ereiam

W30 for 10 year old?

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I posted in the medical forum but thought I would ask for advice here. My 10 year old daughter has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that is not responding to medicine. I haven't even considered a paleo diet for her, because she lives on ramen. I'm thinking about switching the whole family over to paleo to see if it would help her pain levels and would love any advice. I've been eating paleo for almost a year and I cook paleo dinners and throw in pasta or rice or potatoes for the carb addicts. I honestly don't know how enforcing paleo rules for 3 teenagers and a 10 year old are going to go over. Anyone BTDT?

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Wow, that is hard. I am struggling with a similar situation. I have four teen girls and one has a pretty heavy dose of ADHD. Medication just makes her "easier to love" but I think eating right would FIX it or at least do more than stupid meds. But getting them to eat Paleo is another story. They are all willing to sit down and eat all my berries, but they turn up their noses if I make stew or roast. They want pizza or spaghetti instead. But off campus lunches are available to them and I think they would cheat constantly. Enforcing anything on a teen is like telling them to do just the opposite. I donno. Would like to see some good advise on this one.

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This is sticky, ladies. Any kid with a modicum of control over what they eat and where is going to be impossible to convert if they're not on-board. What you DON'T want is to instigate a food rebellion and civil war. What you DO want is to enlist them in the experiment. Ereiam: I totally think this would change your daughter's life. Is she fed-up enough with the pain that she would try this as an experiment?

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I can tell you that paleo eating helps with all kinds of health issues in kids. My kids (11,9,7,6) are making the transition. It's a slow process for us. I still allow certain foods that I don't eat, but it's not at every meal. I make them sweet potato banana pancakes as a sub for eggos. They like them better. Ramen is mostly salty spicy noodles in broth. Could you sub zucchini noodles in chicken broth with lots of spices? I wouldn't worry about paleofying their favorites at first. My kids don't even realize that there haven't been pop tarts in the house for a year. They love that I'm up to cook them bacon and eggs in the morning. I do it so they aren't eating cereal every day. My daughter keeps asking when I will make a steak because she likes the slices wrapped up in raw spinach. I found that gradual changes worked best for us. They have switched from goldfish or peanut butter crackers to fruit and raw veggies as an after school snack. I have to do my part and make these things available to them. Slowly but surely we are phasing out processed food. I don't mandate what they eat when they are with friends, but I do point out the upset stomach, lack of energy, etc. that they come home with after eating garbage. My hubby is not completely on board. He eats paleo when at home because that's what I cook. If he takes the kids out, there are no restrictions. They actually turn down soda and only order water to drink. They avoid food dyes. I had my son read ISWF and Practical Paleo. I think he just skimmed, but he comes up with info sometimes that he had to have gotten from one of the books. I'm working on adding vegatables and removing grains. Dairy will be my next elimination for them. Make changes where you can. Get them involved. My kids will eat anything on a stick. Wierd, but true.

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I think it's best to educate them. That's what I've been doing. But it's been a gradual change over the past year or two for us. They don't even want McD or other junk foods. I just explain everything I am learning to them, and they are trying to educate their friends, it's cute! Now I am restricting all foods, as best I can. (I homeschool them so it's a bit easier for me) I'm the only one doing Whole30 at this time...but we'll see about getting everyone else on board soon enough (hee, hee!) However, I seriously doubt I can get them all off dairy, my husband is a milk man :-/

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This is sticky, ladies. Any kid with a modicum of control over what they eat and where is going to be impossible to convert if they're not on-board. What you DON'T want is to instigate a food rebellion and civil war. What you DO want is to enlist them in the experiment. Ereiam: I totally think this would change your daughter's life. Is she fed-up enough with the pain that she would try this as an experiment?

I totally think this would change her life. She is tired of being in pain but I don't think she sees the connection between eating ramen and pasta all the time and joint pain. Maybe that is where I need to start: by educating her. And I get what you are saying. She would totally need to be on board or the experiment would fail. My other kids said they are willing to try going completely paleo if she does it, so that's a start.

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Speaking as someone who was the kid in this situation (with fibromyalgia, not RA) I will echo the Robin's comments.

If she is not on board, she will probably do what I did when put on elimination diets -- stash forbidden food and eat it. Which will completely defeat the point as you noted in the post above.

It's promising that her older siblings are supportive. Depending on their relationships with her, they could be crucial in convincing her that this experiment is worth a try.

Keep in mind that as a sick kid, it really sucks to not only have all the pain and doctors' visits and BS accommpanying AND also have the burden of not getting to eat whatever you want, which is what most kids in the world do. It is not fair at all to be 10 and have chronic pain. She wants to be normal, and eating a special diet isn't "normal." Her older sibs going with it would help make it more normal, though.

I know many around here abhor half measures but have you or have you considered switching to gluten-free pasta? Gluten is the main culprit for me in exacerbating myriad symptoms, so just removing that factor alone helped me when I chose to do it as an adult, and my mom always says, "If only I had known back then..."

Anyway, best wishes to you and your family.

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A friend of mine has had big success with eliminating Preservative 282 (a lovely mould retardant added to bread and flour) for ADHD.

Make sure healthy food is still fun, sometimes it's easy to kill all the fun of experimenting with food that children do, without realising it.

Bento lunchboxes for kids can have some really cute and fun things in them (do a Google image search). A lot of kids really like the shaped boiled eggs, and it's just a plain boiled egg. There's loads of fun things people make with fruit too.

If rebellion is an issue, make sure they get choice in their foods and understand what's in their food (shopping, meal planning, cooking/preparing). If there's no choices they like, they'll just do something you don't know about. For years I swapped my mums wholemeal peanut butter sandwiches with another girl from my school who had fresh homegrown tomato sandwiches, my mum never had a clue.

Teenagers have more trouble with rules, as they are less inclined to value long term benefits and asserting their individuality often includes being the opposite of the parents. Kids also get picked on for "eating weird", so make sure you discuss any of these issues and find things that don't cause problems in public. If good food gets associated with bullying, it's not going to result in positive changes.

You could also try a competition, rating food for the day on it's "paleo-ness", with a non-food prize for the "most paleo" at the end of the week. This might be hard though if Dad isn't supportive.

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Keep in mind that as a sick kid, it really sucks to not only have all the pain and doctors' visits and BS accommpanying AND also have the burden of not getting to eat whatever you want, which is what most kids in the world do. It is not fair at all to be 10 and have chronic pain. She wants to be normal, and eating a special diet isn't "normal." Her older sibs going with it would help make it more normal, though.

Ah, Pomme you made me cry. It does suck for her so badly to have to deal with all of the BS of having RA. Thanks for reminding me of that.

I talked to her about it and she is willing to give gluten free a try. I know it is a half measure, but if it alleviated pain at all, it would be worth it. I just so want her to be pain free and I don't think medication is going to get her there. I think we will give the rice noodles a try and see how it goes.

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ereiam, I'm sorry for what you're going through, but as long as she's still on board with it, I would advise you to go all the way there with her. gluten is the biggest baddie, but because grains are so similar to one another, if she's a severe reactor to gluten, she may still have issues with oats, rice, corn, etc.

Pulling them all out for 30 days and adding them back in one at a time (from my perspective), has a better probability of 1) working completely and 2) getting her continued buy in. If you just cut out gluten for 30 days and she's still having issues at the end of it, it's highly unlikely that you're going to convince her to do another 30 days without gluten AND some other things. More than likely she'll say, "see mom? not the gluten. give me bread."

Pulling the gluten out will probably make a big dent for her, but I'd rather try to kill all the birds with one stone at one time. :) That's just my thoughts on the situation!

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ereiam, I'm sorry for what you're going through, but as long as she's still on board with it, I would advise you to go all the way there with her. gluten is the biggest baddie, but because grains are so similar to one another, if she's a severe reactor to gluten, she may still have issues with oats, rice, corn, etc.

Pulling them all out for 30 days and adding them back in one at a time (from my perspective), has a better probability of 1) working completely and 2) getting her continued buy in. If you just cut out gluten for 30 days and she's still having issues at the end of it, it's highly unlikely that you're going to convince her to do another 30 days without gluten AND some other things. More than likely she'll say, "see mom? not the gluten. give me bread."

Pulling the gluten out will probably make a big dent for her, but I'd rather try to kill all the birds with one stone at one time. :) That's just my thoughts on the situation!

Very good points. If it's more than gluten for her, then it would be harder to convince her to eliminate other things later. The thing is, I don't think she is buying in to a strict W30. At this point, she says she is considering trying gluten free. If I added all of the other no-nos I think she would go berserk.

It's kind of a quandary: Is it worth doing gluten free if that is all I can get her to do? Or do I wait until she is ready to go 100% compliant. My gut feeling is that she also has issues with sugar and dairy. So gluten wouldn't address all of this. Hmmm, don't know what direction to go...

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Well why don't you give her that choice?

I mean, I'm not saying to make her totally neurotic about eating out with friends, etc, because seed oils, the sugar in sauces, etc. are not going to cause a ton of problems...but rather say, "there's a lot of evidence that says that it could be more than just gluten that's contributing to your RA. I'd really like you to try to get rid of all of those things for 30 days, so we can really narrow down what foods (if any) are causing you pain. Gluten is the big one, so if you're only comfortable cutting that out, that's fine too...but you may not see much of a benefit"

I think the biggest ones to drop are grains and dairy. The other stuff could be problematic, but not as much from an AI standpoint.

Good luck! Let us know!

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We went for a walk last night and discussed it. She says she doesn't want to do it because she will have "nothing to eat". I think I need to do some more education with her before she can make an informed choice. (And remember that she is 10 and may not grasp the big picture.) I'll keep working on her. :-)

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I asked my son what it was that he loved about his favorite foods. The flavor? Texture? Gooey cheese? He loves the usual 11 year old things: pizza, hamburgers, buffalo wings. He's ok with a burger without cheese and bun if there is bacon on it. I also cook it in bacon grease. I found a paleo wing sauce that he loves. I make up a bunch and let him put it on whatever protein he wants. The pizza is harder, but he's pretty happy with meatballs in marinara sauce. Once he realized that he wasn't going to be eating plain chicken and steamed veggies for every meal he was much more relaxed about eating. He touches everything, including his food. It drives me crazy, but I do try to have cut up veggies and fruit with every meal so he is able to use his hands to eat for at least part of the meal. Tacos have been an easy staple in our house. I serve the meat with a salad and salsa. It's scary for kids to feel like everything they love to eat is going to be replaced with something they're not sure about. I'm always trying new recipes out on the kids. The ones that work stay on the menu. The ones that don't move to my lunch menu. Keep trying. The results will be worth it, no matter how long it takes.

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My kids haven't even noticed when I make Whole30 approved meals. I just add them into our meal rotation. IF it were me, we'd go 100% gluten free if she is up for that. Work hard on making life as a gluten free as YUMMY as possible. Then slowing start adding in some super yummy Whole30 meals like Well Fed's pad thai, chocolate chili (with a yummy coconut muffin if she wants something like that). Focus on making the Whole30 style meals as delicious as possible. Then after months where she has lived totally gluten free, have the talk again. Tell her of all those recipes that she devours and thinks are amazing and explain how those were compliant meals. And for a child, master good compliant treats so she can feel like she can still have some fun things. Paleo Parents have some amazing things like coconut cupcakes with paleo frosting. Take it slow. Go 100% gluten free, let her learn how to do that, make sure the food you make is super yummy, then start taking more baby steps.

PS - mods I know this isn't whole30 compliant advice so if it's inappropriate feel free to delete. Thanks!

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