Let me start this post with a huge sigh. Not 100% sure how to write that! but here goes:
I believe in the theories behind Paleo. They make sense to me and I see plenty of evidence to support them. In fact, more and more evidence is coming to light that also supports the foundations of Paleo.
Problem is, it’s really tough to raise a Paleo baby. And what’s even tougher is being a paleo parent with a non paleo baby. I can’t make her breakfast and feed it to her and still have time to cook bacon and eggs. Produce enough meals and snacks to keep us both satisfied whilst managing the house and trying to find some side income. It’s an ideal that I feel I would never achieve despite my best intentions.
So, like many others and in the vein of keeping sanity, I’m compromising. I’m trying to do my best, by her and by myself, and not feel too badly about it.
We do toast. A lot. Yep, it’s bread and I’m not 100% happy about it but she loves toast and it means I can have breakfast with her instead of trying to remember to fit it into her first nap, along with showering, emptying and reloading the dishwasher, feeding the dogs and [hopefully] hanging out the washing. Sometimes she only stays down 40 mins….that 40 mins flies by! So yep, we do toast. That said, what ever goes on her toast I try to make as healthy as possible. Right now, she gets nut butter [ie Almond butter], butter and a wee bit of Vegemite or natural peanut butter. No, PB is not Paleo I know, but I take solace in the fact that it is natural, sugar & preservative free.
We snack on some fruit but I try to keep it to once or twice a day. It’s the only sweet she has and she loves it but I try to remember that fruit is a treat and too much is not good.
We snack on yoghurt [plain Greek, no sugar or flavour]…boiled eggs…cheese sticks…cruskits [rye] or brown rice cakes with avocado or peanut butter.
And for dinner, and usually next days lunch, we eat meat and veg. I try to keep pasta to a minimum but she LOVES it and on the days when it’s all she will eat, I am grateful for it. She also loves her veggies, a lot, which pleases me no end, but I cannot feed her nothing but vegetables, as I found out to my horror when an overload of veggies caused some very runny poop.
My big fails are that she has two ‘snack’ foods that are commercial, processed stuff: rusks and nutrios [little puffed corn snacks]. These two items are life saving when we are out and about and I cannot give them up just yet!
So that all sounds fairly bad, but here are my efforts, the things I do actually do, to try to keep us as healthy as possible.
No sugar. I have very little and my daughter has none. Apart from naturally occurring sugars in the fruit she eats, that is! I don’t give her anything and I don’t allow others to, either. Sugar in today’s quantities is poison.
Very little added salt. I am mindful of the salt content of food I give Ella. I don’t add it to our cooking at all, though I may add a little to my meal when eating, if I want to.
No processed foods. Well apart from the cruskits, rice cakes, rusks and nutrios. I make all of Ella’s food, which is fairly easy as I keep things simple. When we go out, now that she is eating meals with us, I try to keep my order for her as simple as possible too. Or bring our own food for her!
I don’t give her lollies, chocolate, ice cream or custard. She doesn’t have biscuits or crackers or cake. She only has full fat natural dairy, without flavours or preservatives.
The side effect is that the above applies for the most part, to my diet as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not as strict on what I eat as I am with what I feed Ella but I try to treat myself with the same consideration and concern as I do her, as much as possible.
So there you go. It’s a long way from Paleo but it’s also a long way from the ‘average’ diet I think. I’m gradually thinking of ways to replace the foods I wish we didn’t eat but I know it will take a while.
I struggle every day with the guilt of feeding my daughter foods that I do believe cause ill health, such as grains. But I try to balance that with a pat on the back for all the foods I don’t feed her, like sugar and processed crap.
Gees this post is an ESSAY!!! Crazy. See why I started with a sigh?!?!?!?!
I’m doing my best. And I’m doing ok. And hopefully, we will get there.