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Kids, lunchboxes & finding the balance for your family

Kids, lunchboxes & finding the balance for your family

It came as a welcome surprise that I was asked to contribute a portion of what I have experienced  to help those embarking on the paleo way. Our family used the paleo lifestyle to reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disease to live happier and healthier lives. 

It came as a welcome surprise that I was asked to contribute a portion of what I have experienced  to help those embarking on the paleo way. Our family used […]

I can testify to the fact that a paleo lifestyle gives a child an amazing health platform to increase their learning potential in so many ways.  

With this lifestyle we reduced the chemical burden on our bodies, increased our intake of nutrient dense foods with a focus on gut healing, learnt about the different forms of stress (social, emotional, chemical, physical, and nutritional) and we continue to heal our family by always working towards a balanced lifestyle.

We started this journey 6 years ago as a whole family approach (one in, all in). Although the lifestyle and diet keeps evolving, one thing has remained constant- the importance of filtered water and spray free/organic foods that are prepared correctly and are in balance of what we each need.


 

Transitioning children and families

Initially, transitioning into this lifestyle was met with resistance from the children and it was not always supported by our external families, including the school community, but over the last 6 years there have been great changes in the way people think about food and lifestyle balance. This is because of the amount of information that is now available on food, correct preparation methods, and recipe ideas. Sourcing ingredients has become more accessible, eating out is easier, and there are an abundance of success stories being shared to support the paleo lifestyle as being a sustainable option for health recovery and wellbeing.

 

People are becoming more aware and accepting of the highly individual nature of the each person’s body and a greater level of respect is offered when making choices as parents and guardians on behalf of our children.

If you are transitioning children, or people in general, to this lifestyle there are two approaches.

One approach is to jump in head first by choosing a start date and preparing the household. The second approach is slowly transitioning by adopting new practices as you learn and replacing foods as they run down in the cupboard or fridge. Neither option is without flaws and each has merits depending on individual family circumstances. At the end of the day you need only be happy with the choices that you’ve made knowing that there is no right or wrong, only what feels right to you in your own place and time.

For all of us it’s important to make an informed choice by researching and collecting information or testimonials from trustworthy sources.

Here’s a few of my tips for transitioning:

  • Make sure that you have food options prepared for when you are busy, tired or unwell. Things like broth, curries, bolognaise, left over roast meat and paleo sausages make for good quick meals.
  • Cook double quantities of everything as then you will always have left-over food for quick breakfasts, lunches and extra for freezing.
  • Trialling a new paleo meal each week will ease the change over period. When you have a week of meals that you know the family will eat then start the transition period. This reduces the possibility for food refusal if they are eating things that they are used-to and like already.
  • Have a birthday party action plan in place. I keep a box of high prized treats for parties in my cupboard and freezer. Things like coconut water, pre-packaged bliss balls, seaweed crackers, beetroot chips, iceblocks and sulphate free dried fruit make good choices. I keep a batch of frozen, iced cupcakes in the back of my freezer to grab on the way out the door to the party.
  • Make arrangements with the class teacher to store frozen-iced cupcakes at school or have a treat jar that your child can choose from when occasions like birthdays and class prizes come up. I keep a jar of organic dried mango cheeks in my son’s classroom for such occasions.

 

Transitioning takes time and that time is variable for each person or family member but once everything is in place and balanced it will become easier.

As a side note, a strong mind set also has a huge advantage when transitioning. I have found that the more knowledge I have, the more people seem to respect my decision. I feel that this often alleviates their fears, knowing and trusting that you have made a well informed choice.

There is less resistance by all because you are functioning from a place of strong purpose, loving intent and good information.


Lunch box ideas

School lunch boxes can be a tricky thing to navigate depending the school itself, the staff and its children. We have experienced three schools and found them to be vastly different in their ways. As I mentioned earlier a strong mindset and an open heart is required when talking to a school about their food allergy policies. We all want everyone to be safe and accepted when it comes to lifestyle choices. We are all highly individual and require respect and acceptance in order to feel part of the community at large. Teachers and administrators do the best they can to meet everyone’s needs. Be flexible and open always.

Our children’s lunch boxes include only a small offering of food as I find that both my boys are too busy to eat at school. Instead of spending time creating lunch boxes I focus on making a cooked breakfast high in fats. Breakfast in my house is pan fried onions cooked in coconut oil with diced bacon and to this I add scrambled eggs. The kids also get a side of fermented veggies, a mix of salad greens tossed with seeds, olive oil and avocado. If they are still hungry they can have coconut yoghurt with apricot granola or a smoothie.

Lunchbox ideas:

  • Fruit & Veg box – half an apple, celery, carrot, and cucumber cut into sticks with aoli or avocado dip
  • Homemade low sugar paleo slices, cakes, fruit and nut balls, or biscuits of their choice
  • Left over cold meat diced, paleo sausages or salami if tolerated.
  • Chia pudding or homemade jelly cup
  • Coconut flesh wraps
  • Salads
  • Smoothies, if any is left over from breakfast. I use an insulated double walled mini flask to keep it chilled.
  • Jerky
  • Homemade chocolate

Balance and lifestyle

The success of the paleo lifestyle for your family comes down to getting the balance right. The diet is about simple nutrient dense food eaten in season but even within that range there were times when I chose to modify the diet to aid our recovery. The core of any chosen lifestyle should be forged on listening to the innate feelings of the body and deciding if the approach is working or if it needs tweaking to bring balance on a individual level.

Consider the appropriateness and balance in exercise, the inclusion of creativity for emotional and spiritual growth, and ensure that there is a connection with community and family. Obey your body’s own unique rhythms including but not limited to sleep, age, bodily growth and repair and consider your sex, hormones and stage of life.

 

 

Awareness is the first step in change. Everything from here will happen as it should when you’re ready.

My personal experience is that the path I chose has worked for us and is continuing to provide health and happiness with an immune system that protects us from illness and promotes a reduced level of stress and anxiety which allows my children to be relaxed enough to communicate without fear of expressing themselves. We all now learn freely and joyfully, feeling that we have overcome many obstacles. I function knowing that tomorrow I will continue to learn, adapt and change the paleo lifestyle to suit my own needs.


Leah Follett:

Leah is an intuitive healer, health coach, teacher, public speaker, mother of two children and soon-to-be published author.

Leah currently runs a small clinic where she teaches health and lifestyle principles built on her own experiences with healing her children from their autism and digestive issues.

Leah’s clinic also focuses on energetic healing (Reiki) and identifying negative belief systems that form the basis of fear-based self-sabotage.

Currently she is focused on teaching others about local, sustainable, cost effective, organic, and spray-free produce, and homemade fermented foods to heal the gut. Her background is in GAPS, Paleo, Failsafe, ketogenicand other elimination diets. She favours a modified anti-inflammatory diet free from grains and dairy presently.

If you would like to connect with Leah please contact her though her webpage or via Facebook.

Web: www.akesisbalance.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/akesisbalance

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