With so many different dietary theories out there, each one vying to be dubbed the ‘best,’ it can sometimes be difficult to know what to eat for health. However I think that Michael Pollan said it best when he said “Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” That, in a nutshell, is what constitutes a healthy diet (Psst! I would like to note that mostly plants means mostly fruits and vegetables, not grains. And if you do choose to eat grains, at least make sure to soak them for goodness’ sake!)
Now, in one short paragraph, we’ve summed up healthy nutrition. However, the challenges don’t stop there. What about those of us that have kids? Kids that grew up on pizza and Tyson chicken nuggets, Hostess snacks and sugary cereals? After we’ve been feeding them flavor-enhanced, toxic pseudo-foods for a while, they get used to highly intense flavors and their taste buds begin to adjust. No longer does a piece of fruit satisfy like a Twinkie does. This is because their taste receptors have dulled over time due to the continual overstimulation that processed foods provide.
Once you them get off the sugar, high salt intake, MSG, and other intense flavor-enhancers, their taste receptors begin to readjust and taste the delicious decadence of real food. However, in the beginning, real food might taste a little dull in comparison. As adults, we know that our health depends on our nutrition habits and by steering clear of flavor-enhanced pseudo-foods, our taste buds will begin to return to their attentive state. After a period of eating whole foods, we will begin to enjoy a properly seasoned piece of protein or a piece of dark chocolate just as much as all those artificial foods that line store shelves, jumping out at us with their bright boxes and false health claims.
Children, on the other hand, aren’t thinking about their health when they eat. They’re thinking about what tastes good. This means it’s the job of parents to introduce and emphasize whole foods in their children’s diets. I recently received a request from one of my clients to help him find some healthy kid-friendly snacks and meals that his children would enjoy. I’m so glad he did because I found some great ideas!
Here’s a list of my favorites:
Paleo Parents has a free ebook on how to get your children to buy into the idea of eating real food and how they got their children eating Paleo. It’s one of the best resources I’ve seen.
Check out NomNom Paleo’s Week of School Lunches for school lunch ideas.
Peggy at The Primal Parent shares a day of meals for her daughter.
Fresh or Dried Fruit
Almond Butter and Apple Slices
Almond Butter Celery Logs
Dark Chocolate Banana Bites
Coconut Pecan Date Rolls
Grain Free Granola
Paleo Crepes with “Nutella”