Switching to a Paleo lifestyle can have its challenges. When kids are involved, it can be even more complicated. Usually, going Paleo wasn’t their idea, so they may be resistant. But if your goal is to help your kids to be as healthy as possible, they’ll appreciate it in the long run. To help ease the transition, here are some tips to going Paleo with kids. Plus a huge list of kid-approved Paleo snack ideas.
Tips for Transitioning Kids to Paleo
It’s all in how you approach the change with your kids. If you force it on them all at once, you may end up with a dedicated rebel to your cause. Instead, make the transition gradually and get them involved. Here’s a few tips:
- Explain the reason for change: This is especially important for older kids. Don’t just go for a “because I said so” approach. Kids will be much more likely to go along with the new plan, if you explain why you want to eat this way, and how much healthier they will feel when they do.
- Find Substitutes for their Favorites: While it’s not a good idea to eat tons of Paleo cookies, breads, and desserts, a few here and there will help kids with the transition. You might start by substituting their favorites, but gradually get them used to eating more fresh foods.
- Involve Kids in the Cooking Process: Inviting kids into the kitchen to help will get them excited about the food their eating. Plus, it teaches them important life skills.
- Consider Rewards: Discuss a non-food reward for sticking with your new lifestyle. Maybe a family vacation or fun activity if you can stay with it for a set time period. This will get kids excited and positive about working toward the goal.
- Provide Lots of Snacks: Keeping healthy food available around the house will help keep hunger and cravings under control. It’s not going to be useful if they feel like there is never anything to eat since going Paleo. Provide them with more healthy ideas than they can eat.
Kid-Approved Paleo Snacks
Before going Paleo, it was easy to head to the park and grab a package of animal crackers, in case your kids got hungry. But now, what’s a busy mom who wants her whole family to eat healthy, to do? You already know of a few snack ideas, but kids are sometimes picky, and it’s easy to get in a snack rut. In case you’re in need of a few more ideas for quick, portable, kid-approved, Paleo snacks, here’s a list of options. Note that not all are purely Paleo, but when you’re dealing with kids, we all have to make compromises:
- Apple slices and nut butter (but not peanut)
- Carrots and guacamole dip
- Unprocessed turkey slices with sliced jicama
- Blueberries and almonds
- Frozen banana slices
- Lettuce wraps with avocado and unprocessed turkey
- Deviled eggs (use avocado in place of mayonnaise)
- Coconut milk yogurt (non-dairy and no added sugar). Recipe to make your own
- Sliced banana with nut butter and unsweetened coconut flakes
- Homemade trail mix (combine your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit)
- Scrambled egg cups (mix veggies and eggs into muffin pan and bake until cooked through. Keep in the fridge and eat cold)
- Peaches with coconut cream (whip coconut milk in the same way you’d whip heavy cream to make non-dairy coconut milk cream)
- Strawberries and macadamia nuts
- Chicken salad (cubed chicken, Paleo mayo or smashed avocado) in a lettuce wrap
- Power balls (nut butter, dried fruit, and coconut flakes, mixed together and formed into balls)
- Strawberries and very dark chocolate
- Smoothie (frozen fruit, coconut milk, greens)
- Sliced grapes and cubed chicken with Paleo mayo
- Celery and nut butter
Your Kids Will Thank You
Teaching your kids a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy, but in the long run, they’ll learn that they feel better. It may be hard now, but if you stick with it, eventually, your kids will thank you for setting them up with a healthy base to begin their life.