Everyone wants their family to be healthy. Whether it is just to trim a little weight, create lasting healthy habits, or to reduce the risk of illnesses, most parents understand that they need to be healthy to live a long life and they will suffer through meals that they don’t really care for because they know that the end will justify the means. On the other hand, there are the children…
Unless your child has been living in a bubble, they have likely had some form of sugar or processed food in their little lifetime. Even the healthiest parents send their kids to grandma’s house or let their child slide when they are at a sleepover. There is no shame in that, they are kids after all. But when you start eating Paleo, one of the biggest goals for you and your family is to ditch the sugar and processed foods for the first thirty days in order to give your body a chance to reset itself.
This is an adjustment for anyone, let alone a child who couldn’t care less about things like eating healthy, especially when all of their friends get to eat treats and snacks and they are stuck with ‘health food’. Still though, there are a lot of happy Paleo children out there, kids who don’t even realize that they are not eating the way that the rest of their friends eat.
So what is the trick? How do you get a child to get so excited about eating Paleo?
The biggest thing is that you don’t want them to feel like they are missing out on anything. If they are busy chowing down on their favorite Paleo cookies, they will be less likely to notice the friend next to them eating a chocolate bar.
You can also change up their favorite recipes to try and make them Paleo-friendly. For example, if your child is a big fan of trail mix, (which is usually considered a pretty healthy snack by the way), let your little chef make some homemade trail mix. Swap the salted nuts for raw/unsalted nuts and instead of adding chocolate pieces or raisins, add goji berries. Your little one will be so happy being a chef that they won’t even recognize the new Paleo-friendly creation they have made.
But what about all of those new Paleo food dishes that you are dying to try, can you really get your child to eat those? You might be surprised to learn that you can get your child to try those delicious Paleo recipes as long as you keep their likes and dislikes in mind. So let’s say that you are making a meatloaf for dinner, and your recipe calls for onions. Well, you know from experience that you child hates onions and there will surely be nuclear warfare in your home if you make a meatloaf with onions in it. Simply make the recipe without the onions, as long as you are following the basic rules of Paleo, you are still ‘sticking to the program’ even if you change an ingredient here or there to accommodate your family.
And if you know your child likes something else that you can add to your meatloaf (like green peppers, for example), then you can add those ingredients in place of the onions.
The beauty of Paleo is that this is a lifestyle that anyone can easily follow. There is a Paleo path for every budget and every picky eater out there and that is what makes the transition to Paleo so simple. As long as you work with your child and not against them, you will have a healthy eater in no time.