In order to make transitioning the kids to Paleo easier, I decided to focus on what would cause us to fail and work from there. What I came up with was a short list. Working from that angle, I think we have the biggest chance at success. The biggest things (aside from my oldest being a carb-addict) that I see could trip us up are being unprepared (ie. appropriate snacks unavailable, meals last minute) and taking too big a leap and having them throw a hissy about adjusting to new stuff. The first one is easy. Be my best girl scout (ok, I was not a girl scout–I went to like one meeting and quit). Be prepared. Plan, plan, plan. Outline a meal plan for the week, prep early, and stock the car. My kids love to snack in the car. This is what I have been doing for myself and my husband for about 2 years. We have a white board on the refrigerator and I plan out 5-6 meals at a time. I make sure that we have what I need on hand. I try to stick to the days but life often gets in the way and I mix it up. Now what I am doing (as of Jan 1) is adding the kids in the mix, making it easier on me to make meals that either all of us eat, or we eat and they get a variation of.
The other problem I foresee is me moving too fast, too soon. Adults have trouble going from a standard diet to Paleo. I can not imagine kids would find it easy. Still, I am a type A, need to get stuff done type gal, so I fear I could move too fast for him. My strategy on this was to come up with goals, by month. Realistic goals. I spend 75% of my day in the kitchen so I put them on the refrigerator (do you sense a theme here?). This is to keep me focused on now. Do I want him to eat kale? Yes. Should I expect them to eat it immediately? No. So for January we are keeping it simple. Get rid of gluten, talk a whole lot about food, and ditch most dairy. Easy peasy….we have done that in the first week. The challenge is living and maintaining this for the rest of the month so we can reach the next months plan.
I am proud to say that after 1 week, they are all doing great. B is 8 now so he really understands how food and his body relate. He knows what makes him feel junky. We went to our local breakfast spot this weekend where he usually scarfs down a giant bagel and cream cheese. I was assuming I would be up for a fight. So before we went, I talked to him about what options would be the best choice from there and he could pick. He had scrambled eggs, bacon, and gluten free toast. Not an ounce of whining, complaining or negativity. The two littles are sausage and fruit boys so they just got the usual.
Heres a pic of our pantry clean out. The box of contraband went to the garage (and will be dropped at the local shelter). And, of course, the new self serve snack drawer!
Some great Paleo kids snack ideas for when you are pressed for time or in the car:
Tanka Bites, baby food pouches and squeezy apple sauces, trail mix, apple chips, larabars, fruit leather