So many times, I hear mother’s making the excuse “It’s hard for me to eat healthy with kids in the house. I have to keep snacks around for them.” REALLY?!! Um, shouldn’t you want your children to eat healthy? If you know YOU “shouldn’t” have those sugary fruit snacks and Mini Oreo’s, then WHY are you letting your child have them on a daily basis? I just don’t get it. Ok, rant over. Time to educate.
When I decided to go all out Paleo, I knew it would be a challenge to get my husband and 22 month old daughter on board. My husband eats very healthy, but enjoys his bread, pasta, and brown rice. My typical toddler also loves bread and “noonles” (noodles). She also loves the whole grain goldfish snacks. While all of these things are considered healthy, I really believe the bad reputation grains and legumes have in messing with the digestive system and leading to various illnesses.
My husband is an athlete, and I also consider myself to be an athletic person. Paleo is by far, the best lifestyle for us. It fuels your body with what you need to recover after intense workouts, and affords you with an incredible amount of energy to go about your daily routine. As a mother of newborn twins and a toddler, energy is something I need. I feel fantastic, I’m never hungry, and I easily lost all of my pregnancy weight (nearly 50 lbs!).
Okay, back to the topic. Even kids like Paleo. As all of you parents know, children have a lot of energy and their minds are little sponges. They are learning so much at such a fast pace, and are just trying to soak it all in. How do we keep their minds strong, alive, and equipped to retain what their learning the best way possible? How do we keep their bodies fueled properly so they don’t “crash” and get fussy and whiney? Simply feed their bodies properly. Healthy fats work wonders for brain development. Healthy fats are also crucial to energy levels. Carbs help with energy, you say? You are wrong. Healthy fats provide more than twice the amount of energy to the body than carbs do. It’s a fact. Look it up.
Back to transitioning my daughter… Some Paleo followers allow the addition of certain dairy products into their diet. For children, it is very important to have milk and other dairy (greek yogurt, certain cheeses) in their diet until age 5. I personally don’t consume dairy, mainly because I don’t like it. I don’t like milk, cheese (except mexican queso), and am not really an ice cream fan, so I choose to keep dairy out of my diet. My daughter however, is lacto-paleoithic.
Making meals for her is easy. She basically eats what my husband and I eat. I find that the hardest are snacks. She does love fruit, so fruit and greek yogurt, or just fruit is an easy solution. But usually I just opt for having her eat 4 meals throughout the day, and eliminate the snacks all together. Now that I am better with cooking all things Paleo, I have been making my own bread and baked goods. She loves the almond butter chocolate chip cookies. She also loves “PB&J” on my coconut almond bread. My next mission is learning how to make jelly (I know it can’t be that hard, I just need to look it up!).