My middle child, she is now 13 and a half, has announced this after a discussion over her food choices. But let me rewind just a bit. Neither of my younger children are terribly excited about being paleo. They eat the food I make, they like it, they also like the treats I make for them. But they will go for sugar and processed crap whenever they get a chance. My son has fewer opportunities, since he’s only 11. But my daughter has been fighting me and this way of eating since the day I introduced it.
I have never been strict about it. My rule was always, you eat what I make at home. When you go out or hang with friends, you’re free to eat what you like. And my daughter has taken this to an extreme. Almost, as if to show me, just how much she hates what I do, she demonstrates at every opportunity her power to do whatever she wants to. Additionally, she starts eating less and less meat and more and more junk that she buys with her allowance. Even after 3.5 years she still insists that what I do is not normal.
Let me make it very clear, that this child is highly intelligent, driven, passionate, and she knows the benefits of eating at least partly paleo. She is a long and lean ballet dancer. Not an ounce of fat on her body, and she is proud not to have put on the same chub that some others have put on when they entered their teens. Good genes, I guess? I was like that way back when…
In order to keep my child fed, especially in the mornings, because she absolutely refuses to eat anything paleo (forget eggs of any kind! She will NOT eat them!), I started purchasing gluten free granolas and such things. (Yes, after all these years I finally caved.)
Currently my brother and his family are visiting from Germany. Bread, candy, and soda have returned to my house, and my children are in heaven. They are gorging on junk food in the worst possible way. They act like I have been starving them for years, and they are finally getting “real” food again. No, I’m not laying any blame on anyone, least of all my brother. He eats a certain way, and he’s excited to be drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Twizzlers, all things he cannot get in Germany. Certainly, this stuff will once again disappear, when my brother leaves.
But what will not disappear is my kids’ resistance to healthy food. And I am about to throw in the towel. This is not to say, that I will stop cooking the way I have been. And when I make lunches for them, then they will be the foods I choose. However, I will bring back certain food items that make my life easier and my children happier. I know what ingredients to look for and what to stay away from. The lesser evil will have to do for a while.
Sure, I could be super strict. I could tell them to suck it up, but frankly, they’re too old for this. At this point my strategy needs to be: lead by example. Educate. Continue on the journey and hope that some day it’ll rub off on them and they will slowly start following my lead.
Do you have resistant teens at home? I’d love to hear about it!