zebaby

9 y.o. mainly eating protein / ending early?

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We're on day 15, and my son has been pretty good, with a meltdown here and there. He still craves all the things "he can't have on this diet", especially after being strong enough to turn down birthday treats 2-3 times in the last two weeks. 

 

I was hoping the cravings would have subsided more by now. I have noticed that his appetite is less, and mainly eats his protein, and less so of vegetables & fruits. I try to offer up fruit or nuts as an alternative to breads & sweets, thinking that if he's craving junk that maybe he's simply hungry, and it would be good to develop the better habit of reaching for whole foods rather than processed ones, but he generally turns them down and pouts that he can't give in to his cravings. Maybe he's just not hungry and is merely complaining? or is he not getting enough produce in his diet? I haven't necessarily seen a spike in his energy levels or a huge drop in his waistline, so I'm worried that I need to change my approach. 

 

I almost feel like he was more open to eating his produce before we started on the program. I did take the initiative to cut up some berries & kiwi and he seemed to eat that up, so maybe I have to stop asking him what he wants and just prepare it for him to eat regularly (and being o.k. to save it or eat it myself if he chooses not to eat it).

 

The meltdowns have increased in the last few days, so I'm considering ending his challenge early, though I really would like to see it through to get accurate results. I'd love for his cravings to subside, and for him to properly introduce foods and observe how his body reacts. I don't know if, chemically, that can be done after only two weeks of the program. Also, being a bit of a misnomer, Whole 30 is more like 42 days of restrictions after taking into consideration reintroductions, which will be an incredibly long time for him. 

 

So, if anyone can answer these questions, I'd be very grateful:

 

Is it typical for some kids to focus on protein during Whole30?

 

Can their energy / mood be negatively affected if they are not getting sufficient veggies & fruit? or increase the urge for cravings?

 

Thoughts about ending early for a child? maybe Whole 21?

 

What types of modifications can be made to make the process easier to bear? adding legumes like hummus? can I make him a paleo sweet treat?

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Are you allowing him any SWYPO foods - which I should clarify are fine for kids, but NOT for adults? Pancakes, muffins etc?

How active is he?

According to current government recommendations an average 15yr old boy should be getting somewhere between 10-30% of his energy from protein, but considering he's currently excluding grains I'd expect it to fall closer to the 30%. Would he be eating a lot more protein than that? It could be that he's going through a growth spurt and needs the protein to support that...

Bear in mind that at 15 he'll be pretty hormonal due to puberty and so the odd meltdown is fairly normal. Is there anything going on at school that could be causing these meltdowns and he's just using food as the excuse? Nobody does a Whole30 in a bubble, and sometimes life just gets in the way and many people use food as their crutch... And most teens are pretty poor at communicating... 

Unfortunately if you're planning on doing the reintro you really need to do the 30 days to allow the gut time to heal. 

 

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He's not 15, he's a 9 year old, we were just on day 15.

 

Nothing going on at school, we homeschool, aside from the birthday treats at drama rehearsal. However, he has had very little SWYPO foods. I did make him some banana "flaps" for breakfast a couple times, which he enjoyed, but I worry that his sugar dragon may be worse than mine and not sure how comfortable I am with including those foods in his diet on a regular basis. I did look up some paleo cupcake recipes though that use W30 compliant ingredients, so I will probably make some for him to make him feel better about having had to turn down treats the other day.

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He's not 15, he's a 9 year old, we were just on day 15.

My mistake - apologies - I was speed reading....

Ok, so his protein needs aren't really that different at 9yrs of age, and the growth spurt thing still applies, the hormonal stuff not so much!

What is he missing food wise? Have you tried making meatza, or going down the paleo pizza (with cauliflower base) route? Not all SWYPO foods are sweet, and they may be the perfect way to get a few more veg in there.

Kids are also allowed smoothies - go heavy on the spinach/kale/avocado/ginger/cucumber - all easily disguised with one banana...

There are also dishes like the sweet & savoury blueberry tortilla by stupideasypaleo which would work, and may seem more like a treat for him...

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Kids don't have the same emotional attachment to food that we as adults do. and it seems that sugar dragons in kids are more driven by sugary sweets than by fruits (at least that's the case for my toddler. Give her a donut and it's the end of the world, but feed her fruit and she's normal and sweet. :) )

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I would really like to try Whole30 with my 6 year old this summer (she's already a carb-aholic) but my worry is opposite - she doesn't like meat or eggs! So I can't imagine her getting a balanced diet on the plan. 

 

I hope you are able to find a way to make it work for you and your son. Have you seen any NSVs with him to make you want to keep going? Has he noticed any positive changes?

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All in all, DS has a pretty wide palate of foods that he enjoys. The only odd thing is that his appetite has decreased since starting, and where he used to eat more produce, now he mainly eats the protein on his plate and chooses not to eat veggies. When I offer up fruit, he'll usually turn it down. However, that's usually after he's asked for a sweet treat, so maybe it's just his way of pouting about not having junk. So, in general, I just wonder if he's in fact getting all he needs from the foods he chooses, or if I need to be on top of him to get a good balance so that his hormones get back in order (which is mainly why I had him start W30). 

 

I will review the book again and look for a list of NSV's that he can reflect upon. Since we're just on day 16, we're getting into the Tiger Blood stage, so maybe it'll come. I think the day 15 dreaming of junk food and getting frustrated about not having it phase was pretty rough with him, so maybe that's all it was. His first week was pretty darn good (I made sure to cook my butt off and made sure he was well fed and not hungry), but the second week wasn't as consistent, so maybe that made matters worse.

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What if he helps you cook? Grates the zoodles, mashes the potatoes, etc. My daughter is 12, and she helps me and it makes things easier. I also let her make her own swypo cookies with what we have in the house, I just keep an eye on her and help with the oven as needed. 

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What if he helps you cook? Grates the zoodles, mashes the potatoes, etc. My daughter is 12, and she helps me and it makes things easier. I also let her make her own swypo cookies with what we have in the house, I just keep an eye on her and help with the oven as needed. 

 

I really do have to get a spiralizer! He helps sometimes, but I could definitely use a little more help from him. I like the idea of having him make his own swypo cookies/treats! Maybe giving him the power to make something when he gets a craving 1) will distract him long enough for the craving to pass 2) help him become more aware of what healthy ingredients go in to quality food 3) allow him to feel more in control of his food choices. Thanks for the tips!!

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I do that with my kids when they want a treat (again, they aren't Whole30 right now!). We never stock real junk food in the house so when they want cookies, we have to make them from scratch. It just gives a bit of perspective on them and makes you appreciate them more. We even make our own crackers and my 6 year old can almost make them herself at this point. Hmmm...makes me realize all the cooking I'm missing out on with the kiddos now. Last night my 3 year old asked why we never make pasta or calzones any more. She loves getting gooey making meatballs but otherwise has hardly helped with Whole30 cooking. That might be part of the process of getting them on this diet...

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