I want to make sure that I celebrate and appreciate each step my family makes as we gradually move closer to a fully paleolithic diet for each of us. And this week, we made HUGE progress with my oldest daughter. Time for a happy dance!
We are now a completely gluten free household! We managed to transition my youngest to gluten free about a month ago. And we have noticed huge improvements to her sleep already. But it was much harder with my oldest. She doesn’t like any of the gluten-free or paleo crackers (see my recipes for Plantain Crackers and Club Crackers) we’ve tried so far, but has gotten used to eating cheese by itself. She is eating a gluten-free breakfast cereal beside her scrambled eggs and bacon, which is really the only non-lactopaleo food left in her diet. She does love my paleo muffins and cookies (see all my muffin and cookie recipes), which have worked very well as bribes. But mostly, we’we’ve substituted a lot more fruits and vegetables for the grains that she would have eaten before.
My daughter is finally eating vegetables EVERY DAY! I’m not sure you can fully appreciate the monumental achievement that this is. This partially reflects The New Rules and partially reflects some bribery (she has to eat a green vegetable every day for 100 days in order to earn a LeapPad). I’m also presenting her with more variety of vegetables at both lunch and supper, so she’s also getting used to eating them more frequently.
My daughter is eating protein! Okay, so eggs can still be a battle of wills every morning, but she is eating some. And admittedly, a fair amount of the protein she is eating is in deli meat form (not preferred by me). But she is eating protein and this is huge! And she’s trying way more different types of meat cooked and seasoned in different ways (she has to try whatever meat or fish I make for supper plus she has to eat a good portion of the ones I know she doesn’t completely hate). She even tried some salmon tonight at dinner (see all my seafood recipes here), which is huge because she normally hates the smell of fish so much she won’t enter the kitchen when I cook it.
My daughter has discovered milk! This may seem a bit counterintuitive to cheer a dairy product when my ultimate goal is a strict paleo diet for my family. But my plan for my children has always been lactopaleo (with as many of those dairy products coming from grass-fed cows as possible). And drinking milk seems to be doing wonders for regulating her blood sugar between meals.
So how is improving the quality of my daughter’s food affecting everything else? Well, for starters, her appetite seems to be much bigger too. She’s eating more at each meal and snack and often surprises me with how much she eats at one sitting. I’ve noticed a big improvement in her disposition. She seems less whiny (of course, that’s tough to quantify!), more cooperative, and seems to be taking more initiative to do things by herself. I may be projecting some of my own emotions here, but she really does seem happier.
Of course, we still have a ways to go. My daughter still doesn’t like most of the foods she’s presented with. She is still trying to negotiate how many bites of absolutely everything. She still gets upset when we insist on her eating what’s on her plate at suppertime. I would still like to see her eat more vegetables and better proteins. But I truly appreciate how far we have come in such a short time. And I am really, really proud of my daughter.