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Primal diet for the non-LR children

Discussion in 'Optimal Kids' started by MamaGrok, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. MamaGrok

    MamaGrok New Member

    This thread is a place to discuss feeding (& hacking) the non-leptin resistant children. So maybe they aren't fat & lethargic, maybe they were the oldest and you were in great shape when you had them, maybe they were LR & now you fixed them.

    How are we feeding them? Tips, questions, & experiences welcome, especially from the doctor himself!
  2. MamaGrok

    MamaGrok New Member

    Some of our journey ...

    I have weaned my children from a CW Healthy (high whole grains, low sugar, low fat) diet over five years. I wouldn't recommend going *that* slowly, but slow has certainly helped.

    - First I had my oldest go through the pantry hunting for anything with HFCS, BHT, TBHQ, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or artificial sweeteners. We purged them, Trader Joe's opened, and we easily found non-chemically substitutes for everything.

    - Next we switched from lowfat dairy & whole grain cereal to raw whole dairy & home-cooked soaked oats & sourdough bread.

    - Then we kept increasing fat & protein, while lowering even "healthy" sweets & hidden sugars. Officially "WAPF" in our outlook at this time, we added fermented CLO, fermented veggies, & bone broths (when I remembered).

    - We kept decreasing processed foods while out of the house (none in by now), and I started decreasing grains for us. I instituted a "two servings per day of whole grains" - no more. In reality, it was usually less at home, and no more even on vacation. They learned how to use their quota well.

    - I made a rule that every child had to have 1 (or 2, for the big kids) egg or 1oz of meat per meal, including (and especially) breakfast. This made a big difference in meltdowns and a good difference in cravings.

    - We started GAPS. I made the big kids investigators and spies (spying out symptom changes in themselves and each other). They went along well for the eight months we did it. By then, they were used to life without even potatoes or rice, and were thrilled when I returned to allowing them to have two servings of grains ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS OUT OF THE HOUSE (and including dessert). It was great for making them think that was a privilege, lol. GAPS made tremendous gains in my children's borderline ODD/SID, tics, etc.

    - When I started the LR for myself, I increased their protein to 2 (or 3) eggs or oz of meat per meal (this is so easy to eyeball - it's like two slices of applegate farms deli roast beef), and started cooking sausage every day, which they naturally had and loved (but they weren't allowed to skip the eggs for bkfst).

    My next step is going to have to be removing wheat altogether. Now that I see how bad my ggut is from wheat (from my labs), and they have been w/o wheat for months at a time, it's clear that it's related to their moods, accidents, tics, BMs, everything. I'm going to test a few to make it easier for the grandparents to comply with adn get it going.

    They also get 1/2 - 1-1/2 fruits per day (whole). This I plan to move even more seasonal. I'm also going to stop forcing them to eat veggies in the winter, IF they eat plenty of fat & offal & get cold. They love going lightly clothed out into cold weather, anyway, so they should be good on the last one.

    They aren't keto, but have no grains, and starches are rare. Their last well visit did show ketones in some of their urine, so even what we're doing is getting them there. (Dr. was displeased, I'll be sure and stuff them with sweet potatoes the day before they go again, lol.)
  3. Caroline Cooper

    Caroline Cooper New Member

    Hi MamaGrok,

    Thank you for sharing your family's process. Here is what we have been doing:

    1. I started the SCD/GAPS/modified paleo diet over six years ago. I did so well on the diet that after nearly a year on the diet I put my youngest daughter on the diet too. She had serious asthma and had been on medication since infancy. The rest of the family followed mostly for the convenience of the parents. My youngest daughter's asthma, hallucinations and behavioural problems resolved very quickly on the diet.

    2. I learned about the Weston A Price Foundation and incorporated all of their nourishing food preparation methods. Of course, I avoided all the foods restricted on the SCD/GAPS.

    3. The promise of the SCD/GAPS is that the gut heals and people can go back to eating some of the restricted foods. Over the last two years, we have tried to reintroduce foods, with very limited success. I used the WAPF methods of food preparation. It did not work for me but some foods my daughter could eat. The only food that was reintroduced successfully was raw dairy products. This is were I started to jump from the SCD/GAPS camp to the modified paleo camp. Except for the "safe" starches, which we don't eat, the modified paleo diet (Swiss paleo) works for most members of my family.

    4. Eating out of the house was always a problem. I have found the greater society to be the biggest hurtle. Now that my youngest daughter is nine she has enough self-control not to eat foods off her diet. She feels better and doesn't like having the spiders crawling all over her ceiling at night. We don't like living with her frightful visions either.

    5. I have noticed a split in my family. My husband and eldest daughter need more carbohydrates and my youngest daughter and me need very little carbohydrate. My eldest daughter really doesn't like vegetables and will slip into ketosis very easily. She is very healthy; her only "problem" is a vasovagal syncope, which just means she is prone to fainting. We give her brown rice to eat to keep her out of ketosis, which seems to make the vasovagal problem worst. My husband also eats brown rice when he is very active.

    6. Here we are at the presence. I think a seasonal ketogenic diet, CT, and balancing circadian cycles will work well for me. Children are growing so fast, I feel most comfortable letting them choose from an assortment of quality whole foods. I would not actively mess with their macro-nutrient mix. Getting the lights out at night makes perfect sense to me and I think it will be good for everyone. CT is also just for me. My children and husband can watch me and see how the experiment goes.

    The biggest help for me has been careful observation and documentation of my child's process. I like the term, biohacking. My youngest daughter has early warning signs that something is not right with her. I have learned to be very observant of any of these changes. Every child is different and the parents of a sick child will have to observe their child carefully to identify these early signs and learn to take quick action. I am grateful I started young with my daughter. I think this process becomes more difficult with young adults (preteens and teenagers).
  4. tweety

    tweety New Member

    We went from eating a "healthy, whole grain, low fat, low meat" diet to a WAPF diet over a few months. Once I found raw milk and tasted it for the first time I was all in, and so was my family! But then vanity (weight gain) led me to paleo, and then to all the things I have learned since regarding gluten. Over the last 18 mos I have slowly switched everyone over.

    First we allowed the kids to have grains or junk items only when out and with friends. Then I became more uncomfortable with that, and started sending them with their own treats that I made. Then I found Leptin Rx, and slowly my husband converted too.

    The kids still eat starches, and occasionally corn. And yes they eat fruit. Some days I can make it all three meals with just meat, fat, and veggies. But, some days I get flustered and don't know what to feed them or don't have enough time to prepare it. My oldest, almost 9, eats as much as my husband and I do, which is alot! And my youngest is not far behind. Its hard to feed the family on a reasonable budget because its like feeding four adults! So, we fall back on starches to help.

    Its something I hope to work on this year. Seasonal eating makes all the sense in the world to me. We already belong to a couple of CSAs, and get other things from a farmer. So I am working on eliminating the grocery store impulse buys (like tomatoes in winter, or bananas and strawberries in winter too.)

    As far as LR or not, I don't know. I do think they have candida issues to deal with because I did when I gave birth to them. And they may very well have cortisol or adrenal issues for the same reason. But I am trying to take a life long, gradual approach so that to them its just the way to live. I hope they don't need intervention like I did!
  5. BJK77

    BJK77 Gold

    I'm fairly happy with my children's diet at this stage. We've finally reached a point where I feel like I'm getting good, nutrient dense foods in them. The only obstacle we really struggle with is not being able to control what they have when they're with friends/family. The truly sad part is that usually my kids will try to avoid the "bad" foods, but at 7 and 11 years old, you're kind of at the mercy of the adult! They can't exactly go out and buy their own food.

    At least my family has gotten somewhat better and understands that my son absolutely cannot have gluten. We've never confirmed if it's true celiac or just an intolerance, but he definitely is taking after me with the gluten issue.

    Their typical diet is something like this:

    - Breakfast: My 7-year old is an awesome BF eater. He'll usually eat 3-4 pieces of sausage and a 1-egg cheese omelet or sometimes a pumpkin bar (mostly egg/pumpkin and a tiny bit of almond flour). My 11-year old is working on increasing her BF, but just doesn't have an appetite yet for it. She generally eats 1 pc of sausage with an avocado and an egg yolk - she hates the whites and since they really aren't the nutritional powerhouse of the egg anyway, I don't push it.

    - Lunch: They both do well without snacking and have decent lunches. We'll do meatballs, salmon patties, salads topped with chicken, burgers, etc when we're at home. On school days they pack bologna and cheese rollups, an apple, jerky, pumpkin bars, homemade yogurt, etc. Not the best, but a definite improvement over just a year ago. If they have an apple with their lunch, this is the only fruit they get throughout the day.

    - Dinner: There is no exception here for a "kids" meal. They eat what is made for dinner - always a full paleo meal. I will sometimes make smoothies for "dessert" - raw egg yolks, raw milk or coconut milk, a little kale, maybe an avocado and some berries. Sometimes I'll just do an avocado, coconut milk and some cocoa powder for a chocolate shake. They also eat 85% dark chocolate as a "treat/dessert." We started out at 55% and just kept working our way up. I'm hoping to eventually get them to 100%!

    They have been doing so well with not snacking and finishing dinner 3 hours before bed and I really think it's helping their sleep. My son gets no grains at all, but my daughter will have the occasional piece of pizza or pancake once or twice a month when she has a sleepover at a friend's house.

    How we got here:

    - It has been a gradual process over the last couple of years ever since I started my decline in health and simultaneously developed several food intolerances (leaky gut!)

    - I knew from the get-go that I would need the kids' buy-in to improve our diet. It isn't one of those things you can force on them and just hope they accept. They aren't dumb! They can be reasoned with and educated to make the right choices. I made it a priority to involve them in all aspects of our new dietary lifestyle. They read labels with me (my son was too young, but we would point out to him the HUGE words in some of the ingredient lists and explain that these things were not real food, but chemicals). I taught my daughter how to recognize real food from fake, processed, chemical junk. My son would count the # of ingredients in processed things and at first we started out with a rule of not consuming anything with greater than 5 ingredients.

    - Eventually we pretty much cut out ALL processed foods. We started to talk more about some of those 5 or fewer ingredients found in processed foods that can be very damaging to our health even if organic, i.e. corn, canola oil, etc. We started to make more of our own foods (the kids helped) - yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, etc. I think they felt a sense of pride and started to realize that the only way to know what's in our food is if we make it ourselves.

    - I took them to a local chip/pretzel manufacturer where they toured the production plant to see how weird it was to have food made in a factory! We went home and made our own sweet potato chips and they thought that was fantastic!

    - They help out with our small garden and get to see exactly how food is grown. They're always much more likely to taste and try new foods when they've been involved in the growing process.

    - I've taken them with me many times to the local farms and farmer's markets where we get our meats/fats/dairy products and some produce items. We have conversations with the farmers all the time about their practices and then we talk about factory farms and conventional farming operations so they understand the difference. They get to see how the animals are cared for and treated. They've realized that, as important as this is for their health, there are also a lot of moral, ethical and environmental considerations as well.

    - When they do go with me I always encourage them to pick out something new for us all to try as a family - sometimes it's a fruit or veggie and other times it might be a different cut of meat. They don't always end up liking everything, but it's a great way to make them feel like they do have some control over what they're eating.

    - I still make them "treats" for holidays/parties, but again they help with them and we talk about the substitutions we're making compared to what most people have or what would be found in a grocery store. We use only almond and coconut flours. I won't have any gluten in my house! We use honey as a sweetener and very rarely maple syrup, but never any kind of sugar.

    - We're always working on improving and still have a lot of work to do, but I'm proud of where we're at right now. Definitely better than we were a year ago and even better than 6 months ago . . .

    - They both take their fermented cod liver oil and probiotics every night without complaints anymore! My son loves liver so I try to get that in him 1-2 x/week. He also loves sardines! My daughter isn't quite there yet, so I'll hide liver in meatloaf, chili, etc. I just know one day she'll love it too . . . ok, maybe I'm a bit delusional, but I can hope, can't it?!?!

    - The only area I'm struggling with is broth. Any suggestions on how to get more in them? They just don't like it at all and this is after really trying to get them to drink it for the last year now. I do cook veggies in it and make a lot of soup, so they get it in them that way, but as far as drinking it straight, it just doesn't happen!

    This post ended up much longer than I anticipated! Hope someone finds some helpful tips in it and I can use any advice for improvements too!
  6. MamaGrok

    MamaGrok New Member

    I did enjoy your tips!

    Why make them drink the broth if you get it in other ways?
  7. BJK77

    BJK77 Gold

    I don't think they're getting that much with just cooking veggies in it and having soup a few times a week. From what I've read, broth was a staple item in traditional cultures - at least a cup consumed daily. I don't think they're getting that much.
  8. Sem

    Sem New Member

    Love this thread. I've been trying hard to improve my children's diet. What a journey. I've cut out gluten by now they just want to eat rice pasta and corn chips. Ugh. The hardest part is dealing with relatives, friends, social and school functions. It's hard to feed them meat and veggies all day.

  9. oh I hear ya. I find myself avoiding things with food as even a year later - I still get crying and "your so mean mommy" when I don't let him partake in cakes or treats at functions. He's 6, I figure this is the most important time in his development - so I just say, No, mommy's not mean - she just loves you so much.

    We've discussed how this is "new" information that other families just don't realize yet. Compare it to the way smoking was back in the day.

    I will do rice now and then when eating out - like we go to chipotle and he gets a bowl with rice. He also loves sushi, so I just go with the rice on that. We bake almond flour stuff for treats now and then, and the poor child gets a LOT of sweet potatoes.

    But yea, it's H A R D. My worry for awhile was contributing to bad eating behaviors like binging on candy when it's available or when he grows up seeking out junk food cause he never got it as a child. I've come to realize that those kinds of eating disorders are not "given" to someone. Their brain is broken in a particular way for that.

    The best I can do is force a healthy body and mind on him now, so hopefully he will be equipped to handle the temptations later on.
  10. MamaGrok

    MamaGrok New Member

    Feed 'em lots of protein for breakfast.
  11. Sem

    Sem New Member

    MamaGrok - I am trying! My younger one won't eat eggs and since he came up positive on allergen testing, I don't push it. What else do you suggest? They also complain about eating "dinner" food in the morning. LOL.
  12. Sem

    Sem New Member

    Cavemam - I hear you. So hard. My kids have multiple food sensitivities too so I should probably do GAPS with them. Maybe while I have more control over the summer.
  13. MamaGrok

    MamaGrok New Member

    We did GAPS (I dubbed them my detectives & scientists beforehand), so they were thrilled to get anything but soup after the first week, lol. I have a solid rule that everyone must eat protein for every meal. Where "one unit" = 1 egg or 1oz meat, I insisted on 1 unit per meal for the little guys and 2 for the older kids at first, but now they're up to at least 3 units each.

    Sausage! Find a pastured pork farmer who is accessible to you - theyr'e not all that rare anymore. Make your own from beef or ground pork using an online recipe (it's just the meat + a few seasonings, no biggie).

    Kids can't do their best, can't control their moods, and can't stop sugar cravings without protein to start the day. My rule at first was "protein first" at every meal, and nothing else till they finished it, till they got used to that . Then those who were old enough and/or trustworthy enough were allowed to eat protein along with their other food.

    I'm not mean about rules; I just sit down with them when I have a new idea and say, "Hey, guys, I learned something new that should help us all feel better and have more fun - blahbiddyblahblah." That's it; whining changes nothing and I just do what I said I'd do.

  14. With no grains as an option - there really are no choices round here but protein for bfast - sem, my guy took to sardines and liverwurst right away. I still have to choke em down, but kids seem good with it. He likes to open the can.

    Im also a big believer in "if they are hungry enough". When he refuses to eat what I fix, I use it as an opportunity to tell him that it's ok to be hungry - and skipping meals is good for ya now and then. That ties into our transition to eating before 6 p, And nothing after. If he doesnt eat whats served at dinner - he gets the "thats great - its good to be hungry! Ill make you a nice bif bfast tomorrow.

  15. The first time he had to go to dinner without eating involved lots of drama on his part - but that was it. He knows I am happy to have him miss a meal now.
  16. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    +1 to what MamaGrok and Cavemam have said. Also, I find it essential for my children to have good fat (in big quantities) with the protein for breakfast. If your kids can do dairy, I use yogurt for this. Plain, organic yogurt. I melt butter and CO (probably a tablespoon of each, I don't measure) and then split it into 2 cups. When it's cooled a bit (but still melted), I add cinnamon and a small bit of raw honey and mix well. (You can add other things here easily... we've put DE in, as well as l-glutamine and probiotic powders). Then I put in a few heaping tablespoons of yogurt and then mix the hell out of it. It actually whips up into a bit of 'icing' texture but retains the yogurt taste. My kids eat this every morning (with an organic sausage of some sort, typically lamb and rosemary is their fave).

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