. We simply either give our kids some of our meal or order their own “adult” portion off the menu. This has been really great at keeping them more primal when eating out.

Kat
3 years 4 months ago

We often just get a couple of sides for our 2 year old – the veggie of the day, some mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, fruit cup, and (if the restaurant serves breakfast) they’ll probably make you an egg if you ask.

Telly telly
Telly telly
3 years 4 months ago
We do the same. We usually order an adult meal for our 1 & 3 year old daughters to share & then take home the leftovers. It’s rare to find a single vegetable choice on a kids menu besides French fries. 🙁 A steak place near us has a nice kids menu so we ordered kid sized sirloins & steamed broccoli. The girls still decided our “adult” plates looked more appetizing so we had to share our King crab legs. Not sure we’ll go back anytime soon – three $40 dinners seems a bit hefty of a price!
Ravey
Ravey
3 years 4 months ago
I so agree with so many of these posts that if it isn’t in the house, they can’t eat it! And it isn’t just the kids, either!! One thing we have done is institute a “Weird Vegetable of the Week” game. It adds fun, variety, and a buy-in from all involved. Once a week we wander around the produce section of the grocery store, the Asian market, or the farmer’s market and pick out a vegetable we have never tried before. Very often we haven’t got a clue what it is. If we’re lucky there will be someone else picking… Read more »
Georgia
Georgia
3 years 4 months ago

That’s the best thing ever. I don’t know how easy it is to get Kangaroo in the US (I’m Australian) but if you can, definitely give it a go!! Such a delicious, lean and weird meat. And, because we don’t farm kangaroos in Australia, you know it’s grass-fed and as organic as whatever it feasted on was.

Martin
3 years 4 months ago

My antipaleo partner feeds the kids with bread and pasta five times a day except for the weekends when I do the cooking. Any advice?

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 4 months ago

So your partner has no respect for your research? Leaky gut and grains are coupled. My advice would be to cook more.

redsnapperuk
redsnapperuk
3 years 4 months ago

Maybe batch prepare foods – hard boiled eggs, cut up cucumber, peppers, cheese (if you do dairy), burgers/meatballs, carrot sticks etc. So then it is easy for your partner to just grab the ready made foods and feed it to the kids. Wishing you the best of luck!!!! Sad that she isn’t supportive.

RJ
RJ
3 years 4 months ago

Talk to her every day and little by little get her to agree with you ( not by arguing or making her wrong just talk about how good it is) Over time she will begin to think differently and eventually go paleo herself

Elle
3 years 4 months ago
My children are “unfooded” and have always had the freedom to eat whatever, wherever and whenever they please. As a result their diet is significantly healthier and more primal, naturally. They listen to their bodies. Making the switch to primal has been pretty straightforward thanks to this approach, though they still eat crap whenever they like. Their diet is exceptional and there are no forbidden fruits that may lead them to binging/addiction in their teen/adult years. The long game is more important, in my opinion, than immediate perfection. It’s about living in the modern world and all that it offers.… Read more »
Laurie
Laurie
3 years 4 months ago
I said 100% Primal because he eats 90/10 at 2.5 years old. We have a gluten-free household and went Primal when he was 1 years old. At the grandparents we allow corn chips and sometimes out he gets hand made corn masa tortillas and some rice. Quinoa very infrequently as well. This kid refuses sorbet and ice cream but eats plain frozen banana ice cream. He doesn’t like any cake or bead like things- even fully primal made baked goods that I find excellent. He just doesn’t have any reference to junk food being a comfort food so it isnt’… Read more »
Kris
Kris
3 years 4 months ago

My husband and I eat a primal diet but his son (my step son) does not. At most meals with us he eats what we eat but when he’s with his mom (which is most of the time) or at his grandparents he gets the usual grilled cheese, pizza, hamburgers etc.

I feel a bit of guilt because I am now pregnant and am planning to raise my son primal but I give in and let my step son eat garbage because I know it’s not my place to tell his mom what to feed him. It’s frustrating.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 4 months ago

Your home, your rules.

redsnapperuk
redsnapperuk
3 years 4 months ago

Exactly!!

WC
WC
3 years 4 months ago
I have 3 kids under 6. One of our strategies has been to cook a whole bunch of stuff on Sunday to have on hand for lunches, etc. This way, if one kid objects to a particular dinner, there are 3 options in the fridge to choose from. I will always eat what they don’t. Sometimes simply having the ability to choose themselves has an impact. Also remember – kids often object to foods not just due to taste but because of texture. My son won’t eat formed ground meat for anything (burgers, meatballs, etc) – so I just treat… Read more »
Karen
Karen
3 years 4 months ago
Eat Like a Dinosaur! (paleoparents.com) My kids are eating primal because they like the concept of eating like a dinosaur! The recipes are great, and they show how to get the kids involved. We haven’t had any leftovers with the meals we’ve made from this book – both kids, even the pickiest one, eat it all! I now know to double the recipes if I want leftovers! If you don’t have any junk in the house, they can’t eat any junk in the house. Kids might not want to eat what you put on the table, but they won’t starve.… Read more »
Jessica
Jessica
3 years 4 months ago
My husband and I have been eating Primal for about 3 years and have two daughters (7 and 9). Transitioning them to a complete Primal diet probably took about one year. We always ate healthy so it was just a matter of eliminating the pasta’s, bread, etc, from most meals and substituting with other ingredients, such as raw cabbage or zucchini for texture. We also made all of our own baby food so they never had a problem eating real vegetables versus that stuff in the jars on the shelf at the grocery store. Eliminating the cereal was the first… Read more »
Brandi
Brandi
3 years 4 months ago
They like preparing the veggies and such, I am sure they would love it if you purchased an icecream maker and once in a while you could pick out fruits to put in the machine. I know I have seen recipes with coconut milk which you can find without added sugar. The fruit or stevia(if you use stevia) makes it sweet. Also there is a maker that uses frozen banannas to make the creamy part. It would be a whole new level of ‘treat’ for them to know that they don’t have to have conventional crap that makes them feel… Read more »
redsnapperuk
redsnapperuk
3 years 4 months ago
You don’t need an ice cream maker to make ice cream. Chop up bananas and then put them in a zip lock bag, in the freezer. Then when nicely frozen blitz them in the food processor! Done! Banana ice cream – add some cocoa or other fruits! Also I make coconut milk ice cream I just put the mix into a glass or plastic container and into the freezer it goes. Job done! It takes a wee while to defrost but our kids are very happy with the ice cream that we make at home (we also make it using… Read more »
Pdawg
Pdawg
3 years 4 months ago
I needed to read this today!! Really struggling with my almost 4 year old. She is mostly primal, but can’t seem to give up bread. I just quit buying it and I am hoping she will stop asking. I know I can’t control it all, and that gets really frustrating. Grandparents house, friends, and preschool are the worst. I feel like she is constantly bombarded with SAD outside of the house….hey it’s Tuesday so have a freakin cupcake!!! I have a 10 month old and I am hoping it will be easier with him. Me and husband have been primal… Read more »
Jennie Clarke
Jennie Clarke
3 years 4 months ago
Each child and each family is unique. We should be careful about judging about “good” and “bad” based on what works (or doesn’t work) for us and our children. We are all doing the best we can in our own circumstances. My son has sensory integration dysfunction and one of his big triggers is food, especially the textures. He is not being picky – he will gag and throw up if the texture is off. He is also one who will not eat for days and pass out from low blood sugar if there are no choices acceptable to his… Read more »
Sonja
Sonja
3 years 4 months ago
My son has this same issue. I want to reassure you that as they get older, it gets better. My son is now 10 (almost 11) and he will eat many more things that he used to. Though he still won’t touch shrimp or any shellfish because of texture. Nor will he eat lettuce or spinach for the same reason. I’ve actually had him say, “That’s not bad.” and then puke it up on his plate. Don’t give up! Add things in one at a time. Zuchinni was on his list of ‘won’t eat’ but I kept trying it different… Read more »
tim
tim
3 years 1 month ago

Our 7 year old is very conscious about being ‘different’. He doesn’t like to stick out and that extends to what he has for lunch at school. Any clues on how to replace the ubiquitous sandwich with Primal alternatives without creating an emotional wreck?

Ekaterina
2 years 4 months ago

I have 4 years of experience finding paleo alternatives for kids and it does work for us.
I have recently opened a facebook page ,,Low carb experiences with type 1 kid” where I share recipes and tips.

Erin
Erin
3 years 4 months ago
When my husband and I went full Paleo about 6 months ago, the kids did too. We simply removed all junk food, processed food, grains, dairy and sugar from the house and never bought it again. We got some whining at first, “I don’t like this food” and my favorite “we have nooooo food.” I had to repeat myself over and over, “We have plenty of food, you’re just choosing not to eat it.” I never forced my kids to eat certain things. If they didn’t like what was being served for dinner, they didn’t have to eat. Eventually, they… Read more »
Stephanie
Stephanie
3 years 4 months ago

Easy. We just don’t keep junk in the house. Period. If it’s not there, the kids can’t eat it. It’s really not that tough.

Kris C
Kris C
3 years 4 months ago
My older two eat quite Primally, especially dinners which I prepare almost nightly. My youngest is a very picky eater. I let him eat as many apples and bananas as he wants but he doesn’t care for meat. I have tried to do homemade chicken nuggets (even put back in the SAD bag) and fish sticks but he seems to know the difference. It doesn’t help that the husband is not Primal (except the dinners I cook) and loves to buy Cheez-Its, chips, and donuts for the family. At least I have the older two who love meat and veggies… Read more »
Kathy
3 years 4 months ago
It’s very hard when your kids have been eating wrong for years and they are not preteens and teens. They are more resistant to change. I’ve been on primal for about 14 months and my husband mostly too. Initially, I forced my kids to eat eggs and bacon for breakfast and no more cereals but they became so tired of that, that I eventually gave in and bought them gluten-free cereals. They still have eggs but less often now. I tell them why those things aren’t good for them, but I can’t force them to eat things. It tends to… Read more »
Brandi
Brandi
3 years 4 months ago

You have not failed your family. YOU TRY which is more than I can say for many parents. Plenty of places wont have the things you need and alot of people don’t have the money for healthy food. That isn’t your fault, its just that bad food is cheaper to make and the government and other big Industries make it that way. You do what you can and that is still great.

KEW
KEW
3 years 4 months ago

Kathy, I’m with Brandi on this one! You have not failed. You are trying AND you have made some real improvements, and you have learned to deal with a tricky situation with your oldest. Chin up, mama — you’re doing good!

Shary
Shary
3 years 4 months ago
Kathy, there’s nothing wrong with eggs for breakfast, meat and veggies for dinner and yogurt for lunch. Life is all about compromises and what works on an individual basis. That includes food. Whether you and your family are two-thirds primal or fully primal, or whatever, it shouldn’t be something that causes so much stress and anxiety. I eat a pretty primal diet about 98 percent of the time, mainly because I prefer to eat that way. That doesn’t mean I won’t have a bite or two of (gasp!) birthday cake on rare occasions, or a bit of turkey stuffing with… Read more »
Halek
Halek
3 years 4 months ago

My biggest issue is that my 1 year old spends 8 hours a day 3 days a week with her grandmother (my MIL), who likes to feed her pasta, bread, etc. She does give her a lot of fresh fruit, and gives her veggie purees, but I don’t know how to tactfully stop the bread and pasta. I don’t think she feeds her much of any protein either.

I walk on eggshells with my MIL as it is… Anyone have some tips?

Brandi
Brandi
3 years 4 months ago

Prepare the foods for her, put in tupperware. Let her know that you don’t want YOUR child eating those things, Hopefully HER son is on your side. At the very least she can be grateful not to have to do the full cooking herself. Then its up to her to be a Good MIL, a good grandmother and respect your wishes.

sara
sara
3 years 4 months ago
I think we are “over the hump!” with my 3 year old… finally! He eats pretty much whatever is served to him. He makes the most horrible faces when eating certain vegetables (cabbage, carrots, etc.) but he will at least take a few bites before he is excused. He knows he won’t be able to play or go outside until he eats dinner… otherwise he’s stuck sitting at the table. We are less strict with him, though, then we are with ourselves… lots of fruits, raw dairy, even gluten free (rice) pasta at times. He has never been much of… Read more »
Jill
Jill
3 years 4 months ago
My husband and I have been primal for nearly a year and a half, but our boys (3 and 5) are quasi-primal. Our stance is we try and pick our battles and then when they are older 12+ (maybe 14, I don’t know yet) they can choose their lifestyle. We hope it’s paleo/primal but it’s also their own body; I can only guide as a parent. First of all the boys go to daycare and the daycare does not allow outside food due to food safety laws and their own guidelines and policies, especially with allergies. The daycare follows the… Read more »
Mark Cruden
Mark Cruden
3 years 4 months ago

Have the most primally-oriented person in the household do ALL the grocery shopping. This works for us most of the time. Sure there are treats (80/20), but if the bread or Goldfish or whatever aren’t available in the first place, it sure makes it easier! Our son (12) has wild salmon a few times per week and nice local veggies every night. He even brags about the offul dad eats at school (!). Now if I could just get my daughters’ universities on side!

Haley
Haley
3 years 4 months ago
We learned very quickly we cannot control what they have access to in the community, but we can control what they have at home, and in their lunches. So we have resorted to Education for the eldest (10 years) and house of hard knocks for the littles (my 4 year olds will tell you that McDonalds makes them sick. Why? because they wanted it so bad we let them have some a month after going primal and it well made them sick a lesson they will never forget). So AT home the Rules are NO Gluten ever. We do not… Read more »
Mark Cruden
Mark Cruden
3 years 4 months ago
I have been primal for most of the past three years. As a McDonald’s franchisee I can tell you that my kids don’t get sick from occasionally having McDonald’s. I can proudly tell anyone that there is nothing in our food that will make kids sick! At home we try to live the primal lifestyle (all of it, not just the eating), buy locally grown vegetables and fruit, etc. etc. But letting kids have McDonald’s once in a while (IF THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE CHOOSE TO DO) will not make children sick. Do we let our son have McDonald’s every night?… Read more »
Brandi
Brandi
3 years 4 months ago
Nothing like ecoli, or bad hygeine or anything, but I believe she was refering to the fact that her children got sick after eat at mcdonalds, whether it was the MCds or not. 4 year old tummys can be sensitive to those things, like preservatives and such. I once got sick immediatly after eating a hamburger at a restaurant because it had a little pink in it. It wasn’t food poisoning or something like that, its just up until recently i couldn’t stand seeing pink in any meat, cooked properly or not. My brain said ‘oh hell no, that sh*t… Read more »
Mark Cruden
Mark Cruden
3 years 4 months ago

Not sure how I came off rude! My apologies to you, Haley if I did. That’s certainly not who I am or try to be. Not to sound defensive (again) but we have great hygiene at our (3) restaurants and spend many hours during training speaking to this (and the thorough cooking of meat). Again, not trying to sound defensive, just saying it’s about balance. Have a good night, everyone.

wpDiscuz