You’re eating Paleo, but should your kids eat Paleo, too? Of course they should!
Many of us have made the switch to Paleo to be healthier and to lose weight. But this way of eating shouldn’t just be for adults. Good nutrition and a balanced Paleo diet are essential for healthy, happy kids. Plus, making the switch to Paleo is a whole lot easier if the whole family does it together!
Kids should eat Paleo at school, too. You can pack your kids healthy lunches to make sure they stay on track when they aren’t at home. Try these fun, totally kid-friendly lunchbox ideas!
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Here are three great reasons to introduce your kids to the Paleo diet.
1. They’ll Eat Real Food
Far too many families eat high-calorie, convenience pseudo-food out of bags, boxes, and cans. Just add a dollop of something else vaguely food-like, and supper’s served. But if your kids are eating Paleo, they’ll be eating real, unprocessed food. They’ll be getting more nutrition from fresh fruits and veggies.
There’s also a benefit to starting them young. Your Paleo kids will also have healthier, more natural sources for the macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that their bodies need to grow. Fresh foods provide these necessary compounds, including antioxidants, which are thought to minimize kids’ chances of getting cancer. In addition, Paleo eating means incorporating more dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, both of which increase calcium absorption, required for bone growth and strength. Just make sure that your kids are getting enough carbohydrates, as they need these to grow!
2. They’ll Ingest Fewer Food Additives
A significant advantage of eating real food is that your kids will be consuming far fewer food additives than the average child. Additives, including sugar substitutes like saccharin, emulsifiers such as monoglycerides, and taste enhancers like monosodium glutamate (MSG), are all linked to rising obesity rates.
Eating Paleo will mean that your kids won’t be eating the empty calories and food additives that are linked to obesity. They’ll be getting the nutrients they need in a much healthier package: real food.
3. They’ll Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy (and unhealthy) eating habits are first established in the home.
As parents, we set examples for our children, whether we realize it or not. Family meals, parental eating and cooking practices, and home availability of foods have all been associated with the establishment and maintenance of healthy eating habits.
There is also evidence that children will mimic parents in their consumption of fruit and vegetables, as indicated by a relatively recent review in Health Education Research. And those healthy eating habits will serve your children well as they grow, establishing patterns that will influence them well into adulthood. Starting your kids on a healthy Paleo lifestyle will make it so much easier for them to eat healthy as adults, too!
(Read This Next: 6 Paleo Recipes for Kids – And Even the Pickiest Eaters)