The Paleo lifestyle can be great for adults and children. The health benefits are great for children, because the Paleo diet is centered around wholesome nutrition that helps children’s growing bodies and brains. It allows you to avoid processed foods, which are heavily filled with sugar, sodium, empty calories, and hydrogenated oils. It’s been no secret that we are battling an obesity epidemic among children across the world. In our modern society filled with processed foods, children are also developing symptoms of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
It’s all about choices and guidance
When it comes to a picky eater or needing to avoid a particular food allergy, the Paleo Diet is full of healthy choices. The idea is to present these choices to children, so they can get used to the lifestyle. With guidance, kids will learn to make good, healthy food choices as they grow, especially if parents model the behavior that they want their kids to learn.
Paleo can be introduced from the very beginning
Children are able to tolerate eating solid foods usually around age 4 to 6 months old. A sure sign they need solid foods would be when they have a growing appetite beyond breast milk or formula. At this stage, children love eating healthy food because it’s all that they know. The use of a food processor for fruits and veggies can be incredibly helpful when pureeing Paleo-friendly baby food. Liver, which can be pureed, is a great source of iron and is nutrient-dense. Many children can become iron-deficient, particularly in the early years. Egg are full of nutrition are an excellent protein choice, as well.
Paleo as they grow
Once children are in the toddler years and have enough teeth to chew, they can eat just about anything adults eat. Be very careful with foods that present a choking hazard, such as grapes. Cut grapes into halves or even smaller. Just the same, cut less-dense meat into very small pieces and supervise. Toddlers and preschool-aged children can be natural grazers and love to eat with their hands.
Combat pickiness with choices
Pickiness can make an appearance in the toddler and preschool years, too. It can become very challenging, but keep offering lots of healthy choices.
When kids reach the elementary school, middle school, and high school years, they are well aware of the tempting treats that line store shelves. There can also be wiggle room; allowing your child the occasional piece of candy or cupcake at a birthday party or class party, for instance.
Use the Paleo lifestyle to bond
Creating Paleo meals together in the kitchen and letting kids choose what fruits and veggies they like while grocery shopping, all make a big impact. It’s all about having a positive attitude towards Paleo food and educating children as they grow into adults. Food should always be seen as a way for the family to bond.