carb addicted kid - help


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My daughter is 4 and is totally addicted to carbs. If she had her way she would eat nothing but cereal, oatmeal, and mac and cheese every day. She also LOVES salt and will sneak it straight from the salt cellar into her mouth if I'm not careful about putting it up. She was a breastfed baby until 2 and ate VERY well for the first three years of her life, preferring veggies over pretty much anything else. But lately she refuses to eat anything but carbs. I am in day 5 of the whole 30 and I am hoping to change up her eating habits as I transition to a newer/healthier way of eating but I don't know where to even start with her since she refuses to eat nearly everything I put in front of her. Can anyone suggest any kid friendly? I know this is probably just a phase but I have severe health issues that have been exacerbated by my eating over time and I want her to be healthy her whole life.

Thanks in advance

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Oooh, it's a tough one, and I'm sure one of the others who have younger kids will give you some excellent advice. My daughter is eighteen now and on the Whole30 journey quite happily now.

However, we went through the first two years eating anything and the next seven only eating white food (bread, pasta, yogurt and ice cream) and chocolate. My mum, very gently, tried to warn me as she heard me ask my daughter (who was two or three at the time) what she wanted for dinner. Mum said, 'don't give her too much choice, just feed her'. I wish I had. It didn't take long for her to transition to just white foods, and another seven years for me to get her to eat green things. And she's only now eating meat. I wish I had know about Paleo then, but more importantly, I should have listened to my mum. At that age, she doesn't know what's good for her, so it's a case of tough love and few choices.

Good luck!

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It's not easy. I've snuck veggies in their fruit smoothies and marinara sauce. That's how I'm starting. Little by little. There are some things that work and some that don't. Stews and chili are always a big hit at our home. The kids like to have the chili on a baked potato with a little bit of cheese. Tomorrow night's dinner is going to be the Chocolate Chili recipe from the Well Fed book. I think it should be a big hit with some salad on the side and a potato for them to put the chili on. I'll have mine with a sweet potato :) The kids will get used to eating better the more we talk about it with them. Keep going at it and wishing you the best! :D

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I'm dealing with a similar situation with my daughter. She's 2 1/2 and up until I got pregnant in September, was eating mostly paleo. Once my morning sickness started, my husband, who is a carb addict like you describe, started being the primary feeder of this kid. So her diet changed dramatically.

Just in the last couple days did I put my foot down (now that I'm past the morning sickness). Our big thing is milk, cheese, butter (she will eat a whole stick of this stuff if you let her), and bread. So, I emptied the house of milk and butter, and hid the cheese and bread for my husband. There has been a ton of crying and refusing to eat. Yesterday, she ate a few bites of tuna out of a can and half a banana - she refused everything else. I put her to bed worried she was going to wake up hungry but luckily she didn't get up in the night. Today she has eaten more. She actually ate half her broccoli at dinner and a whole piece of salmon! I also don't have the patience to make multiple meals so everyone is stuck eating what I make.

I think that's what you have to do - rid the house of the stuff you're trying to quit her of, or hide it well if someone else is still eating it in the house. Then only serve her healthy foods - even though she'll try to starve herself at first to avoid eating. Eventually, she'll just start eating it. If you say she used to eat healthier stuff, then I would start by serving her what she used to eat that you know she liked.

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This is what I would do: When you are out and about, only carry veggies and fruit with you as snack choice. My kids are constantly hungry. I had enough of goldfish, so I decided to travel with sugar-snap peas, carrot sticks, celery etc. These are easy to grab-n-go. She will eat it if that is what you serve her. I'd be tough. She will like it eventually. Remind her that taste-buds are constantly changing, so what she didn't like yesterday, she may like today. (Plus, it doesn't hurt to sneak some veggies in her food when she's not looking!)

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My three year old was surprisingly easy to switch. He, much like his mom, is a carb-aholic as well. We started by upping the veggies and fruit available through the day while decreasing or removing most yukky carbs. Cookies, granola bars, bread, pasta all went away. What stayed, at first, was wild rice, quinoa and some cold cereal (gluten free though as he has digestive issues with gluten).

We took those out eventually too. We also have a one meal rule. Mom cooks one meal for the family. You can eat that or wait until your next meal (or snack time) to eat. If meals weren't eaten only water was available to drink until the next meal/snack - kids are notorious for tanking up on milk and then not eating. He converted pretty quickly.

We have a drawer in our fridge with pre cut veggies, pre-cut hard cheese, washed fruit etc. When snack rolls around he can pick his own. Even at 3 autonomy is important.

I mentioned on an other thread the process it was to convert my 5 year old.

2-3 is still really little. They will follow your example. Just give them the time to adapt. Always keep what you want them to eat readily available and it is amazing how quickly they usually convert.

If you think she is able get her to help. My guy loves setting the table for meals. He grabs things out of the fridge, he has a special "knife" (spread knife) that he uses to chop things like bananas, he portions our raisins or nuts from their packages onto their plates.

Above all you have to be consistent and lead by example. It won't be all roses and sunshine but it will be worth it.

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Have you checked out Eat Like a Dinosaur? Now I know not all of their recipes are Whole30 but they are gluten free and paleo and may help her transition to eventually eating W30 or closer to it.

Sigh. I hate to even say it, because part of me wants to think something is better than nothing, but I can't agree with the promotion of this one. Once you have kids who eat a variety of healthy foods (like the kids for whom the book was created), yes. But until you have that healthy pattern established, this is too much like compromise for me. I would much rather see you fight through one hard week than try to make 3 or 4 transitions to healthy food (which generally include several relapses).

MamaMawby's suggestions are solid. Really, really good. Kids at that age go through phases where they want more carbs, or protein, or fat... She may be in a carb phase, and that's okay. Just let her tank up on good food as a source. Again, she won't starve if she misses a meal or two. Make sure there's a good variety on the table and let her eat a reasonable amount of anything she likes. She'll come around quickly, I promise.

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Our son too ate everything until about age 3. Then he became a carb addict. He's 8 now. We went gluten free a year and a half ago, Paleo 9 months ago. He has texture - sensory -issues too so can't eat some things, like eggs unless they are mixed in certain ways. I did get Eat Like a Dinosaur but he did not like things that were like the "bad" food item because they really don't taste the same at all and he was still getting too much sugar from the few recipes he did like. So, we went with Well Fed and we just tweak things. Like he loves the Paleo Pad Thai but we use broccoli instead if snow peas. Everyday Paleo has some Whole30 appropriate recipes but they are always too spicy for him no matter how much I cut down on spices. We also don't have any non-Paleo food in the house.

In the beginning we told him strict Paleo for the summer then he can reintroduce his favorites and see how he feels and make his own choice. He added a few things in, they made him sick, and he chooses Paleo on his own. He is working on being more Whole30, meaning no sugars or anything made with paleo flours, on his own choice. It's hard for him but he is doing pretty well. It takes a lot of time and experimenting. It took us a year and a half to get here, but its worth it. Don't give up. Her tastes will change, it is just slower with kids, and that's developmentally appropriate for them actually.

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