While I’m not a parent, I can appreciate that feeding your kids AIP could be quite a challenge, especially since they’re likely already accustomed to the brightly colored, artificially flavored, sugar laden main-stream foods like Kraft Dinner, frozen pizzas and Fruit Loops! Heck – you might even have a challenge feeding your “big” kids (aka teens and husbands) an AIP diet for the same reasons!
Unfortunately there’s no plan in place for guaranteed success – it’s going to take some trial and error to make the transition, but the good news is that I can share some suggestions!
Shhh … No One Needs to Know!
My top tip – NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW IT’S AIP! Before you started on the AIP, did you feel it necessary to tell your family about all the ingredients you put in the meal you were presenting?
I find as soon as you put a label on anything out of the ordinary you will meet with resistance.
I see this with my extended family all the time! If you tell them something’s gluten free or AIP they simply decline. If they were to eat it without knowing, they’d probably never realize it was anything “special” – and trust me, I’ve tested this theory! Just remember, it’s not AIP Food … it’s just food!
Nutrient Density & Food Familiarity
Granted, there are some things that you’re likely to have a little more trouble with, (yes, I’m talking about liver and offal), but again, you don’t have to tell your family everything! You’re allowed to hide “gross” foods from your kids, and even yourself, in order to ensure you’re eating a more nutrient dense diet. You’ll find many recipes in the AIP Recipe Collection Facebook page that are named “hidden veggie” or “hidden liver” or something similar. What we’re talking about here is called “food familiarity,” and there’s actual science behind it (Dr. Ballantyne talks about this in her Therapeutic Approach Masterclass)! Familiar flavors and textures in dishes we’re used to eating work in our favor as we incorporate small amounts of “less popular” foods. Things like a hidden liver meatloaf, meat balls or burgers are a great starting point as we transition to healthier choices on the AIP.
Here’s a little fun-fact: Did you know that liver is a flavor enhancer?!
If you’re having trouble incorporating liver in your diet, try this starter recipe from Dr. Ballantyne – 50/50/50 Burgers – she says her girls even ASK for these burgers, and I personally love them for breakfast – they’re even delicious cold! Another important note is that different kinds of liver have different flavor profiles, and butchering processes/practices effect the taste of meat, as do different breeds of cattle, pork, chicken and so on … so you might have to try a few different kinds before you find something you really enjoy.
Get the Family on Board
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Babies & Kids
Since I frequently get questions in our Facebook Group for “kid-friendly” AIP meals, I understand that getting enough nutrients into them can be tricky, I’ve compiled this additional list of resources that I hope will help save you some frustrations.
NOTE: NOT all of the information below is specifically about AIP, but it is about Paleo (of which the AIP is a modified version as you know). Use caution when determining what foods to include/exclude where this is discussed and above all, consult a professional healthcare practitioner.
Facebook Group – The Autoimmune Family with Vanessa Bond
Facebook Support Group – AIP in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Paleo Leap – Cave Babies: Raising Happy, Healthy Paleo Kids
This article has some links to other web-pages and some specific information about nutrients.
Robb Wolf – Feeding Kids Paleo
Includes a FREE Guide Book if you sign up for his newsletter when you land on his page.
Mark’s Daily Apple – Raising Your Kids on Primal Foods (Plus Mealtime Strategies for Picky Eaters)
Grazed & Enthused – Real Food Baby: How We Introduced Solids
Looking for Kid-Friendly AIP Recipes?
Familiarity is a kid’s best friend – so try to keep it as “normal” as possible.
Try using the search function over in our Facebook Group – try searching “kid friendly” “snack” “brown bag” or the particular dish you’re looking for … like “mac n cheese” or “shepherd’s pie” or “veggie poppers” or “nuggets” or even “baby food” if you’ve got a toddler!
Check out our Food Sourcing page and go to the “snacks” link for lots of great suggestions, and be sure to check out Paleo On The Go – they even carry an AIP version of Pop Tarts and Pizza Pops!