paleo diet for kids

The Paleo Diet for Kids

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One of the biggest hurdles when trying to follow a new diet can be our own families. If your family is not on the diet as well it can be hard to stick with it. Not only does your grocery budget increase, but the separate foods take up twice as much space in the fridge and pantry and then you need twice as much food preparation for different sets of meals. After a long day at work fixing two different meals is the last thing you want to do. No wonder so many people find healthy eating impossible.

The Paleo diet, however, differs from most other diets. The truth is that it shouldn’t be called a “diet” in the traditional sense. Paleo is not simply about losing weight and then stopping when you’re happy with your new body. Paleo is about creating a sustainable lifestyle that will give¬† you lifelong health, happiness and the energy you need to function.

Isn’t it a bit odd that society seems to encourage us in our youths to wreck our bodies gorging on whatever sweets and treats we want only for us to spend the rest of our adult lives either suffering from or trying to repair the damage? The brains and bodies of kids and young adults are still developing and so the foods that your kids eat now will have a long term impact not only on their health and mental clarity, but on their own habits for healthy eating. Why not get your kids to eat healthy now and save you the trouble of having to prepare two sets of meals?

TIPPaleo Diet on a Budget

Many diets involve eating foods that are great for you, but difficult for kids to want to eat, especially if they are already used to eating a particular way. Paleo doesn’t have to be that way and if you introduce the diet gradually with meals that are already familiar to your kids it will be that much easier for you to transition.

Many kids actually love paleo diet meals because they’re based on many of the foods they already like to eat such as fruits, nuts, meats and vegetables. Vegetables are the main category you will likely have to work on with your kids, but with so many meal choices out there for paleo there are ways to prepare tasty vegetable dishes and not have to resort to the same ole thing every day. In fact, paleo dieting has so much variety that your kids are likely never to get bored.

It may take some convincing to get your kids on board with eating paleo. Forcing your kids to eat paleo will never succeed. You want them to form healthy eating habits that will stick with them and forcing will only succeed in making them hate the paleo diet. Try introducing the paleo diet slowly a few meals at a time and choose meals that are most similar to what your kids have already been eating. Be sure to include many paleo diet snacks that contain fruits and nuts as these will likely be the most well received. As your child begins to like many of these meals begin increasing paleo and eliminating the unhealthy foods.

Probably the easiest and quickest way to get started is to remove all processed snack foods from your home and be certain to replace those with plenty of tasty paleo snacking alternatives. If the unhealthy food is not around to snack on in the first place it will be easier to keep your child away from those foods. Smoothies are another great option because they are not only healthy, but can be very delicious. The more paleo snacks and smoothies you can have available the better satisfied your child’s sweet tooth will be. Satiating that desire for sweets will help you overcome one of the biggest obstacles to getting your kid to buy in to a healthier diet.

If you really want to ensure that your kids join in with paleo eating you need to lead by example. Follow the diet strictly or with specified exceptions and as your own health improves your child may become inspired to heed your efforts. Whether you follow a strict plan or a plan with exceptions you should only expect that your child will follow a plan as strict as your own. Again, you should not force your child onto a paleo diet as this will ultimately undercut their own internalizing of the habit of healthy eating. Take note not to suddenly ban other foods or make quick changes to their diets and remember to introduce paleo gradually. Be sure to provide lots of healthy snack options for after school and weekend snacking.

Helping your children to join you in the paleo diet may take some effort on your part, but as a responsible parent you know how important it is to succeed. After all, this is as much about your kid’s lifelong health and well-being as it is your own. Good luck!

Check out this great resource from the Paleo Mom:

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