*Warning* I am not one to “sugar coat”. I will give you practical tips that WORK if you’re willing to do that – WORK. Still with me? Good…
SO, on the subject of “I can’t get my kids to eat *insert vegetable here*” or ” My little Joey won’t give up *insert processed junk food here*” – WHAT?? I am all for teaching children independence and how to make choices for themselves. I am not a big mean mom who runs around screaming at my kids like some crazy food nazi. Quite the contrary. We go outside and play. We talk on the phone when they’re not here. We love each other very much. We spend time together in the kitchen and learning together… I just believe that it’s my JOB as a parent to shape them into whole, smart, good-choice-making adults. If they don’t learn from me, from whom will they learn? So, here we go…
If you have processed food in your house, it’s going to look like a better option to children (and adults) who haven’t switched their palates yet. Change is hard. But just like dealing with any addiction, you have to remove the temptation. In my house, you will NOT find a processed food. Not one. So, what DO we feed them? Well, I do give them choices. They help me meal plan for the week. We choose foods together. With 4 kids, they’re never going to like all the same things. So, we make concessions. They’re aware that they eat what’s on the table or they don’t eat- end of discussion. (NO, something isn’t always better than nothing. They won’t starve. They’ll eat when they’re hungry. The first time you give in, they’ll know the option is there if they wait long enough.) All that said, when they leave your home, they’ll have the choice to eat what’s available “out there”. The best thing we can do is remind them they have a choice, and to just take mental note of how they feel after eating junk food.
For Breakfast: We do scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, or we do Everyday Paleo’s egg muffins.If we have extra time (on the weekends) we throw some bacon in the mix. This is also a place to get creative. We are just about the only country that separates our “breakfast food fare” from the rest of the day. You’d eat pizza for breakfast in the past, right? So grab some leftovers from last night’s pork or steak. There are so many options out there. Google some Primal/Paleo friendly breakfast foods, or, civilizedcavemancooking.com has a cereal and some pancake recipes that are amazing. Yes I COOK. That’s the WORK to which I was referring at the beginning. It takes about 5 more minutes than putting cereal on the table. Sometimes, my older 2 do it for/with me. It really isn’t too much extra. We have to be out the door by 6:30am, so, no excuses. Plus, If you boil the eggs, or make the “cereal’ or “pancakes” ahead of time, It’s grab and go.
I pack their lunches every day. The kids do this with me the night before – and they choose what goes in (here’s another place where there are no bad choices.) Typical choices are: Rolled up Turkey or chicken (nitrate free, no fillers),baby carrots, broccoli slaw, celery and a side of almond butter and golden sugar-free raisins,or Romaine leaves with Chicken salad (see recipe on this blog). I also just found that for my son, who was obsessed with PBJ, if I make caveman pancakes, I can spread on some homemade almond butter and sliced or smashed strawberries and roll em up..lifesaver. My oldest loves green bell peppers and avocados. I know this because we experiment with different things and decide which things they like. This will also save me money, because I’m not buying a whole bunch of stuff that they unanimously hate. They really don’t miss the bread. It’s better when THEY choose because then it was their idea, not something I forced. I don’t feel like I am depriving them. Actually, I feel that’s what I was doing before. Now, I think they’ll get through their day full and focused. WIN!
Dinner: Tacos on Romaine with homemade salsa; Crock pot pork tenderloin with Civilized Caveman BBQ sauce and sweet potatoes (My babies LOVE sweet ‘taters!), Spaghetti (made with ground turkey, or grass-fed ground beef, or bison) served over spaghetti squash, White chicken chili soup, (see my recipe!) the list goes on. This food is cheap to make (see my previous blog), easy to pre-make and reuse for the week, and MUCH tastier than that flavorless processed junk .I have actually found that without all that extra bread/wraps/etc you can actually TASTE THE FOOD. Take all the money you’re saving by not buying bread, cereal, pasta, and the like, and use it toward upgrading your cuts of meat and organic produce.
Snacks are Fruits, cut up veggies, Paleo-treats like cinnamon apple bars and apple flowers with almond butter dip. Smoothies – you can throw in a handful of spinach and they’ll never know the difference, especially if you’re using coconut milk and fruit. Really, When I first heard that I was like “GROOOOSSSS!” but I tried it today post workout, and it was DELISH! This can also be used at breakfast if you’re going to put a protein with it.
I will be having the kiddos help me this week posting Kid-friendly recipes they come up with now that summer break is here. I would also suggest checking out EverydayPaleo.com (she is my HERO) and also fastpaleo.com and civilizedcavemancooking.com, which are some of the best recipe sites on the web.
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