If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me, “What do you feed your kids when eating Paleo?” I would be a gazillionaire… The short answer is, they eat what I make – and what I allow in my house. If you only have healthy options available in YOUR house, there will not be any need for arguing, negotiating, begging, or pleading. ALL the food in my house can be eaten whenever my kids want to eat it, there is no “special” food, reward food, or “dessert” food. If we DO have ice cream in the house, or chocolate, the kids can eat it. BUT this does not happen very often and if we want a dessert like ice cream we leave the house to get it. This way – it’s over, it’s done, and there are no crying fits for dessert after every meal. A big treat in my house is sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries with a drizzle of honey and served with home made whipped cream or served in a bowl with coconut milk.
Next big question I have been getting, what do I pack my kids for lunch? Pictured is what my 6 year old will have for his school lunch tomorrow. It’s a tupperware of chicken and hard boiled egg salad, carrot sticks, dried cranberries and pistachios, and mandarins. Sometimes school lunch will be deli meat, celery sticks, apple slices, and a dried fruit bar from Trader Joes. My 14 year old usually packs his own lunch of pastrami, celery and carrots, an apple, and cashews. Sometimes he chooses to eat hot lunch and comes home feeling like crap. He’s 14 and understands what happens when he makes his own choices.
Another question that often arises is how do we handle the need for a quick breakfast: My oldest is typically our breakfast guy. I teach early morning classes 5 day’s a week so my husband and kids are on their own most mornings. My son will fry up some bacon, scramble up a half dozen eggs, and then my husband packs individual tupperwares of eggs and bacon for everyone and they all eat in the car. Sometimes I’ll make a big batch of sweet potato and sausage hash that lasts a few days or I’ll make a giant frittata that we eat throughout the week. Hard boiled eggs are a must and I recommend always having a dozen ready to go in the fridge and you can see from my pics that hard boiled eggs do not have to be boring! : )
Also pictured is a bunch of after school snacks as well as food I always have in the car such as tupperwares full of nuts, dried unsweetened cherries, and pieces of beef jerky. I never leave home without a bag of beef jerky, dried blueberries, sliced apples and nuts. My kids are ALWAYS hungry when I pick them up from school and with food in my car there is never even a request for fast food. At this point my kids understand that fast food is horrendous anyways, in fact, my 6 year old got into a huge debate with his teacher the other day – his argument being that no one should EVER go to McDonald’s. She was teaching a health unit and mentioned that it is possible to find healthy choices at McDonald’s and that eating fast food periodically is ok… For those of you who know my 6 year old, you can probably imagine this conversation…
So, those of you with kiddos, you can make it happen!! Don’t be neurotic, but be strong. Remember, the food that enters your house is there because it was YOUR decision. If my kids go to a friend’s house or to a party, I DON’T attach a note to their foreheads reading that they cannot eat gluten or sugar, I just rest assured that 95% of the time they have real, quality food, and I SEE that they are healthy, active, and overall pretty amazing kiddos….