Tag Archives: paleo kids

Honey & Pepper Roasted Carrots

Roasted Carrots

Paleo + Life|Honey & Pepper Roasted Carrots

Oh, what a long, strange trip it’s been. Suddenly, it is the first day of fall. Looking back, summer flew by, though I can clearly recall individual days that seemed to last forever.

While I feel like I still need time to really settle in to the rhythm of fall, the thing I am most glad of is the cooler weather and the ability to cook in my kitchen again. I have missed it terribly, but so much of the summer was just too hot to live. Fall, now, this is my time. There’s just so much good food to be had.

Like these carrots, for example. I am a complete sucker for rainbow carrots. They cost a bunch more than regular carrots, but I don’t even care. Colors! Yellow ones, purple ones, even the usual orange ones are pretty spiffy when arranged prettily on a plate.

You may be surprised to learn which variety is your favorite — I love the orange varieties of carrots, but the yellow ones are my favorite, as they are milder and sweeter. The purple are a bit intense: they seem almost beet-like in their musky overtones.

A couple of notes: Go easy on the pepper (and a little heavier on the honey) if you are making this for little ones, unless yours are like my oldest, who loves spicy things about as much as she loves us. Sensitive palates may balk. Also, if your honey is a really thick variety, try zapping it in the microwave to get the right consistency for drizzling. You don’t want to use immense gobs of honey; the idea is to gently enhance the natural sweetness of the carrots, not overwhelm it.

 

Honey & Pepper Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds rainbow carrots
  • 3 tablespoons oil (melted coconut oil is my favorite)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (if yours is quite thick, warm it up in the microwave)
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash, gently scrub and pat dry the carrots. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet.
  3. Drizzle the carrots with the oil, rotating them to ensure that all sides are coated. Repeat with the honey.
  4. Sprinkle the carrots with pepper and salt. Place them in the oven, roasting until they are carmelized and "give" when poked with a fork (approximately 25 minutes).
  5. Remove from the oven and serve.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/honey-pepper-roasted-carrots/

Paleo Chocolate & Cinnamon Mug Cake

I am still adjusting my schedule — a much more active little one presents some difficulties — but I needed to share with you all this delightful creation. I present: mug cake.Chocolate & Cinnamon Mug Cake | Paleo + Life

“Really, Cher?” I hear you saying. “Mug cake? That’s so 2013.”

Perhaps mug cake is a bit past its new and exciting stage. But you know what it also is? Delicious.
I adore mug cakes, and I am not ashamed. Especially since paleo mug cakes have fairly healthy ingredients. Eggs, bananas, a bit of spice for flavoring — these are staples I use just about daily.
(Speaking of spice: I have always wondered: just what the heck is in “spice cake” anyway? I need to investigate. I bet a spice-cake style mug cake would be amazing.)

This recipe is quick and easily adaptable to whatever spice you have on hand. Two things to note:

1) This works best with liquified oil. If using coconut oil, warm it before using so that it isn’t solid.

2)For best results, be sure to mash the heck out of the banana. If you don’t like banana or want to lower the carbs, a thicker applesauce (like my Apple Sassy Applesauce) is a fine substitute.

Paleo Chocolate & Cinnamon Mug Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Combine banana and egg in a large coffee mug; mix thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, stirring after each addition. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, depending on the power of your device. Serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/paleo-chocolate-cinnamon-mug-cake/

Potatoes and Pecans

Potatoes & Pecans | Paleo + Life

How goes your January clean eating challenge? So far, so good around these parts. As opposed to last year, when I did my first one, I am actually enjoying it. I feel far less stressed about the process –it’s more of a reminder to myself, since I’ve basically got the “rules” down from a year of being paleo. It also helps that it’s a less restrictive challenge this time around. While I appreciated jumping into the deep end as a paleo newbie, the 21-day primal feels more compatible with my day-to-day life.

Which brings me to sweet potatoes (bear with me, it will make sense in a moment).

Sweet Potatoes & Pecans | Paleo + Life

I have always loved sweets, even pre-paleo, though I tended to reserve them for holiday eating. But it turns out they are full of vitamins A and B-6, among other things. With those kind of benefits, I am happy to eat them year-round.

We steam, mash, bake turn them into fries, pie, breads, even muffins. But at the moment, I’m focusing on quicker dishes, so my daily diet has been more about “how fast can I get food into my face and get back to my work?” than the patient cooking sweet potatoes require.

In order to make that happen, I’ve turned to the microwave. Ours has a “potato” setting, though I usually find that I need to set the machine for two potatoes instead of one (or three instead of two, etc). Still, it helps me get this vitamin-filled deliciousness onto my plate in a hurry. Topping them with coconut oil, pecans and coconut flakes adds healthy fats and makes even a fast snack feel luxurious.

Potatoes and Pecans

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or ghee
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Wash potatoes and dry them; poke them with a fork several times.
  2. Microwave potatoes on high for 12 minutes, or until tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  3. Remove from microwave; slice potatoes in half and place into serving bowls.
  4. Split potatoes vertically; slip a dollop of coconut oil or ghee into the potato and mix it into the flesh thoroughly.
  5. To serve, top each half of potato with apple sauce, cinnamon and coconut flakes, and chopped pecans.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/potatoes-and-pecans/

Crustless Carrot Quiche

Crustless Carrot Quiche | Paleo + LifeThe other night, there were just three of us for dinner, which almost never happens. But most of the family were either out or asleep, so it was just one girl, the baby and me. With so much smaller a crowd, I fell back on one of my pre-paleo staples: crustless quiche.

Inspired by one I learned years ago when I worked for a major grocery store chain, crustless quiche has been a regular supper at our house. I have made this so many times, so many ways, I don’t even recall the ingredients in the original.  Aside from the first time, I’ve never made it exactly the same way twice. It’s a very kid-friendly recipe, too; ours love this more sophisticated take on breakfast for dinner.

This is a favorite supper for summertime with a big salad on the side, but at this time of year, I prefer more substantial meals, so I like it with a juicy piece of salmon or a hearty bowl of soup on the side.
If feeding more people, you can easily double the recipe — just make sure your oven-safe skillet can hold that quantity. Your cooking time will be a bit longer, but keep a close eye on it. The high temperature means it cooks pretty swiftly. This is also lovely as a last-minute appetizer; just slice thinner pieces.

Crustless Carrot Quiche | Paleo + Life

One ingredient of note is the cream cheese. While I tend to be more strictly paleo, as a family, we do have some Primal meals (basically, Primal = paleo plus dairy). If you want to stay more strictly paleo, I would substitute a good nut cheese like this one from Primal Kitchen. I have not yet used this genius cultured coconut cream cheese by Beth from Tasty Yummies, but I think it might work since eggs are the star ingredient here. A drizzle of hot sauce adds just the right finishing touch.

Quick Carrot Quiche

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (sub nut cheese for vegan)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs and cream cheese; beat well. Stir in grated carrots, parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil to medium oven-safe pan, swirling to coat. Pour egg mixture into the pan of oil and place in oven. Bake for until top of quiche appears firm, approximately 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/crustless-carrot-quiche/

Paleo Coco Ginger Fudge

Coco Ginger Fudge | Paleo + Life

Happy holidays! Since this is our first paleo Christmas, I wanted to make a fun holiday treat.
In typical Cher fashion, this recipe took a detour, but I am quite happy that it turned out as it did.

What I meant to make was a date-based truffle — I’m sure you’ve seen them all over the interwebs. Since these are such a great paleo basic, I wanted to have one here for you.
However, I started working on this recipe while also making breakfast and packing lunch for the kids and husband. So while I only meant to soak the dates for about 10 minutes, they ended up soaking for about an hour.

fudge v bl

This made the dates extremely soft — and as bonus, the soaking water was a lovely sweetener for several cups of tea —  but also meant that they wouldn’t hold shape if I blended them for any length of time.

Of course, last month, while making nut butter,I managed to burn out the motor on my food processor. This meant I had to use Vera the Vitamix for the processing. Did I mention I was multi-tasking during this process? (Yes, I know better.)
Unsurprisingly, I ended up with a nut-butter like instead of the sticky mass I had aimed for –whoops.

fudge detail bl

Needing to improvise, I decided to make a paleo-style fudge. So I added melted coconut oil to the mix, gave it a good stir, and stuck it in the fridge. The result was a combination of creamy, chocolate, chewy coconut and slightly spicy ginger that just melts in the mouth. A happy accident if ever there were one.

This would be a great dessert after a Christmas dinner or for a holiday party. Make a big batch in a shallow tupperware-type container with a lid, and take it to a potluck. I bet it will be the first thing that disappears from the table.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • Hot water
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup cashew meal
  • 1 piece of ginger, 1/2" - 1" long, peeled
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Place dates in a small bowl. Pour enough hot water over them to cover the dates completely. Soak for 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. When dates are thoroughly softened, drain water, reserving for another use. In a high speed blender, combine dates, cocoa powder, and cashew meal. Using a zester, grate ginger into the mixture. Blend for 30- 60 seconds, or until the date mixture has become a smooth paste.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine date mixture, shredded coconut, and coconut oil. Stir vigorously until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture in a small, shallow container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until firm. Cut into small pieces and serve.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/paleo-coco-ginger-fudge/

Book Report: Real-Life Paleo

Note to my readers: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. As always, all opinions are my own.

Matt McCarry and Stacy Toth are the dynamic duo behind Paleo Parents, and prolific authors of paleo cookbooks, including one on eating nose-to-tail (Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog)* and one for kids (Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids)*. Their newest offering is Real Life Paleo: 175 Gluten-Free Recipes, Meal Ideas, and an Easy 3-Phased Approach to Lose Weight & Gain Health*, which suggests a slower, three-phased approach to taking on a paleo diet.

Quick Banana-Chocolate Souffle Cake from Real Life Paleo | Paleo + Life

Quick Banana-Chocolate Souffle Cake, p. 146

In brief: this book is a gold mine. While I am a “jump in with both feet” kind of person, not everyone can handle that approach, and it is so easy to get overwhelmed. Stacy and Matt’s very encouraging tone gently leads the reader by the hand, always explaining why certain foods are encouraged or discouraged, letting them get more comfortable with the idea of paleo eating while offering tasty, kid-friendly recipes. It is written in a very conversational, friendly tone: I had to wrestle it away from my oldest in order to read it for this review!

In Phase 1: Swap, you swap out the worst foods in the diet. This means going gluten-free, as well as taking out refined and processed foods, changing dairy products and meat (full fat, organic and grass-fed are king here), and eating more veggies. The book has a useful tear-out grocery shopping guide that you can use in the store to remind you of products to look for while shopping, and tips for going out to eat. (As the primary cook in our house, this may be my favorite part of the book.)

In Phase 2: Remove, you focus on removing other grains, dropping dairy, legumes, and processed oils. (In this phase, you ‘go paleo.’) Matt and Stacy share more shopping tips here, and share suggestions from their family’s transition, as well as lists of paleo kitchen staples and suggestions for family activities (some food related, some not).

If Phase 2 is Paleo 101, then Phase 3: Heal is the next course in the sequence. In this phase, organ meats, bone broth, fermented foods and more are added to the diet. These are considered paleo super foods, in that aren’t just good for you, but can actively help heal your digestive system. This phase also emphasizes lifestyle aspects of paleo, since they can be just as healing as the foods you’re eating.

Green Onion and Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese from Real Life Paleo | Paleo + Life

Green Onion and Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese, p. 238

There is much more to the book: suggested menus, meal plans, and spice blends, as well as close to 200 recipes. Speaking of those: all of the recipes are categorized by phase, and all are indexed to help those who need to avoid specific allergens. There are lots of recipes for staples like coconut milk, and many good ideas for less-sweet alternatives to both breakfasts and desserts. Thus far, my favorite new-to-me recipe is the Green Onion and Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese (one of many squash recipes) — the husband went for seconds and thirds, and the meat loving oldest boy was barely done with his dinner portion when he asked to have some for breakfast. That dish is definitely going in the permanent rotation, though it may be a while, as my must-try list is about a mile long. The book strikes a good balance between safe, simple flavors kids will like, and a few adventurous ones that stretch the palate a bit (both the homemade beef energy bars and the mussels are on my list).

The Real Life Paleo approach is a really sustainable way to get folks eating healthier, one meal at a time. I wish I had had this book when we started our paleo journey: I dare say my kids would have been far happier if we had gone paleo this way. Still, I’m glad to have it now. This book has earned a place on my bookshelf for everyday inspiration.

Healthiest Ice Cream Ever from Real-Life Paleo | Paleo + Life

Healthiest Ice Cream Ever, p. 384

Healthiest Ice Cream Ever

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1-1/2 kosher or sea salt
  • 1 (13-1/3 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk or 1-3/4 cups homemade
  • 2 large pastured egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Slightly Sweet & Salty Snack Mix, for garnish*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Remove the ends of the squash, slice it in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Then peel and cube the squash. Spread out the squash cubes in a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Let cool completely.
  3. Place 2 packed cups of the cooked squash and the remaining ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Put the mixture in an ice cream maker and churn, following the manufacturer's directions, until stiffened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Freeze in an airtight container for at least 30 minutes before serving. If frozen for more than four hours, let rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. (Natural ice creams don't contain chemical softeners, so they set hard like ice and require time to soften.)
  6. Scoop into bowls and top with the Slightly Sweet & Salty Snack Mix.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/book-report-real-life-paleo/

Note: if you can’t find butternut squash, any winter squash will do. Most grocery stores sell prepackaged peeled and cubed butternut squash to make this recipe even easier, but we’ve heard that pumpkin is a fan favorite.

Don’t have an ice cream maker? Never fear. After cooking and cooling the squash, place it in the freezer to harden for a few hours. Then, once partially frozen, add the squash and remaining ingredients to a high-speed blender and puree — you’ll have instant soft-serve.


* = Affiliate link.

 

The B Word

Buckwheat Coconut Pancakes | Paleo + Life

Buckwheat Coconut Pancakes, adapted from Chris Kresser and Stephan Guyanet

A couple of nights ago, my oldest opened the door to our neighbor T.
She’s a nice lady, and has been incredibly welcoming to us since we showed up in the neighborhood, with our motley crew of rowdy kids, just-shy-of-feral dogs and complete ineptitude at lawn care.
(In our defense, Husband and I are apartment kids: this business of having a giant patch of grass plus a fat swath of parking strip to maintain … well, that’s a post for another time. But I digress.)

As I was saying, my oldest boy opened the door to our neighbor. Our neighbor who stopped by…with a giant bag of bagels.
Yes, a giant bag of bagels. And I don’t mean a grocery bag, either. I mean a kitchen trashcan sized bag. Of bagels. At my gluten- and grain-free door.

Sigh.

I could have taken a stand. I could’ve ranted and bewailed the evils of gluten and how it is making this country fat and inflamed and killing us and for god’s sake I have an entire BLOG about not eating things made with wheat flour and and and.

Except that my oldest boy had his hand around the bag before I could blink and an ear-to-ear grin nearly as big as that sack of bagels.

(I took the bag.)

Except that my youngest girl, when told that we weren’t going to keep them, moaned  “Why?” and “I miss bread” from the depths of her soul. Not in the whiny-six-going-on-teenager annoying way that has been her habit lately, but in the quiet, honest way that she talks to me when she really has something serious to say. Hearing that sadness in her voice just about shattered my heart.

(Yes, I took the bag.)

Except that my baby boy, who eats with deep joy and wild abandon, happily devoured a chunk of cheesy bagel with his breakfast.

Sigh. I took the bag, and we kept a few, and gave most of it away, and you know what? The world has not ended. We are fortunate that the kids seem to tolerate gluten well enough that being gluten-free is more of a choice than a mandate in our house. So I took it.

I was brought up to be polite, especially to my elders. So I took the darned bag, I said thank you very much (we don’t really eat that sort of thing anymore, but thank you). Then I grumpy-mumble-mumbled about it under my breath the whole next day. In the end, it was less than a week with some bagels. We are fine.

But it started me wondering why.
Why was being polite so important to me? Why couldn’t I just say “No thanks, hope someone can use them, goodnight?” Why couldn’t I resist the social conditioning? Even if I had, what about the kids? If I let them have gluten outside of the house, is it really fair to restrict it inside the house? Am I confusing them? Sending them mixed messages? What about the WASTE? Someone has to eat the perfectly good** food, dang it!

Sigh. Sometimes being a grown up is really hard.

I listen to a podcast called The Paleo View (run by The Paleo Mom and one of the Paleo Parents), and last week’s episode on self-control and challenges really resonated with me. In that episode, the hosts discuss avoiding disordered eating and elimination diets and deciding what place certain types of food have in your life. It stuck with me because I remember very clearly that as much as I looked forward to the end of the elimination diet, when it did actually end, I was terrified to go off plan. I felt as if I were set adrift with no compass, and like I could just MESS IT ALL UP at any moment. That’s not a reflection on the elimination diet, which actually had a very sound plan for re-entry, but had a lot to do with my state of mind. I felt fragile, and uncertain, and very tentative. I liked the rules. I needed the rules. What would I do without the rules??? I would just be EATING. WILLY NILLY. OMG I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THIS FREEDOM.

(It took me a while to calm down.)

That reaction is why I really appreciated The Paleo View’s take on knowing yourself, being aware of/carefully considering the role certain foods play in your life, and why you might or might not choose to eliminate them.

For us, I am happy to make pancakes, breads and crackers. I’m not against those foods in and of themselves. However, a big part of the reason we started our paleo journey is because much of the time, the kids were eating those things instead of actual, nutrient-dense food. But if the occasional paleo-fied muffin makes it easier to get actual vitamins from fresh, whole foods into my kids’ bodies, I’m gonna happily paleo-fy the heck out of those muffins.

All of this to say that next time, I’m going to answer the door myself. I will say a polite but firm “no thank you.” Then I’m going to get back to my kitchen and make my own darned bread.

 

** Of course, by perfectly good, I mean unspoiled, not necessarily appropriate.

Apple Sassy Applesauce

Apple Sassy (Applesauce) | Paleo + LifeFour days ago, miniature rivers of sweat ran down my back as I squinted into the Seattle sun. Smooshing crusty shrimp foccacia into my mouth with one hand and wrestling my nursing toddler with the other I watched my girl rolling across the grass, giddy with sun and silliness. I tried to take a deep breath, fixing this second in my mind, ordering myself to remember, to savor this last gasp of summer. It seemed impossible that it would end.

But this morning, the patter of rain roused me from the sloppy swirl of blankets covering my bed. The breeze coming in from our open window nipped at our skin and raised taut goosebumps on arms and legs. The littlest girl was grumpy, the tot would not leave my arms, and husband and teens were all bleary-eyed slugs. Fall, such as it is in the Northwest, seems to have come.

I wanted to make something warm and soothing. Something thick and rich that would help us all embrace the change of season, instead of resenting it for not being summer.
Applesauce, I thought. I should make applesauce.

Apple Sassy Applesauce | Paleo + Life

While we were up north, we paid a quick visit to my husband’s aunt and uncle, who treated us to a generous bagful of apples from their garden. Apples that fresh don’t really need anything except mashing, but a hint of ginger and a dash of cinnamon brightens and deepens the apples’ flavor. When my little taste tester tried this, the wee bit of heat from the ginger is the reason she declared this not applesauce, but Apple Sassy.

When I’m making applesauce for the little ones, I just add the spices and blend; it is super fast, and we all like the fresh flavor of raw apple. However, if you have the time, I recommend that you give your applesauce a turn in the slow cooker. Some of the water in the apples will cook off, which concentrates the flavor wonderfully, without going as far turning into apple butter.
Of course, you can do that, too: just let it cook longer until the volume reduces to about half and the texture has thickened even further. A good apple butter sticks to the spoon the same way nut butter does.

However you choose to make it, homemade applesauce is a real treat. Serve this over pork chops, roasted sweet potatoes, stir it into plain yogurt, make gelatin gummies with it … or just enjoy it by the spoonful. A batch of this will warm your spirit, whatever the weather.

Apple Sassy (Apple Sauce)

Ingredients

  • 16 small to medium apples
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2" square piece of ginger, peeled

Instructions

  1. Wash, core and roughly chop apples. Place the cinnamon, ginger, and about one-third of the apples into a high-speed blender. Blend for 30-60 seconds, or until apples have been pulverized and only tiny flecks of apple peel can be seen. Pour mixture into large bowl and set aside.
  2. Blend remaining apples into a pulp. Add to the mixture in the bowl, stirring well. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until ready to eat.
  3. Optional: If you desire a thicker applesauce, pour the mixture into a slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on HIGH.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/apple-sassy-applesauce/

Going Paleo with Kids

no thank youMy youngest girl, who is in elementary school, is the joy and the challenge of my life. This, of course, is because she is so much like me. She has my determination (and stubbornness), my love of knowledge (and habit of sharing in an “oh, doesn’t everyone know that?” sort of way), and my need for structure (and tendency toward dictatorship). For better or worse, while she is physically her dad’s mini-me, her personality is generally mine.

This personality redux leads to some of the biggest frustrations in my paleo journey.
Frankly, the teenagers have been much easier to convert than the little one. I suspect it is because they still have some control over their food, since they can cook for themselves, whereas the grade schooler is pretty much stuck with whatever I choose to make.
After I have spent time working hard on dinner, only to be greeted by “ugh!” when I bring it to the table —  “I don’t care for it” if she remembers her manners — it’s infuriating.
More than once I have had to sternly remind myself that it is not about me, I am not my food, and she is not being a pill just because she can. Furthermore, it’s not as if she will starve: we offer a bowl of plain yogurt as the alternative if she doesn’t want what is being served for dinner.  Sometimes, we go through a lot of yogurt.

My girl also loves mac and cheese the way I loved cinnamon toast at her age. I can’t fault her for that – she has a kid’s palate, and it’s pretty much the perfect combination for a kid’s tastes. I continue trying new things, aiming to keep her diet more paleo/primal than not, and that is good enough for now. *

Still, there have been some dinner successes, and I cherish those. Our top ones are:

I’m sure there are more, but at this moment, my little cave baby is trying to rip a chunk of my flesh away with every single one of his six teeth; a sign to stop if ever there were one.

I will revisit this list as more things come to me.

What about you? If you have any sure-fire recipes for picky kids, what are they?

*If you have a really sensitive, picky kid, check out this great guest post on PaleoParents; it’s all about feeding a child with sensory processing disorder and autism.

Going Paleo with Teenagers

Double Trouble | Paleo + Life

Thing 1 & Thing 2 getting pretty — skincare is serious business.

Since this blog is meant as a place for me to explore going paleo and what that means in the context of my life, I want it to be an honest reflection of that life. In my case, that means occasionally talking about my family, which includes the sassy twosome pictured above.

When we started to go paleo, I knew it would be a tricky thing for the kids to accept. They literally ate bread all. the. time. They had some at almost every meal, and for after school snacks. I actually grew to hate the smell of toast because it was always in the air. So I knew cutting them off was going to be difficult.

At first, the transition was quite hard. When we started our Whole30, we just let the bread that we had in the house run out, and didn’t replace it. (We kept cheese around because it is the one thing all of the kids are guaranteed to eat, and that was a bigger fight than I wanted to undertake.)

They complained that there was nothing to eat. We said “Sure there is — figure it out.” They grumbled and rolled their eyes, but they also learned to make lettuce wraps and sometimes “sandwiches” that were just the ingredients with no bun. They ate more fruit, more sweet potatoes and squash (this post from Mark’s Daily Apple is very reassuring on that count), and more veggies than they thought possible. The kids weren’t exactly delighted with the change (and when my husband went out of town for a week, we backslid something fierce), but they have adapted. My big boy loves coconut butter, while if my oldest girl could eat only avocados and salsa for the rest of her life, she’d be thrilled. I think this is a little crazy, but am going with it. (The Paleo View recently had a great podcast on why teenagers are crazy — no, really — and why it’s super important for them to eat a nutrient-dense diet. They had some excellent suggestions for snacks as well.)

The kids have even learned to cook for themselves a bit more, which is a huge step for both them and me. I have a little bit of a control issue (stop laughing, husband) and it has been an exercise in trust for us all. I am letting go, and they are holding each other up. It makes me rather proud.

Our paleo/Primal path is not perfect. Their schools serve regular school lunch, which I don’t fuss about — I consider it the “20” part of the 80/20 rule. If they visit friends and have pizza or pretzels, we are not going to make a fuss. Heck, we allow them the occasional frozen pizza or corn tortilla in our own house. Certainly not every day, but once in a while works for us. The more comfortable we get with paleo and Primal eating, the more we figure out where the happy medium is between watching what we eat for health and watching what we eat because it doesn’t fit a strict definition of what we think we “should” do.

What about you? If you have paleo/Primal teens — heck, if you are a paleo/Primal teen — leave a comment about what your transition was/is like, how it’s going, your favorite paleo foods, etc. I’d love to know.

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