Help with birthday party situation


Beach*Bike*Run*Mama

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My youngest was invited to a siblings-welcome birthday party. I was thrilled that we could actually go to a birthday party in our new town...meet their classmates and parents...start to spread roots.  Standard birthday fare was served - pizza, cake, juice, water, and some crudite.  I was hopeful that my children - ages 10, 8, and 6 - would be happy enough with attending the fun roller skating party and not fixate so much on the food.  Crudite and water was not doing it for them.  I brought along a "special treat" of Trader Joe's Ends and Pieces smashed All Fruit Bars in place of the cupcakes if they wanted it.  My 6- and 8-yo were the well-behaved ones...not happy with the situation but figured that they would rather skate and play with classmates.  Limited amount of pouting.  My 10yo, on the other hand, was a HUGE ISSUE.  I understand that the whole point of the Whole30 is to detox the body and get into a different mind set in regards to food, however, I really need to prepare better for "the next time".  I fed them a good snack beforehand and had an awesome dinner and Movie Night ready for when we returned from the party.  What would you do? We have been paleo-ish for the last 2 years but 10yo DS has been falling-off-the-wagon (lying about his intake etc) hence the Family Whole30. I cannot say that parties are off-limits when on Whole 30 bc I think the parties are a necessary part for establishing roots in our new town and we are rarely invited.  Help...

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Ooo this a tough one! Awesome for you for educating your children on healthy eating!!!

With that said, I am not a parent, but I do think you may need to let your older child start making choices for himself. Do your best to teach him, but let him discover things on his own, too. For example, mom made a great dinner last night that she said was good for me and tonight I ate pizza and cupcakes at a friend's house and now I feel sick. He is already lying about "falling off the wagon." This. Is. Not. Good. If he feels he has to lie about what he is eating when he is not with you he may begin to establish an unhealthy relationship with food, which is what you are trying to avoid with the Whole30! You don't want him to think there are good/bad foods this could lead to bingeing and other eating disorders.

I think at home the rules are yours. When he is out of the house you may have to loosen the reins a little. Guaranteed, what you are teaching him WILL stick. It may just take a few years until he is more mature to understand the benefits of it all.

Just my 2 cents. Best of Luck!

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Ooo this a tough one! Awesome for you for educating your children on healthy eating!!!

With that said, I am not a parent, but I do think you may need to let your older child start making choices for himself. Do your best to teach him, but let him discover things on his own, too. For example, mom made a great dinner last night that she said was good for me and tonight I ate pizza and cupcakes at a friend's house and now I feel sick. He is already lying about "falling off the wagon." This. Is. Not. Good. If he feels he has to lie about what he is eating when he is not with you he may begin to establish an unhealthy relationship with food, which is what you are trying to avoid with the Whole30! You don't want him to think there are good/bad foods this could lead to bingeing and other eating disorders.

I think at home the rules are yours. When he is out of the house you may have to loosen the reins a little. Guaranteed, what you are teaching him WILL stick. It may just take a few years until he is more mature to understand the benefits of it all.

Just my 2 cents. Best of Luck!

Thank you so much for the response!  VERY valid points!!  Unfortunately, one of the MAIN reasons for our family starting paleo in the first place is my son's focusing and behavioral issues.  We wanted to try the change-in-diet route before medications. :(  

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Hi - I know how hard this is.  My kids are not at all Paleo or W30'ing with me, but I have some experience with this because my 9yo has food allergies.  They are not severe and I often let him decide as long as he lets me know that he remembers that he'll likely get a tummy ache and is deciding to do it anyway.  Sometimes, with that little reminder, he decides to skip it.  Sometimes he decides to go for it and later tells me he has a stomach ache and shouldn't have had whatever it was.  I try not to let it happen too often and sometimes if I feel like it has been too often, I put my foot down and don't let him decide, but I do think it's important for him to understand the consequences of his decisions so that he will hopefully learn to make those decisions on his own when I'm not around.  (all that would be a different story if he had severe food allergies, of course)  I try not to make it a big deal when he does choose to have a bad for him food.  I don't want to put any judgment on food.  When he was first diagnosed, we had to do an elimination diet.  During that time, he knew that he could not have any of the things he was allergic to, not one bit.  He was younger, so he didn't have many opportunities to eat food when I wasn't around, so sneaking/lying wasn't really a factor, but he was a real trooper when I said no because he understood that it was a temporary experiment and we'd figure out the future when we were done. 

 

So, maybe explain (if you haven't already) that this is a 30 day experiment to see how it makes you all feel and that breaking that 30 days means that all the days you've already done were a waste of time and you have to start over.  Maybe he will feel better about skipping a treat at a few events if he understands that you're not asking him never to have a treat again but that in order to know how you all react to food, you need to go 30 days without slipping.  Slipping cheats him out of knowing if he feels better or not.  Once you're done and know how it affects each person, you can discuss strategies for the future - what to bring back into your regular rotation, what to have occasionally and what to avoid all together.

 

I don't know if you can do it unless he is on board with the 30 days and isn't going to lie or sneak.  Maybe write up a contract with a reward at the end?  And a promise that you'll all sit down and discuss the future after you have the data you need to make good decisions. 

 

Good luck!

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