Recently, trending emphasize on the paleo diet is widely acknowledged only by adults, even studies are supporting the same. Very few people might ever think of advocating paleo diet for kids.
The reason behind this conceptualization can be because the diet actually came intothe picture to combat rising evidences of lifestyle-related diseases – such as diabetes, liver, heart disorders, etc. As a matter of fact, a large percentage of population suffering with these diseases is middle-aged and hence,adults are considered to be ideal candidates for opting thePaleo diet.
Today, lousy food, study pressure, family stress, quick access to junk and sedentary lifestyle all have started showing up even in kids through childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes, thyroid, etc. Thus, it is important to understand that the junk has started taking a toll on the kids’ health as well, along with adults and hence, it is required to focus on the paleo diet for kids for their better tomorrow.
A basic guide to the paleo diet
Paleo diet is all about balancing the reasonable proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, fibers and good fat, through freshly prepared whole food. A basic theme of paleo diet can be built with:
- A huge bowl of fresh green leafy vegetables
- Animal proteins in their moderate proportion – such as meat, fish,and
- Healthy fat like olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
- Fruits and/or nuts
- Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes.
The same theme can be followed with many variations, depending upon the mood, event, cost,and preferences to prepare paleo diet for kids.
Paleo diet benefits for the kids
As a parent, you really cannot be very judgmental against a paleo diet for the kid. Studies have confirmed that the food is good for the kids, in the same way as it is being benefitted to adults.
- Higher nutritional content
- Good to prevent gut irritability
- Low in sugar, and hence it prevents metabolic issues associated with food
- Doesn’t contribute to any sort of inflammation
Nutritional considerations for kids
A lot of parents seem to be reluctant towards offering paleo diet for kids due to the misconception that it has to be without carbohydrate. However, there are multiple paleo diet lunches for kids that can include carbohydrate variably i.e. from moderate to high amount. Various studies have indicated that children can eat moderate carbohydrate diet by following the paleo guidelines without any serious side effects. You can very well incorporate sweet potatoes and potatoes in many of your kid-friendly paleo diet dinner ideas in order to continue the paleo diet to be on the table.
Women or girls have a higher tendency of developing osteoporosis or bone related deformity in the later phase of their lives and hence should be more considerate towards calcium as a part of their daily diet. Although, dairy products are considered as the paleo gray area; you will be able to make up for it with fish bones, such as salmons, sardines, etc. and through green leafy vegetables. Apparently, the calcium that you might get from these two key ingredients is more absorbable than dairy products.
Iron deficiency is more common in children between 5 to 14 years of age – leading to excessive weight gain or obesity. After an analysis of their diet, studies have proposed that low-grade inflammation in their body is responsible for lack of absorption of iron from the food that is being consumed. The ultimate solution of this iron deficiency is not to increase dietary iron but to be more focused on reducing the inflammation, which can be achieved by offering paleo diet for kids.
Low vitamin status is the problem encountered in many kids, who are more inclined towards indoor games. Althoughthe best source of vitamin D is sunlight and hence it is always advisable to send your kid to play outside; absorption of vitamin D is studied to be faster in paleo diet for kids.
It has to be understood that every kid is different and is being nurtured in a different set of cultural preferences with different disciplinary choices. Although many parents find it very difficult to initiate paleo journey for their kids, who are generally picky eaters; with a perfect guide to the paleo diet, mentioning many kids’ friendly recipes, it is quite easy to provide them wholesome food with holistic benefits. Some of the tips mentioned below can be helpful:
Let them have their own cooking experience
Sometimes it is OK to let them cook on their own, doesn’t matter if it’s only a salad. Cooking can be a great learning experience for them; they can make the educated decisions while understanding the implications of their preferences.
Exposure to the variety
Food can be offered to the child multiple times before it is being actually tried by the child. The child should be taught to eat green vegetables early in his life when he actually is being introduced to solid food. Studies have shown that this can increase child’s tendency to be tempted to try them in later phase of their life.
You are always suggested to eat good and fresh food in front of your kids and let them understand that you are enjoying it. From your gesture, your child should understand that vegetables and proteins are the part of our diet and cannot be omitted.
You cannot be very strict or vigilant with your child’s favorite food. Absolutely forbidding junk food from their lives can increase their tendency to be tempted towards it. Multiple studies have been conducted in this regard, and have confirmed that kids who have grown up in an environment that is ultra strict on their diet are more likely to develop eating disorders in the later phase of their lives. Parents should learn to generate more inclination towards paleo diet for kids by offering conditional flexibility.
The final verdict
Although very limited studies are available to confirm the importance of the paleo diet for kids and teens; experts are confirming that middle of the road approach is better to go with! In this regard, it is always better to opt for whole food that is fresh and low in sugar content like vegetables, whole grains, low-fat diet, etc. and cut down on processed food.