Mom of 4 - First whole 30


iCook4kids

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My husband and I are starting our first Whole 30. We have four kids, ages 12, 10, 8, and 4. Is the total Whole 30 program ok to start little ones on? I don't want to cause my kiddos any tummy trouble but at the same time I do want them to participate. Should I go all out with the kids too or are there things that I should still incorporate into their diets? Our whole family has a history of tummy troubles, IBS, Crohn's disease, ETC... and I want to help eliminate the possibility of them growing up and developing serious issues of their own. Thanks in advance any advice is appreciated!

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There's no reason not to do a full Whole 30 with your kids although you should be prepared for the kiddos going through the timeline at the same time as you. A lot of parents will start their kids a week behind them (which helps the parents to be out of the KILL ALL THE THINGS phase when the kids are in it) so the kids can get a bit of an idea on what to expect...and to use up the last of the non-compliant food in the house.

 

One note - if your concern for your kids is that they have health issues (vs. an unhealthy relationship with food) it's usually less of an issue for you to give them Paleo-ified foods to help them ease into the new way of eating. They likely don't have the 20-30+ years of fixing their problems with food that we do, so it's less of an issue giving them a W30 compliant muffin (as part of an otherwise compliant meal) if it helps them to move into eating, say, eggs and veggies for breakfast.

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Hello!  Also a mom of four here (8, 6, 3, 11months)!  My oldest has Celiac, which is what launched me down this road in the first place.

 

If your kids aren't picky, you may as well just jump in.  Mine are not picky, so they eat mostly paleo.  I do include rice and the occasional gluten-free treat, regular ketchup, and a few other things.  Aside from gluten, I am not picky when we go to another's home either.  

 

I am just finishing my first W30.  I plan to do another in August, and I like the above suggestion to start the kids a week later.  Good idea!!!  

 

Also in agreement that allowing paleo treats for kids is a good idea.  My kids are homeschooled, so they already feel weird enough.  It would be awful if I made them fruit salad instead of a birthday cake.  :-)  I also would not restrict fruit without some good reason to do so, and make sure they are getting plenty of high energy sweet potatoes!

 

Good luck!  

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We did our Whole30's with our kids who were ages 2 and 3 (now almost 5 and 6) the first time and it went well, but it took some effort and patience.  We had them select recipes from the paleo cookbooks and we honored those recipes and we included the kids in the discussions of what new meals we really liked and didn't like.  Later Whole30's we started the kids a week later which is SO much nicer because a child on Day 5 or 6 can be a bear to walk across town with! :)  And, we too, made paleo baked goods for the kids.  There are some good tasty paleo cupcakes and treats that are wonderfully sweet after you've been eating clean for a few weeks and the kids loved them and were quite content to have their special treats at birthday parties or events.  And, it made a big difference in their health and behaviors.   They seemed more centered in their play and when our Whole30 was over and they ate other foods out with friends, they seemed less centered.   We've never denied that the junky foods are tasty and never tried to sell Whole30 on them - we mainly just shared what we read, the reasons we were doing it, and then shared our own observations of how much better we felt.  Hopefully, our kids will grow up and be able to maintain a better balance that I do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also have 4 kids! I started a whole 60 back in February and have continued to eat this way most of the time. After a number of bad eating choices on vacation last week I started another whole30 today. My kids had to eat what I ate at dinner but I basically kept their other meals and snacks the same. As I got further into my first whole60 I became more and more guilty about the foods I was feeding my kids. So I started by not replacing any of the sugary snacks once they ran out. Instead they have fruit, apple sauce, raisins, olives, etc. for snack. No one even complained about the change! Next I started trying to make better meals for breakfast and lunch which is not easy because it is a lot of work. Now they don't even ask for the sugary breakfast cereals! I am not perfect and lots of days they do get a non compliant meal but overall their diets are much better. The most recent victory we had was removing buns with hamburgers. Two weeks after I stopped buying buns my kids were at my inlaws where buns were being served with the burgers. Three of them didn't have a bun and my daughter that did said that it was gross!!!! I think the best approach is to take it slow. In my mind this is a lifelong process and it's not easy to be perfect all the time. If the majority of the time you are providing your kids with healthy foods they will grow up to have healthy habits in their own lives. I would love to hear about your progress and how your kids are handling the changes!

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  • 4 weeks later...

We are on our first Whole30.  I also homeschool and do all the cooking so decided that we were all doing it.  I have twin 13 year old boys (my 21 year old daughter and her brand new husband are also doing it but they don't live with us).  For the most part, my boys have been very happy with it.  I am letting them eat plenty of fruit and even a banana with almond butter as a treat.  A hamburger without the bun was met with great disapproval by one son the first time but he didn't even mention it the second.  So for us, doing it all together and 100% compliant is working.

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  • 4 months later...

I love this thread.  Thank you for the great ideas.  So far, my kids aren't eating this way with us, but it gives me hope that I can do it gradually.  We started the whole30 today & my 11 year old had dreams last night that all he was going to eat for the next month was salad.  He refused to eat the compliant breakfast I slaved over this morning, so I wasn't sure how to go about this.  We already eat strange (low to no sugars, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, peanut, hazelnut, pecan, & almond free, shellfish free, etc.)  It's kinda hard to put even more restrictions out there for them..

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Some kids really like "fun" food, if you think they mostly like the actual food, you could try things like these cute egg moulds for boiled eggs

 

http://life.khiewchanta.com/archives/food/bento-box-egg-moulds.html

 

There's a lot of cute bento stuff for healthy food, but some of it is hours or work, I'd stick to the easy stuff :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is our first whole 30 as well and kids are 8 and 2. We already don't eat processed foods and as much organic as possible so they're used to a lot of the things we're eating. I'm having trouble with snacks..I don't know how to turn them into a mini meal. We often just have fruit so I'm not sure what to do...the 2 year old keeps asking for oatmeal and milk and he doesn't like eggs...no idea what to give him for breakfast....

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SamL-

 

My kids don't eat entirely Whole30, but we strive to do healthy food and treats within reason.  Regarding snacking - we actually don't 'allow' much snacking.  They get one snack after nap in the afternoon.  I don't necessarily make it a mini-meal, but try to include some form of protein (apples and nut butter, hard boiled egg or even plain whole-milk yogurt with berries).  For breakfast, we actually let the kids have gluten-free oatmeal.  I toss a banana in the oatmeal before I cook it and they think it's delicious without milk or anything else.  Again, not whole30 compliant but if the worst thing my kid is eating is oatmeal for breakfast, I'm happy :)

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