Upset stomachs for kids & NON-STOP Hunger-Day 11


Lana Lyon Dorazio

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Hey all! We are on day 11. I have 5 kids, and all have had off and on tummy aches since starting the new lifestyle. Is this detox? I am not worried about it, because they are clearly eating well.

Secondly, they are hungry, ALL the time. My 8 yr old son ate 4 eggs/vegs and some fruit for breakfast. He says he is hungry an hour later. Agh. I am proud of myself for continuing to cook and get used to this new way of eating, but what should I do to keep them fuller, longer?

So, my 2 questions are, tummy aches and hunger. Thoughts?

P.s. 3 of my kids are adopted from Ethiopia. My oldest daughter has only been home 4 months, and she is having the most stomach issues. Her diet was very limited in Ethiopia to injera (a teff/graine based sourdough bread,) to different sauces they put on top. They literally ate this every day, no variation. It there was variation, it was some kind of bread. I'm guessing her body is just really adjusting to alot of fresh vegetables and no grain.

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I've been thinking about this too. My boys (especially my youngest - he's 3) are constantly hungry. Really, it drives me crazy, In discussing it with my husband this morning we decided to cut back on fruit a bit - we have never limited fruit for them and we feel that it may be serving as a replacement of sorts for the bread, oatmeal, crackers, etc. they used to eat and possibly causing blood sugar spikes. We don't want them to feel like we're taking away another food they love, so we plan to be subtle about it - like no cutie oranges with the eggs and avocados at breakfast and not adding apples, grapes or whatever to lunches. They will still have a couple servings per day, just not with every meal. We also plan to up their fat intake and see if that helps.

As for your daughter, are you cooking her veggies? If not I would suggest at least steaming them so they are easier to digest. This would be a huge adjustment for her no doubt.

Let's hope a Mod stops by, I would like to hear what they have to say about this as well.

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Thanks! Yes, they seem to want to use fruit as their go-to food. I have started to limit it to 'dessert.' When they say they are hungry I've also started asking them if they are hungry enough for more 'b-fast, lunch, dinner' whatever we just ate, and most of the time they say 'no,' they just want to eat 12 bananas. (maybe a little exaggeration, but seriously, 5 kids can polish off 15 bananas a day!) I wonder if they just want the sweet? They must have sugar demons! ha ha. Time to slay the sugar dragon.

I'll keep the fruit thing in mind, and see what I can do to interest them in more of the filling protein, fat and vegetables. Off to cook . . . again! Hope a MOD can post too.

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  • Moderators

First thought: Children and adults who are not used to eating much protein or fat may need digestive enzymes to help their guts adjust to the new foods. Digestive enzymes are rarely needed on a permanent basis, but may be needed for a period of months until the proper gut bacteria grows and food is being fully digested. Probiotics like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha may help, but something like Now Foods Super Enzymes may be necessary at first. If food is not being well digested, it is hard to be satisfied because food is passing through and not being well absorbed.

Tummy aches would be consistent with food not digesting well... taking up space and not breaking down fully. Otherwise, tummy aches are not a common symptom of eating the Whole30 way.

The background here is that our bodies adjust to whatever we eat. If we eat a lot of grains and dairy, our bodies adjust to digesting that. If we shift to meat and veggies, our bodies either take some time to adjust or need some help to get there in a timely fashion. The issue is not pathological in itself. Vegetarians often have trouble when they shift to paleo because they need to develop a new set of gut bacteria to handle the new menu.

Second thought: Sugary foods like fruit can sometimes provoke feelings of hunger. Wheat is especially known to provoke such feelings, but fruit can too. Therefore, limiting fruit and replacing it with meat, fat, and veggies may make a difference.

Final note: I am not a parent, so maybe a more experienced moderator will have something to add.

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Thanks! We are on day 15, and they seem to be leveling out. I think they really just wanted the sweet. Now that I consistently have enough of the protein, veg, fat, if they ask for fruit, I ask them if they are hungry enough for the real food first. If they say yes, I give them more, and then let them have fruit. We got a huge basket of strawberries from our csa yesterday, and I literally gave them each 7 huge strawberries after our dinner. If they were still hungry they could have more of the meal, but no more 'dessert.' I think it's cute that are starting to see fruit as dessert. Little minds CAN be taught! :)

My youngest (6 yrs-adopted from Ethiopia last year, severely malnourished) ate her body weight in fish cooked in coconut oil last night. She is my one child who wasn't eating enough before Whole 30, so something seems to be turning her on to eating more as well. I'll have to learn more about how eating this way helps you eat more if you need to, and less if you need to.

It's really crazy how much things have changed in 15 days. I am a happy mamma today. :D

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Yay! So glad things are going well for your family. My kids took to Whole30 pretty smoothly and I think it's helped that we have limited most fruit. They eat bananas and sometimes some dried apricots or apple slices, but that's about it. Before WHole30, they ate tons of fruit and very little veggies. Now it's the reverse. As for eating, my husband and I are still floored by how much our kids pack away. We go through whole cauliflowers and large squashes at one meal. Finally, thirty days into this, my littlest one is starting to eat smaller portions and self-regulate. I'm imagining my older one will probably follow suit in the next week or two as his system continues to adjust. It's crazy how much kids can eat!!

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What Tom said, too! Also, are they eating enough fat? That is the hardest thing for my kids. Like your kids, they could polish off an entire fruit stand in a day it seems. They don't particularly like fatty things. I am constantly trying to sneak coconut oil into their meals. As an adoptive mom, it also strikes me that your daughter who is most recently home may also be experiencing some gastric distress just from the big change in her life. My kids were pretty malnourished when they came home, and it took a while for them to get over diarrhea from the change in diet. Keep at it, mama!

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I am wondering whether my little girl has an issue with her gut bacteria as she is CONSTANTLY hungry (she's nearly 4) and because of the lifestyle, the only thing that nursery can give her for a snack is fruit, very occasionally crudites. She is also going to the loo all the time which strikes me as more is going through her than should be ??????

Are there enzymes that are suitable for children???

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  • 2 weeks later...

The background here is that our bodies adjust to whatever we eat. If we eat a lot of grains and dairy, our bodies adjust to digesting that. If we shift to meat and veggies, our bodies either take some time to adjust or need some help to get there in a timely fashion. The issue is not pathological in itself. Vegetarians often have trouble when they shift to paleo because they need to develop a new set of gut bacteria to handle the new menu.

Thanks for that very helpful thought! I keep thinking that everything should be working better faster since now I'm eating the "right stuff." But this makes perfect sense, and helps relieve anxiety about digestive "issues."

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So far I have been doing this whole 30 myself.... I want my kids/ husband to start. Advice??? Did you just jump your kids in 100%? Or did you slowly start the adjustment? I think it will be a battle with my youngest son who is 8 - he is a very picky eater who lives on sugary carbs ( pop tarts / ritz crackers). He has acid reflux and for so long (I was completely in the dark or just not looking for the light) we pretty much let him eat whatever he could keep down. No I need to fix all the bad! He has been off his acid reflux meds for almost a year and doing great that way- but I think it's time to get everyone on bored with a healthier way of eating.

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Leslie-We have eaten 'kinda' paleo for a few years, but my kids still had gluten free bread products, anything they wanted when we went out to eat, and the junk they got at school. We went 100% and I just told them this is the way it is in our family and they had 2 choices for our meals, 1.) Take it 2.) Leave it. :) I'm a pretty no nonsense mama, and if they are hungry enough they will eat. A couple of mine had a few hungry days out of choice, but last night they all ate curried shrimp and scallops, zucchini and strawberries for dessert. They are super eaters now, and I am proud. It was a lot of cooking and figuring things out the first 2 weeks, but it seemed to get better for me after that. You can do it!

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So far I have been doing this whole 30 myself.... I want my kids/ husband to start. Advice??? Did you just jump your kids in 100%? Or did you slowly start the adjustment? I think it will be a battle with my youngest son who is 8 - he is a very picky eater who lives on sugary carbs ( pop tarts / ritz crackers). He has acid reflux and for so long (I was completely in the dark or just not looking for the light) we pretty much let him eat whatever he could keep down. No I need to fix all the bad! He has been off his acid reflux meds for almost a year and doing great that way- but I think it's time to get everyone on bored with a healthier way of eating.

Hi Leslie!

I'd recommend starting here:

http://whole9life.com/2012/11/whole9-let-us-change-your-kids/

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