I’ve written about kids and paleo before. Every parent who sees the light and changes their lifestyle, wants their kids to get on board. I figured it would be easy, when I made the switch. Heck, all I needed to do was to explain to them, why this is happening, and they would understand (because they’re smart people), and then the rest would be smooth sailing.
Well, my children are not newborns, who can’t talk back. As a matter of fact, when I made the change, they were 10 and 8 years old, and they had an opinion. Especially the 10 year old. She put up a fight, challenging me with questions like, “If it’s so bad for you, why are we all healthy?” Of course I had done my homework, and I answered her questions, although of course most of the answers really only applied to me and my husband. After all their little bodies had not been abused for quite as long as my big one. Their bodies are still a lot more forgiving.
I made the switch for them gradually, and to this day I don’t make them eat paleo 100% of the time. I went out last night and let them eat pizza. When we go to restaurants, they frequently choose SAD foods. Birthday parties are a no-brainer. You eat what they got. And if that’s a load of candy, ice cream, and pizza, then you don’t complain. In fact, you’ll do a little happy dance.
Around here, I make few exceptions these days. Yes, there is the pizza (about once a month). And I will buy them candy (stuff I can live with, and that doesn’t have a load of junk in it). But, when I cook, I cook paleo, and I expect them to eat what’s there. If they choose not to, they have the option of not eating at all. I will not offer pieces of fruit as an alternative. That would be like a sugar treat instead of a real meal, and I am simply not going for it.
Of course I don’t make them eat foods they just can’t stand. But generally, I don’t cook such foods to begin with.
After two years of eating this way, they are both healthy and strong the way they should be. I continuously educate them about food and what’s in it, and why I eat this instead of that. But I will not force them to stay clean outside the house. They will spend their allowance on what they like. We don’t argue about food at restaurants. I don’t make any remarks about how bad that pasta is for your gut. It makes our togetherness as a family so much more pleasant. It is truly my belief, that they will make wise decisions about their foods as they grow up, because they see their parents (and frankly lots of their friends) living like this. Paleo is truly all around them (yes, we got lucky that way), and as their understanding of the impact of food on your body grows, they too, will choose to eat this way.
But what if they don’t, you say… Well, if one of them chooses to eat differently, then that is not the end of the world either. 😉 As adults they are free to do whatever they please. But I have several years left to influence their decisions in a positive way, without forcing them to choose my way as the right way.