As you’ve probably seen me post on social media lately, I’m hungry. Ha. Just kidding. I’ve spent the month of January tackling my second attempt at the Whole 30! I tried to do it abut a year ago and only made it five days. This time I am determined to make it the entire 30 days. My primary goal in doing the Whole30 was to find easy, flavorful recipes that our whole family would love. It’s been quite an adjustment for Noah, who is a Goldfish, cookie, and fruit snack addict. (He and I definitely share a love of homemade chocolate chip cookies)! However, I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made and its kept me motivated to continue the hunt for more easy, healthy, delicious recipes! (I mean, he ate half a bag of steamed broccoli the other night – that’s a parenting win if I ever did see one)! I didn’t want to restrict Noah to a Whole30 diet (just something I wasn’t personally comfortable with), so I would say that the most difficult part of my Whole30 was preparing non-compliant foods for him! Here are my tips for surviving a Whole30 with kids!
- Plan, plan, plan, and plan some more. I won’t lie, its a lot of work. But, I promise that all of the planning pays off in the end! Seek out easy recipes that contain flavors you already enjoy. It will get easier over time as you start to learn your new go-to recipes! It’s just like going to a new grocery store – the first few trips you fumble around and walk across the store a thousand times, but eventually you’ve got the aisles memorized. Same with finding new recipes! At first, its hard, takes a lot of planning and experimenting, but you’ll get into a new groove!
- Plan meals that the whole family can enjoy. I saw this as both a food experiment for me AND for Noah. I served him the same thing that we were eating for dinner, but since a lot of these foods were unfamiliar to him I made sure that I also put something that he liked on his plate. This meant adding fruit, yogurt, cheese, whole wheat bread with hummus (he loves hummus), etc to his plate. I also added ketchup since we all know kids eat everything better with ketchup.
- Take full advantage of convenience items. They may be a bit more expensive, but decide if its worth it to you. For me, it definitely was. I don’t think I would have made it through my Whole30 journey without some of these products! Stay tuned for my list of favorites!
- Don’t stress about making your kids eat it. I gently encouraged Noah to taste the new foods, but I never pushed it. It takes children many instances of repeated exposure before they may even try something new. Rather than allowing myself to become frustrated with him, I focused on the fact that even just putting these foods in front of him was progress. Eventually, he will learn to eat and even like some of them. We are all skeptical of trying new things – toddlers are no different! My favorite way to gently encourage Noah is to talk to the other adults at the table about how much much I am enjoying the meal. But be genuine! I’ve noticed that Noah is more likely to try something new if I sincerely tell Jeremy that I’m really enjoying it. Noah listens to everything we say and will usually end up trying it on his own just from overhearing our dinner conversation.
- Avoid your weaknesses. I love chocolate chip cookies. When we have cookies in the house, its like I enter a time warp and before I know it, I’m 4 cookies deep. I just have no self control when it comes to cookies!! I bought Noah chocolate chip cookies during my Whole30 as a reward for using the potty (yeah, I know, probably not the best thing to do while trying to eat healthy). Anyway, big mistake. That box of cookies and the knowledge that it was present in my pantry haunted me for days. Don’t do that to yourself