Home meals My 15yo daughter's self designed paleo menu

My 15yo daughter's self designed paleo menu

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Vegetable, herb and chicken salad

Are you a paleo parent with teenagers? We have 2 teens, 13 and 15. If your experience is like mine, it can be a challenge to keep the kids paleo and have them care about the food they eat. My son – now 13 had a serious soda addiction for a while, both the sugary type and the diet type. He’d use any money he could find and drop by the supermarket on the way home from school and pick up a litre. He seems to have gotten over that fortunately.

My daughter struggles with her big appetite and all the yummy junky food on offer when she hangs out with her friends. Added to this she has to take a full 6 months off all sports due to a bilateral stress fracture in the pars area at L5, which developed playing an enormous amount of soccer (her passion). The result is a few kilos of weight gain.

I do try to keep my kids paleo most of the time – but don’t want to seem obsessive and weird either. They have occasional grain foods and treats. And I have no control when they are out. Because neither of them react in any obvious or negative way to gluten or grains, they think I am somewhat extreme when I say wheat is evil. I supply a variety of paleo / real food at home, and teach them about healthy eating and try not to get over the top or pedantic about it. Every evening we sit round the dinner table and chat about the day over a home cooked (always paleo) dinner.

My daughter wants to trim down a little and keep her pimples at bay. As a mum who has had her own share of disordered eating in the past, I don’t want her to go there. My advice is always from the perspective of healthy eating and appetite control, not “dieting”.

She’s a smart kid and self aware and is determined to clean up her diet; one of her goals for her health class is to cut down on grains and dairy. She said the teacher gave her a strange look at that goal. My daughter loves food and likes some variety and choice. I suggested she come up with a week’s menu of food she would like, and I’ll help prepare it.

Here it is, and this is a picture of tomorrow’s lunch – we had the veggie salad for dinner, and cooked extra chicken so she can have protein with it. (I stress the protein in meals for appetite control)

Monday:

Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
Lunch: salami, cashews, carrot sticks, green beans, water.

Tuesday

Vegetable, herb and chicken salad

Breakfast: boiled eggs, fresh fruit salad
Lunch: Veggie and chicken salad. (roasted root vegetables, blanched green beans, chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, chicken) nuts, grapes.

Wednesday
Breakfast: fresh orange wedges, scrambled eggs
Lunch: Salmon, avocado and cucumber sushi (homemade – using a small amount of rice) mandarins. Cashew, macadamia and dried cranberry mix.

Thursday:
Breakfast:Fruit smoothie with whey protein powder
Lunch: Stirfry rainbow vegetables and chicken. Grapes.

Friday
Breakfast: bacon, fruit salad
Lunch: chicken curry mayonnaise (Saute onion, mix with a little apricot jam and curry powder, mix into mayonnaise pref homemade) A little rice. Vegetable sticks. Fresh fruit

I think she has done well!

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a mother to seven (24 to 5 years old) and all live at home. I’ve been trying to slowly turn my family on to the paleo lifestyle. I have every obstacle imaginable….underweight picky eater to active overweight ultra healthy eater….to the college diet of beer and pizza. I think getting your children to help with a menu plan is a great idea! I make a weekly menu, but that doesn’t stop my older children from bringing their own groceries into the house and leaving the treats/goodies in the pantry where my younger children find it.

    • I cannot imagine having to manage that many children food wise! I’m impressed. My son is a bit more difficult to get into healthier eating, but I’ll just keep doing the best I can. He is not motivated like my daughter either. However – I still control the food buying!

  2. What a lovely menu, it works so well for me when I take the time to be organised and plan it out like that.

    Such a shame the HEALTH teacher doesn’t get cutting back on grains and dairy. I guess they still have a low fat agenda?

    • Ye they do – they use the government food pyramid, whole grains for fibre, carbohydrates and B vitamins, dairy for calcium. My daughter was staying at a friend’s place while we went to AHS in August. After a wheat, dairy and treat filled 5 days her skin was lots worse and her weight increased. A good lesson – she can see and feel the difference. She also noted to me how addictive cereal and milk is to her.

      • I am a former cereal addict! Now I make a bowl of sunflower seeds, shredded coconut and a few raisins in a bowl and pour some coconut milk over it. My new cereal!

  3. She HAS done well! I so wish I had known about the Paleo approach at 15.
    You’re doing a great job with your kids – they will have a huge head-start in terms of their on-going health. They will probably eat rubbish too, but they will be aware of the alternatives.
    I can’t even imagine what my life would have been like, if I had been well from a young age.
    More power to your kids, and to you.

    • Yes they will still eat rubbish. My daughter is proud of herself when she limits how much junk she eats when out – eating a small amount then stopping. Or choosing a healthier option like a piece of fruit.

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