THE most common question i receive from you guys is “how in the world do you get your kids to eat so healthy?” Oh you mean besides threatening them and locking them in the basement until they finish their dinner? Yes, Asher and Holden lovelovelove to eat, BUT I would like to think we have had
probably nothing something to do with that. Start em young, folks. So, in this post, I am going to give you a few tips and tricks to complete a successful Whole30 with kids. Disclaimer: my kids are still young (10 months and 3.5 years), but I will include tips for older kids as well. Make sure you check out Stilettos and Diapers’ 5 Tips for Completing Whole30 with Kids as well!
WHOLE30 WITH KIDS: LEAVE THE DIET MENTALITY AT THE DOOR
Ok parents, it starts with you. It’s time to cut the diet mentality. Of course Whole30 is not easy. You are giving up things you love. BUT, there are SO many delicious meals out there that don’t require processed foods, sugar, diary, or grains. Ok, I agree, that sounds like a lot of exclusions, but I promisepromisepromise, it will be delish. Focus on what you and your family CAN eat, instead of what you cannot eat. Focus on the delicious hamburgers and taco bowls and steaks that you guys will get to enjoy together. NO DIETING ALLOWED. This is a healthy lifestyle change you are making for you and your family. Ok, here we go!
WHOLE30 WITH KIDS: MAKE IT FUN
Ok now that that is out of the way, let’s get the fam excited! Explain what the “Whole30 Challenge” is, but again, please do not call it a diet. SHOW them the benefits and MAKE IT FUN. IT’S A CHALLENGE, amirite? I mean think about it…there’s the 10 year challenge, the whatever challenge. Everyone loves a challenge! Can you create prizes? What about goals for each person? Can you make it a game? Whatever it takes to make it fun.
Focus on what you CAN eat. Look, I totally understand that you can’t just quit your Friday night pizza night cold turkey. However, you CAN create new traditions or shall we call them different traditions. “Oh hey kids, GUESS WHAT? Friday nights are now SHAKE SHACK FRIDAY’S!” We try to take the kids out to dinner on Friday nights. Since starting Whole30, we make sure that we go to restaurants that enable us to stick to Whole30, while the kiddos can order whatever they want.
GET THEM INVOLVED. If Asher “cooks,” he eats. Every.single.time. Get the kiddos involved by getting their suggestions for meals, picking out recipes, and helping cook the dish. They will have fun and feel invested in the meal. Also, after a great week of eating, treat them to a surprise that’s not Whole30. But mama, don’t you touch that ice cream.
WHOLE30 WITH KIDS: YOU GET A CARB, YOU GET A CARB, EVERYBODY GETS A CARB…EXCEPT YOU, OF COURSE
First of all, we are mean parents and refuse to cook separate meals for the kids. 1) We both work full time, and ain’t nobody got time for that. 2) We want our kiddos to learn to appreciate food and look forward to meals with us as a family. In fact, both kids started eating the same meals as us at 6 months of age (with modifications, duh), but it really taught them how to eat healthy and enjoy their food from a very young age. With that being said, our little dudes eat what we eat (most of the time). But I never said I wouldn’t add on to their meals to make it more fun or
easier to force you to eat it more delicious.
Perhaps, the EASIEST hack to complete Whole30 with kids is by adding a shell, a carb, or a bun to their meals. For example, we LOVE this Whole30 Egg Roll in a Bowl. Think your kids will get freaked out about it? Ok fine, serve their’s on a sticky bun. YUM! Another tip, simply alter their dish a tad by leaving out spices they won’t like or putting their taco bowl in a shell. What about deconstructed sandwiches for parents but the real deal for the kiddos? GENIUS.
WHOLE30 WITH KIDS: ELIMINATE THE JUNK
IF YOU CAN AVOID IT, try removing or limiting the chips and crackers and sour patch kids in your house. I realize you
feel like you have to have crackers and candy and other snacks for the kids. However, try eliminating some of those items just for 30 days. I promise your kids will survive. We keep Absolutely crackers on hand for Asher and Holden to snack on with hummus. The crackers are gluten free and only contain 6 ingredients. Another great option? RXBars. These were eliminated from Whole30 a couple of years ago, but we choose the ones with Whole30 compliant ingredients and eat those instead of accidentally binging on a box of Captain Crunch.
WHOLE30 WITH KIDS: TRICK THEM…OR BETTER YET, BRIBE THEM (jk, sort of)
In the mornings, we all eat eggs and avocado, but the kiddos LOVELOVELOVE their oatmeal. So, guess what? We make them their superfoods hot cereal with almond milk aka “Oatmilk,” like they have been eating since they were 6 months old, to go with their eggs and avocado. What they don’t know is that it is some sort of whole grain, gluten free, ancient grains goodness that they happen to love, because they don’t know the difference. Ignorance is bliss, amirite?
They say child birth is hard. But let me tell ya, birthing a child is nothing compared to being a parent. Mommin’ is hard, yall. Sometimes we do anything and everything just to survive. BUT, I promise, you CAN do this. Maybe you have to bribe them with ice cream. Maybe they get to eat at Chipotle more than usual. Hell, maybe they get Chipotle AND ice cream. BUT, if this is something that makes mama and dada feel good about themselves AND is great for the family, then let’s make it happen. You know they aren’t going to eat anyways, so you might as well serve something healthy. Totally kidding. But in all honesty, you will be pleasantly surprised at what your kids will eat. Might as well try!
WHOLE30 WITH KIDS: MORE RESOURCES
Thank you all for reading! I hope this post was useful for you. Make sure you check out my Whole30 archive, which contains a TON of resources, such as my Whole30 shopping list, How to Eat Out on Whole30, and so many delicious recipes. My girls Heather from My Life Well Loved, Molly from Stilettos and Diapers, and Jessica from Happily Hughes are all great resources, as well as our Whole30 Facebook group. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or shoot me a DM on Insta. Not following me there? Well, why the hell not!? We have a lot of fun talking fashion, travel, #momlife, and how we don’t really have it all together. My Whole30 Pinterest board is a great resource for recipes that the entire family will love. LASTLY, I have a ton of great silicone dinnerware, non-toxic sippy cups, Whole30 snacks, etc for the kiddos on my Amazon Storefront. I will also link some of our favs below. HAPPY WHOLE30, yall!