I would like to share the below article with you on how to get started eating the paleo way with children and/or with allergies. I will tell you some ways I have overcome not being able to use eggs, fish, dairy, wheat and all the bad foods or allergy sensitive foods that cause trouble for our family members. I want to encourage you to keep going and not give up no matter what.
I am a mom of two small children; my beautiful daughter 5 years old and my sweet son 19 months old. Like any parent I just want the best for them. I have been fighting allergic reactions with them as they are very sensitive to so many little things, thankfully not deathly but you never want to see your little one suffer.
I have recently decided to implement a much stricter paleo diet in our house to improve not only our health but the problems with allergies. I must say it is interesting, hard, and exhausting at times but mostly rewarding and fun! I have had to try and fail at many recipes to get the ones that work for our family, especially since I cannot use eggs as it is the number one offender in our house. However there is good news, the best substitute that I have found for eggs in paleo recipes is apple sauce and it only took me 6 years to find that one out!
I am not an allergic person but my husband and kids are. I did not grow up dealing with the issues related to eating based on allergies. However, I want you to know it is not so scary and it can be done very well. When you are feeling overwhelmed and overloaded with information, stress, and failures of recipes just don’t give up.
Firstly, let us understand Paleo eating; it is eating mostly meat, vegetables and food that is not processed. No wheat or grains. It is eating whole foods that are homemade with out any preservatives or additives. It is surprising how easy it is to eat paleo. For example if fresh vegetable are hard to keep fresh and cook on time, then try out frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetable can be bought in large quantities and saved in the freezer saving time and worry over having fresh vegetables on hand each day. If vegetables are not your favorite food try mashing them up with grass fed butter, they seem to be more appealing that way. If mash is not your thing then toss them in a pan on high heat with grass fed butter and enjoy delicious butter roasted vegetables fresh from the pan. A secret to paleo foods is chocolate is allowed but only organic dark chocolate, enjoy!
How would you make pancakes without grains? You simply use either almond flour, coconut flour and or potato flour. If you cannot use eggs or dairy to bind the ingredients then use apple sauce, almond butter, bananas or a personal favorite ground flax seeds and hot water. The ratio for the ground flax seed and hot water mixture is; one teaspoon of ground flax seed to three teaspoons of hot water mixed together until gooey like eggs. If the children are having a hard time adjusting to the new flavors put some organic maple syrup on the pancakes and it will help their taste buds adjust and learn to love the new flavors.
Snacks are another fight so try fruits apples or grapes with a coconut dip. Try homemade almond and coconut bars full of protein and deliciousness. Also try veggies and a paleo dip like guacamole, babaganoush or humus. There are so many ideas if you look, having a recipe book can be very useful here because it will give you hundreds of new ideas and recipes.
Lunch is a good time to try something easy like meatballs with salad, veggie bake, almond flour bread and veggie spread. If you need something quick for the children’s school lunches give them paleo bread and a vegetable sauce with some fruit on the side. The secret to busy lives and paleo eating is preparation! Take a few hours a week on a Sunday or Saturday and prepare your veggies, fruit, dips and bread for the week, it is then only down to assembly each day.
Dinner is fun! Enjoy cooking healthier and your family will jump on board. You can make cauliflower and mincemeat, or chicken and cabbage, beef and salad, the possibilities are endless! One of our favorite dinners is mincemeat in a lettuce leaf with tomatoes, mango, onions and balsamic dressing. Another great idea for young children is mashed cauliflower with grass fed butter and chives or meat bits on top.
Be prepared for your kids to give you their best and worst opinions on everything. Be prepared to make the needed adjustments to some dishes in order to make them a winner and not the worst enemy. Be prepared for your allergies to act up and do not let it get you down or stop you. If something is giving you a bad allergic reaction then take out an ingredient that you think might be the problem, make the dish again and again until you solve the problem.
In conclusion if you are serious about giving up a little of your free time to put in a little extra effort in preparing and planning your meals eating right and making life better for your family is easily accomplished. Start by making a list of paleo friendly foods that will work for your family. Schedule a day to throw out all the wheat, grains, and other processed foods from your house. Set a date on the weekend or any other day when time is available to embark on your first homemade paleo dinner, lunch or breakfast depending on your bravery level. Take it step by step and never give up, it is easy to give up but not easy to push forward and win the battle.