Trying to eat better with kids - this is HARD


drtracyb

Recommended Posts

I actually use the Alton Brown method of hard boiling eggs.  I put them in an electric teapot with 1 inch of water in them.  (I do pierce them and add baking soda to the water, as I have had a terrible time lately peeling my free range eggs.)  Turn it on and the pot automatically turns itself off after it starts to boil.  Leave them in for 10 minutes.  Pour out water and then put the eggs into a cold water bath immediately.

 

Breakfast was leftover steak and bacon.  Do you guys give the kids veggies for breakfast?  I'm having trouble with the veggies portion.

 

Lunch boxes consisted of beef stew with sliced carrots (and carrot puree mixed into the broth), apples with sun butter, and turkey rollups with homemade mayo.

 

Last night's dinner was from my stash of frozen meatballs and tomato sauce that I made from paleoparents, I think.  And peas and carrots.  And applesauce.

 

I do need to get out and make up a nut and seed snack mix for the kids.  Great idea, thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I love everyone's ideas.  When I have a second, I'm going to re-read this thread and incorporate a bunch of them.

 

I did try keeping bone broth running last month when I did my Whole30, but I couldn't stand the odor in my house after a while.  I read some people keep a crock pot out on the patio to avoid that problem.  My crockpot runs too hot - my bone broth was actively boiling on the low setting.  But it was really nice while I tried the experiment, to have instant access to broth in the morning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I figured I'd start my own thread to talk about my attempt to put my kids on a Paleo lifestyle.  My first answer: 

 

THIS IS REALLY HARD!

 

Well, here we are, November 4. Would offer sweet potatoes but my kids hate them. 

 

Day 3, my kids are begging, I mean, BEGGING, for cheese and crackers, goldfish, graham crackers.  My husband is complaining that there is nothing to eat, despite a freezer chock full of premade Paleo meals.  Yesterday he demanded that we go to a British Pub because he had a craving for bangers and mash.  The kids ate sausage rolls (i.e., british sausages wrapped in pastry dough).  Foiled by day 2.  Restart today.  The lunch boxes so lovingly filled with chicken legs, blanched carrots and hard boiled eggs, came back uneaten.  My children's faces are looking gaunt.

 

And then, of course, there is the amount of time I am spending trying to make all of these meals.  Time NOT spent with my children, while they are wandering the house, finding candy hidden in places in the house.

 

This is hard.

 

First I need to say that I am sooooo thankful for your post! I woke up this morning completely frustrated all the way around!

 

While we don't have the behavior issues of your family, I do feel that trying to cook healthfully and whole30 for myself is taking a toll on all of us. My husband is on his own version of a health kick but wants to eat dairy and whole grains. My kids, while learning to make good choices, still want cheese, crackers, milk, cereal, peanut butter, etc, and honestly, sometimes it is so much easier to give in rather than face off with them over food choices when I also have to face off with them over chores, homework, attitude, friends, too much time in front of the TV or on the computer, etc. I feel like a short order cook every night and I am fast getting burned out!

 

And my frustration is taking me off track. I actually started this week out brilliantly, but a lack of time to get to the grocery store and our perpetually tight budget have me derailed. Ugh.

 

So, thank you for posting about your troubles. It really does help some to know that we are not alone in struggling to be healthy and have a happy, satisfied family at the same time! I don't know the solution, but not being alone goes a long way to making me feel a little bit better and a leetle bit less frustrated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have this book on my kindle, Paleo Kid Snacks.  If you check amazon.com they will probably have it also. I got it as a free download but it's only about £2 so not too much of an outlay. 

 

Some good ideas although some include honey. But maybe that's the way to start with kids and gradually reduce the amount you use? It must be hard for them to understand the cold turkey approach. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My suggestion is to take baby steps.  It seems like you went from the SAD to Paleo/Whole30 cold turkey.  Many adults can't even manage this.  I can't imagine how difficult that would be for children...especially special needs children.  Everything I have read or heard about special needs children is that they thrive on a predictable routine.  Drastically changing their diet may be stressing them out more than helping them.  So my idea is baby steps....make small changes that don't turn their lives upside-down.  The first thing I'd eliminate is junk food/crackers/etc.  Or an even smaller step would be "no crackers or junk food 3 hours before dinner".  I've done this with my kids since toddlerhood.  If they say they're hungry and dinner is within 3 hours they can have raw veggies or a salad.  If they are truly hungry they'll eat.  If not, they'll wait until dinner.  I am aware that this doesn't follow the Whole30 meal template, but it works with my kids.  My kids eat whatever I cook for dinner, with an occasional addition of rice or even a tortilla or bread/bun.  Their lunches always have fruit, veggies and nuts and then some sort of wrap or sandwich with protein and more veggies.  Would I like to eliminate those things?....yes, but it makes my life easier and it makes them feel like they're not missing out on anything.  If they had allergies or an autoimmune condition, I would need to change this, but for now it works for us.  My sanity and happiness adds a great deal to the household.  I'm not suggesting that you give up or quit....just to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to be less than perfect.  It might make things more peaceful at home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chicken broth in a crockpot starts with a roasted chicken that was seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I strip the meat while the chicken is warm and the bones & skin go into the crockpot. I add enough water to cover = 4-6 cups, and set the crock on low temp. Beginning the next morning, I ladle out broth and salt it in my coffee cup, and replace water to cover again.

Then after several days, I toss the bones, strain the stock and pour it all into a large dutch oven to make soup, usually sweet potatoes, carrots, sauteed onion, and fresh ginger. Boil & simmer until everything is soft. Blend with an immersion blender, and that's my soup for the coming week. Time to thaw another roasting chicken and start it all over again. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep a crockpot out just for never ending broth.

Anything I roast, bones and scrape meat bit go in it (not the skin fat tho). Apple cores, left over nubs of ginger, celery and carrot ends, that last bit of fresh cilantro that isn't enough for a recipe or is going to wilt up in another day and so forth.

All those edible bits that most people don't actually use, I toss in the crockpot with whatever meat carcass we have in it and keep it about 2/3 full of water.

We just ladle out whatever we need and add more bits and water as the week goes. Then strain out whatever is left and either use if for Saturday or Sunday dinner or freeze it in ice trays and then put in a freezer bag. Then start another batch.

I use if for just about everything in place of water. To make rice or mashed potatoes or soups. Hibachi soup is our family favorite for the last day of a batch. Almost anything you would use water, you can use broth instead.

It's awesome and that stuff at the store just never seems as good. We don't do it as much in hot weather because I don't roast meats as much then. My kitchen can get very hot even in winter and it's just almost unbearable in summer.

And it smells fabulous!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kids had a setback this weekend when they got fed oreo cookies by their teachers.  We were set to leave for a Palm Springs working vacation that day.  My kid were ricocheting across the ceiling when I picked them up from school.  We were supposed to have a two-room suite at the hotel but were given a one room double instead.  I almost had to leave with the children so my husband could get a good night's sleep before his board meeting, the kids were so awful.

 

Two full days of running around a water park, and immediate return to a Paleo diet for the children has restored peace in our home.  Luckily, the teacher physically observed the behavior change within minutes of feeding my son the cookie, so she is officially on board.

 

For today, I made Paleoparents egg drop soup.  Delicious!

 

http://paleoparents.com/featured/egg-drop-soup/

 

The kids are loving "Eat Like a Dinosaur" and are really excited about trying more recipes.  We did the 50/50 Baconburger recipe first, which they adored.  Yesterday I slow cooked a turkey breast and then made bone broth overnight, which I used in the egg drop soup. 

 

The kids are not begging for crackers and cheese this week.  I think their behavior change this weekend scared them, too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the concept of never ending broth but the first and only time I tried it, I woke up in the middle of the night completely grossed out by the constant smell of it in the house.  I agree that chicken soup smells great, but not four days in a row.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kids had a setback this weekend when they got fed oreo cookies by their teachers. We were set to leave for a Palm Springs working vacation that day. My kid were ricocheting across the ceiling when I picked them up from school. We were supposed to have a two-room suite at the hotel but were given a one room double instead. I almost had to leave with the children so my husband could get a good night's sleep before his board meeting, the kids were so awful.

Two full days of running around a water park, and immediate return to a Paleo diet for the children has restored peace in our home. Luckily, the teacher physically observed the behavior change within minutes of feeding my son the cookie, so she is officially on board.

For today, I made Paleoparents egg drop soup. Delicious!

http://paleoparents.com/featured/egg-drop-soup/

Wow! Sounds like you are really making progress, how exciting. It's encouraging to see.

The kids are loving "Eat Like a Dinosaur" and are really excited about trying more recipes. We did the 50/50 Baconburger recipe first, which they adored. Yesterday I slow cooked a turkey breast and then made bone broth overnight, which I used in the egg drop soup.

The kids are not begging for crackers and cheese this week. I think their behavior change this weekend scared them, too.

Wow! Sound like you are having some success! It's encouraging.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Today my daughter got sent to the nurse's office sick to her stomach and the nurse fed her graham crackers.  Always on Fridays!!!!  Luckily the graham cracker did not have the same effect on her behavior as the oreo cookie last Friday, but now there is a note in her chart at the nurse's office, in addition to in her classroom file.  My daughter has a bit of a problem with confabulation - somehow the nurse believed she had come to school without breakfast.  I mentioned to the nurse to look at the full, uneaten snack bag and the semi-eaten foood in the lunch box, and then to call me if she truly believes my daughter needs to be fed.  Oh, and the bag of acceptable snacks in the teacher's desk.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you're making big progress! :D Hang in there

 

I wouldn't worry about SWYPO when it comes to kids (or difficult partners), if it gets them eating Whole30 food and loving it, I'd count that as a win :)

 

There are some really good blog posts and photos of paleo lunch boxes for kids now, including some adorable egg-shaping things (I don't know the name for these) that make boiled eggs look like things that aren't eggs (these look fun enough that I want them for my lunch box too!).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you're making big progress! :D Hang in there

I wouldn't worry about SWYPO when it comes to kids (or difficult partners), if it gets them eating Whole30 food and loving it, I'd count that as a win :)

There are some really good blog posts and photos of paleo lunch boxes for kids now, including some adorable egg-shaping things (I don't know the name for these) that make boiled eggs look like things that aren't eggs (these look fun enough that I want them for my lunch box too!).

I just had to google the egg shaping thingies - I presume you mean like this:

http://justbento.com/handbook/bento-decoration-techniques/fun-japanese-egg-molds

How cute are they?!? I want some for myself :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kids had calmed down wonderfully by Friday night when I left for my graveyard shift.  And when I came back Saturday morning, they were out of control again, dosed with something.  I can't for the life of me figure out what they ate, but they are still out of control Sunday night.  So tomorrow is a new day, and a new set of even more restrictive diet changes to see if I can eliminate everything that might be affecting them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Amber - Yes! Egg molds, that's a sensible name :) I wonder if beetroot would get you pink eggs.

There are lots on eBay - I sent hubby a link, but he wasn't as enthusiastic about them as me. I think he'd look a bit funny taking a car shaped egg in his lunch :)

Beetroot would get you pink eggs - probably more fuchsia, gorgeous!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Just started the January Whole30 on the 1st, kids in tow.  They are doing great food-wise this time, not begging for things.  I am not fully compliant as I let them have rice chex with almond milk in the mornings, but the rest of their foods are fully paleo.  I am slipping tons of veggies into them via paleo-ified muffins using sweet potatoes or almond meal.  I have been making homemade applesauce with added ghee and carrots in the mix.  And my latest, beef stew Vitamixed with the included veggies into a delicious beef broth, which they loved.

 

Of course, both are on Ritalin now, too.  So that helps  :-).

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

When my kids were little, and it was time to pack up lunch bags, I started a system that worked for us that grew out of the problem you have with bags of food coming back uneaten.

 

I made up small baggies filled with various things and put them into categories. So there was one big bowl filled with "salts" and another filled with "sweets" and I let them choose one item from each and put it in the lunch box themselves. I also had a few rows of different kinds of juices or waters in the fridge and they chose one of those also, and into the bag it went. 

 

For the "main dish" we made a list on Saturday night of acceptable options. Their tastes changed and they'd get bored, so doing this once a week helped with the boredom and allowed me to shop on Sunday, ahead of the week. They might take a chicken salad sandwich, ham and cheese rolled up, lettuce wrap, tortilla wrapped chicken breast with salad... whatever works for you. But all had to be more or less approved by you, but allowing as much control as possible.

They always brought a water bottle (I use metal reusable water bottles, and we'd fill them at night, pop them in teh fridge, and then by morning it was nice cold water, which they liked.

 

So with this system, a typical lunch bag would have something like the following:

 

a juice box (I got organic, pure juice boxes, or water drinks)

A bag of almonds (or other nut or seed or those "Sweets and Beets" which they'd eat, or a nice tamari rice cracker... like that)

A bag of dried fruit (one of various options in the "sweets" bowl) or a fruit leather from a good company, or a piece of fresh fruit or bag of grapes)

And a sandwich (wrap, whatever, as above) that they had pre-ordered and pre-approved. I usually made that the night ahead

And a water bottle in the side pocket of their backpack.

 

They liked the control, I liked the control, and in the end though sometimes the apple would get bruised en route and thus rejected at lunch time, they had food they would eat and that I thought was healthy "enough".

 

Better than a bag full of old food coming home every day.

 

Anyhow, it's an idea ... Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.