Required Reading

Paleo Kids

It seems like an elusive concept.  Kids eating veggies, meat, and healthy fats and enjoying it? Aren’t kids supposed to eat kid food?  According to our media, kids will only eat foods that taste insanely sweet, salty, or comes neatly packaged in bright colored superhero boxes. I challenge you to consider this: Who made this rule and why are we supposed to follow it? Something is wrong here, really really wrong. Think back not so long ago to Little House on the Praire days.  Could you imagine Laure Ingalls refusing to eat her home cooked meal and her Ma giving in and making her a “special” kid dinner?  Holy cow, no way in Prairie heck would Ma have done that.  So, why do we?

I used to feed my kids special kid food, that’s for darn sure and I did it because I fell into a routine of giving my kids “kid” food thinking that it was the only way I would be able to get them to eat at all.  It became easy, convenient, and my kids would eat a lot of that “kid” food without any argument.  Another falisy we seem to have adopted; children for some reason need to eat three gigantic meals a day in order to be healthy.  Again, we are have missed the mark. Kids have an innate ability that if not tampered with, will allow them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.  Often for active kiddos a day of eating will look more like grazing rather than sitting and wolfing down gigantic portions of foods.  Think about how small a toddlers tummy is and how much food it actually takes to fill it up and relax a bit if your little ones are not wolfing down adult sized portions at every meal.

Let’s think a bit more about  kiddos.  Are their taste buds different than a grown-ups?  Sure, of course they have a more sensitive palate, especially the younger ones who are developing faster than the speed of light and kids are different every single day.  Feeding kids healthy paleo foods does not mean expecting your little ones to love kale and collards or to hear them beg for more asparagus; it’s about offering them healthy choices and revelling in the fact that kids will eat real food when that is what you have to offer!!

Remember when you first started eating paleo?  You really craved those carbs, you cried for your daily doses of sugar, you probably, if like me, hated everyone in your family for at least a week because they were an easy target as you longed for your nightly bowl(s) of banana nut clusters.  But what happened next?  You started to feel better.  The cravings went away.  You realized that you loved how real food tasted and you started looking forward to your paleo meals and stopped wanting to die for your old food.

Kids are the same exact way, I promise.  We just have to give them a chance.  There are ways to make the transition less traumatic or not traumatic at all for that matter, and I have an entire section in my book dedicated to helping parents be successful in getting the kids on board the paleo train, and I will talk about the most important step here.

Get your kids in the kitchen!!!  All kids can help, even little babies can stir, drop in veggies, and add spices.  Older kids can cook, pick out ingredients, and even meal plan. Getting rid of all the junk food is paramount in your success.  If you  keep a stash of pop-tarts or apple cinnamon oatmeal, you WILL GIVE IN when you are rushed, busy, stressed and faced with a whining child. If you do not have the kid food as an option, it’s just that, not an option!  Serve your healthy meals with a smile and a kiss, sing and dance together in the kitchen, let your kids make a mess, let them choose what they want out of your healthy paleo options, be patient and know that even if your little ones decide to skip a meal out of total revolt, they will not starve. Maintain a positive and cheerful “we can do this attitude” and you will succeed.  Focus on what you will do next rather then the fact that the plates lack the pasta!  A fun game of soccer in the back yard or tag in the living room should be the focus for all kids – not the lack of hamburger buns – distraction is awesome!!

I realize 100% that this blog post is just the tip of the paleo kids iceberg, and I have written about this concept before but everyone needs a place to start; I know because I have been there. So here’s a list to focus on as you start your paleo kid journey:

1. Rid the house of the junk.

2. Do not make a big deal about the transition to healthier eating and focus on FUN!

3. Get the kids in the kitchen with you.

4. Do not stress out; your kids will eat!

5. Jump up and down for joy when you see them dive into a yummy plate of slow cooked chicken and sweet potatoes – why? See number 6!

6. Rest assured that your child is getting more nutrients and better nutrients by eating paleo than he or she would on a standard American diet and by removing the gut irritating grains, dairy, and legumes, your child is able to better absorb the nutrients that he or she is eating!!

7. Stick with it, you can do this, celebrate your successes, relax and live a little, enjoy your kids and let the messes begin!!

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. Thanks. Even when you know it, it sure is nice to hear it again! I like reassurance. 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you Annie!! : )

  2. Leanna R Glander says:

    I love this! It makes me sad to see kids eating cheetos (for breakfast), pop-tarts and happy meals in my gym’s childcare. I love a convenient meal as much as the next mom but I won’t sacrifice their health to get it.

    1. Sarah says:

      And time goes by so fast before we know it we won’t be cooking as much as we do right now and I know I’ll miss my little helpers in the kitchen… For me I have just grown to appreciate how much closer we are as a family now that we are more focused on health. We just need to keep spreading the word! : )

  3. Thanks for the tips and encouragement! Whenever I hit a roadblock with my semi-cavekids I think, “WWSD?”

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Nom Nom Paleo! : )

  4. Jorge says:

    Excellent post! I can’t wait to read your book! I am desperately trying to find an effective way to get the rest of the family to eat Paleo.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you Jorge and best of luck to you!! : )

  5. Kimberly says:

    What a great article!!!!! I can’t wait to get your book! Thanks I now have a starting point to bring my daughter into the paleo circle

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Kimberly!

  6. Heather says:

    Thank you for this post! I am currently trying to transition my kids. I threw away the worst of the junk and am slowly letting them finish the rest. But I will not replace it this time! I loved the part where you say to remember what it was like when we first started and that the cravings do go away and real food does start to taste soooo much better!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome Heather, best of luck to you!!

  7. Whitney says:

    What a great post – I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said here! So many of my mommy friends say, “I can’t get him to eat anything but cheese and bread” and I can’t help but think to myself, “Well, if you’d stop offering him cheese and bread, he’d probably stop eating it.” My 2.5 year old eats what we eat, no exceptions.

    I love that you used the Little House on the Prairie analogy. I took my 9 month old in for his check-up this week and the pediatrician asked me how his pincer grasp was developing (grabbing things with thumb and finger) and encouraged me to give him “puffs” so that he could practice. Ummm…I’m pretty sure kids learned how to grab things before the invention of puffs.

    1. Sarah says:

      LOL! Seriously I doubt we had problems with our pincer grasp pre o’s cereal!

  8. Can’t wait for your book to come out! Thanks for the advice! My fiance and myself are completely paleo/primal. But our 2 year-old has been slow in getting there. She is so close and this was just the encouragement I needed. So thanks!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome Mari, and best of luck to you!!!

  9. Maria says:

    So, So, SO true!!
    About 2 years ago, for a challenge, I dabbled in the paleo scene (I still don’t like calling it “paleo”, since it can be attached to “another fad diet”…I just like Real Food eating!). The first two weeks were wickedly hellish and I wondered what the heck I was doing to myself. But then came end of week 3 and an incredible thing happened….no more after-lunch lethargy or wanting a nap, my abdominal muscles were beginning to be visible (without changing my activity level folks!), my digestion improved (what? I’m NOT supposed to feel bloated and crampy after eating dinner?!) and I just starting feeling great.
    Fast forward to 1 year later and it struck me that although I was eating better, I was still giving my kids the typical Americanized crap – fruit roll-ups, chips and crackers, pop tarts (gasp!), etc. Why?? Sure, it was easy, convenient food – but if I wouldn’t eat it, why would I be feeding it to the most important little people in my life?!
    I decided to change – it was a rough, brutal and often times questionable transition, but every so slowly, things began to change. The absolute BEST advice I could give??
    Get rid of ALL junk in the house and replace with good, solid foods. If it’s in the house, you will be tempted and relent to the ease and convenience of junk – it will happen. Once it was out of the house, we were forced to get creative with the real food we had at home. I made sure to always have leftovers that were easy to grab and heat (omelet muffins, homemade beef jerkey!).
    My teenage daughter got rid of her acne, lost weight, improved athletic performance. She’s THRILLED and is now 100% on board (she’s my hero!).
    Fast forward to today – I help as many people as I can, but especially parents. I am PE teacher and see the consequences of the standard american diet – it’s horrible. My hope is to slowly change the perception of food…one family at a time. 🙂
    Thanks for ALL you do!! You give me weekly inspiration to continue to advocate real food eating!

    1. Sarah says:

      Great story!! Thank you so much for sharing!! : )

  10. My kids are about 70/30 primal, and it’s been great. They still ask for cereal and bread sometimes, and sometimes I get it. I try to at least get gluten-free, organic, and low sugar cereals. They see these things as “sometimes” foods, not every day foods. It has created some funny situations when they have friends over. One child in particular will just not eat here. I’ll ask a few times, tell them what we have, and it’s super awesome when I hear my 8 year old explaining to his friends that he doesn’t eat certain things, and the things his mom has are super healthy:)

    I liked your comment about not eating 3 big meals a day. I skip dinner some days just because I’m not hungry. You should see how people respond when I say I don’t have breakfast most days! They say things like how it’s the most important meal. I say, “I am not hungry in the morning. I will not eat if I’m not hungry, it’s that simple.” Why on earth would I eat if I’m not hungry? Just because someone somewhere decided that I must eat at a certain time each day??

    1. Sarah says:

      Kids are very in tune with what they need which is so cool and I also have found after eating paleo for a few years now that I too am so much more in tune with what my body needs for fuel and when. We are amazing creatures when we feed our bodies correctly!

  11. Great post! People are always amazed that my girls actually eat vegetables– they look at me like deer in headlights when my 3 year old chooses the raw broccoli and salsa over the corn chips and dip. The bottom line is that kids will learn to eat the type of food that surrounds them. If you don’t eat veggies, your kids won’t eat veggies, but if you make it a point to keep good choices in the kitchen and to involve your kids the results are amazing. Whenever the cutting board comes out, my girls park themselves at the table so they can be my “special tasters.” Our job as parents is to set our kids up for success in all areas of life.

    1. Sarah says:

      Great comment Robin, you are so correct! Modeling healthy eating is so important for the kiddos!

  12. Kirsten says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I feel like me 3 and 5 year old are 2 little devils on my shoulders telling me to cook/ eat all the things I know I should avoid! lol I keep a stash of larabars for these occasions…

    1. Sarah says:

      Lara bars are great!!! Awesome treat option and tons of options to choose from!

  13. Deanna says:

    I understand changing my home, but what do your kids do at school, at birthday parties and out with their friends? Do they eat Paleo everywhere? Do they eat the birthday cupcakes/cake for their friends’ birthdays? Do they eat Pizza with their friends? Have you left those decisions to them? I have been eating mostly Paleo for some time and want to change my whole kitchen to Paleo. I am just curious what happens outside of the house.

    I love your posts and your website.



    1. WE are always thinking ahead about what foods will be served at parties. In the past I have brought gluten free pizza, snacks, and desserts for my kids at birthday parties. I can’t tell you how many times the other kids said, “Hey, where did you get that?” Now that they are older, they choose what they eat out with friends but since they have been gluten free for so long (paleo only in last eight months) their friends now often have gluten free options for them. Generally, they stay mostly paleo and almost always gluten free. My daughter knows the punishment for eating gluten is an itchy body of eczema which isn’t too popular with a teenage girl. Anyhow, it is possible and it is also amazing how many people are willing to help out once they understand how you eat.

    2. Sarah says:

      Hi Deanna,
      We cover this topic a lot in our podcasts! The reality is, we do not live in a paleo bubble. Fortunately, most of our close friends eat paleo so going to friends houses for dinner and get togethers is not a huge issue for us personally. When my kids go to birthday parties, I do not tell them not to eat the food that is there. If they had a severe food allergy I would of course have to take precautions. I have noticed now that we have been eating this way for over 3 years now that my kids tend to make better choices without me even telling them to. My kids notice that they don’t feel as great when they do not eat paleo so although they might partake at parties and friends houses, they usually try to make the best choices they can or not eat as much junk as they might have before eating paleo. At school, I’ll offer to bring gluten free or paleo options when I can and honestly I just rest assured that the majority of the time my kids are eating amazingly well and they are all healthy and thriving!

  14. Thanks for the tips. I will remember to keep toddler tummy size in mind and make sure to keep healthy grazing foods available.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Zibi – glad the post helped!

  15. Holly says:

    I agree 100 %!!! I have 3 boys as well 🙂 my oldest by far, had the hardest time with it. But like you said, don’t make a big fuss and they will eventually come around. And thankfully Eli has! You are an inspiration Sara! Thanks for ALL of the recipes and continued motivation to make this a healthy lifestyle change 🙂 you rock girl!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you so much Holly! So great to hear that your oldest has come around!

  16. Carla C says:

    My 12yo loves helping in the kitchen and my 2yo’s favorite spot is sitting on the kitchen counter while I make dinner. It’s all about what you give them and not being ‘lazy’ by giving them junk or drive-thru. I surely don’t remember being able to make Top Ramen when I didn’t like what my mom had made, or driving to multiple fast food places to get what each person wanted. I don’t understand why that is acceptable now. It amazes me.

    1. Sarah says:

      My mom too never made special meals for us and I’m so glad for that example that she set for me, I was not a picky child ever and I contribute that fact to my mom always cooking a variety of food and simply offering it to us without a fuss! : )

  17. I went gluten/dairy free over seven years ago (Paleo eight months ago). I quickly switched my then young kids to a gluten free diet when I saw leg cramps and eczema disappear after years of visiting doctors. My kids were eating healthy and loved veggies. What surprised me though was how family and friends reacted. They seemed to think we were abusing our kids by not giving them junk. I always told the kids they were too good for the junk and somehow as teens they seem to believe it. They are both good eaters, they know their bodies well and most importantly, they are happy!

    1. Sarah says:

      So great to hear that your teenagers are so in tune with eating well and realize that it’s the best thing for them! Wonderful!! : )

  18. Angela says:

    I love your recipes, and my kids are really warming up to it also. I have 3 children with ADHD, and one of which has had epilepsy since 3 years old. I have been told that this type of diet will be the magical cure for her epilepsy, but to be honest I am a bit skeptical. She is now 8 years old and we will be going to UCLA in a few weeks to talk about surgery to remove the part of her brain that is causing the problems. I believe that this diet may help with the severity of her seizures, but not necessarily knocking them out completely. I have also been told that this diet will also “fix” the ADHD problems. I haven’t seen any big “fix”, but it seems to HELP with their sleeping habits and self control. My 11yo has been underweight her entire life, and we have done test after test, but no answers. This diet has actually helped her gain weight, the healthy way.

    But the real reason I do this diet is to keep my family healthy. My husband is a bodybuilder, and I also train hard in the gym. But since I have started this diet I am finally losing that last bit of baby fat that just doesn’t like to go away! I have tried everything, but this actually works and I can eat food that tastes good too. WIN WIN!

    The one thing I would love to see a blog about are packing school lunches for the kids. I usually send them with fruit, veggies, and a soup. I would love it if you had fun alternative ideas for me. They get bored with the same old stuff, and I need to keep it fun for them.

    1. Aimee says:

      I just had to share this with you. I know someone with a child who started having siezures at a very young age and he has been siezure free now as a result of his diet. Maybe what she has learned could help you 🙂

      1. Angela says:

        Thank you so much, I am willing to try anything. But she has one of the most severe cases in Las Vegas. She has on average 10 seizures a month. Unfortunately, the only way she can live a normal life is to have this surgery.

        1. Sarah says:

          Hi Angela! I’m actually posting a blog next week that will show a weeks worth of lunches that I pack for Jaden, my 7 year old. My oldest who is 15 packs his own lunch and I’ll post those as well. Also my book has 2 weeks worth of school lunch ideas that you could easily rotate through. Also, check out these blog posts for more ideas!

          Best of luck to you and your family, please keep me updated! : )

          1. Angela says:

            Thank you. I guess I didn’t look back far enough. LOL I will be buying the book next week, we are a military family on a budget.

  19. Great article! I completely agree. It is our job / responsibility as a parent to teach our children. Our society has come to a place where we just pretend our children will learn what’s best from somewhere. As a Certified Fitness Specialist and Nutrition Coach for Seven Wellness I have worked with hundreds of individual adults and many families who struggle with the same issues. The parent says “but they won’t make healthy eating choices” and I ask them “who buys the food for your home, the kids?” They say ” well they won’t eat if I buy healthy food” and I reply with “trust me… they WILL eat at some point.”They learned to eat from our example. So if you tout them to eat poorly, set a new example and educate them on why your family is making the switch. This will work even in a two house hold situation for the kids with a little work and education. My daughter eats ok at her moms (reading food labels etc since she was 8) and then comes home to my house and eats ‘clean’. The best investment you can make in your kids is fueling their bodies for growth, development and optimal health as they become adults. Imagine if 15 years from now your kids doctor said..”if they’d have only eaten healthier they wouldnt have been at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure or even a stroke”. How would you feel knowing you could have put them on a different path, but thought it was too much work?

    Investing in your health and that of your kids is something you’ll never regret!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome comment Chris, thank you so much!

  20. TrailGrrl says:

    I don’t get the whole mini yogurts and chicken nuggets for kids. But then again, at 46, I am probably part of the last generation whose parents cooked meals and felt guilty if we ate out. The fed us whatever they ate, unless it was liver and onion night or saurkraut and spare ribs on New Years, because none of us would eat those.

    I remember my favorites…chicken and dumplings, beef stew, fried chicken, and my dad’s gravy and biscuits. You could smell my mom’s cooking when we got off the bus. My dad fixed me an egg and cream of wheat (lumpy) for breakfast. Green beans that we canned in the summer, tomatoes and sweet corn in summer, picking blackberries, and my mom getting me pomegranates when they were in season for just a few weeks.

    Also my mom making a real cake and homemade buttercream frosting in a big mixer. Sure we had junk, but we didn’t eat out of boxes. Potatoes were a staple, and fresh vegetables. Her cooking was simple but better than a restaurant. Other kids thought that something was wrong with the Mac and cheese because it wasn’t totally orange.

    My beef stew isn’t bad, but my mom was righteous with the pressure cooker. Margarine was new and my mom called it “oleo.”

    My husband remembers his mom’s homemade soup, brisket, and pizza dough. No, not paleo, but definitely real food.

    Kids will eat what you feed them, but it’s not easy these days.


    1. Sarah says:

      You’re right, it’s not as easy these days, especially because so few families are eating homemade foods anymore! I love your post and your descriptions brought me back to my childhood in which my mom made everything from scratch, even her own cheese and butter!!

  21. Danger Ranger says:

    You are seriously the awesomest and coolest person I have never met! I love how honestly you write. Your kids look like quite the characters! Thank you so much for the everyday inspiration.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you so much Danger Ranger!! : ) Yes, my kids are characters for sure, you can totally borrow them anytime – in fact this week would be great – I could use a couple of hours to get away for a pedicure and a massage… LOL! You will be entertained I promise but you have to like to wrestle and sword fight!

  22. Debbie S says:

    I am such a preacher of put real food in front of your kids. They won’t starve if they don’t eat it…right away. It goes against their cavekid instincts to starve than to eat veggies etc. We have been paleo for almost a year now, we have a 7 and 10 yr old. We have been lucky enough to have kids that just like to eat, no matter what it is LOL.
    I can imagine for those of you with kids that have a more selective palette, it would be like taking away the pacifier. They will bawk for a while, and then they will stop:)
    Good luck to you all….

    1. Sarah says:

      Great analogy with the pacifier, you are so right, kids will adjust and be totally fine and no worse for wear and better off for it by making the switch to healthy eating we are setting are kids up for life!

  23. Patty says:

    Thanks for a great post! I was wondering if you have any suggestions on how to handle “candy” holidays like Halloween and Easter, which is quickly approaching. My kids are expecting Easter baskets brimming with candy… what do you do at your house?

    1. Aimee says:

      Although my kids are still very young… (2 years and 6 months) this is what they are getting (Most of which is from the dollar store!) @ year old… Magnetic doodle pad, book, coloring book, crayons, cool new toothbrush, bubble bath stuff, stickers, and a little easter bowling set. The bowling set will be hidden along with our decorated hard boiled eggs (he loves hard boiled eggs!) He will also get a little dinosaur egg thing from Jelly Belly, because they’re cool. That is the only candy we got him. Our 6 month old is getting a magnetic doodle pad, a little board book, a soft little toothbrush and a little stuffed rabbit. I am sure there are plenty of fun things you can get your kids that aren’t candy and that they will enjoy just as much, and longer. I plan to give candy sometimes, but when I do I will make it count 🙂

    2. Elisabeth says:

      My 8yo daughter CAN’T have gluten or dairy, she’d be very ill. Even before our daughter’s diagnosis we were horrified by many aspects of Halloween and Easter (a real hoarding mentality, one place we went to before we were off gluten and dairy just dumped the Easter eggs on the ground for kids to scoop and stuff into bags, where’s the fun in that?! And no, this was even for grade school age, not the 1-year-olds).

      For Easter we’ve started our own tradition of hosting an egg hunt at our house every year. We fill the eggs with stickers, colorful erasers, small fuzzy chicks, expanding sponges, etc. We really hide the eggs (well, there are a few left out pretty easy, and the toddlers/preschoolers get to go out first). We serve “brunch snacks” of colorful hard boiled eggs & fruit and some bubbly drinks. It’s great fun, in fact after the adults hide the first round, there are usually at least two more rounds of egg hunts as the older kids get in on hiding the eggs for each other. And it really meets many families’ needs—one of my daughter’s best friends is type I diabetic and can’t have all the sugar, and several other families are low sugar and low consumerism and/or have allergies/intolerances. Another family who comes is half-Christian/half-Jewish and likes having a celebration that isn’t quite so in-your-face religious. Odd how not doing the standard American thing for holidays ends up being really inclusive of the diversity that we have here in America.

      For Halloween, I’ll admit we’ve taken to making deals which involve sugar, but hey, it keeps her happy and healthier. We do trades for the candy she gets trick-or-treating. The first year gluten- and dairy-free we came up with a trade for chocolate chips that we knew were safe (x number of candies=10 chocolate chips). This past year, we scored and got her to agree to trading all her candy in return for getting dessert after dinner for 1 week. And you can bet that the desserts we served were a whole lot more nutritional than the candy(not all paleo, but much better). For a while here in our town, there was a dentist who would buy candy by the pound the day after Halloween. Our daughter would never go for it, but you could possibly try this in your own house with your own kids. Eventually trick-or-treating will not be the big thing it is now for our kids, and it’ll be easier to avoid the sugar for that holiday.

      It’s compromise and negotiation and an ever changing work in progress, but we have fun, we include others who feel left out, and I think it often causes us to get at the heart of a celebration and get rid of a lot of extra, stress-causing stuff that we don’t need. We’re also teaching that for each and every holiday, it looks a bit different for every family. And that’s ok.

      1. kari says:

        Another great Halloween option is the “switch witch” The idea is the kids leave there candy for the Switch witch on Halloween night and she switches it for a toy/book or item of desire 🙂 So the kids happily give up the candy.

    3. Sarah says:

      Hi Patty! I’ll be posting an Easter blog next week sometime but I do very similar things to Aimee. We color our own eggs and hide them for each other, easter baskets are not overflowing with candy but have a few small toys and new art supplies. If the weather is nice we fly kites, play outside and have BBQ. We focus on fun and family time rather then sweets and my kids always have a great time! More to come next week!

  24. Tanya says:

    Thank you, Sarah, this is great post,and I will recommend it. I remember when I first moved in with my husband and made salad for the family. He said, the kids won’t eat vegetables or salad. Fast forward 5 years later, and today they picked up salads to bring to school for lunch from TJs, with no prompting from me!

    Our problem now is that we only have them 50% of the time, and my husband won’t let me rid the house of junk food. I asked what their lunch was and here it is: bag of chips, apple, juice, granola bar, and occasionally a tuna or pb & j sandwich. Breakfast is usually a granola bar or a package of crackers. At least the dinner I cook is paleo.

    At least I am leading by example, although I am open any suggestions from mixed-families, and I looking forward to the new book!

    1. Carla C says:

      My family is like yours, only it is 2 of my kids we have 50% of the time. When it comes down to it, I try not to stress about what they eat when I cannot control it. It’ll only make me angry and there’s nothing I can do about it. What I CAN control is that my 12yo loves helping me cook and I think that is a great opportunity for her to see how easy real food is to make. I always have tons of fruit and nuts on hand for snacks. We can only do what we can do and hope that the ‘good’ parts rub off on them more than the other stuff.

      1. Sarah says:

        You have a great attitude Carla and your situation is actually something we cover in detail in our seminar. You are right, you can only control what you can control and maintaining a cheerful attitude and modeling for your kids healthy eating and getting them involved is the best way to approach the fact that they might not eat how you would like them to when they are away. Good for you for keeping a positive outlook instead of just being angry which is not very productive in the long run. : ) Best of luck to you!!

    2. Sarah says:

      Keep leading by example, gently suggest to your hubby to check out Robb’s book, tell him you love him so much and care about him enough that you want him and your kids to be healthy and that you think you found a wonderful way for you all to share in that together. Stay positive and upbeat, keep making healthy meals when you can, and try not to be angry because then you will be met with defiance. Stick with it and it might be gradual but I bet things will start to change. Best of luck to you!

      1. Tanya says:

        Thank you Carla and Sarah. Carla, you are right on, and I will keep that in mind. Today our 14 y.o. pickiest eater finished off the grilled vegetables I made! Woo Hoo! Sarah, I ordered Robb’s book and it is on it’s way. Today we had our home teachers come by and and asked how going paleo was coming along. My kids all said they like what we are eating and except for one, don’t miss the bread. My husband countered that if we were not supposed to eat grains, then there would have been a scripture against it. I had a good comeback, but it is hard to argue against God! I never heard of that objection. Luckily I’m not Mormon like my husband!

        1. Aimee says:

          I’m LDS/Mormon and you should show him this… Have him look up D&C 89:14-15. Verse 15 comes directly after 14, 14 talks about grains. 15 says (after 14 ends with a semi colon so it is without a doubt a continuation of 14 specifically) “And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.” I (personally) interpret that as saying that grains are for times of famine and excess hunger only. I would recommend showing him this also… After starting paleo my brother made a comment about the word of wisdom which made me wonder. So I looked into it. I honestly feel like paleo is in line with the word of wisdom (It is definitely more in line with it than the typical SAD diet, I would think. I think it is much less gluttonous when you really weigh them side by side.) I don’t think God would want us to partake of something so harmful to our bodies (You can also show studies that show how harmful grains, gluten in particular, can be. Here is one I read just recently. unless there was no other viable option. Just my two cents 😀 Hope this helps!

          1. Tanya says:

            Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will show this to him. This will really help.

            How are you handing home storage? I have also been searching for home storage ideas that are paleo. Right now I we have canned chicken and tuna, and veggies. Last I looked at the canning schedule, nothing in the next few months was paleo, but I know they will have other goodies soon.

            I just listened Robb Wolfs podcast and he talks about how his wife’s family takes communion with rice crackers, I am curious what have you done with that and did you encounter problems? Oh I am so happy that you made this comment!

            Thank you, Tanya

          2. Lisa says:

            Aimee, you’re right about the punctuation, but verse 14 says grains are to be “the staff of life,” and 16 says “all grain is good for the food of man.”

            I’m currently doing the Whole30, eating no grains, but when I’m done, I plan on incorporating good, whole grains back into my diet, in moderation. The big issue with grains is eating too many, with high GI especially. If we were working in a field all day, eating grains as “the staff of life” wouldn’t be a huge problem, but it sure is for me at my desk job.

        2. Aimee says:

          We haven’t done any food storage. (Bad I know! lol We are a young family with limited space but I am sure we could find a way to do it if we really tried. I should probably get this started!) So I can’t really help there. Definitely got me to start thinking on that one! I do want to get a dehydrator though and do my own jerky, fruits and veggies. You can probably do those and maybe vacuum seal them?

          As for the sacrament, I just take it. That may change in the future but who knows. My mother had a friend who had Celiac and she would bring in gluten free bread for them to use. You could get a loaf and keep it in the freezer and maybe bring a little bit every sunday for them. I don’t see why it would be an issue. It’s not like they have specified bread that absolutely *have* to be used. Each week they ask someone to bring in bread for it. If anyone wants to know why (which it shouldn’t matter anyway) just tell them it’s for health reasons.

      2. Tanya says:

        Thank you Carla and Sarah. Carla, you are right on, and I will keep that in mind. Today our 14 y.o. pickiest eater finished off the grilled vegetables I made! Woo Hoo! Sarah, I ordered Robb’s book and it is on it’s way. Today we had our home teachers come by and and asked how going paleo was coming along. My kids all said they like what we are eating and except for one, don’t miss the bread. My husband countered that if we were not supposed to eat grains, then there would have been a scripture against it. I had a good comeback, but it is hard to argue against God! I never heard of that objection.

  25. Liz says:

    I’ve read all the comments and a couple REALLY resonate with me! About people acting like I’m abusing my kids because I don’t let them eat crap….we get it ALL THE TIME. Since when does “being a kid” mean “eating garbage and watching TV constantly.” GR! I’ve said that forever and it is sooo good to hear other people say it, too!

    As for candy-holidays, I just get creative. It’s tons more expensive (and worth it!), but we have two girls (5.5 and 2.5) and they get spring-y socks, fun kid lip glosses, books, jump rope and sidewalk chalk, flower seeds, etc. We fill the eggs with a yummy cranberry trail mix the girls love. We’ve been doing that forever so they don’t know any better. I have a great friend who just made the switch and her pleasant, straightforward “we just don’t eat that kind of stuff anymore because it’s not healthy for you” seems to do the trick.

    GREAT post. Thanks!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome ideas for Easter, thank you!!

    2. Liza says:

      Liz, what a WONDERFUL idea to put trail mix in the eggs! I have been trying to think of things to put into all of these plastic easter eggs, and it has been really hard! Thank you so much!

  26. Samantha says:

    Thx for this blog post. I have an everyday struggle with this and hopefully will have the confidence to go full throttle.

    1. Sarah says:

      You got this Samantha!! Keep me posted on your progress!

  27. Maria Spinelli says:

    First, Sarah, I love your blog and your cooking demos – I hope that someday we will see you on television with a show of your own. In the meantime, your easy recipes and non-scientific, busy mom approach to paleo eating is indeed helping me bring this into my home. This is a lifestyle change and I want it to last in the long run, so I’m easing into a paleo diet. Switching overnight would be too stressful; I’ve tried it that way in the past and failed. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of making paleo dinners, and my daughters are happy eating them, I feel ready to move on to improving our breakfasts, lunches and snacks. I’ve thrown nothing from our “old” ways away. I let the cereal, sugar, yogurt, and muffins run out while we tried new things. My carb-addicted 12 year old now can add spinach to the very short list of vegetables she eats. I don’t think we would have gotten her to eat it if she couldn’t have it without a bit of grated parmesean cheese. I intend to fade the cheese and choose my battles. Our recent Lara bar tasting “party” was also a success; again my finicky 12 year old found a favorable substitute for her daily sugary granola bar. With mint tea on the menu, she’s also learning she can get through a few days without cow’s milk. Bringing in the new healthy options before eliminating every familiar “comfort” food has helped to gently acclimate my girls to their new diet. There haven’t been fights or complaints. I’m not overwhelmed by paleo anymore; we will get there in our own way, one day at a time. Thank you for your help.

    1. Sarah says:

      So awesome to read your comment and so great that your kids are starting to adjust. Good for you and keep me posted on how things continue to go!

  28. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this post!
    Ill be a mommy in 2 months and have been eating paleo for 90% during my pregnancy. It makes me really sad to see other parents give in to their children when they are wining because they want fries. Everything’s true what you’re saying. Be patienced, make it fun and let them realise what a carrot is and how it grows. I can’t wait to try it with my own kids ;)!

    1. Sarah says:

      Congratulations Kelly!! So excited for you!!

  29. barbara svenson says:

    A super refreshing post! As someone working in a University and seeing the current crop of young adults with terrible eating habits, no knowledge other than CW about diet and health…. if even that, and waaaay too much a sense of entitlement as well as all the mental issues associated with sugar consumption. I applaud all parents who put forth the effort – time, planning, strategy to do this for your kids – you are going (for now at least,) against mainstream CW, you are being their parent first vs their best friend (also against most current mainstream parenting….) Giving your kids this lifestyle will stead them well for rest of their lives – a pretty great gift. You all are really great!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you Barbara!

  30. Nicely said, and not said often enough. Antonia Lofaso just said the same thing on the Top Chef All Stars reunion and I actually clapped in my living room. Stop treating kids like magical aliens.

    1. Shelly says:

      That was awesome, wasn’t it!?!?!? Novel concept.

    2. Sarah says:

      Love it Joe!! Magical aliens.. LOL!

  31. This is such a great article! We started eating Paleo about a month ago. Our 7 yr old daughter who has Celiac, started to have the same symptoms that she did a year ago, we she was diagnosed. She had been gluten free for a year in January when the bad stomachaches and headaches started again. After doing a lot of research we started her on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which helped, but not completely. We then removed dairy and while she is not yet 100%, she is much better. I’m guessing that it will take awhile for her gut to heal and for the symptoms to completely go away. I have to say that I almost cried last night though, when she asked for second helpings of the spinach salad!!! We ALL will be more healthy because of her. Now, to just get over the cravings!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Isn’t it amazing to hear your kids ask for more of the good stuff! So glad to hear that she is doing better please let me know how things continue to go, I’m sure you’ll see more improvement as she continues to heal! Hang in there, those cravings will get better, I promise!

  32. Shelly says:

    It makes me want to scream when people say, “my kids won’t eat that way.” Kids are amazingly smart, and seem to know what their bodies need! Just last weekend it was my turn to do snack for my daughter’s softball game. In a moment of parent/mind/stressfrenzy breakdown, I purchased a box of twinkies to go along with the Stretch Island fruit leather and water or Hansen’s juice box options that I was already getting. It was the first time in my adult life that I have EVER bought these things, and I still have no idea why I did it. ANYWAY, to the point. As the girls came out of the dugout, every single one of them opted to take a fruit leather, skipping the twinkies entirely. Some came back to ask if they could have another fruit leather. Not a single twinkie was taken. I was super proud of them. Kids WILL eat the healthier option – we just need to expose them to it a bit more often!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome story, thanks for sharing!!

  33. Erin - Age 7 says:

    Having trouble finding Sunday breakfast? Try paleo pancakes. It’s simple. Here’s the recipe. 6 eggs 1can coco. milk 2 t. vanilla 1/2 T. baking soda 1T. honey 2t. cin.
    Beat eggs until frothy. Mix rest ingredients together. Cook on griddle. Keep cakes small. If difficult to flip, cook longer. Serve with jelly or applesauce. Tastes best warm.
    This recipe makes great muffins!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Erin, thank you so much for the awesome recipe, I’m going to make them for my kids right now and I’ll let you know how they turn out. Did you add any coconut flour or almond flour to them?? You rock!!!

  34. Charlie says:

    Thanks so much for the work (and I know it is work sometimes) you put in this site. You have great recipes that my family enjoys on a weekly basis. I have 16, 14, & 12 year olds and it is tough getting them to eat paleo. They also have the “other parent” every other weekend that doesn’t believe in paleo. It makes it really tough to keep them clean.

    But the main reason for my post to this particular article is that I faced some pressure this morning from my 12 year daughter that had a slumber party. Her and the other 3 girls were begging for donuts or something non-paleo. They all frowned at my offer for eggs, sausage, bacon, and fresh fruit. Once I started cooking my breakfast, attitudes changed quickly. Over a dozen eggs, a pkg of bacon, bag grapes and package blueberries later, I had a happy group of girls. So the timing of me finding this post (I’m planning my week’s meals out and your site is typically my starting point for ideas) was great. Reminded me that I made the right decision.


    1. Sarah says:

      Love it!! : )

  35. Lori says:

    Thank you so much for this article and all your wonderful recipes! I’ve had Crohn’s Disease for the last 14 years and even lost my entire colon to it. 4 months ago I thought I was going to get a permanent ileostomy because I was having such severe problems after the birth of my daughter. My doctor recommended the Paleo Diet and my health has improved remarkably and I’m no where near considering surgery now! We’re also putting our daughter on Paleo in hopes that she will not suffer with my disease, as it is genetic.
    With babies, do you recommend avoiding dairy completely? We’re concerned about her getting enough calcium and fat until she’s two. Would goat’s milk be okay for a year?
    Again, thank you for what you do!!

    1. Sarah says:

      I do recommend avoiding dairy. Dairy hinders iron consumption, makes kids too full to eat the nutrient rich foods that will give them what they need, and promotes cell growth of both good and bad cells which to me is scary. Check out for more awesome ideas on how to raise a paleo baby without the milk!

  36. Tanya says:

    Sarah, I improvised a paleo teriyaki marinade tonight that was the bomb. The kids loved it. Do you want the recipe? I love coming up with new recipes and want to send them to you for any improvements you may have. Do you have a place or forum for recipes we want to share?

    1. Sarah says:

      Yes, please share! I totally need to start a recipe sharing forum. If you like, you can just post it right here! : )

      1. Tanya says:

        Paleo Teriyaki
        1/2 cup coconut aminos (you could put in more)
        2 cloves garlic, minced
        2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I probably put in more)
        1/2 cup white wine or sake
        1/2 cup pineapple juice
        1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
        2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
        2 tablespoons local honey (optional)

        I mixed this and marinated 4 lbs chicken thighs and drumsticks for 3-4 hours by using 2 gallon sized ziplock bags, sealing them and turning them over every hour. Then I grilled them on the BBQ. The flavor went all the way through.

        This was a mild teriyaki, you could kick it up by adding more aminos, more garlic, ginger, etc. You could leave out the lemon juice, wine, or rice vinegar if you don’t have it. A nice addition is sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Maybe you can play with it a bit more and improve it?

        Bon Apetit!

  37. Sarah, I’m Erin’s mom … 3/4c. coconut flour. Our girls just love these for Sunday morning breakfast! Keep up the great work!

    1. Sarah says:

      Too funny but that’s EXACTlY the amount of coconut flour that we added to the mix. They were great!! Jaden is eating the left overs right now! : ) Tell Erin we loved them!

  38. Thank you for this — I definitely needed this reminder. I’ve fallen into a food rut of “kid foods” for my 4 1/2 year old (whereas I feed my 1 1/2 year old anything I’m eating) and then feel guilty for knowing that he’s eating not the best food. Also, I’m sick of cooking a kid meal and a grown-up meal. I’ve been primal for almost a year now and will never go back to the way I used to eat. It’s time for me to do something about my kids — I appreciate this post.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Robyn, and good luck with everything!

  39. I have found it to be most important to focus on fun. I’ve raised my daughter paleo the whole way and know that making sure she has plenty of non-food-centered fun pretty much eases her food cravings. There are a lot of pressures outside of the house and keeping her mind off food is the real challenge. I have found that eating at home really isn’t so difficult. Like Sarah said, don’t make special kids plates and don’t keep non-paleo food in the house. They will eat when they’re hungry and they will like it too.

    1. Sarah says:

      Great comment – kids should be more focused on fun stuff not centered around eating anyway and this is a great approach to get them excited about other things!

  40. PaulL says:

    Hey Sarah,

    Great article! I’ve seen this transformation in my own kids as we’ve move over to a paleo life. Of course, being kids, they still want the cake and ice cream and candy when at birthday parties, etc. And I’m okay with that, since those are rare occasions, and we shouldn’t be sucking all the fun out of being a kid. I figure I survived well into my 30’s eating a lot worse than the occasional treat, so will they 🙂

    A quick anecdote that told me I had finally succeeded in getting the kids to accept paleo: We were having fish for dinner a week or two ago. I had bought this gorgeous 2 pound fresh, wild-caught, Alaskan Sockey Salmon. We cooked it up, and it was delicious. My oldest, who’s almost 9, ate about half of her piece and finished all her veggies. Then turned to my wife and said, “Mommy, I don’t really care for the fish, could I have more broccoli instead?” We said sure, and she exclaims, with a fist-pumping, “YES!”

    How can you beat a kid getting excited over extra broccoli? She’s also my beef-jerky addict, and begs us for fresh cauliflower to take to school for snacks. You’ll be surprised with what healthy foods your kids will beg you for if you just give them a chance 🙂

    Paul – a very happy Paleo Dad thanks to Sarah 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome Paul, I love it, and thank you!! : )

  41. Charles says:

    Sarah…..great and timely article. I was pimping your book this morning to two of our mommies trying to get rid of that last bit of baby pudge. The biggest kickback I got from them on Paleo was the classic “what am I supposed to feed my kids”.

    Wonderful post and we can never hear it enough. Keep up the great work!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you so so much Charles!

  42. Gail Davis says:

    I agree whole heartedly. I was doing pretty good with eliminating the non-paleo food in the house (not restocking it). The kids were a little whiny but they moved on. The “big kid” in the house became my undoing. He had a meltdown because all we had was meat, vegetables and fruit in the house. He went to (insert mega store here) and just carb- and junk-loaded the house. He feels better now. He is the dinner cook in the house so a little hard to cook around him. I think for our next anniversary I am going to ask him to read (with an open mind) Dr. Cordain or Robb Wolfe’s book. I’ve gotten Mark Sisson’s cook book and leaving that around. I’m am also waiting in earnest for your book. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you Gail and good luck with the “big kid!” : )

  43. I’m not a parent, but have grand plans in my mind for what I will and won’t do when I do have kids (as I’m sure everyone does BEFORE they have kids). But the one thing I don’t understand is parents who complain about how their kids won’t eat anything but chicken nuggets. Or pizza. Um, why are you giving them chicken nuggets and pizza? I just don’t understand this complaint. My husband and I generally eat low-carb/Paleo in our home, and we’ve discussed how we’re not going to buy any of the pre-packaged, processed crap out there that’s geared to kids. Deciding what you will and won’t have as meal options seems like the easiest thing in the world to control as a parent. Maybe kids will throw a fit about not having something they want, but eventually they’re going to eat. They’re not going to starve themselves.

    I’m positive that it won’t seem so cut and dry when I’m dealing with my own kids, but my plan is to follow your example and only have healthy options available to my kids.

    1. Sarah says:

      Kids will not starve, you are correct, it can be a tough road at first for parents transitioning to healthier eating but it can be done with consistency, love, and by making it fun!!! Thanks for the comment!! : )

  44. Tom R. says:

    I’m at my brother’s house this weekend, and the discussion turns to my 4 year old nephew’s short attention span and how it might affect him in pre-K in the fall. My sister-in-law wonders aloud about the go-to ADHD “diagnosis.” I have to bite my tongue to not point out that a big bowl of Trix would send anyone, much less a 4 year old, into a brain fog that might not clear up for the rest of the day. My nephew is a good weight for a 4 year old, I think. I don’t have kids so it is hard to offer constructive observations, and my brother wants none of them. Keep putting the information out there please, Sarah. Hopefully, it will eventually sink in on those like my brother and his wife.

    1. Sarah says:

      I hope so too, that’s the plan is to spread the love as much as possible. : )

  45. Shazer says:

    Thank you for this post. Although I started my four-year-old eating very well, with a new baby and a big move, eating well fell apart this year. Add in grandparents who sugar saturate my daughter whenever she visits (despite my begging for them not to keep junk food), and you get the picture. I think I’ve finally realized that my daughter wants/needs to participate in food preparation in order to enjoy eating good foods. In our circle of unschoolers, so many of the mothers think that limiting food options is dangerous to self-esteem and development. It amazes me that they believe children will choose all of the right foods if given the opportunity to eat junk. Oy!

    So thanks for the post on your kids. Keep up the excellent work!! BTW, I pre-ordered your book and cannot wait for it to arrive!


    1. Sarah says:

      Great comment and thank you so much!!

  46. Tara says:

    I am so glad I found your blog and I am so ordering your book. My family has been gluten free for 2.5 years since my second son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. We have all benefitted from the change, but it hasn’t seemed enough. I still struggle with being overweight, no matter how “healthy” I eat, or how much I excercise. And I could not rid myself of the horrible brain fog that hits me every afternoon. My first daughter started exhibiting some serious health issues last year. She started losing weight (lost 6 pounds in 2 months), had serious PICA, had terrible dark circles under her eyes, had trouble sleeping, had frequent uti’s, and behavorial issues. She was hospitalized in November and diagnosed with hemolytic anemia (where the red blood cells are destroyed faster than the bone marrow can make new ones) and was also discovered that she had a full sized extra spleen. She had a blood transfusion and we were told that she would have to one every few months for who knows how long. The begining of January this year by suggestion of her pediatrician, we took her to an allergist and it was discovered that she had a severe allergy to corn. We cut corn and most other grains out of our diet immediately. Since than she has gained over 10 pounds, she is a bouncy, playful, happy toddler, her eyes are clear and sparkly, she has a normal appetite and eats our non-refined, whole food diet with enthusiasm. And her blood is only showing small amounts of lysing (destruction of the red blood cell). She has not needed another blood transfusion since November. Who knows if the diet has cured her, or if it has just given her body what it needs to compensate, who knows if she will ever need another transfusion. What I do know is that eating this way has made us all healthier and happier. I have lost 20 pounds and have dropped 3 dress sizes, I have greater energy and have found the confidence to join roller derby! lol… I still struggle sometimes with what to feed my kids (and myself), I can’t seem to get away from potatoes and oats. Especially for my kids. Thank you for your words, your ideas and recipes! It helps me to know it is possible, even long term!

    1. Sarah says:

      Wow, thank you SO much for sharing your story with us! : ) Best of luck to you and your family!

  47. Greg says:

    I remember when I told my wife we were removing all the Cheerios from the pantry and her and my 3 year old daughter would now be eating eggs, meat, fruit and almonds for breakfast. They were both scared to death! Now, we try to maintain six days a week paleo and have our one “cheat meal” on a Saturday night when we eat popcorn and watch a movie. This is great stuff, thanks for the encouragement. It helps my wife stay focused to see other moms doing the right thing. So, thanks Paleo moms!!! Keep posting!

  48. Stephanie says:

    My husband and I are on day 1 with the kids going Paleo + organic whole milk (so I guess more Primal than full Paleo?) They have resisted some but it’s not as hard as we thought it would be because we have already weened them off of so many other things like cereal, cookies, pasta, ect. They do want their Peanut butter sandwiches though 🙁 And kethup. But we will keep it up!

    1. Sarah says:

      Best of luck to you Stephanie!!

  49. Amanda says:

    Thank you for this encouraging post.

  50. We have four kids between the ages of 5 and 11 and have been trying to do Paleo for 6 months or so. I say trying because we just recently cleaned out our cupboards. I think this may have been the turning point for our kiddos. I found them sneaking into the kitchen for a late night snack. The goods? A can of olives and some baby carrots!! Kids will eat, and LOVE what you have available for them!

  51. Thank you for this – I’ve been “converting” my kids for about 3 weeks now – All the way (ie: there is no junk in the house) It started tough and still has it moments, so I read these articles and your book in order to strengthen my resolve and keep going! I would LOVE some videos for my boys to watch – of teen boys or athletic, strong men – talking about how happy they are, how powerful they are, and sharing some of their yummiest foods and snacks (I’m raising two boys, 10 and 8) Other powerful men might reach them and convince them better than Mom 🙂 Anyhoo…. Keep the recipes and articles coming. Everyday Paleo is the new “Bible” in our house, along with Robb Wolf’s book! Pressing on in the Pac NW 🙂 Dana

  52. Carianne says:

    My brother introduced me to paleo eating about a week ago. Right about the same time I finished my job and became fully employed by my 2 boys. The few meals I have made my husband loves. My 2 year old loves getting in the kitchen with me. However, I am finding it very challenging with a very active and mobile 1 year old as well. The cooking is very time consuming and he is a “mommas boy” that loves to be held and loves to scream with his arms up in the air when he is not held. I am concerned if he may not get the right amounts of fats for appropriate brain development. Do you cut out dairy altogether or do your kids still drink milk? Any suggestions for a family on a budget? Suggestions for very young kids attempting paleo living? Thanks.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Carianne,
      I did cut out all dairy, and my littlest one Rowan has never relied on milk or any other dairy source besides the grass fed butter that we often use. You will actually be providing MORE healthy fats by eating paleo then with a Standard American Diet. We cook with coconut oil, make coconut milk smoothies for the kids, cook with grass fed butter, eat avocados, olive oil, and eat the fat from grass fed/ pasture raised animals and we eat these healthy fats with every meal. Your kids will also be getting more nutrients by consuming more nutrient dense “real” foods and without the gut irritating grains, legumes, and dairy products, you and your children will be able to better absorb the nutrients that you are getting from your food. To save time in the kitchen, use a slow cooker to make large meals and then rely on leftovers for lunch the next day, get a pressure cooker so that you can quickly prepare a meal, make big pots of soups and stews and make those stretch out over a few days by adding different veggies to your leftovers. I have a ton of suggestions in my book for getting kids on board a paleo life style and read all the posts under my Required Reading tab on my home page for more advice. Best of luck to you!!

    2. Rebecca says:

      I feel your pain on the cooking with an infant/toddler who thinks mom is the bomb (which is probably true!) and wants to be in your arms all the time. Try a sling that allows you to wear them on your back, so they are away from the knives and spattering oil, but still enjoying all the benefits of snuggling. I use a sling that is just a super long (probably 15 feet) piece of fabric, which is more cost effective than a pre-made sling.

  53. Alisha and kevin gibson says:

    We have a one year old little girl. how do we go about getting her to eat what paleo eats. you also say not to give them dairy, but what is a one year old supposed to drink then??? also what are we supposed to do with day care situations when we cant control what they are given.

    thank you

    kevin and alisha gibson.

    1. Goat milk is a great alternative and very tasty- if you are considering giving your child milk. It is packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals and fat! There is also Almond milk, Coconut milk but provide minimal protein so you will need to make up for that.

    2. Sorry and regarding daycare 😀
      My Son goes to day care where food is to be provided. I told them that he has an allergic reaction to Grains, Wheat, Gluten and Fructose. I explained his diet and gave them a list of what he can eat and said if its not on the list he does not get it.
      If your daycare is not willing to accommodate you then you can ask for discounted rate and pack his own lunch.
      Good luck!

  54. Staci says:

    Has anyone experienced their children going through stomach problems at first? My 4 year old daughter already has bowel problems, and is very sensitive to sugar and dairy. I am as well and recently started the Paleo diet. Once I got it figured out, trusted it and felt good I started my daughter on the diet. She is feeling better but the past few days was very lethargic and had very odd bowel movements. She spent the night with my mother and woke up last night in horrendous stomach pain from 2am to 5am. I told my mom to go ahead and give her a little oatmeal to see if that helps. I’m at a loss. I thought this was supposed to HELP her stomach. Is she just going through a bowel cleanse, detox stage? I’m worried. I really think this is a good idea for kids, but maybe something else is wrong with her stomach? I know my stomach got a little funky at first, I attributed it to all the veggies I was eating. My daughter definitely eats more meat than veggies at meal time, and probably too much of that. Should I have her eat less meat, more veggies and more fats? I guess I’m just confused. I was really hoping this would help her. 🙁

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Staci,
      I wanted to check in and see how your little one is doing? I completely disagree with Elaine’s comment below. It is scientifically PROVEN that eating grains, especially those containing gluten damage the gut lining and inhibit proper nutrient absorption, making a paleo diet optimal for not only adults but for everyone. I’m not sure why your daughter was having tummy issues, sometimes kids get stomach aches, eating paleo or not, she possibly could have been coming down with something? As far as what she is eating, just try to keep it varied, offer whatever you are eating, make it fun, offer her sweet potatoes, make smoothies with coconut milk and fruit, make meatballs with grated veggies, etc. Please let me know how things are going!

      1. Sue Nelson says:

        I can’t believe you would “completely disagree” with Elaine when she suggested seeking the advice of a medical professional for a child’s severe stomache pain. You shouldn’t play doctor on a blog! If you are going to claim that something is “scientifically proven,” you had better cite your source. And to maintain what little integrity you still have, you might want to make sure it’s a peer reviewed source rather than some other blog. Until I read your inappropriate response, I actually enjoyed your blog.

        1. I should have been more clear with my response, that I will agree with and I apologize. If someone’s child is sick and they want to take them to the doctor, by all means please do. What I do NOT agree with is Elaine’s comment about “everything in moderation” or that kids should see a doctor before they start eating paleo for approvel. One would be hard pressed to find a MD that will support eating paleo due to the fact that doctors are only trained in the field of medicine; not nutrition. Fortunately however, more and more doctors ARE starting to realize the validity and importance of the paleo diet, or at least going gluten free, and now we can find doctors to go to here: but it’s still not common to find an MD who will support a paleo diet, not for any other reason but lack of understanding.

          Your comment was hurtful to say that I have little integrity, that was pretty harsh to lash out like that. We can have a discussion without being rude I hope. I often have hundreds of comments to answer and I’m doing my best to help folks; that’s my objective, I just want to help so if I don’t always have the perfect answer, I’m sorry but I hope that makes me human rather than someone who lacks integrity.

          This link takes you to a page that links to several peer reviewed sources promoting a paleo diet.

          If you want more scientific sources including peer reviewed articles, please let me know.
          Thank you.

    2. Carri says:

      My son definitely experienced stomach problems after starting a grain-free diet. Our doctor recommended a protocol for him that basically made him Paleo: grain-free and free of processed foods. He was already dairy- and soy- free, and now is 95% Paleo.

      The first week or so on the diet he experienced flu-like symptoms: stomach cramping, lethargy, mild fever, and, like Staci described, odd bowel movements. I attributed all this to a toxic reaction to yeast dying off in my son’s gut, which is something the doc said might happen. (As a side note, my hubby went on a yeast-elimination diet which is essentially Paleo minus sugary fruit and he had a similar reaction.) It’s been smooth sailing since then. 🙂

    3. Amanda L says:

      Hi Staci,
      How is your daughter doing on paleo now? We have also recently switched to paleo with my 2 year old daughter. She has been having constipation issues and I KNOW it’s not from too little fibre (as all the sources you can find say!) Anyway, after doing TONS of research (which seems silly now because in retrospect the answer is obvious) and she has too little fat in her diet!

      My husband and I were so accustom to “dieting” even when we weren’t on a “diet” that we only ate and cooked low fat. This is after years of brainwashing that we should be eating high carb and low fat. When we switched to paleo, we were still defaulting to low fat everything. This made me realize how “afraid of fat” I’d become (meanwhile I just kept getting fatter and fatter!)

      Anyway, I only had this ‘realization’ less then a week ago and I’m pushing the fats big time with my daughter! Her favorite snack right now is kale chips dipped in guacamole! Lol! Anyway, I really wanted to make this comments so other parents out there could have another possible answer for digestive issues.

      Bloggers – I’d love it if some of you blogging about paleo kids did a post about kids and fat intake as I haven’t found very much info on that.

      1. Tricia says:

        You are totally right! Proper bowel movements require fiber AS WELL as fat and adequate water as well. It’s true that eating high protein without enough fiber from veggies and fruit can cause constipation, but adequate fat and water levels are major contributors to healthy colon cleansing movements. Have you ever experienced the “pebble-like” terds (excuse my description)? This is commonly from being dehydrated, not enough fat, or not enough fiber. Just my two cents 🙂

  55. Elaine says:

    Dear Staci,
    You need to stop the diet for your child and take her to the doctor and ask for their medical advice. This may not be appropriate for all children, so trust your gut and do what is right for your child. There is something to say for everything in moderation and I am not so sure that kids need to be following this with out the advice of a doctor.

  56. charity says:

    I am transitioning my 2 boys (7 & 12) and while I try not to make a big deal of it, my oldest is. He is telling me to “stop reading books” and the poor thing (sarcasm) just wants a bowl of cereal. I am trying to tell him about gluten- which he is sick of hearing about because I have Celiac Disease- and so this morning I challenged him to 30 days “no bread/gluten” and he said ok, but when I allow him to eat bread he’s never gonna stop. I want to give in, but I’m not. This is really tough.

    1. Sarah says:

      Good job hanging tough Charity, I know it’s not easy. Being that you have Celiac Disease, I would suggest talking openly with your kids about what you know grain can do to ones body, not to freak them out but just to honestly inform that why you want everyone to eat this way and that you love them and want what’s best for them. At 7 & 12, they can understand that. Then, make it fun, focus more on other activities then the food that’s being served and be patient, they will come around!

  57. Michelle says:

    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!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Michele, I just answered your question in my latest blog post, All or Nothing, I hope you don’t mind! : ) You were my inspiration for today and I hope my reply helps, please feel free to follow up with any other questions!

  58. nicole says:

    Weve been eating paleo about 6 months and finally switched the kids (ages 3 and 6) cold turkey about 3 weeks ago, I can’t believe the improvement! They’ve always been SO picky, its amazing what they eat now!

  59. Tricia says:

    I have been on paleo 85% most of the time since October 2010 the benefits are awsome and I have 4 kids ages 4,9,12,14 and of course my Husband.. I told asked them to take the 30 day challege with paleo .. My concern is my 4 YO and 12 yo are under weight and very picky eaters I am worried they will loose weight on Paleo.. any idea on that? should I slowly go like Zone with them then Paleo? that is how I started out so it was not as hard to make transition.. any thoughts are appreciated thanks

    1. Sarah says:

      I wouldn’t worry about zoning for your kids, that would be a freaking nightmare in my humble opinion to have to weigh and measure food for all of your kids. Let them eat when they are hungry, do not think in a “low carb” perspective with kids, so lots of sweet potatoes, coconut milk smoothies with big scoops of coconut oil, cook with grass fed butter or ghee, pour coconut milk or heavy cream over berries for dessert, offer protein with every meal and snack, make avocado dip for veggies, and you will be good to go! : )

      1. Tricia says:

        Thank you I am going to give it a try.. If all the junk is out of my house they will have to eat someting 🙂 What if we are not coconut fans?

        1. Liz S. says:

          My husband is allergic to coconut! What can I do for him?

  60. Christina says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I have a 2 1/2 year old son and his dad and I split time with him, which means he has four places where he eats: 1) my house 2) his dad’s house 3) daycare four days a week 4) his grandparents’ house one day a week. Once he started going to daycare that’s when I noticed his eating habits change and now he’s a typical picky toddler, aside from his love for Larabars and Fruit Leather. Any advice on the daycare situation? Should I just focus on what I can control, which is the time he spends at my house?

    1. mark says:

      Christina, i am in a similar situation as you! i have 50% custody of my daughters (4 and 6 years), and i have them every other week. Its great except there is a plethora of places they eat at, school/daycare, babysitter (which isn’t always the same, depending on the week), my house, their moms house, etc.. It does make it more difficult to control their diet, however i do focus on what is within my control! I figure its better than nothing!

  61. Hi Sara,
    I’ ve been eating Paleo for 4 Months now and i’m Flint great!
    I can’t do it 100% but around 80-90%.

    I have a 6 Months old son. My wife could Not breastfeed anymore, so we had to Fry something else.

    We give him Baby Food once a Day plus formula milk 3-4 times.
    It Works good and now we also try mashed fruits in the afternoon.

    Now we have to move on. But how???

    What can i feed my Son?
    I read about sweet potato mash or other fruit mash…..
    What did you feed your kids?

    Cheers JJ

    1. Medea says:

      Hi JJ! I just wanted to say that it is really easy to make any food baby/young child friendly. All you need is a good blender and cooked food and you’re ready to go! I’ve had several health nut friends who did this for their kids, as it’s a much less expensive way to include whole, organic foods in your child’s diet.

      As a reminder if you’re blending the food your family eats, acidic fruits may be hard on young stomachs, and if you were eating honey in a dish (since you say you’re not 100% paleo) do NOT blend that one for your child – honey can be deadly to a young child.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Renee says:

      I made all my daughters food. I simply went to the baby food aisle & looked at what they jarred. Then I went to the fresh area of the store, picked up the items, and cooked them at home.

      For any veggie you simply peel, add filtered water, boil until very tender, then puree in blender with the water you just cooked them in. I then poured into ice cube trays and froze. Popped them into a zip-loc bag once frozen. I’d make a pot of food a night. Took me about 15 mins a night to give her 100% organic preservative free food 😉 after about a week I didn’t have to cook for a few weeks since I had a good stash built up. To reheat I simply put in the microwave for a few secs or you could defrost in the fridge over night (I always forgot to take out).

      So now my daughter is 17 mths old and eats her veggies before anything else on her plate! I really think its because her first foods were real food so she knows/expects them to taste this way!

  62. DeAnne says:

    I have two boys, 8 and almost 11. I’ve been trying to eat paleo since Jan and my husband has recently gotten on board too. What the boys eat at dinner is mostly paleo and has been a pleasant surprise some nights, but overall it’s been a challenge. I just can’t seem to visualize them eating paleo all the time. It’s a challenge especially with my younger one, as he has texture issues and will only eat fruits or veg if they’re pureed. It’s just not practical for me to puree food (or even heat it out of the freezer) every time he wants a snack and for every meal. He won’t eat nuts either, so that leaves just meat. More problems arise because he is on ADD medicine (yes, I know, we tried everything before we went to that) which affects his appetite and I really have to push the food and make sure he eats.

    One dish he will eat, which is a holdover from our homemade baby food, is “green pears” – a head of broccoli florets steamed until soft, and mixed in the blender with a can of 100% juice pear halves (or you can peel & chop fresh pears).

    One more question – where does one get grass-fed butter?

    1. Sarah says:

      You can find grass fed butter here: Also, if you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, they actually carry Kerrygold butter in stores. Most health food stores will have grass fed butter as well. : )

  63. tracy hardin says:

    My family and I recently moved across country and with the move didn’t come our old pantry full of sugar and snacks. My husband and I started to try Paleo, but after the move we jumped full force into this lifestyle of eating and now I just wonder why we didn’t do this earlier. We have 2 teenage daughters who have been “picky eaters” previously, but now I see that is because there was a choice of junk before. Now, my 14 yr old is eating more veggies that every before and we are all feeling much better about what we eat. Both my girls are HUGE help in the kitchen. My younger daughter is definitely now a meal eater, but a constant grazer and she picks up more healthy nutrient rich snacks to eat now than every before.
    My only concern is portion size. Is there really such thing as too much of a good thing? I have a deep love of bacon and avocados – not an every meal thing, but is there a limit to what I should have?
    I appreciate your time and all this wonderful information! My family has truly been blessed

  64. Jordan says:

    I love this post! My son is anaphylactic with nuts and was wondering if you have any snack suggestions? Boys are very active and need the great carbs like sweet potatoes, but he doesn’t always want to eat them. He loves fruits, but when it’s not around is there something other than jerky or a Larabar to offer when we are in a rush? I’m thinking more on the fat/carbs. Perhaps a recipe for Paleo granola bars without the nuts?

  65. Alisha says:

    What food will stay good in a locker until lunch in school?

    1. Sarah says:

      I will pack just about anything! I use Planet Box lunch boxes and also an insulated thermos and for the lunch box I just include an ice pack!

  66. Hi there,
    I have been reading about the paleo diet on and off for awhile and have finally decided to take the plunge. Prior to this, we were whole-foods vegetarians. I have lots of organic grains and legumes in my pantry. Plus a few not-so-nutritious things (“organic” baking supplies, pasta, nachos, ice cream, etc.). So… my question is this. Should I go cold-turkey (no pun intended) and get rid of everything non-paleo (which is essentially everything in my pantry), or slowly transition by not replacing things as I use them up. I still have a bit of organic dairy in my fridge, which is not cheap. I hate to get rid of perfectly “good” food, even though I believe this diet will be much healthier for us. Plus, none of my children have ever eaten meat, so I believe it’s important to start slowly with that. Any thoughts? I have ordered your book but it won’t be here until next week.

    1. Hi Alissa,

      Our family of 6 became paleo starting last Sunday morning — myself and husband, kids ages 9, 11, and 14, and 21 months. I had been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for 3.5 years before Sunday, and cooked mostly vegetarian meals for my family, but also some meat. We relied heavily on grains and had recently made a switch to raw organic cheese and full fat organic yogurt.

      My oldest daughter (14) has had eczema her entire life that is brought on by dairy products. We completely eliminated dairy several times, but one can only eat so much soy cheese, and I was hoping the switch to raw dairy would make a change for her. Not so. Also, my 9 year old daughter has a lot of behavioral issues, and I could tell that dairy and grain products were making them worse.

      Long story short, we went completely cold turkey on Sunday. I tried to use up most of the flour and butter and other things we had on hand before then — we had loads of buttered popcorn and brownies for dinner Saturday night! I still have an unopened bag of whole wheat flour in my pantry, and an unopened container of organic yogurt in my fridge. I can’t bear to throw them out, so I am on the lookout for someone to give them to.

      I have been cooking from Sarah’s book for the last 4 days, and everything has been wonderful and SO delicious. The older kids have been a little harder to convince, but they are coming around. The baby, who was for all purposes vegetarian, has surprised me with her appetite for meat and has had no problems. And my husband and I feel great and I have lost 5 pounds since Sunday!

      I hope this works for you and your family!


  67. Wow! I loved this article and I love the comments here. I have gained lots of weight and have several health issues. After a coconut oil cleanse and then onto a paleo diet (for the last few days), I feel fantastic and I have started to lose weight. I want to get my husband and kids on board and I feel very empowered and motivated to do this now. I will probably start this in a few weeks, after I get myself stabilized (we do paleo breakfasts and dinners right now). Thank you so much!

  68. I’m totally convinced paleo is the way to go. My trouble is that I have a 7 and 4 year old. Both awesome eaters! Love their veggies (and fruit). I have found leaving dairy out of my son’s diet, makes his (and our) world a much better place! So recently my daughter was due for routine blood work, and I asked her Pediatrician to test for milk allergies (just out of curiosity). She added all food allergies and it turned out that she is allergic to cow’s milk!
    Eating at home, we typically never have a problem. But what about school (trading with friends) and parties? And forget about going out to eat with them.. Dessert is all so appealing to children and I feel so mean saying no. Any advice for those who really want this and know it’s best for the kids, but just hate to make them the ‘odd’ child who doesn’t eat ‘normal’ snacks? Besides get over it, it’s simply peer pressure. I just don’t want them to grow up and say they missed out on ‘just being a kid..’

  69. wendeth says:

    I’m glad I found this site. We are a Pakistani/American family and so researching Paleo is almost scary! (we love our rice). We’ve never followed the Standard American Diet, I’ve always been conscious of my daughter’s diet (now 4.5), but I’m even more so now. Because we also follow Kosher, I know she’ll be fine seeing other children eat what she doesn’t….she gets that we eat differently. On the other hand, I am not looking forward to taking away the roti, naan and rice from her OR my husband! (well, I can’t force him to do anything). I’m looking forward to trying the 30 day Paleo, I know there’s nothing UNHEALTHY about it…..personally we’ve pretty much been eating like that anyway, aside from needing to get rid of the grains and some of the veggies. The processed food won’t be hard (okay, we love a granola bar). We aren’t stuck on dairy, but my daughter loves yogurt. Looking forward to staying up on this blog and trying new things. All the best to everyone.

    1. Sarah says:

      So glad you found my site also! Welcome and please let me know if you have any questions along the way! : )

  70. CHAD L. says:

    I am in a similar boat to a lot of folks that have already commented. I love this post and have just recently started trying to convince my wife that we should take the whole family Paleo. We don’t really want to throw away all of the food that we have, but we have plenty of people to give it to. Is that encouraging unhealthy habits? One of our main questions is similar to other questions is the comments section of this post. How do we keep ours, and our kids new diet under control when we go out or when the kids stay somewhere else. Is the secret just packing their food for them, or should we just have a “cheat day?” In one of the above posts it says that you (Sarah) have answered this question in a blog titled “All or Nothing” but I can’t seem to find it. I would love to read that entry to find out what you have to say. Also, any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi there! Here’s a link to the All or Nothing Post. I think this article will help you tremendously!

  71. Amanda says:

    Hi there, thanks for this post. I love your book too Sarah, you are an inspiration to everyone!

    Can I please ask a quick question about the timing of meals for children. I have 2 boys (aged 2 and 4) who are about 80% primal.

    After 6 months, we have finally succeeded in changing their eating habits – (breakfast was the worst for me!). My problem is, that I am finding there are times where they seem to be hungry an hour or two after a meal, and I have no sooner cleaned up the dishes and chaos from cooking them a paleo meal, when they start squealing for more food. I’m not sure if this is a habit, as I have always allowed them to have snacks, or if they really are hungry (they do seem to have been through a growth spurt recently). Should I be giving them paleo snacks freely, as it does affect how much they will eat at the next meal, or aim to give them only 3 meals a day?

    I have loved reading the comments above, and wanted to share something that has helped our transition for our kiddies (particularly my 4 year old). Breakfast has always been a battle, as he wants ‘cereal’. Being a busy mum (like everyone) time is always an issue especially in the mornings, and I began to dread the 30 minute battleground my dining room became every morning…. so i decided to simplify! I picked 4 breakfasts that are paleo and that I knew my boys would eat. I then sat down on the computer and together we made up a chart, with Monday – Sunday. Under each day we wrote down what we were going to have ie. smoothy on Mondays or eggs on Tuesdays, then my son picked a picture from clipart and we pasted that underneath (he cannot read yet). I laminated it and stuck on the inside of our pantry door. I am amazed at the results. I only did this a few days ago, but when I mention breakfast now, he becomes very excited and races to the pantry to ‘look up’ on the special chart, and he proudly announces what we are having for the day (Of course I know in advance what we are having and have made sure we actually have eggs in the house etc lol). So far, no arguments or battles. My next obstacle to overcome is the snacking as mentioned above, and school lunches which I have to face next year!! Agggggggggghhhhhh Thanks everyone for your comments/advice 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda! Remember that a toddlers stomach is only the size of his or her little fist so eating more often is completely normal! Kids, like adults, should eat when they are hungry. At 2 and 4 and especially if you are feeding them paleo, snacking will not be habitual – my guess is that your little ones are super active and need the fuel! Make sure they are getting plenty of fat and some protein with every meal and that will help sustain them and healthy fat for kids is SO important for developing bodies. I love your idea for your breakfast routine and I’m sure other parents will see this comment and it will help them as well. Thanks so much for your comment!

  72. Lindsey says:

    We went Paleo a few weeks ago and i have four children (7, 5, 3 and 3 months). I have always been whole foods focused, so my kids are used to hearing “no” at the grocery store, but we used to eat “healthy” grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta (which now I realize were not healthy). The one holdout for us so far is cheese. The kids love cheese and my 3yo eats very little so when he wants a cheese stick, I figure it’s better than nothing (I know, I know, like you said, kids regulate their own intake). Should I cut out cheese? Because honestly, they will eat a ton of it when it’s available. My 5 yo eats like a trucker and can eat 4 cheese sticks for a snack so the whole moderation thing does not apply. I just feel Iike so many of their favorites have been cut out and I don’t want to give them the impression that this is about deprivation or suffering. On that topic, how do you remove foods that they’ve always eaten and deal with the whining? My 7yo is a fantastic whiner and asks “why” over and over again….my response “because I want to feed you nutritious food that helps you grow strong” is apparently not adequate.

  73. I agree with the Paleo diet and actually find it really easy to follow. At first it was hard, but once I bought Sarah’s book, everything seemed to fall into place for us. We are currently not 100% Paleo, but pretty darn close. I have a really hard time wrapping my head around how to wean my 1 year old off of breast-milk/formula and what to give her as a replacement. In my opinion, our ancestors probably breast fed for the first few years of life. That is unrealistic for me, but I don’t see how a toddler (1 year old) will get the daily requirements of calcium without milk. Yes, I understand they can eat broccoli, almonds, spinach, etc., but I don’t believe a 1 year old will eat enough in one day to satisfy this. Thoughts? Recommendations? Help!! 🙂

  74. Veronica says:

    Hi! I’m a mum of a two 100% Paleo little girls (2 & 4 years old). I have to say that commitment and sacrifice is need it, but our kids health have no price. They absolutely love their Paleo food, and I think one of the secrets is to use coconut oil, it gives a sweet taste to every meal, and kids love it! Also, to substitute milk (a big concerns for almost every mum) I use almond, hazelnut and coconut milk. Potatoes? Give then sweet potatoes instead! Kids don’t know that advertising has taught us that cereal is for breakfast, so, give them chicken, avocado and some fruit, if they are hungry and there are nor other choices, they will eat it! Good luck and go for it!

  75. It is so comforting reading that other adults and children have experienced stomach issues after starting Paleo. I have been reading everything I could find and nowhere have I read about any problems. Before Paleo I was very regular and had the perfect “S shaped” BM. I just finished my 4th week on Paleo and I have had stomach cramps and loose stool (some even float!) for the past 6 days. I’ve been studying nutrition for years and Paleo just made so much sense to me. I don’t want to give up but I don’t want to feel sick everyday either. Help!

  76. Amanda V says:

    I just wanted to add my two cent. I have a 3 yr old and we have been eating Paleo as a family for the past year and a half. This past month he went on a 4 day vacation with his Nana (who is not on the paleo train with us). He apparently was given free reign in his food choices which included…mac n’ cheese, spaghetti and ice cream almost every night. My only thoughts as to why this happened (because Nana knows how we eat and we had this discussion before she left with my son) is that she didn’t want to have to ask for “special” foods. Actually, that was her exact response when I asked her. Well, lil man came back with all kinds of issues that I know he used to suffer with before we went paleo. Sinus stuffiness, puffiness around his eyes, poor sleep habits, constipation. BUT…the most awesome thing happened. My husband and I were talking to him about his trip and he was telling us all kinds of things and then the last thing he said was…”all that kind of food hurt my tummy. I think it was all that ice cream.” I almost fell out!! Even at 3 he is starting to see how food effects him. I was one proud mama! All this fussin’ and fightin’ over this ‘Crazy Diet’, as the MIL calls it, has finally started to pay off. Just keep at it!!

  77. Trish says:

    I have been trying Paleo for the last few months but I am struggling with 4 teenagers who are extremely involved in sports. My son is involved in a lot of sports right now and I am having trouble feeding his body properly. Not only is it a matter of time but the heat makes it impossible to bring Paleo meals with me. Does anyone have suggestions for quick, take-along meals for 13 year old athletes? My fear is that right now he is burning out because of improper nutrition.

  78. Just wondering what families do whose children are vegetarian. My almost 7 year old has chosen to be vegetarian as “animals are her friends,” and I think she truly just does not like meat. I have never liked it either so I get where she is coming from. I support her in making her own choices about what goes into her body. She knows what healthy foods are and only has access to organic foods and we have very few sweets. Those that we do have are ones I make using home ground nut flours etc… (we eat very healthy). By two she was asking me in the grocery store if I could make healthy versions of the foods she saw around her that were not in our home.

    So what can I provide for her to increase her protein. She is lactose intolerant and does not like sheep or goat milk products, except for a rare few sheep’s milk cheeses. Until recently I was okay with her eating grains and beans but at the moment I am on the fence. I can on rare occasions get a slice of bacon, piece or sausage, or a few bites of bison burger into her but this is pretty rare. She does like shellfish but not other fish as “they are our friends.” So protein sources would be really helpful.

  79. Just wanted to add she is very active and outside most everyday for hours and participates in various throughout the week. Gymnastics, swim team i, ski team in the winter etc…

  80. Amelia says:

    Hi Sarah!
    I am in the process of researching this lifestyle for my family. We are all on board but I wanted to clarify a few things… as far as dairy goes I have read conflicting information regarding dairy products. I have heard doat milk mentioned, goat cheese, as well as eggs. Your family only does butter and eggs correct? No cheeses or dairy milk of any sort? I have a 10, 4 & 2 year old… is coconut or almond milk better choices for them? Also, is there a “Mock cereal” that you can do with nuts and berries of some sort for breakfasts on days eggs takes too long? Any info will help! Also any budgeting advice for the first shopping trip for staples would be SO helpful!! Thank you!!! 🙂

  81. I’ve had my 6 year old triplets on an 80/20 paleo diet for about a year now, and within the last few months, my 2 boys (who are the twins of the group!) have both been getting leg and foot cramps so bad they wake up at night. It’s occasional, so I attributed it to “growing pains” and moved on. Then, I realized that I’ve also been getting them quite a bit over the last year – occasionally they are severe, but frequently they are uncomfortable – which makes me wonder if they are also experiencing these too, but not mentioning it. My daughter is fine, but eats more like 60/40 – she likes her sweets and carbs, so she has been harder to fully convert. 🙂 I am starting to wonder if this is an electrolyte imbalance for us, and for me, it seems the fix is to supplement with magnesium, potassium and sodium and tweak as necessary, but how does one handle this with kids?! Have you had any problems with this or heard of this in kids transitioned to paleo? Any advice on this or where to seek answers would be highly appreciated! Thank you!

  82. Thank you so much for posting this. We have a series of health issues relating to food in my family- my father has diabetes, my mother is allergic to soy, gluten, and carrots, and I’m hypoglycemic. We had a scare with our 3 year old this week when a urinalisis came back and stated that she has very high levels of Ketones and Glucose in her urine- huge sign of diabetes!- Resutls came back today and she’s just fine- BUT STILL! As my husband and I were driving to diner to celebrate our anniversary- we decided that we both needed to get on board and stop the processed sugars and junk foods and trips to McDonalds- reality hit yesterday when my daughter (3) said to me- mommy the first window is to pay and the second window is for the food. I had become caught in the trap- the fast food trap-and suckered in because my daughter will eat three things- chicken nuggetts, grilled cheese, and chocolate cereal. I FEEL LIKE A HORRIBLE MOTHER!

    Since the birth of our second child (only a mere 6 months ago) I have gained nearly 20 lbs since halting breastfeeding and returning to work. And having literally just turned 26, and standing at a short 5’2″- 136 lbs is unacceptable when my size 6 (upgraded from size 4 -3 months ago) clothes are uncomforably tight and bordering on obcene. Not to mention the return of my teen-like acne! We’ve finally got a handle on our environmental contribution- all recyclables, composting, all naural plant based cleaners, so now it’s time to give our lifestyle the ultimate boost- go back to basics with the foods we eat.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! for posting about Kids and Paleo- I needed some seriously positive encouragement to whole-heartedly jump on the band wagon!

  83. Veronica says:

    Thanks for the great advice here. Paleo is something our family is “getting” committed to. We have been trrying to change our ways. We’re not 100% there, but doing better all the time. I don’t buy the junk, soda is banned from the house, etc. My problem that I am having is with school lunch. The lunches are terrible and I don’t want my son eating that garbage. But teens get embarrassed brown-bagging it and I wouldn’t know what to send. My work lunches are simply the previous night’s leftovers. Any ideas for me?

  84. cheryl says:

    Thank you for the motivation. I had started my oldest girl on a paleo diet several months ago and it went great at first. Then she got very bored and I was lost for meal ideas that she would eat. Unfortunately we got back into grains because it was easy and that’s what the family wanted and with a new addition to the household, I needed easy! Now I’m really regretting giving up and hope that there’s still a way of getting my family back to paleo woke keeping it semi-simple. I read your article and feel like it might be very possible. So thank you for that. I will keep reading your blog to get me through this challenging time.

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