Best tips & tricks for starting W30 with kids?

6 posts in this topic

After having my first successful run with Whole30 in January, I have encouraged my family to try it with me starting the day after Mother's Day! DH is finally onboard and ready to commit. DS is willing to give it a go, but a little scared, especially the thought of having to commit to 30 days (he did a 7 day sugar/gluten cleanse when I started my W30 in Jan). My main reason for pursuing this with my family is to alleviate some symptoms I've noticed in my son's health (low energy, weight gain, moodiness, mild gluten allergy, dairy intolerance, not hungry in the a.m., adult-sized appetite). 


Aside from the usual advice about reading the Whole9 literature about Kids doing the program, I would love some general tips and tricks from those of you that have had success with Kids' Whole30 or are in the process right now. :D

Is there a mantra that helped you guide your kids through the program?

A kid-friendly recipe website you couldn't live without?

Did you modify the program at all for your kids?

How did you explain the program to your kids to motivate and educate them?

How did you manage slip ups?

Any other words of wisdom to help with a 9 year old?


Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated!!

ShandaB and womaninshoe like this

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I definitely recommend the Paleo Parents website - they have 3 Paleo boys so they've found a lot of stuff out that you can learn from. That said, I currently only have a 3 month old so I can't give you any personal advice.

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We're doing whole 30 for my husband and I wasn't about to have much non-compliant food around (he will eat it no matter how hard I hide it. he can't not eat the cookie, or only eat 1 cookie, he will eat all the cookies).


I thought about what I wanted my preteen to get out of whole 30 and went from there. I wanted to see how sugar affected my preteen. Also, the pediatrician wanted me to up her protein because she's under weight (she loves rice and noodles so taking them away would hopefully force her to eat more protein instead of feeding her carnation instant breakfast like she recommended.)


I also thought about what rules apply to her and what don't. I know some people won't agree with me, but I need to do what works for my kid (and I will change things if I need to). I'm not going hardcore on her, because she's 12 and I want her to have a healthy relationship with food.  I've already gotten crap from a couple of other parents about us doing this even when I explain a) this is not a diet and B) we're helping daddy because the doctor said he must lose weight. I do let her have dairy. However, it's hands off for hubby and I. Everything else she eats is complaint, though I let her go SWYPO occasionally. She wanted cookies so I told her she could bake them herself using ingredients in the house. She found a paelo recipe using coconut flour and date sugar and made them herself.  Also, while I only make her compliant lunches, I don't police what she eats at school. I'm not going to tell her she can't have the birthday cupcake, but we've talked about only having one cupcake and not three. Also, I point out how it affects her moods and she's starting to notice how sugar makes her feel. 


Before we started we talked about it and our goals. Like Daddy needs to lose weight and we want daddy to be healthy so we're doing this together and how we could all stand eat healthier anyhow. (somehow dessert after breakfast got to be okay in our house, and it's not, so we all have habits to work on). She's a good sport about it, though she's not shy about saying "I want a pasty" or "I want froyo". Once I might have gotten annoyed and told her to ask so-and-so's mom (who thinks I'm a bad mom for taking away the sugar and cereal) to take her to froyo. This ended in laughter.


We did have a major slip up and just started over, but it was because Daddy slipped up and he wanted to start over and we talked about it as a family first.


Mostly we're eating the same food as usual, only I'm using compliant ingredients and subbing more veggies for rice or noodles. We have tried caulirice (not a hit) and zoodles (a hit). Nom Nom Paelo does have some great recipes.


Basically, I pick and chose my battles and know what my goals are for her (and that she's onboard with said goals) and focus on that.


But this is just what works for us. She's a preteen girl so the situation's a little different. Good luck!

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Following this post, starting on june 1st, my daughter is 9 and has shown mild gluten intolerance symptoms, sugar is a main issue. We had cleaned up our eating since december, but the past month has been off the wagon. Interested in any encouragement, suggestions, etc anyone has in this post.

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Just updating on our progress:

We've allowed some swypo foods, like banana/egg pancakes (I call them 'banana flaps') but mainly good clean eating. He's been eating smaller portions and snacking less. The hardest has been twice being offered birthday treats in class and having to turn them down. :(  I think my strategy next time he's in that situation, will be to have him help me make a swypo treat so he doesn't feel entirely deprived.


He has been a bit of a drama queen regarding treats like chocolate and bread, but hasn't been hungry enough to just eat a piece of fruit, so he's survived. In fact, I think anytime a craving hits, I will suggest we make a swypo treat. 1) it will distract him for the time it takes for the craving to pass 2) empower him to feel like he is in control of the food he eats 3) teach him that delicious treats don't always have to come from a package and can be made from real foods.


Although I'm really hoping he'll hold off until the end, I have given him permission to stop anytime after 14 days. I tell ya, those first 10 days or so were rough for him! He considered quitting after day 14, but it helps that my husband has been doing it as well and was going to keep going. The hardest has been when we go out to a restaurant, which my husband loves to do on the weekends. I'd recommend keeping those to a minimum if possible, especially with kids! We are on day 20 now, and the last week or so has been pretty calm (boring, but calm). I'm hoping this last week will be even better. The last few days will be a busy one for my son, so he may get to 30 and not even realize it came and went. 

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