Anyone doing this with kids 3 and under?


hayleyj

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Okay so as a little background,  I work full-time and have 3 kids.... twins who are 18 months and a 3.5 year old.  My 3.5 year old is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame and HATES vegetables (literally will not eat them no matter how I cook them).  

 

Typical breakfast - yogurt & trader joe's bluberry bar

Typical lunch - leftovers from dinner

Typical dinner - usually he will eat the protein (loves chicken, turkey, meat, salmon) and will eat rice and sometimes potatoes.  loves pasta too.

 

I have no clue how to transition him to Whole30 or how to even try!  He could eat eggs for breakfast I guess, but I don't know how to give him balanced meals when he won't eat the veggies!  He loves fruit so I know I can incorporate that... but how do you do it?  He's in daycare/preschool during the day so I can't cook during the day for him obviously.  He also is provided with snack at daycare which he loves.  We don't do milk or juice so those things won't be a problem. 

 

My twins will eat pretty much anything. 

 

Typical breakfast - homemade buttermilk belgian waffles with banana and yogurt

Typical lunch - leftovers from dinner

Typical dinner - anything we eat.  usually protein, veggie & starch

 

They'd be the easy ones although I'd need some more breakfast ideas.  I usually batch cook for them on the weekends.  They are home with a nanny during the day, so I have more options as far as their meals...  

 

I started doing Whole30 for myself yesterday, but so far the kids have been eating their regular foods.  I'd like to try to transition the whole family to this, but how?  Also, what's your typical budget for 5 people?  I count the kids each as 1 person because they eat a LOT and all 3 take leftovers for lunch, so I need to cook bigger portions of things.  We're already spending usually $150-175/week just buying organic, non-processed foods in general but how much more for them to do whole30?  

 

Any ideas for me?  Sorry this is so long!!! 

 

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I am doing this with a 2 year old, but he has eaten paleo for most of his life so it is pretty much what and how he eats! 

 

I do give him whole fat plain greek yogurt with mashed banana or applesauce with cinnamon or scrambled eggs--he loves scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms and ground beef--basically an original joe.

 

Lunch lately has been grapes and left over meat from dinner and veggies--typically tomatoes 

 

Dinner is what we eat--he is crazy mad for kale and spinach, tomatoes, broccoli... he loves curry--I do the better butter chicken on everyday paleo http://everydaypaleo.com/better-butter-chicken/ and I add steamed broccoli to it and blitz his up in my magic bullet. He sucks that down like there is no tomorrow! He loves meat of all kinds, and loves home made mayo. 

 

What about making a dip with homemade mayo for your 3.5 yo? My son loves to 'help' me make mayo and he loves 'helping' in the kitchen and his favorite thing hands down is to help me in the produce cooler at Costco--he would happily fill the cart if I let him! I give him the things I am buying and he runs and puts the veg in the bottom of the cart. What about having your son help you in the kitchen? Or having him help you at the market to pick out things that he would like to try? When we run across something new, I offer it 3-4 days running, usually in different forms to see if he likes it. So far the only thing he has really refused is green beans! For my older dd, I hid shredded veg in meatloaf and meatballs and spaghetti sauce (this was WAY before paleo!) What about winter squash does he enjoy that? Maybe try roasting up some of the sweeter veggies to start him with? Winter squash, try subbing out zoodles for pasta.. 

 

Personally, I would offer him small amounts of veg and not stress over it. Kids tastes change as they grow, and he may just simply be on veggie strike at the moment. 

 

Budget--right now we are 3 but I typically spend about 120 a week or so. I buy the bulk of our meat, veg and eggs at Costco, with hitting a local market for the rest, as well as spices and some natural food items. During the summer, it is a lot of grilling, with salads being the majority of what we do, and during the winter, it is chili, stew, soup and roasted chicken or pork or beef. Pre W30, I could and did get away on $40 a week and it wasn't pretty! Lentil soup with a smoked turkey leg was a staple as well as stew and chili made with beef heart! But even then it was whole foods, no junk, but mostly soups and the like.  

 

How does your son do with soup? You can make very tasty ones and perhaps blend his portion up?

 

OK! its late here so hopefully i helped a little!

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The only veggies my son (also 3.5) will eat is the baby food pouches for tots. They re veggies and fruit purée, called Happy Tot. Surprisingly he ate bakes kale chips, garlic ones from Sarah Fragoso's book. I tried smoothies and Popsicles from puréed veg and fruit and they were a no go. Although they are not W30, I have tried some paleo pumpkin muffins, or zucchini bread which were not exactly a hit but he did eat some of them. Next thing I am trying is a beat purée with egg beaten in to dredge chicken in before baking....red chicken nuggets?! Someone also suggested " green eggs" and ham type of deal which sounded so cute but my son could not be convinced!

I have not made my kids W30.... So far I am trying to eliminate dairy( my daughters vomits after drinking milk), decrease grains, increase meat and veggies. My husband in not W30 either and also eats junk on a regular basis, so it's not easy to teach the kids when daddy is eating chips, fast food, and pizza on a regular basis.

Just doing the best I can, that's all we can do! Best of luck to you and your little ones.

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I have a two and three year old who have successfully done a couple Whole30's.  They don't sound near as challenging as your little guy, but here are the things I did to smooth the process:

 

Explained what we were doing and why (to be healthier so we wouldn't get sick and would have more energy).  This helped them buy into the vision and reasons which are all quite legitimate.

Had them assist in the menu planning process (they picked out chicken nuggets and pumpkin pancakes from Practical Paleo and Eating Like Dinosaurs and all sorts of things I didn't want to make, but we made 'em and they felt empowered)

Talked about our meals as a learning adventure ("Hmmm.  I wonder if we'll like it?). 

Had them help in food shopping and preparation

Constantly said at meal times that it's good to try things, but they didn't have to continue eating them.  Also shared that our tastes change and responded to their, "I don't like zucchini" with, "Hmm.  Interesting." so I could avoid power battles and let them re-like it in their own time.

Used a lot of coconut oil

Used a lot of salt

Provided mustard at meals (it's replaced ketchup in our home and makes everything better)

Serve what we're cooking and let them either eat or not eat (though I tried to make breakfast and lunch more kid friendly)

Sweet potato hash with eggs for breakfast (with garlic powder and salt) is a big hit here

Baked chopped up carrots with dates is another hit

Baked Butternut squash cut up in smile shapes with pineapple is also a favorite

Bananas and baby carrots and dates for snacks

Green things are a challenge

 

I've heard of a book where veggies are mixed into foods and kids are completely unaware.  It might be something to explore.  I know I can make green eggs these days for my kids (spinach blended with eggs and then cooked) and my kids dig it. 

 

It's totally worth the effort I think.  My kids are far healthier than before and they sleep better.  They quickly fall back into old ways of pasta and fries if given the chance so when we travel or go out to eat, I only ask us to avoid dairy (and I encourage rice over pasta).  When we get back home, they go right back to eating healthy foods since that's all we have in the house.  It's certainly far better than our old ways!!

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My 2 year old won't eat a vegetable for anything, but does like scrambled eggs and meat patties/meatballs, so I cram as many vegetables into those as I can without him being able to notice. Finely chopped steamed kale/spinach, finely grated sweet potatoes, and grated zucchini are the ones I use most. They mix in well and don't have much of a flavor. I diligently put the plain veggies on his plate too in hopes that he'll start eating them...some day I hope!!

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Hi Haley!  We are on day 21 of our Whole 30!!!  YAY!!  Our whole family is doing it... pretty much!  We have an 11 year old, a 2 & 3 year old, all boys.  By far our most difficult child is the 11 year old.  He walks away from the dinner table a lot of nights still hungry, but I remember that happening to me when I was a kid and I didn't starve to death and suffered no lingering psychological damage... that being said, my number one suggestion to you is to choose what your limits are and stick with them.  I don't think my young ones are as picky as yours, but they are still finicky.  More than never eating this or that - they either pig out on just about anything I give them or they eat nothing.  So often I'll pull out leftovers that they gobbled up the last time they ate it and they just push it away without interest.  So we just pick up their plates and move along!  

 

My husband and I are following every guideline of the Whole 30.  

 

For the kids I'm still allowing them to have occasional organic, full fat yogurt and a little milk.  We were going through 2-3 gallons a week and we are down to 1 lasting a little over a week.  They also get an M&M if they go potty on the toilet and I've been continuing that as well.  

 

Here are my tips:  

 

For breakfast - eggs!  They like them scrambled and I will put ground pork in them and sometimes a little onion.  They are really good with coconut milk mixed in - they get nice and bright yellow and fluffy.  I will also make them small smoothies sometimes - even though I know we can't have them - with strawberries, banana, blueberries and a little almond or coconut milk (if I have a can open)... They are also big oatmeal eaters so sometimes we have no oat oatmeal which I really LOVE (heavy on the nuts though).  Recipe is on PaleoPlan.com.  Yummy!  

 

When my oldest was small, I used to always tell him "yes" at the grocery store when he'd ask me for something healthy to get to eat - I got to tell him yes to something and he was satisfied with that when facing the wall of candy at the perfect child-height while in line at the store.  He'd almost always ask for an apple.  Now it's even easier (although more expensive) - I let them have one of those little pouches of organic fruits/veggies mixed up.  It's a great way to get them some more fruits and vegetables without them coming from me, instead they're requested!  

 

For dinner - someone mentioned about the recipe book that sneaks all kinds of veggies into foods that they like.  I find this SUPER easy to do with my paleo dinners.  I pulverize onions, mushrooms and carrots and mix them with either ground beef or ground turkey (if I can find any that's compliant) to make meat balls.  They taste every bit as good as the old bread crumb recipe.  I shred yellow & zucchini squash and put it into TONS of stuff without telling people - again it gets devoured.  Cooked carrots are super sweet, so is acorn squash and I think butternut squash is too.  EVERYONE loves when we make sweet potatoes, just shred them and fry them like hash browns in coconut oil and sprinkle them with cinnamon!  It's dessert for dinner!  

 

I read on this forum something about butternut squash and pineapples - I have these things in my fridge now so I can fix them, but haven't tried it yet.  Also here I saw something about breakfast popsicles that are almost legal - they have cocoa in them so I am going to make those also.  

 

Another suggestion is to see if your kids like lemon.  I read an article about why a lot of little ones like sour lemons and limes but don't remember what it said, other than it's pretty common.  If they do - try squeezing it on their veggies (while they can see you doing it).  Mine are always wanting to chew on lemons and just plain steamed broccoli with lemon juice sprinkled on it is TASTY!!  Also be sure to season the veggies, everyone likes them to have a little flavor, even if it's just some salt.  We are liberal with garlic and ghee.  

 

If your kids are into creamy things, cream it up!  I made some AWESOME almost alfredo sauce one night!  It was just coconut milk, clarified butter, a tiny bit of almond flour, garlic and salt but it was awesome!  I poured it over chicken and cooked spinach and they didn't even notice they were eating spinach!  

 

One last tip -- once you get them on board, don't let them cheat either!  One weekend we were really busy and I just let them have Chik-fi-a for one meal and a hot dog for another.  They both got upset tummies and diarrhea and it was really sad.  :(  

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Thank you so much to everyone for your help!  

 

I have decided to slowly change meal by meal for the kids.  I'm starting with breakfast.  Today my 3 year old asked me if he could have scrambled eggs and pineapple!  I was thrilled :)  I think I have to just deal with the hardships and make new routines.  He actually ate 1 big slice of pineapple and hasn't touched the eggs yet, but asking is a start - right??  We went to Costco together yesterday and got eggplant, clementines, peppers, brussels sprouts, lemons, cucumber, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, avocado and some of those organic squeeze pouches.  I'm hoping he'll actually want to eat some of these things!!!   I think I will allow them to have full fat organic yogurt too.  They love it!!!   My twins will be easy.  I'm going to start replacing their waffles with scrambled eggs instead and they will keep eating the banana and yogurt.  They love eggs anyway. 

 

One thing I'm struggling with is eating everything organic.  How do you guys do it?  If we're eating so much protein, it's so expensive!!!  

 

That alfredo sounds DIVINE!!!  Can I use any other kind of flour?  My oldest is allergic to all nuts (coconut is fine though). 

 

Yesterday I went to the supermarket and got  huge pork loin, wild salmon, tri tip roast and whole chicken.  Couldn't afford all of that organic though :(  But it's a start... right?   I'd love some more ideas from you for dinners that are family-friendly!!! 

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It is expensive... but mostly I find it's because I'm buying so much MORE of just what is always more expensive: produce and meat.  :| All the processed, filler food is SO cheap!  

 

For the alfredo, I would think you could use coconut flour - it doesn't take much!  

 

I was pretty excited yesterday, went to Target and they had grass fed ground beef and organic chicken!  I was actually really excited - not sure how much cheaper it is, but Target is super convenient for me.  I also found this article which helped me some...here. She talks about a lot of great things at Costco but when I read labels a LOT of their stuff had sugar added so even though it was organic I didn't buy it.  They do have giant jugs of olive oil and a good amount of organic produce.  I followed her instructions for cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot and then making stock from it.  I LOVE soup and find it's a great way for me to get in lots of veggies without getting bored.  My boys are kind of hit or miss with it, but I don't mind trying.  The stock turned out amazing - so I got two meals worth of chicken out of it, and will get two giant pots of soup out of the stock.  My neighborhood grocery store also has a store brand called Simple Truth which makes a lot of organic options affordable.  I try to follow the guidelines on that "clean vs dirty" list that is out there and stick with organic as much as I can but not completely.  

 

I tried the recipe with the butternut squash roasted with pineapple for the kids.  Turns out my husband and I loved it but the kids were not as thrilled.  I'll keep trying though!  Just heated the oven up to 425, chopped up the squash into pieces about 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" cubes, tossed them around in a little coconut oil, then poured a can of pineapple rings (juice and all) over them.  Roasted them for about 45 minutes - we like when they get a little caramelized.  SO TASTY!  

 

Here is my favorite dinner so far.... I just call it spaghetti to the kids and they gobble it up!  Italian Bolognese.  I just use a veggie peeler to prepare the zucchini instead of making it like real spaghetti.  

 

One last one... Buffalo Chicken Pasta.  For the little guys I made it without the hot wing sauce.  I LOVED it and the chick's blog is funny too.  I love her recipes and she always cracks me up.  

 

Mmmmm tri-tip... I need to get one of those and smoke it.  Those are SO yummy!! :)

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Italian Bolognese is a hit here as well.

 

Our grocery bills have increased substantially, but our eating out bills have decreased which helps some.  Overall, our food is more expensive and was super expensive that first month when we seemed to eat crazy quantities of food.  I'd cook two large spaghetti squash for dinner and our two adults and two kids would get through most of it.  Now we eat much more moderate amounts, are better at using our leftovers and are a bit more in control of our grocery bill.  I think it also helps that we can plan meals more quickly based on sale prices at the market.  In the beginning, we had to stick to our weekly schedule regardless of prices in order to stay on track.

 

In our little town, the market has begun ordering organic produce and found there is a demand for it.  It's exciting because that should hopefully help costs come down a bit.  (At least I sure hope so!)

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Thank you all - this is great.  I am in a family of 7 - 4 adults and 3 children 9,3-almost 4 and 3 just turned.  I am doing Whole 30 alone.  I make a majority of the meals and care for the toddlers- we've recent added some day care time to socialize and start educating the children.  I dropped all the wheat/grains/sugar over a year ago - felt a lot of good changes in my body - lost weight.  Then I became educated in substitutions for all the things I ate before = maybe it was obsessed.  I got the ISWF book and today is day 8.  Hayley - do what you can with the family.  I follow W30 to the letter, but my family has no interest and that's ok.  Since I cook, I do add in veggies and give the children a "try it" bite or two.  Sometimes requests for more, sometimes not.  What is happening here, is putting something different on their plates and asking them to try it, results in them being more willing to try - if they know that they don't have to eat it all.  I hope at some point they will all get on board, but for right now they eat what I cook and add in what they want -- that's ok.  As I said there are 4 adults here and 2 of them being the parents, they must make decisions about how they want to live and eat.

I am finding - sauteed veggies or roasted veggies or grilled veggies to be lifesavers for me - the children do like some of them.  Experiment with spices you have never used before - maybe just a little on the side or just a little at a time - it gives you the flavor so you can add or take away.  I had never used Tandoori - I went to WF and got a tablespoon from their bulk. I put it on veggies yesterday and it is tasty - so I am looking forward to using it.  

This is a super topic and I will use suggestions from it.  Thanks to all who posted!!!

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Find the things that HAVE to be organic. Any peeled veggie or fruit does not need to be organic but things like berries and lettuces do. Leaner proteins don't need to be organic because most toxins are in the fat of the animal, and if it's not organic then drain the fat before eating.

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EndFam - So far I have just used it on veggies - to see if I like it and I do.  It is an Indian spice and usually is associated with chicken I think.  I'm new to W30, but I'm finding out I really like veggies and different spices.  The spice(and I'm not so sure that the store has all these ingredients in it) is a blend of garlic, ginger, onion, cayenne pepper, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and cardamon.  I am increasing the amount a little more each day.  So far I have not found this brand to be hot.  I just got interrupted --imagine that -- haha-so during my intermission I took the tandoori and coated a whole chicken in it --- Ms. chick will bask in it for awhile this afternoon. Later I will bake it with some veggies.  Hope you are having a great day!

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