News, Required Reading

All or Nothing??

I was inspired to write this article after reading a recent comment posted to one of my blog entries entitled, Paleo Kids.

The comment reads:

“Hi, We have been on the Paleo diet for 3 weeks now (love your book Sarah!)
Our kids (ages 3 and 5) are Ok eating Paleo at home but when we are with other people they see what everyone else has (the bread, chocolate biscuits etc) and constantly say ‘I want that, why can’t I have that, it’s not fair!’.
We have even left places early due to our daughter’s tantrums because she can’t have what the other kids have. HELP!! We don’t know what to do!
I’m very close to giving in and taking them off the diet because I feel guilty that they think they’re missing out!”

I wanted to write my response as a blog post because I feel like this is an important topic and one that needs to be addressed.

To begin, I must ask; should a paleolithic approach to eating ever be all or nothing?  My response would be wholeheartedly no way!  If someone told me I could never again enjoy a glass of my favorite cab, a piece of dark chocolate, or a plate of nachos, they would have hell to pay.  But at the same time, I would never want to go back to how I used to eat simply because I choose to sometimes hop off the paleo wagon.  It’s not worth my physical and mental health to throw in the towel due to a few meals of indulgence now and then.  Read this post for more on that subject. With that in mind, I encourage folks to approach transitioning and feeding our kids paleo with the same realistic expectations that we have for ourselves, but at a kid level.

First, I am so proud, ecstatic, and happy that the reader was successful at making the transition to paleo at home in only 3 short weeks!  This is a huge accomplishment and often a daunting task that some parents choose to never take on. You are feeding your kids as healthy as possible and that is huge. As far as the readers concern in which she states,

“Our kids (ages 3 and 5) are Ok eating Paleo at home but when we are with other people they see what everyone else has (the bread, chocolate biscuits etc) and constantly say ‘I want that, why can’t I have that, it’s not fair!’ We have even left places early due to our daughter’s tantrums because she can’t have what the other kids have. HELP!! We don’t know what to do! I’m very close to giving in and taking them off the diet because I feel guilty that they think they’re missing out!

I completely understand the dilemma, Paleo mom and kiddos leave for the day and are faced with unhealthy food options. What should you do?  First and foremost, take it all in stride.  I know it’s hard, especially when you have been working so hard to promote healthy eating habits at home, to watch your kids go for the garbage when it’s offered to them.  Instead of making a big deal about their choices and going over board with your own reaction, I suggest not putting emphasis on the fact that they want the junk but instead put your focus towards open and honest communication and preparedness.

For example, if you are going to a party where you know there will be junk, bring an alternative like gluten free cookies such as my Nutty Cookies, or other paleo friendly snacks to share.  Let your kids know simply and light-heartedly that they will have “fun” healthy options and then try not to worry about what might happen next.  While in a social setting and your child eats something that isn’t paleo try not to freak out.  You will be amazed at what might happen next week, next month, or maybe even next year in the same type of social situation.  As children continue to eat a healthy paleo diet, they begin to notice, just like you do, that they might not feel so great when they eat junk food.

What I have noticed with my own kids as time goes on, is astounding. Now that our family has been eating paleo for well over 3 years, I witness my children making better and better food options outside of our home simply because they WANT to and not because they are told or asked to.  As a family we have discussed what gluten and other grains do to our bodies and how it hinders nutrient absorption (but in kid terms) and how eating lots of veggies, fruits, and protein helps them to be healthier and not get sick as often. It’s not a daily discussion but in the early phases of transitioning my kiddos, we simply talked about it and explained our decision making.  I want my children to have the information they need in order to have the ability and confidence to make the best decicisions that they can for their own bodies; be it food related or anything else that they are faced with as they are growing, learning, and developing, in the real world.

Furthermore, as you transition your kids to a paleo way of eating at home, celebrate your successes, keep focused on the fact that your are doing the best you can in the world that we live in, stay positive and confident that your kids will eventually figure out whats best for them when faced with making decisions that affect their health; whether that might be food related or not.  Trust me, when I drop my 15 year old son at the insane asylum we call high school, the last thing I am worried about is what he’ll pick to eat for lunch that day.

When out and about with the kiddos, place emphasis on how great your kids are when in social settings rather then what they put into their mouths.  Be honest when discussing why you want them to eat healthy and I promise that you will be amazed by what children will understand. The last thing we want to do is make our kids neurotic about food but rather educate them about food, what it’s meant to do for our bodies, and guide them by setting an example of making healthy food choices in and outside of the home.  The rest will fall into place, I promise.  Enjoy the little moments together and be proud of your accomplishments!

And as always, Enjoy!


Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Lindsay says:

    We have just recently switched to paleo (as in, yesterday), and my husband was actually saying something about how there’s no way it would be sustainable if he could never eat his favourite foods again. I told him basically what you said in the beginning, that that wouldn’t be realistic but it didn’t mean the solution was to just give up either. Your blog has been very helpful to us so far as we try and switch my daughter.

    My husband and I are doing the Whole 30, but we don’t plan to be nearly as strict with my daughters. We don’t eat “junk food” anyway, so it’s actually not a huge change for her and we haven’t made it a big deal. She’s asked for bread a few times already, but seems okay when we explain why we’re not eating it. Some of her favourites are technically not “allowed”, like the bananas and peanut butter she’s having as a snack right now, but I’m okay with that. For her, I’d be happy to eliminate grains and processed sugars.

    1. Tricia says:

      I am going Paleo in My house Monday with Husband and 4 kids hoping to get them eating healthier. I have done Paleo but others have not.. Just going to do a 30 day challange but will allow some dairy.. I agree as long as sugars and grains are out we should be fine. they are use to snacking tho so it may be harder for them

    2. Loretta says:

      Hi Tricia,

      Congrats on going paleo. We are in the process too…just getting the fridge/pantry cleaned out and new food in the house…so you are farther than us. Just a thought though as I read your post…my son is allergic to peanuts so we use sunbutter which is made from sunflower seeds. Your daughter might like it as a substitute for peanut butter.

      1. Loretta says:

        Sorry meant the comment for Lindsay.

  2. Amanda says:

    We eat a primal diet (we allow dairy I guess is the difference from paleo) and are pretty new at it. In my opinion as long as your child does not have any true food allergies there is a no reason to single them out at a friend’s party or family gathering. I think that just makes them the weird kid. Kids have a hard enough time these days just surviving being a kid, they don’t need to be picked on because they were the kid who was not allowed to eat pizza and cake and instead had to eat the steak, beets and dark chocolate nuggets they brought with them. Obviously I would not condone throwing a paleo/primal diet out the window for the sake of “being cool” and socially normal, that would be silly. I figure if you are eating great foods 95% of the time the other 5% is not going to kill you or your children.

    Just my two cents 🙂

    1. Tricia says:

      I agree I can control them here at home, but if they choose what they eat out with others so be it.. Hopefully they wont want as much if they dont crave it as much.

  3. Meg says:

    I’m the Mom of a soon to be 13month old. We’ve been Paleo for about 7months now and zone prior to that for about 3 years. You’ll notice our switch to Paleo happened right about the same time our little guy started eating solids. My hope is that he’ll be raised to understand food and its role in our lives.. my fear that he’ll hate me for it, for the very reasons your commenter stated “IT’S NOT FAIR”. I’m taking one day at a time (since this is still a relatively new journey for my family) and when we hit that brick wall with our kiddo, I’ll hopefully be able to come from a place of patience rather than just saying “N-O”. And hell if the worst thing I have to worry about is if he eats a doughnut, I figure I’m doing alright!!

    1. Christi says:

      I honestly believe that if we start them young enough, they won’t realize the difference.

    2. Holly says:

      Allowing a child to make age-appropriate choices is key. He’s still so young that he’ll be easily mollified with a favorite treat you bring from home. By the time he goes to school, you’ll face new challenges. But as long as he doesn’t have allergies, you’ll earn his respect by allowing him the choice outside of your home. I have friends who are food Nazis and their teenaged children are emotionally unable to make their own food decisions when outside of their house! That’s creepy.

  4. We’ve been eating mostly primally for about a year and four months. My kids still definitely indulge when we’re someplace else, and we’re honestly still working on getting them 100% in our house. I get sprouted grain bread that they have for breakfast! But anyway, I’ve found that they are very aware of how things effect them. Last night they were at someone’s house and had pizza and breadsticks. They thoroughly enjoyed eating it when they did, but a few hours later commented on how they were definitely not having toast in the morning because they’d eaten unhealthy at the sitter’s. And this morning they still felt that way and had eggs and fruit! So, keep at it! Thanks for the post. I love knowing it gets even better!

  5. I totally agree with Amanda above there. I just signed my kiddo up for two days of childcare a week at a standard daycare where she’ll be getting a snack and lunch. It’s not terrible, luckily, but animal crackers? I’m going to bite my tongue. She’ll be getting good Paleo stuff at home, so why worry?

    I live in Hippieville, OR and there are many different ways of eating healthy around here. Luckily, she’ll be far from weird. But I know folks who grew up here and were forbidden the sugary, fun treats and they went nuts after they left the house. Some never returned to their parents’ idea of healthy food. My plan going forward is to reinforce and encourage at home, but not make a big deal when elsewhere. Hopefully someday (as Sarah mentions with her boys) all of that positive reinforcement will kick in, resulting in good decisions they make on their own.

  6. Janna says:

    GREAT response! my kids are 2 & 4 and after 6 mos Paleo, I now know skipping the crappy snacks that millions of kids eat does not equal my kids missing out… in fact when I DO let them “cheat” I feel horrible because they often don’t feel well. At least I know now a grain is easier on them than a milk product. Still, their overall health, sleep, mood, behavior is SO much better I think the benefits outweigh any “missing out” feeling they might have when they don’t have the same snacks other kids do.

    1. Christi says:

      Do you feel bad for kids who do eat that “kid junk”? I do.

  7. tonya says:

    Thank you so much for this post. This is exactly what I needed to read today. Big Mommy hugs!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks so much Tonya and big mommy hugs right back to you!

  8. Lindsey says:

    Great post.. because I find even with myself, no kids involved, I sometimes feel guilty if I “cheat” on paleo for a meal here and there. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t always have to be an “all or nothing” mindset! Thanks! 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      You’re welcome Lindsey!

  9. Raini Tucker says:

    My family is currently in the transition to Paleo. My kids are 12,10,6, and 4. Our issue is that we have a nut allergy. I am having a hard time going gluten free because we can not use nut flours. Many have suggested coconut flour. This is fine for baking, but what can I use for meals because the coconut flour makes savory foods to sweet?

    1. Sarah says:

      Often if a recipe does call for almond meal, like meatloaf for example, you can simply leave it out and adjust the cooking time down a bit. There are a lot of other options out there that don’t involve nut flours and to be honest with you, nut flours is not something that we use everyday even without any nut allergies in our family. You can do it!! : )

      1. Kelly says:

        Also, last night I used ground up pork rinds to “bread” my chicken. I personally don’t care for almond meal. I can always taste the almond and don’t love the texture in meatloaf or other foods. However sometimes it is needed. Try food processing the plain pork rinds and using those. Also, try the spicy ones on chicken or fish!I don’t think you will be disappointed!

        1. Sarah says:

          LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea, keep meaning to try it but I always forget. Ok Kelly, make a recipe with the pork rinds, take a picture, and I’ll have you be a guest blogger!! Are you in??

          1. Holly says:

            Chicken fingers made with ground pork rinds are the BOMB!! they have this “bacon smokey” taste and get very crispy from the fats in the pork rinds! SO GOOD!!

      2. Another nut flour replacement you could try is ground sunflower seeds if you can find a non-contaminated source for the seeds. Just put them in a blender and pulse. 🙂

    2. If you’re looking to replace flours for, say, thickening sauces or getting a little spice crust on a piece of meat, I’ve found that tapioca starch works well. It thickens liquids slowly, but nicely, and doesn’t cloud them the way that AP flour would. And it’s fairly inexpensive to keep on hand (I’ve had my 1lb bag for over 6 months).

  10. This is totally not kid-related, but in a way I guess I am the kid in this scenario. I’ve been eating Paleo about 90% of the time for the past couple of weeks (save a cheat meal here and there) and tonight I over-did it. I needed a margarita, but felt I was still in the clear because it was good tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice and the only sweetener was agave syrup. I did have tacos and a big salad… but then did for some chips (not as much as I would have before). The kicker? Gelato… had to stop at the shop. Got a small scoop.. and guess who has stomach pains now? This 33 year old kid. Lesson learned.

    Thanks Sarah for the awesome site. I really want you to come to Roseville/Rocklin! Can I help you work this out?? 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      What we were you thinking for a visit to Roseville? You can email me at so we can chat. Roseville’s just a little drive down good ol’ 99!

      1. Jaime says:

        I just bought your book, Sarah – I can’t wait to get it in the mail. I do quite a bit of cooking and usually don’t follow any recipes, but it’s nice to have some different ideas. I’ve been flirting with paleo (with some greek yogurt & goat cheese) and have lost of a few pounds. I eat too many snacks and cave in too much on the weekends so I’m learning to cut back my portions and snacks so I can lose 10 pounds I gained over the last year. I have found cutting out gluten and milk has improved my bloating and also my constant drippy nose!

        Also, my cousin lives in Roseville and one of my good friends lives in Rockin! I used to stay out that way after law school and then moved back to Chicago for a job. I miss the weather. How far are you from there Sarah? Great area!!!

  11. Maile Baures says:

    I started Paleo over two months ago and I never told my family that we were doing something different. I just did a slow moving out of the bad oils, processed foods,syrups etc. I knew that it was going to be a challenge, especially with my 15 year old son. He eats worse away from home. What teenager doesn’t but he’s eager to eat what I cook now and my younger kids 6 and 11 are totally on board. They occasionally ask for pasta but they LOVE kelp noodles even more. (me too) They aren’t 100% Paleo except at home, but they tend to grab good choices now more than ever. Makes mom happy!

    1. Sarah says:

      Love your strategy of making simple changes over time, especially with an older kid who might be super resistant to immediate change. I’m so glad to hear that everyone is adjusting!

  12. Emily Erington says:

    My kids are 11 and 5. We’ve been doing paleo for a little over 4 months now. It’s tough, but I talk and comment on the quality of all food a lot – just to keep a subtle, (not a bang-you-over-the head) constant dialogue and thought process going. If my kids are sluggish and whine because they’re tired, I ask them what they ate earlier (at school) and they connect the dots themselves. The birthday party cupcakes and cookies at school are unavoidable! Anyway, my 5-yr old now speaks in terms of “proteins” and “good carbs”. My 11-yr old saw packaged pudding in a grocery and said, “That looks so wrong.” She reads labels now and loves the Jamie Oliver show. If we’re out and the bad stuff is being served, I tell them they are welcome to have some after some healthy choices first. That’s the rule, no exceptions.

    Things did get a little easier because Sarah said not to go crazy about limiting fruit because they’re kids. Again, if they’re hungry (5 year old growth spurts are crazy!) and want fruit or a Lara Bar (gimme sweet!), then I say after a protein. If they balk, then I tell them they must not really be hungry and their brain is pulling a sugar trick on them. And, they have to wait until they’re willing to eat some protein with their “snack”. I hope that’s a good plan. Sometimes I think I make this stuff up as a I go along.

    1. Sarah says:

      I hear you about making this stuff up as we go along, that’s pretty much parenting in a nutshell. LOL!! I think your plan sounds great and what I always go back to with my own kids when I am wondering what the heck I’m doing is I observe how they are! If they are happy, healthy, growing, and overall great then I rest assured that I must be doing something right…

  13. Teresa says:

    My children and I have been PALEO for almost six months and they love it! I have included them in the meal planning and they really enjoy playing in the kitchen to help find new ideas for healthy snacks. With that being said, I would he crazy to think they make good choices all of the time. I think until the general public is educated on the pitfalls of “healthy” eating then it will always be a little harder for kids. In the meantime, I believe that as long as they get the proper food education at home, it will roll in to their life outside the home more than we actually think.

    1. Sarah says:

      Exactly!! : )

  14. My husband is actually the one who got me started in this lifestyle. It took him almost a year – lol I was resistant. He gave gentle nudges, but never pushed. Honestly, if he would have pushed I would have pushed back and/or resented him for forcing me to do something when my heart wasn’t in it.

    I’m kind of in his spot right now because I want so badly for my friends and family to see the benefits but all they can focus on is how that would mean “cutting out a major food group” ahhh! *Morgan dies a little inside!* I know that I have to be patient. And quite honestly, I remind myself that ppl are jealous. Once they see how awesome Nate and I function and how good I look (hopefully by January ; ) ) I trust that the questions and desire will come flooding in. We don’t have kids now, but I’m hoping our kids temperaments won’t be as bad because they won’t have to fight the junk food/grain spiral each day.

    So, I’m waiting for them to want the awesome new life I have for themselves. I’m fairly confident that if they care about themselves at all, it’ll happen. And if not, well, my awesome new life will go on 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Beautifully said! : )

  15. Thank you for this post, Sarah! It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. My husband and I have been mostly Paleo for a while, but I’ve really struggled with getting our 2 and 3 yo. daughters on board. They are horribly picky eaters and when I tried to get them on Paleo a few months ago it became so stressful that I gave up. But lately I’ve been thinking about it more and I convinced my husband that we should ALL do 30 days of Paleo. We are planning to start in July and I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do when we’re in a social setting. I’m a member of a moms group and pretty much every event we have revolves around food. And crappy food, at best (brownies at 9:30am??). While I do try to stay away from some of the events, I really need the support and don’t want to alienate myself from the group completely. I always bring something Paleo so I know there is at least one thing I can eat, but the temptation is overwhelming for a kid. Reading this makes me feel like as long as I’m doing my best with them at home it’s not the end of the world if they stray a little here and there.

    Thank you for all you do, Sarah! Your hard work and advice have been an invaluable resource for me as my family and I continue on our Paleo Journey 🙂

  16. Lisa says:

    Great common sense approach Sarah. Thanks! 🙂

  17. Yvonne says:

    I love your cookbook. I’ve transitioned my kids to just dinners at this point. Favorite meal so far: crockpot meatballs. The kids say it’s their favorite meatball of all time (and my husband is Italian)!!! One other note: My husband has been breading chicken strips with ground spicy pork rinds and baking them. He then makes a spicy wing sauce for dipping by melting Ghee and hotsauce in a pan. It’s like eating chicken wings. Yummy!!

  18. Thank you for this post Sarah! I agree that we are learning as we go with this parenting thing and Paleo Parenting definitely keeps the challenges coming, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve been Paleo for over a year and my girls are 6 and 3 and a couple of things that have helped my family are….
    *Stocking the pantry with Paleo friendly snacks and the after-school routine is choosing their own snack.
    *Have them identify their favorite veggies and fruits and then serve them as a special treat for them.
    *My older daughter was bombarded by cupcakes and unhealthy snacks for school functions all year. It was hard to see her eat the junk, but after some tough battles, I finally learned that school is a hands-off zone for me. She needs to have a safe place make her own choices.

    I also think you are so right, Sarah about the expectations at home–this is what’s for dinner, breakfast, etc. It helps so much that Paleo food and your recipes are delicious! Thank you for this post and all you do 🙂

  19. jessica says:

    Love this post we have been doing paleo for 7 months now and will never go back to our old ways and when we first began i thought i was going to have a hard time with my son but i didnt although at that time he did drink milk and now there is no dairy in his diet:) he also does the same exact thing when we are out of the house before it use to stress me but like everyone has mentioned as long as they do great at home is whats most important and besides trying to explain to a 2 yr old why we dont eat that stuff is tough and i think of it like this now dont sweat the small stuff because at home we are 95% paleo so mommy to mommy dont worry about it let them enjoy there 5%! sending big hugs to all the mommys who have gone and is going through this your definitely not alone:)

  20. Kelly says:

    Hi Sarah-

    I’m a huge fan of yours and I love how easy going you are about your kid’s diet! I am still pretty young & don’t have children yet; any advice for adults? HA! I have always been somewhat of a health nut but my boyfriend is far from it. I’m trying to get his support and show him that Paleo is the way to go but unfortunately I think it’d be easier with a child throwing tantrums!


    Omaha, NE

  21. Janie says:

    I have found grass fed beef hotdogs and gotten free chicken nuggets by AppleGate Farms in my local health food store. My 3 yr old daughter loves them with her fruit and veggies and is able to have a “normal” kid snack!

    1. I agree about the grass fed hot dogs. My kids love them and they are so convenient.

      Thanks for this post Sarah- I always love talking about paleo/primal living and kids.

      When we started out I decided to let the kids (ages 4 and 2) decide for themselves when we are out of the house but then I realized they were still getting grain a least once a day and they were never having the opportunity to know how their body felt without it. So now for everyday occasions like playing with a friend or at Grandma’s house we stick with primal eating but special circumstances such as birthday parties they get to chose for themselves. And so far they always choose to eat the cake 🙂

  22. Loretta says:

    It is so awesome to have so many ideas and support for transitioning families!!! I was wondering though, what you send for your kids to drink at school? Just regular water? Flavored water? I appreciate any feedback and tips! Thanks so much for all you do Sarah; your book has been so helpful as I transition my 10 yo daughter over to Paleo.

  23. I don’t have kids but this gives me hope. You are so inspiring Sarah! My friends with kids always ask me questions about my lifestyle and ask HOW I would manage it IF I had kids. I think it’s safe to say that I’m going to be quoting your article in my rebuttals! YOU ROCK!

  24. I recently saw an old friend who has a five year old. They are not paleo people yet. All of the food they had was junk (and in a box). The five year old was born with intestinal issues and now has problems going to the bathroom.

    It was crazy to see what he was eating. I would have problems if my whole diet was sugary junk food. I told my friend and his mother (who is also having health issues) about paleo and primal living. They are going to give it a shot.

    Not just for kids: Paleo and sweets is tough for everyone who lives in normal America. I wrote a quick blog post Paleo Sweet Tooth, which is how I avoid the sugary cravings. I have always loved sweets, but now avoid them most of the time.

    PS- I just learned that Type 2 Diabetes was once called, Adult on set Diabetes, but since so many children have it the name was changed.

  25. I have been eating Paleo for over a year now and have enjoyed your website and all your great recipes. I recently bought your cookbook at my CF coach’s recommendation and it is AMAZING!!! We just decided to go from the beginning when cooking chicken and I got a great deal on steaks today so I am making the kabobs tonight before we go out and hit the court for some volleyball. Your recipes are so easy and so delicious. The Paleo transition has not been a fun one when dealing with my kiddos (almost 5 and 6) but last night we had the Rockin’ Moroccan Chx and my little one (who is a very picky eater) said, “Mommy…. this is SO. GOOD! When I go to Kindergarten I want you to pack it in my lunch every. single. day!” And though she only ate the chicken out of the dish, her saying that about anything other than donuts or biscuits is a huge accomplishment! This article was encouraging to me as well, and I will try to remember to educate them more instead of always just saying “eat it!” After all… I indulge in things non Paleo and have foods I don’t enjoy too. Thanks for providing us with some GREAT food and GREAT ideas! I can’t wait to pass this cookbook on to others!

  26. Tricia says:

    I am starting my family ( not me cause I have been on Paleo) Monday for 30 day challange.. Just wondering if the kids 4,9,12,14 will get headaches and if so what to do if they do ..

    1. Jenn says:

      Water & salt would help if they get headaches. Salt their food, and make sure they are drinking water. 🙂

  27. Carrie says:

    My kids (aged 23, 21, 17, 15 & 15) haven’t complained of headaches. I think the trick is to keep eating in the early days – another piece of fruit, another handful of nuts, another egg. My 17 year old complains bitterly about paleo, but eats everything, and hasn’t done much to eat other foods – the last 4 loaves of bread we had in the house all went moldy before they were eaten. I just wanted to remind people that many parents face the tantrums over not eating junk food – because of allergies – and sometimes giving in would actually be fatal. In my experience these parents and children enjoy a loving bond equal to any other parents! Your children won’t hate you forever because you love them and do your best to keep them healthy! We’ve been eating (mostly) paleo for a few months now and it gets easier all the time.

  28. Renee says:

    I just have to tell you how proud I am of my 15 year old daughter Tori. She has watched me be flour/sugar free for two years and Paleo for the last year. She has been very encouraging and sings my praises. She has terrible eczema and I’ve talked to her often about changing her diet. She started out pretty well about 6 weeks ago, but it is so hard with all the junk food everywhere you go, and she just didn’t want to miss out. Well, about 3 weeks ago we were in Trader Joe’s looking at gluten free energy bars when an Angel heard us talking, approached us, gave us a suggestion and then shared her story of how allergic she is to gluten and how it breaks her out and told us her story. She said she would be happy to give us her card and meet with us to help us become gluten free. I figured my daughter would think that was silly, but she mentioned how nice it was of the lady to talk to us, then she told the story to the naturopath and then to her Dad when we got home. From that moment on she tried extra hard to be gluten free. Then about two weeks later after a soccer game one of the girls brought cupcakes to celebrate her birthday and Tori ate one. She woke up the next morning with a rash around her eyes, the following day her whole face was swollen. Tori stood in the shower and cried. It was heart breaking. Tori now has been gluten free and pretty much Paleo for over two weeks. She has came home twice with stories from high school where treats have been passed around the room and she just passed them on without eating one. About the time Tori went gluten free I decided that the bread and cereal wasn’t good for anyone in our house so I just stopped buying it. No one has complained. My husband is taking salads instead of sandwiches. My youngest son is eating the heck out of fruit instead of cereal after school. I’m finding Paleo recipes for some of the favorites treats and everyone is loving them! I guess the moral to my story is that changing the family over to Paleo was and still is a long process, but it is so worth it to see the health benefits!

  29. Love you site, love your message. Have been eating paleo for years and yes it can be a struggle with kids (ours are 9 and 11). We don’t stress, we try to continually inspire and educate. We want them to make decisions not feel forced.
    Thanks for all you do Sarah

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank YOU Angus!! : )

  30. Barney Shannon says:

    This is a great site, Sarah! I’ll be visiting often.

    Barney Shannon
    Everything Strength

  31. Stephanie says:

    My husband is strict Paleo and my 2 kids (ages 3 & 4) and I are Primal (Paleo + Raw Dairy). When we go to a birthday party, I allow them 1 slice of the birthday cake. But I feed them before we go so they are not starving when they get there! We are going to a potluck tonight and I know I will feed them a head of time, and if they want a cookie while there I am okay with that because it’s not an entire meal of crap, just 1 thing. My almost 5 year old is very aware of what “junk” is and has refused things. We’ve been eating like this for several months now and believe me it gets easier because it just becomes habit, a part of your life! Hang in there, just KNOW you are being a far better parent to your children 😉 They will one of the few who will not struggle with obesity or disease or medication as an adult. Think of it as bestowing the gift of health upon them……

  32. Nichole says:

    I just found out my 4 yr old has gluten, dairy and egg allergies. I have found your sight super helpful for recipes. I have been able to do different egg substitutes for some of the recipes. Looking forward to getting your cookbook. I have been wanting to do Paleo for some time, now. With my son’s allergies, now is the perfect time.

  33. Karen Harris says:

    Thank you for responding to this post. I am struggling with my girls as well. I was encouraged to get comfortable with Paleo for myself before I tried to completely convert my family. It has made a huge difference for me I never dreamed that this italian would be content without pasta. Statrted Paleo this spring and haven’t had any pasta since.

    Since then, I have been trying to convert my kids…when offered what I eat they eat most of it. When we are out I try not to create a struggle as well but encourage them to pick wisely. They have cut back on many things and so I am happy that they are improving but still would like to see a change.

  34. Liz S. says:

    I intend to start doing Paleo immediately! I was convinced by a friend who visited here last weekend, and seeing the change in her was amazing! Anyway…a couple of questions: I have an almost 2 yo and a 4 yo. My older child eats pretty much whatever, but the younger one is very picky. He pretty much lives on milk and cheese, along with vegetables, fruit, and nuts–he doesn’t eat much meat. Both of my kids are very active, and we eat very little junk anyway, so both of them are significantly lower on the “weight” curve than they are on the “height” curve, at their well-visits. This was not a concern until about a year ago,at which time the pediatrician was concerned that the younger one’s “weight percentile” was slipping. So he wanted him to take in extra calories and vitamins. His recommendation was to put Ovaltine into his milk once or more a day. Doing so has kept his weight percentile stable, but I don’t want to keep using it, because of the sugar, food coloring, etc. How can I make sure I’m getting enough nutrients into this child? Also, our food and home supplies budget is VERY small, relatively speaking. About $75/week. We already use cloth diapers, have cut out paper towels, and all non-necessities, and with couponing, we do okay. But I’m concerned about being able to make this work on such a tight budget! I would be grateful for any and all suggestions! I really want to do this for my family. Thanks in advance! 🙂

  35. I lapped this up. Your take on this lifestyle is exactly what I need to not go off the deep end. I blogged about it just now because like you, I think it’s vital to learn how to navigate the SAD world with grace and perspective. Thank you for setting me straight. I know my kids would thank you too!

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