- I've been doing Paleo for the last 6 months or so.
- I have 2 kids (3 and 5 years old).
- No, these do not mix well...but I try!
When I started this way of eating, I was never under the assumption that my kids were going to be 100% Paleo too. That sort of expectation adds stress to any family, never mind a single-mother-working-from-home sort of chaos our house can be sometimes. I allowed them their cereal every morning, a sandwich at lunch, wheat crackers and milk products (milk, yogurt and cheese) for snacks. They were allowed some treats but they were rare - usually homemade and gluten-free so I could enjoy them too.
But, as time passed, things changed. My knowledge of Paleo grew as our food budget shrunk. I had to be more selective about where our limited food moneys went. The cereal was the first to go, replaced by more blood-sugar-stabilizing eggs and fruit in the morning. Then crackers and cookies were slashed out. Thankfully, neither of these were missed at all. And just recently, I cut most dairy out, except for string cheese - easy snack.
That's when I discovered something - as I dropped gluten and dairy from their diet, my daughter's "tummy issues" began to disappear. With some experimentation, I was able to verify that yes, her system doesn't like gluten either. The moment she was held to a low-dairy, low-gluten diet, her system settled down and all was happy again.
So, you may be asking, "Well, what do your kids eat then?"
- protein (eggs, beef, chicken, etc),
- vegetables (yes, my kids eat vegetables!),
- Snacks include air-popped popcorn, string cheese, nuts, all-natural gluten-free granola bars, fruit and vegetables.
They do still get a bit of gluten every day in the form of one sandwich - my son is a HUGE Peanut Butter and Jelly fan and I just can't take that away from him. Yes, I know there's gluten-free breads out there but really, have seen the price tag on those lately? Oy!
A typical kids' menu is this:
- Breakfast (8 AM) - eggs and fruit
- Lunch (11 AM) - sandwich, fruit, vegetables.
- Snack (between 2 and 3 PM) - they usually get a choice between popcorn, cheese, nuts, or fruit.
- Dinner (between 5 and 6 PM) - whatever I'm eating (meat and veggie) along with a piece of fruit
- Bedtime Snack (7:30-ish) - optional - depends on how they ate that day. If they acted hungry and ate everything, or we had a really early dinner, I let them have a snack. If they didn't eat much dinner, then no bedtime snack.