I often get comments along the lines of “I can’t believe you make your kid eat Paleo.” I find it amusing that people assume that I would feed my child food that I don’t think is healthy for her and that I would feed her food that differs from the way I eat. I guess the latter makes sense as most children in our country eat “kid” food- mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. that parents don’t eat themselves. Here’s how it works in our home- our child eats the same food we eat and we have a Paleo lifestyle, if we were Vegan or Kosher she would be too. The food she eats is nutrient dense and does not contain added sugars or chemicals. We have avoided all grains, legumes, and refined sugars. I have exposed her to some dairy in the form of grass fed butter and raw cheeses, but she doesn’t seem to like it. She loves meat- turkey, steak, duck, lamb, pork, as well as broccoli, brussel sprouts, avocado, coconut cream, and organic sunflower seed butter off the spoon. She eats more fruit than I prefer, but it transports well and she likes it. Fruit also has more nutrients than say the common cereal o’s, crackers, and cookies that other children her age often eat. The more fat she eats the better in my book- as healthy fats and cholesterol are building her brain and giving her the energy to play and explore the world.
A typical day looks like this:
Breakfast: nut butter with raspberries
Snack: deyhydrated blueberries on the road
Lunch: avocado and beef
Snack: coconut cream and cooked pears
Dinner: pork and squash
My main challenge has been having portable food ready to go to be eaten outside of the home. We participate in a few activities where mostly wheat or rice based snacks are offered. I always bring our own snack and explain that she doesn’t eat grain or legumes, that usually knocks out the sugar/ processed options. I learned the hard way to bring things that can be cleaned off the floor easily. I was really embarrassed when our raw sunflower seed cracker was smashed into a bizillion pieces and I dropped them all over the carpeted floor in the classroom. I tried to pretend it wasn’t me, even though all the other kids were eating goldfish.
Here’s what works for our family during those snack times or when hunger hits outside of the home:
Crunchies brand dehydrated blueberries (any processed food she eats has only one ingredient or is raw)
Raisins or currants
Pieces of cucumber
Pieces of steak
Nitrate free, organic lunch meat
I’d love to hear comments from other families about what challenges they have faced raising a Paleo child.