My Husband and I have been gluten-free for 4+ years now, and grain-free for about 10 months. It’s definitely a hard transition from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to a gluten-free one, and an even bigger transition to grain-free. I’m not about to tell you I’m 100% Paleo/Primal. I’m not. I skate in around 60%. It is a big struggle breaking those emotional ties I have with illegal foods. It is ingrained (no pun intended!) in my mind, in my heart, and in my body. However, my convictions are strong enough that I’ve chosen to raise my daughter primal.
To embed this lifestyle in my daughter from infancy promises her a way better future than many of us will see. I was raised on a healthy diet, almost on par with The Weston A. Price Foundation. Unfortunately, I fell prey to the “health” advice circling around. I know that I wreaked havoc on my body, which I regret. I do not want the same for my daughter.
Here are a few things I’ve realized the past 10 months:
Raising your children Paleo will raise a lot of eyebrows. It’s a grain-laden world out there, and scary things can happen when you let your “grain guard” down. Some of the first foods they suggest for babies to try are grains. All snacks—from first finger foods to toddler foods—are grain-based. There is no escaping. Most people will think you are crazy for avoiding these foods, some may even mock you, but hold your ground. I remember once telling my mom that I feed Zoey eggs almost every day, and her response was, “She’s going to have high cholesterol before she’s 1!” Of course my mom was joking, but some people will say things like this and mean it. You can’t let it phase you.
Raising your children Paleo/Primal is time consuming. Almost all premade baby foods, snacks and toddler food contain grains or other unwanted ingredients. That means you’re making the food, which is way more effort than buying it. It takes time to plan their meals everyday, doing the shopping, and doing the cleaning (oh the cleaning!). Raising them Paleo is messy! When you give them cheerios, you can vacuum them up. Hunks of banana and avocado? Not so much! In order to be a successful Paleo parent you have to have convictions, otherwise you might just give up because of the work!
Raising your children Paleo is one of the best gifts you can give them. Not only are you nourishing them, you are cultivating a habit and a lifestyle to care for themselves.
Some things I recommend if you plan on raising your children Paleo:
- Know your facts. You will be bombarded with questions and concerns about the way you are feeding your children. Do you actually know what physically happens when you eat grains? Do you know the importance and reasons for eating fermented foods? Do you know why pastured animals are better for you? If you don’t know your facts, you’ll get run over.
- Hold your ground. You’ve got the facts, and you believe them. Don’t let people change your mind.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can’t control every single bite of food that goes into your child’s mouth. There will be times they get an animal cookie or fishy cracker…it’s not a huge deal (unless they have allergies!!). Don’t fret, it won’t kill them.
I hope you find this encouraging. I know at times I’ve wanted to give up and just “go the easy route.” But I want to give her the best that I can and I want to set up my daughter to succeed. Don’t give up! I promise: you can raise them Paleo! Here are a few ideas I came up with to feed my baby to save you some of that precious time. She loved them all by the way!
Superpowers for Baby (9 months & up)
- 4 large, steamed carrots
- 1/2 C steamed green beans
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil or grass-fed butter
- 1/2 tsp spirulina
- steam the carrots and green beans
- reserve the water from steaming to thin out the baby food if needed
- put all ingredients in food processor or bullet until you reach desired consistency
- store for 3 days in fridge, or 1 month in freezer
Blueberry-Spinach-Pear Sauce (for around 7-8 months)
- 3-4 organic very ripe pears, peeled and cored
- 1/4 C Frozen or Fresh, organic blueberries
- handful of organic spinach
- 1-2 Tablespoons organic, unrefined coconut oil
- filtered water
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until semi-smooth, depending on age of the baby.
- Add more or less water depending on desired thickness.
- Will last 3 days in fridge, or a month in freezer
Green Beans & Pear (7 months and up)
- 3-4 very ripe organic pears, peeled and cored
- 1/2 C organic green beans, steamed
- 1-2 Tablespoons organic, unrefined coconut oil
- reserve water from steamed green beans
- put all ingredients into a food processor or bullet and blend until desired texture, adding more water if needed
- store in fridge for up to 3 days, or freezer for up to a month
Power Green-Sweet Potato Mash (8 Months and Up)
- 2 medium organic sweet potatoes, baked until soft
- Handful of organic spinach or power greens, such as kale or arugula
- 1-2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter, or coconut oil if you want it dairy free
- Blend all ingredients in food processor or bullet until semi-smooth
- add water if necessary
- store for up to 3 days in fridge, or up to a month in the freezer
*This is a guest post written by Lizz of My Granola Home. Lizz writes about her explorations in granola living, granola parenting, raising a child paleo, and personal growth. You can find her at My Granola Home, on Twitter, and on Facebook.