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Suggestions for Whole30 w/ our 3 small children?

Shea Driver

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So my husband and I are gearing up for our 2nd Whole30. We did our first in late summer/early fall of last year. We've both fallen back into some horrible old habits and need a fresh start that will hopefully stick this time. We are wanting to bring our 3 kids into it w/ us...ages 7 1/2, almost 6, and 3 1/2. They eat fairly healthy now but too many grains. Any suggestions on making the transition easy on them? I have a feeling that my middle son will give us the most resistance on it. Thanks!

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Honestly, I just made the change. They saw me changing my own diet. They asked questions. I told them why I was doing it and they saw the results. I eventually told them I would gradually be making changes to their diet as well. I believe because I made the change first and shared my experience with them, they were curious and I will even go as far to say excited about it. My kids have never been afraid of change, however, one comment will stick with me forever. “Mom, I will literally die if I can't have Goldfish.†Needless to say, my child has not had another Goldfish and thankfully, he is still with us.

I really like what Robin Strathdee, Whole9 Director of Communications, said in another post. This post was regarding dairy, but I believe it is applicable here as well.

“Honestly, this is one where you may just have to bite the bullet and live without replacements. My kids love cheese and yogurt, too, but we haven't found an acceptable replacement for them. My 2 and 4 year old both still ask for them, but they understand that those just aren't good options for us. You may just try talking with your kiddo and explaining that cheese and yogurt taste good, but they're not so good for our bodies (kind of like candy and cake - or whatever else would serve as an appropriate example).

You didn't mention whether you're looking to eliminate these foods as part of a Whole30, but you could also try to explain to him that you're doing an experiment to see how good your bodies feel without those foods. Enlist his help to think of the different ways his (or her) body feels great (strong, fast, happy, bendy...).â€

Continue to look around the forum…there is a lot of information regarding kids.

For me, for lunches, my kids' boxes are usually various combinations of this:

Protein: deli meat (W30 approved), jerky, tuna or cooked chicken breast cubed

Fat: olives, almond butter, coconut flakes, nuts/seeds

Carbs: fruit, all fruit, although I limit the bananas, sliced cucumbers, celery, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, jicama w/lime, kale chips, apple sauce, raw spinach

For dinner, they eat what I eat. I stopped making separate dinners for everybody during my first W30.

Here are a couple resources. Perhaps you can read these with your kids.



I hope this helps get your started…

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Thanks for the response Carie! When we did it before, they ate what we ate for dinner but for breakfast and lunch they still had cheese, bread, etc. My 7 1/2 yr old is excited about it. She's my little foodie and she likes healthy things. She REFUSES to buy/eat the school lunch and I don't blame her one bit…it's nasty! Anyway, other than cheese, we cut out dairy w/ the kids about a year ago. So this week i'm going to ease them into it w/ a few changes and then the following week hopefully switch them all the way.

However, my middle son goes to a small pre-k where a different kid brings the snack for the whole class each day. My son would seriously feel left out and possibly get his feelings hurt if he wasn't able to have the snack the whole class was having. Is it bad for me to just let him have that once a day during his Whole30? Some parent's send a snack like fruit, but most consist of goldfish, cookies, chips, etc. My daughter is easy b/c she has to take her own every day anyway.

I think that breakfast is really going to be tough. I pretty much ate eggs almost every morning when i did my last W30 but the kids won't do that…they get sick of eggs ;) It's gonna wear me out preparing w30 friendly meals for 5 ppl every day! I know it will be worth it, but i'm tired just thinking about it. Why oh why can't we just eat 1 meal a day and be done!? :) Anyway, thanks for the tips and the extra resources. Excited about my hubby and I starting our w30 tomorrow. We need some serious changes.

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We do what you are suggesting with our youngest (6). She eats a W30 breakfast and dinner, but does still eat lunch at school. I feel guilty about this, but to some extent I have to realistic about everything that we can accomplish and sometimes we just need that easy button.

Her older sisters (10 and 12) pack their own lunches and are mostly W30 (I'm sure they eat off menu sometimes with friends or at their Mom's), so in my mind there will be an age (7? 8?) where the youngest will be required to start packing her own lunch.

I do tell the kids that what they eat is their choice, and even doing the W30 is their choice (although we will not make separate meals or have certain foods in the house). With all of them I'm more about really teaching them to be in control of what they eat and take responsibility for their food, more than forcing them to eat this way. They feel the social pressure too, and I think just starting to know that it is okay to say "no, thank you" and not have to eat what everyone is eating is good for them.

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