My Paleo Kids are Hungry All The Time!!! Help!!!

I got an email from a reader last night that sparked an interest in me and I immediately decided to do a blog about it…the kind where hopefully readers with far more experience than I chime in.

My problem is with my kids. I handle the cravings pretty well, and the kids are compliant with my decision to eliminate grains, sugar and legumes…However, they are constantly hungry (or think they are). We are very fit and genetically thin and muscular. I am 41, 5’10 and 130 lbs. of cavewoman-style muscle, and a certified Yoga instructor. My kids, 11, 10 and 6 have started showing increased muscle definition—not from “leaning out” or losing what little fat they had to start with—but they are hungry! They are having increased athletic performance, and clothes are getting tighter in places like thighs, biceps and calves. For “skinny kids” they look absolutely ripped; and so do I, unlike most people in my rural area in “flyover country.”

This is not simply “craving” the junk they were accustomed to…they feel hungry (Paleo, three months now). Is it just a matter of time? We practice about an 80/20 diet, and I allow dairy in addition to meat, veggies, and fruit. What can I do to help them lessen the “hungry” feeling?

…It seems that many are paleo for the weight loss benefits, and we are because I wanted to avoid GMO foods; but we were already healthy and not “grain-dependent” so this is an unexpected complication.

In a subsequent exchange I asked her to clarify a few things.

They eat three meals per day; they only eat non-paleo at school and even then they avoid grain if they possibly can (They peel the breading off the corn-dogs, etc.).  So I say 80/20 because I am not able to control all they eat. They eat snacks at home that are Paleoish (i.e., cheese sometimes). Very few “starchy vegies” like potatoes (sweet or white) or corn.

They EAT a lot at home. I have adjusted my schedule to cook breakfast for them and we eat well, and paleo compliant. They’re just hungry all the time now, but I am not even sure if they are only missing the sugar load/grain “rush.”

Thanks for your help, skinny people apparently react to the transition differently (?)

OK, here’s my thoughts, for what they’re worth, and then I hope commenters with real world experience can chime in with helpful thoughts and suggestions, keeping in mind that others might encounter this obstacle as well.

  1. First and foremost, hunger is a normal evolutionary adaptation to motivate us to source more food, because in the wild, nothing is certain. The problem arises when that survival adaptation is put into a context where we have unlimited supply, and we know it. In the wild, depending on the environment, it’s reasonable to assume that where food was relatively accessible, people might choose to tolerate the hunger longer because it’s not severe enough to motivate them to go out of their way—kinda like when you delay cooking a meal because it’s a chore that’s worse than your current level of hunger.
  2. Particularly in the last few decades, we’ve established as part of our culture the notion that if you’re hungry and don’t immediately feed, something’s wrong, or it’s unhealthy, bad for you, etc. Of course, this is the doing of the food conglomerates and their marketing and promotions. We have a food culture that conditions us to never go hungry and never go thirsty, so when you’re feeling hungry, go ahead and have that Snickers bar and sugar drink. You’ll be hungry again soon enough…
  3. Looking back to my own childhood in the 60s and 70s, I recall how different the food culture was. We had breakfast as a family every morning before anyone left for school or work, and 8-9 times out of 10 it was bacon, eggs, & toast (hash browns were for Sunday breakfast). Rarely did we have oatmeal or boxed cereal. My mom packed a lunch everyday—a sandwich with meat on it, fruit, and usually some carrot sticks or something. A bag of chips was a rare treat and I always envied the other kids who always had them. But what I remember the very most is coming home from school, playing outside (we lived in wide open spaces with huge fields and a river, not a suburban development) for a few hours, coming in an asking mom, “when is dinner; I’m hungry.” I can recall the hunger being almost unbearable at times, but having anything to eat was out of the question (“you’ll spoil your dinner”). Mom was always a great cook, so I always dug into dinner with gusto. In later years, I recall us being allowed one or two slices of toast with peanut butter in the afternoon. In retrospect, I wish we hadn’t been.
  4. Kid hunger is an entirely different animal. Hunger is based on metabolic demands for everyone (in the context of a healthy metabolism); but for kids, this is a moving target on an upward slope. “Eat your food so you can grow up big and strong” is only partially right and implies that it’s the food that causes growth. In fact, it’s growth hormone that causes growth and hunger and subsequent higher intakes of food is in response to that growth and bigger mass to feed. So, just as growth is not uniform across the life of a child (spurts), so we would expect spurts in severity of hunger and total food intake. Normal.
  5. Speculative, but I’ll mention it anyway. Could be that as they are growing and have huge and increasing demands for nutrients, the past eating of kid junk may have left them with some mild to moderate nutritional deficiencies (likely)…and now that they are providing those nutrients, the body is playing catch up (speculative). The three months on paleo may not have been enough time yet for everything to settle out

Alright, with the above thoughts in mind, here’s how I might construct some experimentation.

  1. If you can pack them a really hearty paleo lunch that they can have in leu of the cafeteria food, I’d do that as absolute step number one. Maybe include an indulgence once per week as motivation. Another motivation, if you have the means, is to sometimes give them plenty to share with friends (make it good). If the friends love it and envy them, they’re more likely to develop a healthy elitist attitude—because, of course, they are the elite. That they already demonstrate increased athletic performance at school ties the whole bow on the package.
  2. If milk is part of the dairy they consume, I’d eliminate that and replace it with meat, veggies, fruits, nuts (butter, cream and cheese should be fine). Just total wild-ass speculation, but because milk is designed for early growth, it’s conceivable that the milk protein insulin growth factors mess with a growing kid’s hormonal balance which could cause unnatural hunger.
  3. Involve them in preparation, cooking and cleanup as much as possible. Teach them to begin preparing their own simple dishes (see sweet potato, below). I learned to make simple 2-egg omelets as a kid (plain, or with cheese), I think by about age 9. This will have the effect of putting their hunger into a context: “Hungry means you have to work. Now, how hungry did you say you were?”
  4. paleo is NOT low carb, regardless of what you may have learned. paleo includes zero carb to very high carb, depending upon what’s available in any given environment. So, don’t be afraid of carbs and most particularly so, with kids whose metabolisms should be fine if they’re lean and have always been lean. So, get some white sweet potatoes, pierce & pop ’em in the nuker for 5 minutes or so, slit ’em open, spread butter on them and sprinkle with cinnamon. Eat with a spoon. For added delight, toast & caramelize them under the broiler after the butter and cinnamon are added. This could go with a meal, be dessert, or an afternoon snack.
  5. Cook plenty at dinner so that there’s more than they can possibly eat (and for really good meals, plenty for that lunch to share with friends). Remind them of the hunger they experience and suggest they really make it count. Then if they do get hungry later, let them partake in as much leftovers as they want. Have them get used to eating cold leftovers from the fridge or, make another plate and let it sit out for 30 minutes to get nearer room temperature. This also teaches delayed gratification and, don’t be surprised that if they do put the plate out and wait 30 minutes, their appetite might sometimes be gone in the interim and the plate goes back in the fridge (happens to me sometimes).
  6. Nothing ever to eat or snack on once dinner is done (this should be near absolute with everyone). This gets their bodies used to going 12 hours per day with nothing but water. I often remark that my intermittent fasting 1-2 times per week for 24-30 hours reset my hunger mechanism to a more normal one, but it’s just as likely that a more profound cause is that virtually every day I go about 12 hours minimum without any food or snack. Also, if they complain of hunger a few hours after dinner, before bedtime, have them take note of it and then take note of how hungry they are immediately upon waking. Sleep moderates hunger.

So to summarize, I’d first realize that hunger is normal, and particularly in the context of growing kids where hunger is in part a means of motivating the consumption of more food than they have been accustomed to eating, as they grow. Since they’re lean and ripped, they have well functioning metabolisms, and now have an opportunity to live their whole lives without ever messing them up. Point out to them all the people who have damaged themselves. You probably have family members like that, where you could show them pictures of what the person looked like in their youth.

So given that they have well functioning metabolisms, let them eat paleo as much as they want. Just not after dinner. Here’s the principle tradeoffs:

  1. You get to eat as much paleo as you want between breakfast and dinner, no limits. In return, nothing between dinner and breakfast.
  2. You get to eat paleo snacks between meals, but you have to do it yourself (leftovers, sweet potato, fruit, etc.) and you have to clean up any mess. (Allowing them such snacks has the added benefit of likely resulting in additional leftovers from dinner that can be used in lunches.)
  3. No more cafeteria food at school, but you get an indulgence once per week, and when I have leftovers from a great dinner, you can have enough to share with friends so they’ll envy you, and you can explain how this is why you’re so lean & muscular and do better in sports, etc.

Alright, anything else from anyone? Discussion? Experience?

Update: See the follow-up to this post, motivated by going’s on in the comment thread: Why ‘Low-Carb For Everyone’ Advocate Kevin Geary Got Himself Banned.


  1. Kyle on February 22, 2012 at 13:33

    I agree with with what you have written. I think the biggest problem is probably the food they are eating at school. If they can bring a lunch with meat, veggies, some good fat and a little fruit they will feel much more full.

    Right now our son wants to snack, but I think its because he is bored. The weather has been nasty and we are all getting cabin fever. Also, we are trying to get him to eat what we eat and nothing specially made for him. This is a battle. So sometimes he won’t eat lunch or maybe dinner. So of course he wants to snack. We try to stick to our guns and say that he can’t have a snack because he didn’t finish his meal. The next meal he will usually devour whatever is in front of him. This is really tough, but I feel like its working.

    She doesn’t seem to be having this problem. So I will be a broken record. More fat and meat!

  2. Bryan Davis on February 22, 2012 at 16:31

    My kids are much younger 3, 4, 6.
    I wouldn’t dare offer straight ‘advice’ however;
    My approach this winter has been to try and replicate a seasonal food approach. I’m in Northern Ohio.
    So we ramped up the land protein and fat (local), canned/frozen fish (various), apples (local) and citrus (traveled a few miles!) occasional sweet potatoes, root veggies, kale, cabbages and loads of fermented foods I put by last November. Continually fermenting, condiments, beverages and yogurt as well.

    I prepare fully loaded protein, fat and veggie meals with occasional tubers/rice.

    I let the kids snack at will- Apples, bananas (I know, those are seriously off the locavore rails), real yogurt.

    My 6 year old has Stopped sneaking obnoxiously gross food (every manner of processed carb, chemical, sugar disaster) from grandpa’s junk food emporium unfortunately located near the kitchen. His behavior has so dramatically changed that, well- it’s a pleasure, let me assure you.

    My youngest son has been Paleoish most his life, so he’s stout all around- Body and mind.

    My daughter appears perfectly proportioned- plump (especially around all her joints), strong, a happy treasure, like a gift from the sun.

    So- shoot to honor the seasons, within reason- sounds like a reasonable approach to life’s experimental journey.

  3. Bryan Davis on February 22, 2012 at 16:36

    Hey LadySadie,

    After reading your previous message- I would say this:

    I would love to have you for a neighbor! Great job- Remain Awesome!

  4. Bryan Davis on February 22, 2012 at 16:43

    Ha- I forgot the eggs- Always eggs! 12-16 a day.

  5. Michelle on February 22, 2012 at 12:29

    Sounds exactly like my kids (6 and 7). They are hungry all the time. I cook breakfast for them, pack their lunches, and cook dinner every night. Our rule is they are allowed to snack as often as needed since they are not overweight and are very active little girls. We have a little counter next to our fridge loaded with bananas, apples, nuts, organges, etc. They are allowed to pick anything they want off the “snack” counter.

    • Mike d on October 16, 2012 at 10:27

      If you have ur kids on a true Paleo diet and they are hungry all the time, its a simple fix. YOU ARENT FEEDING THEM ENOUGH FAT.

  6. b-nasty on February 22, 2012 at 12:38

    Hungry? Let them eat!

    When I was younger, I remember packing away tons of food to grow to my current 6’3″, especially when I started adding in sports like swimming and track. I think as long as the food is quality paleo-food (especially if lower in carbs), the hunger signal is indicating *true* caloric needs.

    Another point is considering the relatively low caloric content of most ‘real’ foods compared to packaged junk. You have to eat a bunch of meat to equal the number of calories in some Doritos and a 20oz soda. So, in opposition to Richard’s recommendation, I’d keep tons of calorie-dense foods around, of which some of the best are dairy. Cheese cubes, cottage cheese, yoghourt, heavy cream + sweetener as a snack, etc.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 12:41

      I don’t oppose that at all. You forgot coconut milk.

      I limited this to mostly pure paleo because that’s how the question came in. But I think experimenting with Paleoish is fine.

      I think heavy cream is delicious straight up, without sweetener. Serve it cold, in shot glasses. :)

      • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 12:42

        And yea, while I didn’t mention it, easy to ingest fats like heavy cream, coconut milk, butter on just about everything is an easier way to kick up the caloric density.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on February 22, 2012 at 20:16

        Yes, I’d agree: increase fat intake. Fattier meats. Full fat milk, as much as they’ll drink. Nothing comes even close to when I was a kid living in England. After school every day I’d drink one pint of milk from a glass bottle delivered by the milkman. I’d make sure I drank the cream on the top first of all. Delicious. In one year my height increased from 5 foot 2 to 5 foot 9. (good thing it stopped there.)

        When I have a craving for ‘junkfood’ I eat Turkish figs. Loads of calories but they do hit the spot.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on February 22, 2012 at 20:27

        How about taking cold boiled potatoes out of the fridge and frying them in duckfat? Our family favourite. Filling? Oh yeah.

      • Bobby on February 26, 2012 at 22:52

        I don’t think you are fit to give advise or let alone write about what’s good for kids to eat.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 27, 2012 at 08:23

        “I don’t think you are fit to give advise or let alone write about what’s good for kids to eat.”

        And I should care what you think, why?

      • Bobbie on February 27, 2012 at 09:19

        this is not an advice column. It is a free exchange of ideas among equals. I understand that for some people that is a foreign concept.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 27, 2012 at 09:33

        And if someone decides to take an exchange amongst individuals as advice?

      • Bobbie on February 27, 2012 at 09:39

        my point was that the poster above who said you are not qualified or ‘fit’ has a false perception of this forum. If someone decides to take an exchange among equals as ‘advice’ that is their right and responsibility. I take much of the information in these exchanges as ‘advice’ – and find some of it valuable, some of it not, I’m a free adult human being who is tasked with discerning my truth among competing ideas.

    • anand srivastava on February 22, 2012 at 21:19

      Richard made a very good point that paleo is not necessarily low carb.

      To support the need of children for carbs I would point to the fact that mothers milk is very high in sugars, more so than the milk of other animals. This is because the growing brain needs it. This requirement reduces a lot after the first few years, but still the need is there.

      So think about the carb content of the diet.

      The human milk is also the lowest in protein, only at 7%, although the child is growing very fast at that age. Basically when the child is growing and expending lots and lots of energy, the protein part becomes much less important. So try to add a lot more fat than you yourself would eat.

  7. Stacy & Matt on February 22, 2012 at 12:44

    We had this problem, until we started incorporating more fat and other nutrient dense foods. Yes, kids need carbs too – they’re much more active than me at my desk all day, so they get more fruit and dense carbs than I eat.

    My 6yo’s typical foods include: meat, eggs & veggies for breakfast with a 4oz coconut milk smoothie or kombucha. Maybe berries instead. Then he has lunch at school, leftover dinner or tuna/canned salmon salad lettuce boats, applesauce, nuts, black olives or half an avocado for extra fat. He has a snack, usually homemade beef jerky or a “stick” from US Wellness Meats (their FAVORITE). After school he’ll get himself a snack, usually a fruit and a protein/fat, like hardboiled eggs with a fresh plum. Or more jerky and dried fruit. For dinner, they have an adult sized dinner. I mean, 3 kid bowls of spaghetti squash pasta – 2 or 3 hamburger patties with brussel sprouts and salad. They CHOW down because they’re hungry from having been outside for a few hours. If after that they still want food, fresh berries with coconut milk or one of our “treat” recipes does the trick and gives extra protein/carbs/fat before bed. They sleep through the night and wake up begging for their pre-breakfast banana!

    Often if you’re hungry you’re nutrient starved or thirsty. Just try to incorporate more nutrient dense foods (we make jerky out of beef heart), add liver to ground meat and offer them water ALL the time. I’ve found this really helps. And cutting down on sugars (like pastured dairy and dried fruit) gives them room for more satiating foods, like hard boiled eggs.

    Good luck!

  8. Stacy & Matt on February 22, 2012 at 12:48

    *pasteurized dairy is the problem.. pastured dairy is essential :)

  9. mark on February 22, 2012 at 12:52

    More fat.. I don’t think people understand how to eat fat when they go “low carb”

  10. tess on February 22, 2012 at 13:01

    yep — my first reaction was “more protein!” … and maybe some potatoes. given their build, i don’t think there’s a danger of more starch being fattening!

    but i REALLY LOVED the idea of making them responsible for snack preparation and cleanup — as Richard said, i think that will help separate the hungry from the snackish.

    • Saint Velvet on February 23, 2012 at 06:13

      I agree with you, tess and RN about the snacking – if my kids cry “hungry” between meals, they know what’s available and that they can help themselves. This isn’t a short-order cave.

      Culprits other than school “food” that we’ve eliminated are screen time of all varieties (except occasionally weekends) and weather dependent outdoor time. If it’s daylight, they go out, rain or shine, hot or cold. Our weather is rarely extreme, except for the heat, and that’s why there are sprinklers and squirt guns. As for the screen time, I can count on quadruple the mommy-I’m-hungry complaints if they’re watching or playing something on an electronic device. Uh, no – go get muddy.

  11. Karen P. on February 22, 2012 at 13:03

    I agree with everything here, but I want to throw my experience in.

    I was thoroughly Primal for 9 months before attempting a Whole30. So the only things missing that month were cheese, butter, alcohol, and sugars. And I had days where I experienced an uncomfortable level of hunger for the first time since going Paleo. I did my best to go for fats even more than before, but I found myself snacking more than I had in the past nine months. I still can’t quite wrap my head around why that would be the case.

    So at least in my experience, this is not out of the realm of possibility. I find that kids who aren’t eating constant junk are pretty in touch with their hunger cues, so if they say they’re starving, I’d believe it. Go for the fat.

  12. Jesrad on February 22, 2012 at 13:13

    That’s funny, I’m reminded of back when my wife was 20, she would eat in a single day: several pastries, a roasted chicken (yes, you read that right), cheese (the wheel, yup), and add yet some more aside. On one occasion she had 26 pancakes. And none of it would go to storage, back then. I was no stranger to that kind of appetite either, I remember well eating a pound of meat at lunch or dinner, many times. So to me the association between youth and huge appetite is pretty established.

    • jon w on February 22, 2012 at 23:47

      Not to quibble, but I am 37 and easily put away a chicken or 24 oz steak, 3×9 oz burger patties, etc.

  13. Lisa on February 22, 2012 at 13:41

    I came by to give a comment, but Stacy/Matt said everything I would have! For me, I do notice increasing fat keeps me from feeling ‘snacky’, but kids are a whole different story. Their little bodies and minds need nourishment!

  14. Margaretrc on February 22, 2012 at 13:48

    When my kids were growing up, I didn’t know anything about Paleo or Low carb or any of that. (I knew low fat, but luckily didn’t force it on my kids too much.) But one thing I did know was that if you allow kids free reign, but keep the options healthy, they will satisfy their nutritional needs–and develop a taste for a wide variety of good foods. My grown up kids are both excellent cooks who eat a huge variety of (mostly) healthy foods. One is Paleo (by necessity–he’s type 1) and the other is, well, not as Paleo as I’d like, but at least she doesn’t eat a lot of junk. A hungry kid is a kid who needs to eat–just make food that packs a nutritional and caloric punch, not junk, available. Foods high in good fats, protein and good carbs are the best options–all suggested by Richard and all of you above. I like the sweet potato idea! Way tastier than store bought white potato chips. If the kid is old enough and you have a deep fryer, I would even consider letting him/her make his/her own sweet potato chips fried in coconut oil for a lovely after school snack–with perhaps some cheese or other protein. Smoothies made with cream, coconut milk or cream and yogurt are also filling and nutritious with a little fruit to sweeten–easy enough for a kid to make themselves, or at least help. What they eat in school is the most difficult to control, but packing a lunch that will satisfy them (and their friends) so they don’t eat the junk provided by schools is of course the best idea. I would let them pack their own lunches as soon as they are old enough–from foods that you the parent approve and have available. Then they take ownership of it. My kids were packing their own lunches by the time they were in second or third grade–and helping to cook family meals, too–maybe not that young, but only a few years older. Oh, but if I’d only known then what I know now!

  15. Remnant on February 22, 2012 at 13:54

    Fat is key to feeling sated. In my experience, eat a lot of lean meat and you feel … full, even uncomfortably so. But without sufficient fat, you will not feel _sated_. Suggestions:

    1. Fattier cuts of meat at lunch and dinner.

    2. Generous use of coconut oil, butter, ghee when cooking vegetables.

    3. High fat dairy: fermented cream (creme fraiche) is better than yogurt for this purpose; add in some berries and you have, for my money, one of the most delicious and satisfying breakfasts / desserts / snacks around.

    4. High fat (faux) “sweets”: coconut macarons, dark chocolate.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 14:25

      I must agree. There are times when if I eat a bunch of fatty pork chops, maybe even with a fatty sauce made from chicken stock, I feel downright euphoric afterward. But you can’t trim the fat.

  16. Jarick on February 22, 2012 at 13:58

    Assuming they are eating enough protein and getting a fair amount of fat I’d up the starches. They are cheap and nutritious and just fine for lean individuals like they are. And lots of whole milk if they tolerate dairy. A tall glass with dinner takes out a chunk of hunger for pennies.

    I feed my son 3 squares with a protein, a starch, and typically a fruit or vegetable with a glass of milk. But he hasn’t reached teenage vacuum status yet. Easily the most well behaved child in his classroom, which is full of vegetarian hippies.

  17. Janet on February 22, 2012 at 14:03

    I had to think back in the 50’s and 60’s when I and my 4 siblings were at home on the farm. We had farm fresh everything–meat, eggs, veggies–but I hated the unpasteurized milk–the globs of butter fat made me gag and I would try to hide it–imagine my mothers surprise to find a small glass of milk behind the telephone or on the bookshelf once in a while. One HOT summer morning my grandpa brought so many bushel baskets of green beans into the kitchen for my mom to can , that when he left to go home for lunch, she marched that last straw bushel of beans out to the outhouse and dumped it in. She was passive aggressive that way. I was a Pepsi hound and knew where Dad hid the stuff–would try to sneak a bottle up to my room when I could. We had to split a 12 oz bottle (not 16 oz then) 4 (four) ways–so all of us became expert mathematicians to make sure no one got more and if we spilled, god help us, we were slurping it off the table. Back then there wasn’t much junk food around except the pop (rationed out) and potato chips–(should have been). I had to give up potato chips cold turkey in 2003 as I have no control over myself–too many wonderful local greasy brands around here. Don’t get me started . . . . . . Those kids above are very blessed that their parents are being such a good example. Sorry for gabbing on. Eating all this good Paleo-ish food has unleashed fond memories of food relationships past. Can you believe this? When I got married at 18, I couldn’t wait to buy cans of corn and frozen breaded fish stuff and TV dinners and other processed food, that seemed so easy to make. Sheeeesh.

  18. Tim Gwaltney on February 22, 2012 at 14:06

    I agree with giving them more starches. I never felt completely satisfied on paleo (even with shit tons of fat) until I added sweet potatoes up in the mix

  19. Dawn on February 22, 2012 at 14:06

    I have a 1.5 yr old who is hungry from the time she gets up after nap until after a favorite dinner (if it wasn’t a favorite dinner then she is usually needing a dessert of fruit). I found that when I cut out her allergen foods (most of the foods people who go Primal cut out anyway) she was hungrier and could eat a meal that was the size of my plate! So, because we are pre-planning a Whole30 for her and I, we are going to fill her drawer up with lots of Paleo snack foods like fruits, roasted veggies (the only way she eats them right now unless they are blended into other foods-she only has 7 teeth), and jerky.

    I don’t think the hunger is a bad thing so long as you ensure that they are getting as nutrient dense and calorically dense foods as possible into them when they are hungry. I’d also say that including them with the prep and clean up helps. My toddler will scream at me until food is ready if she isn’t involved int he prep but if she is involved with the prep then she understands why it takes so long.

    I would also say that strachier vegetables are okay for growing bodies imo. Only because they are trying to grow and need more calories, whereas an adult may be looking to lose or maintain weight and doesn’t need the extra calories. I don’t have anything to support this opinion but it’s the way I feed my toddler. She gets more sweet potatoes whereas I limit myself.

  20. Luke Terry on February 22, 2012 at 14:12

    I had the same response as a lot of the commenters–more fat! Especiall grass-fed tallow. Its omega 3-6 balance is superior (less than 10% omega 6), and it’s CHEAP.

    If the kids are adventurous eaters (I was as a kid, and still am, and sounds like you & your kids are too), you can try sauteeing dark leafy greens like collards, shard, & kale in grass-fed butter and/or tallow, with a hit of salt. It’s a nutrient-dense crowd pleaser. I use it as a bed for my eggs & sometimes bacon in the AM.

    Certainly, a big load of fat & protein in the morning will help.

    To reiterate both Richard’s comments and the others–let them eat, but also teach them it’s OK to be hungry for a few hours. Brief “intermittent fasts” of a few hours followed by a nutrient-dense paleo meal are awesome for satisfying hunger as well as learning to deal with it emotionally.

  21. Linda Sand on February 22, 2012 at 14:24

    As a young parent I went to a seminar that helped me understand life as our kids see it. The presenter sat a volunteer down at a tall table and gave her a serving bowl full of food and a quart jar full of beverage and kept urging her to finish her “meal” and not set her beverage so close to the edge of the table but to always put it down on the far side of her bowl. Kids have different sized bodies than adults do. The amount they can eat at one sitting is different than an adult’s amount. Kids may NEED snacks. High fat ones to help them get enough calories to support their active lives. Have you followed your kids around for a day lately? Trying to do so both wore me out and made me hungry.

  22. consuelo werner from healthyguts on February 22, 2012 at 14:30

    number one: Richard, this is a question I often get asked as well. number two: you are right. And number three: I’d say you go do your homework and start on with the Nikoley clan!!

    As you know I have 4 children and I have noticed throughout the years that high fat/protein meals in the morning are very effective and the key to maintain hunger levels to a minimum. For example I feed my kids 2 to 3 sausages, 1 to 2 over easy eggs and a big fat scoop of sweet potatoes with trimmed bacon and grass fed butter for breakfast. might sound like too much food but they eat it without complains. I usually like to give them if the ocassion arises a piece of fruit no later than 2 o’clock (because of the sugar might increase hunger or cravings) when lunch time comes around they usually eat only a snack because they are full and satisfied . Lunch=Let’s say fried bacon and berries.

    Dinner time again, high protein, high fat, lots of vegetables, some starch, no fruit. As long as you keep the meals high in fat and protein, they should be golden. Avoiding foods that contain or have sugar or some sort of craving trigger is a good rule of thumb. It even works with breastfed babies. Sleep patterns are better and longer too = makes them grow! (sleep is crucial to avoid cravings) and if after all the mentioned suggestions is not working and they are all going through a growing phase, I say, let them eat more at dinner time or pack them more food for lunch. This might also reduce the number of meals they eat a day (which in my childrens case is only 2) but then I was raised in a family where 2 big meals or sometimes one where enough. We didn’t eat for pleasure.

    Hope this helps.

  23. Erika on February 22, 2012 at 14:40

    Bravo for #4 (‘Paleo is NOT low carb’). Just don’t tell the Livin La Vida Low Cred gang…

    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 14:49

      I maybe should have phrased it “Paleo is NOT NECESSARILY low carb.”

      Can be if it works for you better and potentially must be if you have a broken metabolism. But it’s not necessary for some and most likely, most.

    • rob on February 22, 2012 at 15:04

      The weight of the evidence says that Paleo IS low carb, imo.

      If you tally the “more fat” to “more starch” entries, Paleo is clearly a low carb diet in an Ancestral Health wrapper.

      /not opining on what the parent should feed his/her kids
      //I wasn’t born yesterday, the only appropriate response to child raising issues is “You’re doing a wonderful job, your kids are absolute jewels and a blessing to humanity, and please keep doing what you are doing, on behalf of the entire planet and on behalf of generations to come, from the bottom of of my heart I praise you to the heavens”

      • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 15:09

        “The weight of the evidence says that Paleo IS low carb, imo.”

        Except for those who aren’t.

        To put it in the simplest and most direct terms as I can think of right now: “I eat a lot of sweet potatoes, and some meat, fish, fowl.”

        Not Paleo?

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 16:56

        Surely, you are because of the type of carbohydrates you consume. But that doesn’t mean the additional carbohydrates you eat have any benefit to your health or your “paleo” status. Perhaps that’s what he meant. If Paleo is describing paleolithic hunter-gathers, your argument for “high carb paleo” isn’t due much merit because it simply isn’t a good description for paleolithic hunter-gatherers nor is it a good description of how the body is designed to function.

      • Kenneth Younger on February 22, 2012 at 18:16

        When you say paleo is low-carb, how many grams of carbs are you talking about?

        And which particular types of carbs (if any) do you shun?

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 18:20

        I don’t think that really helps to convo but 50-70 grams is probably suitable for the majority of people. Many can do well on less than 50. Some do fine on 10. I don’t really like to “define” it by numbers.

      • Chris Sturdy on February 22, 2012 at 21:14

        Modern day HGs (e.g.,Kitavans) eat a ton more carbohydrates than 50 grams per day as do some Neolithics who would consider themselves Paleo (such as Richard and myself). Trying to make a one size fits all via macro numbers/ratios is a recipe for disaster. By the same logic, should we also prescribe how many grams of protein or fat one must eat per day to be deemed “Paleo”? I think not. As many more wise folks have said before, context matters, and if 50 grams per day works in your personal context, then great, but I wouldn’t assume that is a hard and fast absolute that will work for all.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 21:25

        Were you replying to him or me?

      • Chris Sturdy on February 22, 2012 at 21:27

        Just adding to the thread, but more directed at you given that Richard does not have a problem with healthy carbs and you seem to be focused on VLC.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 21:27

        Because I never said 50. I said 50 to 70 is probably enough for most people. I never said that some people can’t consume more and I never said 50 to 70 was optimal. You’ve effectively put words in my mouth if that’s the case.

      • Chris Sturdy on February 22, 2012 at 21:29

        Well I stand corrected. Nonetheless you did say 50-70 for the majority of people, which I would argue is on the low side unless you have some particular goals or health concerns.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 21:41

        I said 50 to 70 is “enough.” Everyone has different goals and levels of activity. But for basic activity and day to day function of the body and brain, I don’t think you can argue that 50 to 70 won’t get the job done.

      • Neal Matheson on February 22, 2012 at 23:53

        I think the low carb thing is something that has a very different meaning on this side of the atlantic, it;s a relaitve term anyhow. Low compared to the USDA’s 11 grain servings a day?
        Anyhow I am not only slim but also in good health and truly, honestly don’t have any problems or agendas around carbs. The actual Paleolithic diet as far as can be told was lower in carbohydrates than the neolithic diets that came later. This can be told by the material culture, tooth isotopes and prevelance of dental caries. Ice age Europeans were particularly meaty. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat carbs, it doesn’t mean it’s optimal to avoid them or that they weren;t hungry all the time. It just means that they didn;t eat as many carbs as later populations especially in the north.
        I get tired of writing this but the kitavans ARE NOT hunter gatherers, which does not invalidate following a kitavan style diet but it bugs me when people say they are.
        I am writing this eating a sweet potato with kerrygold

      • Chris Sturdy on February 23, 2012 at 06:12

        I noted the Kitavans as an example of folks with significant carbs in their diet; I should not have listed them as HGs.

  24. Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 14:51

    The problem is almost assuredly a lack of fat as some have mentioned. Fat is the number one macronutrient that triggers satiety. Low-fat = hunger. You don’t need to add carbohydrates in if they are ravenous for food; it’s probably not going to help much. Focus on fat and protein.

  25. Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 14:52

    “Paleo is NOT low carb”

    But for most, it should be. There is really no benefit to the consumption of carbohydrates past a certain — and pretty limited — point for the vast majority of people.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 15:00

      Nonsense. Check out perfectly healthy and lean folks who live within about 20 degrees of the equator, sometime.

      Really, check into it.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 15:51

        And what do they need carbohydrates for exactly?

      • C2U on February 22, 2012 at 20:07

        What for? Health.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 20:42

        You’re a little late to the conversation. We’re talking about “high carb paleo”. You’re welcome to join in, but you have to get on the same page first.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 15:57

        Oh, and your logic is skewed. If people who are lean consume carbohydrates, it doesn’t mean that carbohydrates make you lean. Nor does it mean they’re beneficial. It simply means that their body is more efficient at metabolizing carbohydrates.

        So you’ll need to rephrase your response a little bit if you want to make a real point.

      • anand srivastava on February 23, 2012 at 02:05

        You are changing the question. The question was what is paleo. I am pretty sure paleolithic people where lean, so by your logic they could have eaten a high carb diet while remaining perfectly healthy. But somehow paleo does not include carb?

        Actually low carb paleo is required for people with insulin resistance, and probably for some other issues as well. But other people might require carbs for some other reason, like low thyroid, and low adrenal performance. People whose adrenal overreacts to stress. Some people may not be able to convert protein or fats efficiently to glucose.

        Why not chose a diet in context? Paleo does not say you have to eat these things in these limits only. We only know what our ancestors could not have eaten. We don’t know what they did eat or how they mixed it up. And also we do know that people from different regions did entirely different things. How can you prescribe a single Paleo diet for everybody? If you define a single diet, it is by definition not paleo.

      • Kevin on February 23, 2012 at 05:43

        No. Your first sentence is illogical by definition. And then you proceeded to put words in my mouth.

      • Kevin on February 23, 2012 at 05:43

        No anand. Your first sentence is illogical by definition. And then you proceeded to put words in my mouth.

      • Conrad on February 24, 2012 at 17:00


        What would happen to those perfectly healthy lean folks who live within about 20 degrees of the equator if they ceased to eat carbs and replaced it with any amount of perfect meat?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2012 at 09:18

        “What would happen to those perfectly healthy lean folks who live within about 20 degrees of the equator if they ceased to eat carbs and replaced it with any amount of perfect meat?”

        Nobody can be sure, but it stands to reason that depending upon what it’s replaced with and the complexity of individual responses, it will distribute out on some kind of Bell Curve.

    • Tim Gwaltney on February 22, 2012 at 15:16

      I have 2 disagree with both of your comments kevin. Having ample fat is important but the amount can vary from person to person. Some people do better with more starch and less fat. I felt a lot more satisfied when I added sweet potatoes 2 my heavy meat N fat diet. It improved my health as well. Glucose defeciency is real shit 4 a lot of people who do vlc for an extended period of time. U should give “the perfect health diet” by Paul jaminet a peep (he has a blog). Dr mercola is another previous very low carber who changed his stance on starch after running into problems.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 15:32


        That’s great. Yea, I am very super confident that the necessity of low carb is going to be dead in Paleo, while still welcoming and allowing in with open arms the folks who need it.

        I am very confident as well that the great bond that exists with Paleo between both low carb and ancestral approaches will never be broken, in spite of what strains it may go though from time to time.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 15:53

        Glucose deficiency? That’s new on me. The body is able to create all of the glucose it needs for day to day operation from fat. The intuit eat 90% fat and never suffer “glucose deficiency.” Are they not human?

      • LeonRover on February 22, 2012 at 16:13

        Surely intuits live on intuition?

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 16:50

        Typo, forgive me.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 22, 2012 at 19:29

        Hey Gary Taubes, I mean kevin. Your starting to sound like alotta the vegans I run in 2 that are 2 stuck in their dogma 2 realize your beliefs about nutrition are not the answer for everyone. Most people I should say. Yes the Inuit and the masai both eat vlc diets and they are healthy. But are they known for their longevity? No their not. The longest lived cultures have have a atleast a good amount of carbs in their diet. How can u ignore that evidence? Just because u can survive and have good healthwithout carbs does not mean that it is optimal. Weston A. Price found the tribes that had the best health and most robust physiques ate a combination of animal products and unrefined plant foods. I suggest u check out “the perfect health diet” blog and educate yourself. There are countless testimonials of people including my own of vlc not being optimal for health in the long term. Is that not evidence?

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 21:30

        Longevity is not always a product of nutrition Tim. That’s a failed argument.

        And my argument has never been that everyone should go on the zero carb plan. Lol. Get your carbs from vegetables, good stuff. But some on here were discussing how paleo can be seen as “high carb” and I was simply stating that there is no benefit to “high carb” for the vast majority of people.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 22, 2012 at 22:36

        Well from a lot of your responses on this post it sounded like u think carbs are the devil and don’t offer any kind of value towards health. Particularly glucose. Check out that blog I mentioned. There’s alotta good info on there about glucose defeciency. Non starchy vegetables are virtually free of glucose so they don’t cut it as far as giving the body what it needs glucose wise. Which is why after a year of low carb eating with zero starch I started having negative symptoms. The body can make glucose from protein but it puts unneeded extra strain on the body. Like I said my health improved when I added STARCH (but still stayed low carb). Without it it wasn’t an optimal diet 4 me. Some people do ok without starch but a lot of us do better with atleast some. So bottomline is glucose plays an important part in a healthy diet.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 22, 2012 at 23:07

        *didnt mean 2 say u think carbs are satans spawn lol its getting late. That just seems 2 be the thinking of alotta the anti starch community. My apologies,

      • Kevin on February 23, 2012 at 05:48

        That’s because you interpret my Comments the way you want to interpret them. I never said carbs were evil. My entire argument is that most people don’t need to consume as much as most people think and that consumption can easily become detrimental. That’s all. Many people here have succeeded greatly in putting words in my mouth and rephrasing my comments to mean things I never said.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 23, 2012 at 07:04

        Like I said. When I was saying carbs, I was talking about starch. Not all carbs are created equal. Your coming off as starch has no particular use for the body and doesn’t have any nutrients that you can’t obtain from protein and fat. I’m simply stating that u are incorrect.

      • Kevin on February 23, 2012 at 07:58

        Tim, are you telling me that if I don’t eat starch, I’ll be less healthy? Or that potatoes are a staple of a healthy diet?

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 23, 2012 at 09:19

        I can’t speak for u. Obviously no starch in your diet seems to work but does that mean its the same for me and everyone else, no it doesn’t. Like I’ve said I’ve been down that road for over a year and it led me to less than optimal health. Sweet potatoes (starch) was the missing link in my diet that got me back to health. Hunter gatherers have been digging up roots and tubers for hundreds of thousands of years. There’s a reason why we have more of the starch enzyme amylase in our saliva than any other primate. So yes potatoes are a healthy addition to the diet. Again, the body can make glucose from protein but its not optimal. Eating an actual source of glucose (starch) is healthier for a lot of people. Do a little research and look up Dr mercola and his experience with a low carb diet without starch. His ideas were just like yours until he started running into problems a couple years down the road. Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health diet, same scenario. Look it up. Or are u afraid of your beliefs being challenged?

      • Kevin Geary on February 23, 2012 at 09:48

        I think that for the majority of people it’s optimal to get dietary carbohydrates from vegetables and berries. I don’t think starch is a requirement.

      • Rick on February 23, 2012 at 10:07

        longevity without nutrition would be difficult

      • Galina L. on February 23, 2012 at 18:23

        I think it is reasonable to remind all that people who lived on meat alone like Vilhjalmur Stefansson and members of his expedition didn’t suffer from the lack of carbs, veggies include. It may be not optimal for some reasons but should not be harmful at the same time.

      • Conrad on February 24, 2012 at 15:43

        Kevin Geary Said:
        And what do they need carbohydrates for exactly?

        No one has answered this question yet.

        Hi Tim Gwaltney, I mean shithead. Please try understanding the question and forming a direct answer before chiming in. So far your ad-hominem attacks have only helped to derail the question.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 18:55

        @conrad- what r u guys a couple? That’s cute. Re-read the posts bonehead. Then again from the bs you’ve already posted your probably on the same level as your sweety. Go to “the perfect health diet” blog by Paul Jaminet. I’m not gonna spell it all out here 4 u. There’s a wealth of information on there about glucose deficiency and why its healthier to have some carbohydrate in your diet, p articularly starch. It stresses the body to have to convert the needed glucose from protein when there’s lack of starch in ones diet.. I’ve done what kevins preaching for over year and found that wasn’t the answer. I go by real life experience, period.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2012 at 09:31

        “And what do they need carbohydrates for exactly?

        “No one has answered this question yet.”

        Who’s “they?”

        The reason “no one has answered this question yet” is because everyone is smart enough to see it as loaded and impossible to answer, in the same vein as asking, “why do ‘they’ need more than 7-10% of protein,” or, “why do ‘they’ need more than 20% fat,” or any number of other variables.

        You can’t look at carbohydrate / starch in a vacuum. There are three variables and above all, everyone requires sufficient energy. And there are vast differences in the way individuals respond to varying combinations of these three variables, rendering blanket assertions for everyone a fool’s errand.

        If you decrease carbs, you have to up fat, protein, or both. You don’t change a single variable, but two or more, and even more when you consider micronutrients (sweet potatoes, for example, are reasonably nutritious and even have quality protein). So good luck on that one diet, one list of foods, one macronutrient profile for one & all.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 21:22

        Well fuck me, Galina. I’m out for a bit of variety and enjoyment of life.

      • Galina L. on February 24, 2012 at 14:58

        What we do should have a practical reason, Steffansson went on the meat alone diet when he got old to enjoy his life more. It is stupid to put strict limitations on ourselves in order to just reenact paleo, especially when it concerns children. When people stopped being very young, they sometimes have to make a choise what they want to enjoy more. I had to stop drinking alcohol after 35 years old because it made my asthma worse. After I started to eat LC diet at 46 yo more than 4 years ago, my asthma disappeared and I can enjoy my occasional vine again. What is the best choice – wine versus bread? Since I also lost long list of medical conditions on LC, I choose healthy life over normal food.

      • Joseph on February 24, 2012 at 09:48

        Am I an Inuit? No. Are Kitavans Inuits? No. Are we all (me, Inuits, Kitavans) humans? Yes. Can we all be Paleo? Yes. Humanity embraces variety (with different kinds of people living differently in different environments). From a general perspective, the human being has some basic needs that can be quantified (calories, vitamins, etc.). From the perspective of particular individuals, needs are idiosyncratic. What I need is not necessarily what you need (since I was born with a different genetic and especially epigenetic endowment), and we can even service the same general need differently. Kitavans are as successful as the Inuit (until they abandon their traditional way of life for something Neolithic).

      • mark on February 23, 2012 at 05:01

        This really comes down to one thing: Do tests and experiment with your own body. I personally dropped most carbs and substantially upped the fat and my weight and blood tests improved BIG TIME – with Zero exercise!!

        If someone could honestly do the opposite – meaning take a blood test now while on a hight fat low carb diet then spin it backwards and drop the fat and increase carbs and show a blood test that actually improves…. LOL.

  26. Angie on February 22, 2012 at 15:13

    My family sounds like the one described above. My husband, two kids (9 & 11), and I are all naturally lean and active with a slender athletic build. Going paleo helped keep my appetite in check, but my kids stayed pretty hungry until we added non-“paleo” carbs like white rice and white potatoes (a la Paul Jaminet’s “safe starches”). Eating these carbs with ample good fat like Kerrygold butter has been hugely helpful for us, not only with hunger but also with our overall health. None of us do well with much fructose (it makes us hungry) so sweet potatoes and most fruit (both contain a lot fructose) don’t work as a carb source for us. When we do eat fruit it’s usually a dessert such as a very ripe banana fried in butter or berries and cream or berries/banana added to a high-fat yogurt and coconut oil smoothie. And I keep the highest-fat, cleanest ice cream I can find (Trader Joe’s premium vanilla and chocolate) in the freezer at all times for the kids. They can have it after dinner as often as they like. At first that was every night, but now it is only a few times a week at most.

    I don’t know, maybe there are those of us with a different build and metabolism that benefit more from these other starches. Otherwise, I totally agree with what Richard and others have written.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 15:25

      Let it be known that Angie is exactly the sort of reader and commenter I’m after. She really fuckimg gets it.

      …And I try to reserve f-bombs for emphasis only.

    • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 16:04

      I think it’s more that you’re tricking yourself into believing what you want to believe. The GI of a white potato is 69. The GI of a banana is 47-62. You claim you don’t do good on “glucose” and thus avoid fruits. What do you think carbohydrates (like the ones in your potato) turn into after you eat them?

      The nutritional science is crystal clear that fat triggers satiety far more effectively and for longer term than do carbohydrates. So you’re fooling yourself if you think that adding in carbohydrates was the “key” to not being hungry.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 17:11

        And to clarify, your body may be fooling itself also. If you are somewhat insulin resistant, your body may be craving the starch for fuel because it can’t properly metabolize fat for fuel due to the higher levels of insulin present in the bloodstream. In those who are insulin resistant, glucose is the only fuel that can be burned until the insulin levels drop. But that’s not describing what’s “supposed” to be happening. If high glycemic starches satisfy you, it’s likely that they’re simply satisfying a certain level of insulin resistance that you need to address.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 10:28

        “In those who are insulin resistant….”

        The kids aren’t insulin resistant, and that’s what the post is about.

      • anand srivastava on February 23, 2012 at 02:28

        You ought to talk with Stephan a neurobiologist working on how brain affects obesity. He says that glucose and insulin cause satiety.

        My interpretation.
        Some people can make enough glucose from proteins via cortisol, and get satiated on high fat and protein. Others who don’t generate enough glucose will need carbs in their diet.

        Children are a special case they do need a lot of glucose as their brains are growing. Ever thought why mothers milk is nearly 40% lactose by energy? Fat is only little more 50% of energy protein is just 7%. Agreed the children are slightly grown up than infants and are not growing brains at that rate, but still they do need more carbs than adults.

      • M.V. Martialis on February 23, 2012 at 07:45

        Nutritional science, or broscience? Stick to writing about advertising and marketing. Those topics seem better suited to your goals and purposes.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 10:27

        GI is absolutely worthless for any real information. You need to look into glycemic LOAD (this factors TIME into the equation—DUH), and for that, potatoes are pretty low because of a slower digestion owing to the fiber. Same for most fruits (dates are an exception where it’s a super high GI and pretty high GL as well).

    • Chris Sturdy on February 22, 2012 at 21:18

      We use similar carbs in our house with our kids.

  27. Paul Jaminet on February 22, 2012 at 15:39

    Hi Richard,

    Most likely the kids are hungry because they need more starches. Hunger is an indicator of nutrient deficiencies; kids need more carbs than adults (40% of calories vs 20%); and carbs have almost been eliminated from your reader’s diet. Adults can usually make their needed carbs from protein, but young children cannot.

    I would let the kids eat as many starches and fruits as they want. Have cooked white rice and potatoes around at all times, and let them mix them in with meals, or make little microwaved snacks with butter and seaweed, as much as they want. I bet the hunger would go quickly once they are getting more carbs.

    Best, Paul

    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 15:44

      Thanks Paul. Glad I Tweeted you.

    • julianne on February 22, 2012 at 16:06

      Exactly my experience. When my kids are growing – and being active – they eat a lot. I have lots of potatoes and lots of rice – (safe starches) Lots of fruit in the fruit bowl.
      A good meal for after school – (always hungry after school) – that my kids like is fried rice. Onion, and bacon sauteed, add in omette (eggs + tamari, cooked and cut in peices) plus some vegetables (usually peas and diced carrots) and rice. It seems a satisifying meal for the 13 year old who is growing like a weed. He will also put away 6 potatoes after school, and 6 eggs.

      If my son does not get enough starch he has big sugar cravings and will buy soda.

      My nearly 16 year old daughter doesn’t eat near what she used to – she seems to have developed very good appetite regulation, and has really healthy food choices. Even though as a young kid she had blood sugar problems. When growing and playing sports she too needed a lot of food – she used to eat a lot of fruit for fuel.

      My kids do have some wheat – but not often. They’ll eat bread when out or at parties. Fortunately neither seem either addicted nor reactive to wheat.

      I dont want to be wierd about food – I dont think that is healthy, rather teach them why wheat is not a great food choice. I know this might be at odds with other paleo parents who are much stricter, but my kids are teens and I’m being realistic.

    • julianne on February 22, 2012 at 16:12

      Exactly my experience. When my kids are growing – and being active – they eat a lot. I have lots of potatoes and lots of rice – (safe starches) Lots of fruit in the fruit bowl.
      A good meal for after school – (always hungry after school) – that my kids like is fried rice. Onion, and bacon sauteed, add in omette (eggs + tamari, cooked and cut in peices) plus some vegetables (usually peas and diced carrots) and rice. It seems a satisifying meal for the 13 year old who is growing like a weed. He will also put away 6 potatoes after school, and 6 eggs.

      If my son does not get enough starch he has big sugar cravings and will buy soda, or buy 6 wheat buns and consume them all.

      My nearly 16 year old daughter doesn’t eat near what she used to – she seems to have developed very good appetite regulation, and has really healthy food choices. And is willingly dairy and wheat free – because her skin is better. Even though as a young kid she had blood sugar problems. When growing and playing sports she too needed a lot of food – she used to eat a lot of fruit for fuel.

      My kids do have some wheat – but not often. They’ll eat bread when out or at parties. Fortunately neither seem either addicted nor reactive to wheat.

      I don’t want to be wierd about food – I dont think that is healthy, rather teach them why wheat is not a great food choice. I know this might be at odds with other paleo parents who are much stricter, but my kids are teens and I’m being realistic.

    • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 17:07

      I’m not sure I understand you. Are you saying that the fat and protein they are eating is nutrient deficient to the point where a starch would make up the deficit? That’s a pretty wild claim.

      Do you have a source for your information about how children’s bodies don’t undergo gluconeogenesis? Or how they can’t use fat for energy?

      • julianne on February 22, 2012 at 17:22

        Do you have active children going through a growth spurt?

        Why would you inflict a low carb diet on children with healthy metabolisms?

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 17:29

        Do carbohydrates promote growth?

      • julianne on February 22, 2012 at 17:38

        You didn’t answer my question.

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 18:02

        With all due respect, the implication in your question is baseless. I was questioning your logic that starch has nutrients that your kids aren’t getting from fat and protein. Your question implies that avoiding carbohydrates will somehow stunt their growth spurt or cause them to be malnourished to some degree. That implication has no scientific basis.

        And you used the term “inflict” as if “low carb” is an injustice carried out upon them. I guess the question should be: why would you inflict a high carb diet on someone with a healthy metabolism? Because there IS evidence that a healthy metabolism can quickly become an inefficient metabolism from excessive carbohydrate consumption. And excessive depends on the individual.

      • julianne on February 22, 2012 at 18:52

        I am a nutritionist, I see people over and over have problems with very low carb diets. Tired, poor sleep, low energy, poor recovery from exercise, belly fat that wont go, infections, low anti-oxidant status, LDL increasing dramatically. Dry mouth, constipation. Hypothyroid symptoms

        No – I wouldn’t inflict this on my kids. If kids eat a toxin free diet, it is unlikely that they will have metabolic issues. (grain, sugar, and nasty fats)

        Yes – fruit and vegetable starch has nutrients – glucose, anti-oxidants, phyto-nutrient, soluble fibre, which are not found in fat or protein

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 18:57

        Are these people converting from a SAD diet? How long have they been VLC? You’re making some blanket statements that require more background information.

      • Conrad on February 24, 2012 at 16:00

        Kevin Geary seems to be the only one asking the right questions! Keep it up, hopefully some of them will be answered; by Julianne especially.

        “If my son does not get enough starch he has big sugar cravings and will buy soda, or buy 6 wheat buns and consume them all.”
        – Are you really suggesting this as proof that he needs carbs?

        Paul Jaminet – let’s get some sources please as are definitely making assertions and not offering any reasoning.

        Why hasn’t anyone suggested more fat and protein instead of more carbs?

      • EricsGirl on February 24, 2012 at 17:11

        Conrad –
        Either you are in fact Kevin posing as another person and just trying desperately to further confound this conversation, or you did not read this thread thoroughly. Multiple people have recommended Paul Jaminet’s blog where he provides an ABUNDANCE of references for his position, and MULTIPLE people here have suggested more fat and protein. It helps to participate after you’ve read the thread of comments in full.

      • Conrad on February 28, 2012 at 04:21

        You too.

      • Paul Jaminet on February 22, 2012 at 18:41


      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 18:43

        Do you have any sources to back that up?

      • David Csonka on February 22, 2012 at 22:13

        Kevin, you could try reading Paul’s website. Every article he writes is thoroughly cited for reference.

      • EricsGirl on February 23, 2012 at 02:18

        Hilarious. Did everyone catch that? Kevin wants to know if Paul JAMINET has sources to back up his info. Someone buy this man the book if he will not just go read the blog! SOURCES GALORE!!!

        Kevin, it seems you are stuck in 1997’s obsession with the Atkins Diet. While very beneficial for some, that level of carb restriction just isn’t necessary for many people who thrive with a higher carb content. You seem to be trying to school a group of people on gluconeogenesis, when most of us frequenting this blog are well aware of the bodies ability to convert protein to glucose (NOT fat to glucose as you previously alluded).

        Bottom line is, many people found vlc to be an excellent short term strategy for weight loss, and a terrible strategy for long term health. They’ve added in paleo friendly carb sources and righted their ship. I happen to do very well on vlc, but am not so narrow minded as to think everyone’s body responds like mine.

      • Kevin on February 23, 2012 at 06:02

        No, you’ve done what almost every other person here has done: you have misrepresented my stance. And “thriving” with a higher carb content is a statement with a lot of potential complications that you fail to acknowledge.

      • jocelyn357 on February 23, 2012 at 21:17

        Doesn’t the fact that “almost every other person here” has come away with the same opinion about your words clue you into something? Or is it realllllly everybody else’s fault that you’re so misunderstood? Something is amiss, sir! Either you’ve done a really terrible job explaining your position, or you aren’t all too clear on what your position is.

      • Kevin Geary on February 24, 2012 at 06:01

        No, it’s only a handful of people. And those people all feel the same way about each other. And they all lack basic foundations of logic in their debate skills. I’ll highlight the examples when I get to those comments.

        Point of note: They haven’t quoted anything I’ve said. They’ve merely paraphrased (and poorly). You should find an exact quote before you jump on their bandwagon.

      • jocelyn357 on February 24, 2012 at 16:26


        No one here has accused you of saying vlc is the “only” way. You’ve made it clear from your posts that you believe a low carbohydrate diet is “suitable”, “enough”, and will “get the job done”, for the “majority” of people. These are your words, not mine. You also emphasized that some do well on what most would agree is a very low carb diet.

        In contrast, you’ve been antagonistic when anyone suggests that these children may benefit from added carbohydrates in the form of starch. You say that Paleo may not be low-carb by definition, but “for most, it should be”. When someone says “Paleo is NOT low carb”, they don’t mean that it can’t be low carb, but should not be defined as exclusively low carb. For some it will consist of very few carbohydrates, for others the carbohydrate content may be much higher – many will fall somewhere on the spectrum between the two. You claim a paleo style, carbohydrate rich diet is “not a good description of how the body is designed to function”. I would like to see your sources for this statement please. I am very well read on this subject, and one thing is certain: people much more well educated than either you or I in biology or physiology do not agree on an ideal macronutrient ratio in the human diet. On the other hand, there is good evidence that humans with wide varieties in macro contents have lived very healthy lives for thousands of years. More recently, the research of Dr. Weston Price has shown that traditional societies with quite significant portions of diet as carbohydrate have shown to be examples of excellent health.

        You don’t want to be tied to numbers, but you did in fact give numbers. You said 50-70 is “enough” for “most people”, but later qualified that by saying you “never claimed it was optimal”. Huh? Are you saying the children in question may, in fact, have a higher carbohydrate requirement for “optimal” health? Or will you back track on this too?
        You say, “If people who are lean consume carbohydrates, it doesn’t mean that carbohydrates make you lean.” Can we agree that if people who are lean consume carbohydrate, it didn’t make them fat? We know that overweight certainly isn’t the only marker of poor health, but it is an important and pervasive one, no? We are in a time in history when obesity and its related diseases are so prevalent (particularly in children, which is what this post is about). If we can look to other societies who remain nearly exempt from these illnesses and have a history of excellent health in contrast to our own, and they can consume an abundance of carbohydrate, why would we conclude that carb’s past a very “limited point” are detrimental? The point is, research has shown primitive and traditional societies with a wide range of macronutrient profiles who’ve exhibited fantastic health. Many people find they thrive on very few carbohydrates, and many are finding they experience a decline in health if the lack of carbs persists much beyond reaching an optimal weight. If they add in starchy carbohydrates, and their health returns as a result, why should they not conclude they function more optimally with higher carb content? Is it really that hard to comprehend?
        I’m also interested in the following statement: “The body is able to create all of the glucose it needs for day to day operation from fat”. Do you think the body is very efficient at making glucose from fatty acids or are you confusing this with gluconeogenesis or ketosis?
        I am not a regular poster here and have no reason to “bandwagon” with other commenters as you have suggested, but I could hardly help myself because your string of posts lacks coherent thought and is very disjointed. That coupled with your know-it-all attitude and conviction that you’ve stumbled upon a better understanding for “how the body is designed to function, and supposedly suitable(yet admittedly very vague and not necessarily optimal) macronutrient profile for “most” people without a single reference for your claims is really underwhelming.
        Stick to photography and kids karate, and keep eating your low carb diet if you find it keeps you healthy. You should refrain from spreading your gospel throughout the web where someone just embarking on a health journey might be confused with this nonsense.

      • C2U on February 22, 2012 at 20:20

        LOL. You ever watch a Mr. Universe competition? Look into what the winners eat (aside from the roids ;) )

      • Kevin Geary on February 22, 2012 at 20:43

        So the Mr. Universe people get strong and muscular because they eat carbohydrates? Please tell me you’re not serious.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 22, 2012 at 21:54

        Its a pretty well known fact in the bodybuilding world that having carbs in your diet along with protein and fat builds more muscle than a diet with zero carbs. If that wasn’t the truth then you’d see bodybuilders eating a zero carb diet. There is none to my knowledge. Does too many carbs take away from putting on mass, 4 sure it does. I know 4 me if I go above 150 grams a day I start losing muscle but having anywhere from 50 to 150 from paleo starches I have more muscle than I did as a zero carber. So yes carbs play a role when it comes 2 muscle mass

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 22, 2012 at 23:14

        * I was referring to starches when I said carbs. I guess zero starcher would be more accurate. All bodybuilders include starch in their diet 4 good reason

      • Kevin on February 23, 2012 at 08:02


        You’ve yet to make a point without re-arranging my argument to suit your rebuttal. You claimed that starch is required to become a Mr. Universe competitor. I asked if it’s the starch that builds the muscle. Then you framed it as I said that bodybuilders would be better off on a zero carb diet.

        So I’ll ask another simple question and hopefully you can answer it without changing it. How do the carbohydrates eaten by Mr. Universe competitors make them strong and muscular?

      • Bill Strahan on February 23, 2012 at 08:38

        Aw heck, I’ll jump in. I don’t think you will like it because I’ll ask questions instead of answering.

        What is the primary hormone responsible for telling your body to move nutrients from the blood (got there from digestion no doubt) and into tissues? Do you agree that growth is only possible if nutrients are moved out of the blood and into tissues/cells?

        Consider those two questions, then work your way back up the chain and it may be quite revealing. You do keep saying that low carb isn’t needed for “day to day” stuff. My day to day involves heavy squats and heavy deadlifts. I’ve tried it on VLC, under 40g/day and crashed pretty badly even though I was eating 5000-7000 calories/day. Now I get almost all my carbs, 100-150g, post workout. Life is good.

      • rob on February 23, 2012 at 09:58

        I’ve been getting 150g-200g in my post-workout meal and it certainly has improved my outlook on life, when I was doing it low carb I always felt like I was being punished for sins I had not committed.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 23, 2012 at 19:33

        I know kevin, were all putting words in your mouth. Ill ask u a question. You probably wont answer it since you seem to dodge every other question youve been asked. Are there any profesional bodybuilders that eat a starch free low carb diet? Why is it that virtually all pro’s use carbohydrate to bulk (get max muscle gain) and then lower carbs during their cutting phase. Why wouldnt they just go starch free out the gate if starch didnt play a role in building muscle? When u say “so Mr Universe eats carbs to get strong and muscular, u cant be serious” thats not shunning carbs? And then u throw a fit because I repeated what u said. Youve done that same kind of shit all through this thread contradicting yourself. Again maybe you need 2 take a step back and re-read your own shit before you post

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 21:38

        “maybe you need 2 take a step back and re-read your own shit before you post”

        Does VLC contribute to memory loss? Just asking.

      • Kevin Geary on February 24, 2012 at 06:02

        You think insulin is only released when you eat carbohydrates?

      • Kevin Geary on February 24, 2012 at 06:03

        Tim, you’re a terrible conversationalist. I’ve asked you two questions which you’ve failed to respond, yet you demand an answer to yours. I’ll move on to someone else.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 07:25

        @kevin-wow, Really? I havnt been answering your questions up until this point? Your not even worth arguing with man. I’d get farther talking to my dishwasher. Your a toolbag. Congrats

      • Conrad on February 24, 2012 at 16:11

        Wish there was a hide post button because Tim you keep making worthless posts.

        Kevin keeps asking valid questions based on the assertions that have been made in the previous posts. They leave the same questions open for me.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 20:36

        @clown #2- I’ve already explained why I think its more optimal to include starch in ones diet. In my experience optimal health goes hand and hand with optimal body composition. When I was a low carb dieter without starch I had less muscle than I do know since I’ve added starches back into my diet but still staying low carb, getting anywhere from 50 to 150 grams a day. The science behind the body being able to use protein to spike insulin instead of starch I could really care less about. I know from personal experience that’s not optimal as I’ve already stated. On top of the fact that there aren’t virtually any pros that eat a zero starch diet. Now why do u think that is? Can u name a Mr universe competitor that followed a low carb diet that used only vegetables and berriess as their carb sources N had zero starch? If that type of diet was king for putting on the most muscle than it would be being used, by the pros, the fact is it isn’t. But again bottom line is my own experience reigns supreme. zero starch wasn’t optimal 4 my health or maximizing my muscle.

      • Conrad on February 24, 2012 at 22:44

        I like your answers this time around Tim, without the little hissy fit. Now in the context of a child, as one poster suggested, why should we change the ratio from Fat-Protein 80% / Carbs 20% to –> Fat-Protein 60% / Carbs 40% ? Are we talking about simply increasing carbs alone? or Increasing carbs while also decreasing Fats-Protein?

        You mention Paul’s blog but you could at least provide a link to the relevant topic.

      • Kevin Geary on February 25, 2012 at 09:59


        It’s not necessarily your beliefs that are in question, it’s your logic. Let me give you an example:

        “On top of the fact that there aren’t virtually any pros that eat a zero starch diet. Now why do u think that is?”

        Let me show you why that logic is a failure by rephrasing the question:

        Tim, there aren’t virtually any pros that eat a paleo diet. Now why do you think that is?

        Do you see? Your implication is based on false logic. We’re all pro-paleo, but if we ask the question about paleo the way you asked it about starch, it seems as if paleo isn’t a great option.

        You need to fix your logic before people can have a rational conversation with you.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2012 at 10:06

        “Tim, there aren’t virtually any pros that eat a paleo diet. Now why do you think that is?”

        Question begging. You’ve assumed by premise that a Paleo diet can’t be rich in starch. In other words, a competitive athlete could indeed eat a Paleo diet but for most, if that athlete wants to perform and be competitive, most will require at least moderate levels of carbohydrate and starchy real foods like potatoes are the most nutritious way to get it.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 07:36

        Lol it appears so Richard. Somebody get him some glucose ASAP!! Emergency starch refeed

      • Kevin Geary on February 24, 2012 at 07:41


        “How do the carbohydrates eaten by Mr. Universe competitors make them strong and muscular?”

        That was the previous question I asked you. You responded to my question, with a question.

        Now you’re calling names.

        Please get yourself under control.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 07:59

        @Mr. Contradictions- Yeah, I was doing an impression of u. Answering a question with a question. That’s all you’ve done on this thread. I said I’ve answered your questions up to this point. I’m not going to do it anymore..your funny man. Don’t forget to wash your clown suit before mommy tucks u in tonight.

      • Galina L. on February 23, 2012 at 18:40

        When children grow it promotes huge appetite. I think it makes sense to give a child some carbohydrates besides meat and fats because some protein will be turned into glucose anyway. It may be very unpractical consider the price of a high quality meat to satisfy child’s need in glucose through protein alone. I have some health issues that require me to limit carbs most of the time, child is not.

      • Conrad on February 24, 2012 at 16:18


        I agree that if you can’t afford the best foods that you have no choice but to buy the lower quality stuff. But I think we’re trying to understand what we “ought” to be eating and not what we can afford.

        So why give a hungry child carbs to quench their hunger instead of bigger portions of meat & fat? – This is the real question that has arisen from those who have been commenting on this thread.

      • Galina L. on February 24, 2012 at 17:19

        Conrad, I am concentrated more on practical application because it was initial theme in the post, also, I raised a child myself trying my best to keep him healthy. No matter what we think is healthy, we can’t ignore completely a society we live in. OK, lets say we decide a child could thrive on meat alone, if we try to live according to our decision, we would harm that child socially because a lot of communications involve food, not everybody around eats only meat, and that child have other needs(like making social connections and establish himself/herself in the world) besides being properly fed. We ought not to harm child on any level by our upbringing.

        I also can bring up another suggestion why keeping starches and other carbohydrates in a child’s diet could be important. I follow a VLC diet because it takes care of some of my medical issues. I feel excellent, but I developed physiological insulin resistance (PIR) because my body wants to preserve all available sugar for my tissues that can’t use fats and ketones for a fuel. It is reversible, but if I eat suddenly normal amount of starches, my blood glucose level will go up high, so I have to keep it in mind. I would not want a child to be vulnerable to sugar spikes.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 22:35

        @conrad- becuase larger portions of protein and fat is not always the answer. EVERYONE is not the same. Why can’t u guys get that through your skulls. Is everyone that claims a low carb diet didn’t work 4 them long term lying?

  28. LadySadie on February 22, 2012 at 15:48

    Hey everyone, thanks for your thoughtful comments. My kids are the ones that think they are starving to death all the time now…haha, I assure you they are not! Even though we already follow many of the suggestions given, the point about “growing’ is very relevant to the 11 year old and the 6 year old, who are both growing out of clothes and shoes at an alarming rate, and I think that is contributing to their feelings of hunger. The 10 year old complains less, so I suppose that the need for massive amounts of calories is just natural for their stage of development.

    Given some of the suggestions, I think I left out some things about our lifestyle that may be relevant to this discussion.

    First of all, I am a the sole breadwinner, i.e. the only grown up in our house, and in addition to working full-time, I am also earning an advanced degree. Our budget is relatively tight, and I feel fortunate to be able to afford to fill the grocery cart up with fresh veggies and good meat from the butcher shop instead of boxes and pre-made bags of frozen dinner slop…Having said that, we never did eat chips or other “junky” foods, so Paleo was a relatively easy switch for us. All we really had to do was cut out bread and pasta, and maybe some sugar. (We had already gotten off the HFCS train suite some time ago.)

    The kids regularly shop with me, so they can see a big difference between our cart, which comes mostly from the produce aisle, and that SAD carts of others. The bottom line may have been best described by my six year old who noticed that, “our food is really lots prettier now”. (Amen to that!)

    I let the girls take as many lunches as they care to for school and I make sure they contain enough of the right foods. We have big suppers and breakfasts, so I think the major complaint time is from when I get home until supper is done, so maybe I just notice it more because I am typically trying to do homework and cooking supper at the same time. Most of the kitchen clean-up chores are done by the girls, and they very often make their own meals with relatively little assistance.

    I think that sometimes they just miss easy meals like the pre-packaged frozen meals, and they don’t want to spend the time to make something and clean up afterwards. (I don’t blame them, I feel the same way, but I am more willing to skip meals, and often do so they can have enough to eat and feel full. Dinner for four is frequently dinner for three after they have had the seconds that I thought would be mine, oh well…I am not still growing.)

    As far a specific foods, and in light of budget and local availability, here are some compromises we have made: Milk only when we can get it locally from the Amish, otherwise, it’s Almond Milk. Meat only from the butcher shop, and while it is not grass finished, it is mostly grass fed and local from a producer that we know personally. Organic veggies, that are about 50% stuff we grow ourselves or have traded with neighbors, the rest, alas, is store-bought and conventionally grown. All our eggs are from our own chickens, not free range, but on a quality feed and suplemented with copious amounts of kitchen scraps and fruits and veggies that are past their prime-given to me by the local grocery store owner in exchange for eggs for his personal use.

    You may disagree with any of my choices, but it is the best I can afford, so please be nice. (Oh, and if you don’t mind, I do not like the term “single mother” because it always carries with it some weird welfare queen stereotypes, and that is pretty far from my reality, even though I do have a tight budget…thanks!)

    Once again, I really appreciate everyone’s suggestions, and I think that it is pretty cool that strangers take their time to give advice to someone they have never met.

    • Phillip Upton on February 22, 2012 at 16:31

      I have two boys that are close to the same ages (11 & 7). Here are a couple of “quickies” that may help.

      1) Every week I take my big crock pot and fill it half with potatoes, add crushed tomatoes (canned) and the cheapest (leanest) beef that is on sale fills the other half, along with some spices. Basically, beef stew. (actually, not so much stew… it is pretty heavy on the meat and potatoes)

      So, we always have a thick sauced beef stew with potatoes. That is mostly “clean” fuel for growing bodies.

      It might be the “main meal” one night. Or not. But there is almost always some in the fridge. (I hit it up after my workouts)

      2) Boiled eggs. Always have them available. Good nutrition, quick and easy.

      3) Apples. An apple and an egg (or two) go a long way as far as snacks go. Other fruits also, but there is almost always a granny smith somewhere.

      4) Cheese sticks. Hey, it’s the (northern part of the) midwest. And, you could do worse. ;-0

      5) There is always rice somewhere in the house. And, they love butter. Sometimes that is all they want, rice and butter.

      They are active kids. Sometimes they will eat a lot, other times… not so much. To me, that means they are eating to “need”… which is exactly as it should be.

      If they are hungry, I let them eat. Unless we are within an hour of lunch or dinner. Then, I make them wait. But, and this is key for me, it has to be on the “approved” list.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2012 at 16:53


      • anand srivastava on February 23, 2012 at 02:41

        Actually Ghee and rice is a traditional snack for children here in some parts of India. It is just a lot of energy and that is what children at that age need when they are hungry between meals. They eat so much that nutrients they get from normal meals is enough IMO.

  29. LadySadie on February 22, 2012 at 17:09

    Thanks, Bryan! Our chickens give us 8-12 eggs a day, so they are great to eat and also for barter! Thankfully, even thought we are barely in the city limits, 4-H’ers are allowed to have animals within the city limits. I have just over 1.5 acres, and if I felt like milking a cow…we would be good to go! If anyone lives in a city that allows hens, I really recommend it! (Many big cities allow hens, not roosters and they are low maintenance, productive pets.)

    As for Bryan, move on up here to the middle of nowhere…your kids can roam free, and there are local food sources, and mosquitoes the size of pteradactyls so you will really feel like a caveman!

  30. Mel the Biologist on February 22, 2012 at 19:05

    It sounds like this family really has it already worked out and there is not much more to say other to second that growing paleo kids seem to eat A LOT of food. My feeling that as long as my kids are eating good food, I let them eat as much as they want. The one exception is the hour before dinner when snacking is off limits. Our very active 5 year old son eats an incredible amount of food -often more than me – but remains very slim. Our almost 2 year old girl is much more petite, eats well but is not in the same league as her brother. We offer the same food to both and never comment on how much they eat — just offer lots of praise that they are willing to try new things and eat a variety of food. One thing that has worked well with the older child is to ask him to drink some water and then wait 20-30 minutes before getting a snack if he indicates he is hungry between meals. If it is just boredom, he often forgets he even wanted a snack at all, but if he is really hungry waiting a few minutes doesn’t cause any hardship. As other commentors have mentioned with their families, my children do best when we make sure to add a few more carbohydrates to the paleo mix than purists might prescribe. This includes potatoes, rice, and more fruit than I would consider eating in an adult diet. As another commentor mentioned, we also try to have some treats around the house, like high quality ice cream and whipped cream/berries. They can have these any night after a good dinner — but we find they rarely ask anymore. Because they are half Japanese, we also encourage them to partake in many foods from their cultural heritage (although we limit the exposure to soy). One of their favorite snacks are pieces of salmon rolled into the middle of white rice balls wrapped in nori (dried seaweed sheets). Homemade California rolls (put whatever vegetables/protein you want in the middle) are also very easy to make and to have on hand for snacking. I also second Richard’s suggestion to instill some elitist pride in their eating habits. My son is very proud that he knows the difference between good food/crap food and that he eats a much bigger variety of food than his friends. He also feels proud that he is “grown-up” enough to wait a few minutes for a snack (we don’t make the 2 yr old wait if she seems hungry). I am not sure how long this pride will last, especially as he gets older and we start losing some of the control of what food he has access to– but for now it is great.

  31. LadySadie on February 22, 2012 at 20:14

    Thanks, Mel! My youngest eats seaweed sheets like candy!!! You comments are very helpful, as have been the comments of everyone else…

    In the end, I think that my kids are doing “OK” and their ‘problems’ are due to age, not real hunger!


  32. Wednesday 02/22/2012 | WOD & Food + thoughts on Free the Animal post « Paleo Texas Boy on February 22, 2012 at 20:16

    […] Low and behold, Richard Nikoley, owner of Free the Animal (one of my favorite Paleo blogs), posted a response to a question about dealing with hungry Paleo kids. The entire post, including responses, is a great read, not just for Paleo parents trying to keep […]

  33. Rachel on February 22, 2012 at 23:54

    I think all the ideas in this post could be helpful, but thought I’d also share this post from Anastasia at about what to feed kids (she’s a doctor in training in Austriala and Primal/Paleo).

    The entry directly after this is from her nine-year-old daughter talking about her food and what she eats for lunch, etc.

    Also, this is a great resource:

    I’m voting for more butter/fats and a bit more starch (sweet potatoes and other “safe” starches) and fruit.

    But check out the above for more insight.

    ~ Rachel

    • LadySadie on February 23, 2012 at 15:57

      Rachel, I checked out that link and I love it!!! Thanks for the tip, I bookmarked it.

      • Rachel on February 23, 2012 at 16:27

        Glad I could help!

        I want to get that “Eat Like A Dinosaur” book for my son, he’s only 14 months old at the moment, so I’ve got some time.

        Also, I saw your comment about organ meats. Don’t worry, I’m a chicken about it too and I’ve been WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) for nearly 5 years now. I cheat and take liver capsules from Doctor Ron and when my son needed more iron I would sprinkle them on his food, lol.

        I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to get fermented cod liver oil in him (I take that in capsule form as well), let alone feed him liver. Baby steps!

      • Galina L. on February 23, 2012 at 18:48

        May be it is not an option for a child, but I buy a can of cod liver in oil from a Russian food store, add to the content lemon juice and lemon ring, mix everything and store it in a freezer, it never gets frozen solid. I eat one tsp a day, chase it with more lemon.

  34. Neal Matheson on February 23, 2012 at 00:29

    A really rewarding thread to read, I went “all the way” from a reasonably clean diet when I took over caring for my daughter. She eats (dairy) Paleo as do I. The main thing I have found is getting foods she can eat herself as she likes to be independent. I had to chew up a fair bit of her food for her at first but chicken, boiled squirrel and rabbits are really easy for her. I have an amuizing picture of her chewing on a rabbit leg like some kind of baby viking I was going to post to vegan nut Harley Johnston.
    She is hoggish for daddies favourite sweet potato and butter. The most impressive thing is how “well she eats” when she is full she won’t eat even if I offer her one of her favourites. I don’t give her snacks but occasionally she will get some grass fed cheese. I’m still finding ways of getting more fish and red meat into her as it seems she is not wild about fish and finds red meat tricky. Minced beef and buttered salmon seem to work well.
    Butter fried herring milts are a suprise hit too and taste so strong they must be amazingly healthy! That’s the main bit of a lunch for about 15 pence (40 cents?).
    Her friends who were given bicuits now beg for biscuits almost continually to their parents distress. My decision not to give her sugar or cakes or anything like that has been described as cruel on many occasions. It’s incredible that any sugar is added to processed baby foods (and medicines) but it’s there.
    I carry her everywhere which I admit may be easier as I am a man but I’m sure this has to be better for muscular and psychological development than being wheeled about in a pram.
    When she is older I will have no problems upping the carbs or fat when she is hungry but will probably go with carbs. I will have to explain healthy food choices when she is older and while accepting that I can’t stop her from eating junk can at least not give her it myself . I will try and avoid her being hungry. We were vegetarian when I was a kid (I’m the shortest male in my family) and I sneaked meat at every opportunity at school. Hungry kids eat and will eat whatever they can get.
    Anthropological studies talk alot about (mostly African) HGs being hungry quite a bit I was mildly hungry almost constantly as a child maybe like a dog? I put on some weight as a late teenager when I was allowed to 1; buy my own lunch and 2; had less restricted access to the fridge.

    • Shane on February 25, 2012 at 20:03

      I restrict my 3 yr old daughters intake of cookies, biscuits, crackers, breads very heavily myself. I’ve been called cruel on many occasions. The toughest bit is at daycare/school when another parent will bring in a couple cases of Costco cupcakes in celebration of their child’s birthday (which seems to happen every week). On those days my daughter won’t eat the lunch I pack her and is typically a horrible grouch most of the night after eating those damnable cupcakes.

      I’ve often thought of lying to say she is gluten intolerant but I don’t want her to feel ostracized at school events so I don’t.

      Heck, I’ve even had a daycare lady tell me my daughter eats too much meat and vegetables. *scratches head* Really?!? She gets leftover dinner for lunch & 3 servings of fruit along with a cup of full fat milk. The meal the lady complained about was leftover curry beef rendang (beef simmered in spice & coconut cream), curried spinach, steamed broccoli with butter, ~3 tbsp of white rice plus a small container of blueberries, another container of strawberries and half an apple. Plus milk.

      While the daycare lady was complaining to me, I noted 2 children in class eating granola bars. IMO, they may as well eat a candy bar.

      I really don’t know what the daycare lady expects me to feed as she wouldn’t go into details. So, I’m just ignoring her. I comfort myself with the fact that the daycare lady actually cares about my kid, which is nice. She’s just misguided I guess.

      • Galina L. on February 25, 2012 at 20:26

        It is impossible to isolate your child from the environment and it is better just to accept it. I was also called cruel because I didn’t keep any soft drinks, chips and junk-food at home, and many who learned about it found it unacceptable. I had some awkward moments during play-dates when invited children asked me for a snack or a drink. Children raised on SAD food need snacks all the time. Usually I offered fruits , some cheese but children actually wanted some standard snack-food. The apple baked in a microwave and cooled was the only hit.
        I think you could try to tell the kindergarten lady that you follow your doctor’s advice with your doter’s diet, and the amount of the protein is carefully calculated in accordance with a chart in doctor’s office. Sometimes it is better to make-up things.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2012 at 21:31

        Dismiss the daycare lady, just like any fuckimg moron.

      • C2U on February 26, 2012 at 00:31

        “I comfort myself with the fact that the daycare lady actually cares about my kid, which is nice. She’s just misguided I guess.”

        That’s the attitude! Nice to hear you don’t think it’s some conspiracy where the grain industry sent MIB to brainwash daycare lady to feed your kid granola.

      • Shane on February 26, 2012 at 15:35

        Haha, definitely no conspiracy theories here!

        I just find it odd that they find my food unacceptable or not up to standards when it’s high quality, real food every day. At 3yr’s old my daughter is 38lbs & nearly as big as most of the 4-5 yr olds in her class.

        Oh well. She’s a pretty happy, healthy, calm, self assured child and even a pretty decent listener. Much better than myself as a child, borderline “ADD” hyperactive kid that I was.

        I do give her crap treats once in a while. Today for instance – we spent 2 hours at the pool and stopped for a steamed milk at the coffee shop to go with her packed lunch afterwards. They had these tiny cookies about the size of a loonie available and she asked politely for one, so I bought it. She gets to eat it after dinner for dessert tonight. I figure the small crap treat is worth the lesson of politeness & learning to wait for things/delaying gratification.

      • Danielle on February 27, 2012 at 07:17

        Agreed – that’s such a great attitude to have, Shane. You can also comfort yourself with the fact that you have the knowledge to feed your daughter right! When she’s a horrible grouch after eating those cupcakes at school, just imagine if she was like that all the time, because all she ate was crap like that! That alone is enough to take extra time to feed kids right!

  35. Galina L. on February 23, 2012 at 05:35

    My son is 19 now and eating Paleo on his own while being in a university in another town. When he was growing, I didn’t know or hear about paleo life-style, but he wanted to eat nothing else but junk and refused to eat normal food, so I finished up with having no snacks or cookies or candies or soft drinks of any kind at home, if he wanted to eat, he got a normal meal, also periodically he just grabbed from the fridge sour cream and ate it with a spoon, cheese, pieces of deli meat. He stubbornly refused to snack on raw veggies or fruits. I never worried what he ate outside my house, it was his request for a lunch box because his father received it every day. Don’t make a cult out of your food, people. Do you want your children to be afraid to eat a birthday cake in their friends house, or refuse to eat when visiting other people? Children are very prone to see everything in a black and while category, they may also rebel if you turn junk-food into desirable but forbidden category. In our mind it is just a food of questionable quality. My son had to eat for whole year in a cafeteria (the university required is for the first ear students). It didn’t cause any addiction to the cafeteria food, just pusher him to cook for himself. If your kids are hungry, find out what kind of real food they would eat. Frozen veggies could be cooked quickly in a microwave and eaten with cheese and butter, even russet potato from microwave tastes good with salt and butter or just with salt. Marinated sandwich stakes could be kept in a fridge and pan-frayed or cooked in a foreman grill in no time. Teach them to do it.

  36. BabyGirl on February 23, 2012 at 07:00

    Hi Richard, nice article about your favorite subject in the British paper today:

    “Damn your low fat diet: How a reformed vegan gorges on all the foods his granny enjoyed… and has never felt better”

    Read more:–felt-better.html#ixzz1nDWcQeNj

  37. Jarick on February 23, 2012 at 07:07

    I honestly think if you literally don’t have enough food to eat after your kids do, skip the grain fed and organic and get more real food. Calories > Quality > Macronutrients > Micronutrients. By that I mean first priority is to eat, then to eat real food, then to eat real food with sufficient protein/fat/carbs per your activity and needs, and then little things like antioxidants and what not.

    Low carb is relative…150g is less than your average American eats, sometimes by more than half. You likely don’t need more than 100-150g carbs per day unless you are active or trying to gain weight. I would say growing teenagers who are lean and well behaved would fit into both categories! And to get over 150g you need to have some starches, which are coincidentally extremely cheap and easy to prepare.

  38. LadySadie on February 23, 2012 at 08:10

    Jarick, if I skip meals a couple times a week, that’s really not a big deal, many people advocate for intermittent fasting anyway. My thought is that as long as the kids get full and the food is as healthy as I can afford then all is well. If I gave you the impression that we barely have any food in our house, then I was wrong, it’s just that if I prepare four steaks for our main dish and the kiddos want to split the fourth steak, I either skip supper or choose an alternative.

    • labbygail on February 24, 2012 at 11:27

      I think that’s normal and probably not at all uncommon. My mom used to do that and I never understood it until I became a mom too.

  39. ChocoTaco369 on February 23, 2012 at 10:10

    I want to put something in context about Paleo. Try and follow me on this.

    The common diet in the Paleo community is meat and vegetables with limited fruit and starch. I DO NOT think the ideal human diet is this. I believe the ideal human diet is rich in organ meats with moderate amounts of muscle meat, significant amounts of roots and starchy tubers, moderate amounts of fruit and limited vegetables with the least being greens. Why?

    1.) It makes no sense for cavemen to eat vegetables. These people were hunter-gatherers. Vegetables are terrible sources of calories, and it would conceivably take more calories to gather enough vegetables for sustenance than you’d get out of the vegetables. There is no way in hell Grok would gather leafy greens. Grok would have gone after rich sources of energy: meats, starches and fruits. You get a lot of calories in return for the effort hunting and gathering.

    2.) To reinforce my above point, the human digestive system is not made to handle large amounts of fiber. Controlled quantities of soluble fiber is beneficial to a degree, but insoluble fiber leads to cramping, endogenous gas, bloating and difficulty absorbing nutrition from fiber constantly fermenting in your gut. Meat, fruit and starches do not contribute lots of gut-busting fiber, but the fiber that is there is usually soluble. Vegetables are rich in insoluble fiber, which IMO should be very limited.

    3.) Meats, fruits and starches are very low in anti-nutrients. Vegetables are not, particularly leafy greens. They are loaded with oxalates, goitrogens, insoluble fiber and other baddies. Meat and starch are benign, and fruit actually WANTS you to eat it because that’s how they reproduce – YOU spread THEIR seed.

    After reading this article, I suspect that the kids are ravenously hungry because of the chronic, misguided low-carbohydrate diet they are on. Low carbohydrate diets are medicinal, not optimal. You should only adhere to them if your metabolism is deranged. The children are probably so ravenous because their healthy metabolism is craving glucose so intensely, the kids are overeating protein so their body can break down the amino acid into coveted glucose for brain fuel and development. Simply incorporating starches and fruits into their diet regularly, I suspect, will regulate their appetite.

    That’s my opinion from reading this.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 10:33

      Excellent ChocoTaco369. I agree with all of that. In terms of leafy greens, that’s where most of my “vegetable” intake comes from, but I stick to the dark ones, especially baby spinach.

      But I wholeheartedly agree that veggies are WAY, WAY overrated and starchy tubers WAY, WAY underrated.

      Basically, we’re back to meat & potatoes, hold the bread, gravy and dessert, unless it’s a little fruit.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 11:04

        Uh, organ meat, meat & potatoes.

      • LadySadie on February 23, 2012 at 16:01

        I am really trying to do this right, as I hope you can tell, but we have not tried any organ meats. What is the (excuse me for this question, I am trying to state it nicely…) least objectionable organ meat to try? I have heard that some are very strong in taste and have to be prepared in a very specific way to taste good. Suggestions, please.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 17:00


        First of all, let me say how much I respect & salute you, given your situation as reported.

        You can try beef liver straight, search my blog for a recipe, or the web. If you hate it, then just get some (cheap cheap), chop it up finely and add an ounce to ground beef. If you don’t taste it, not offensive, do 2 ounces next time and so on until you find the sweet spot,

        Liver is the most nutritious food on the planet by far. Search my blog for liver and you’ll see how it is.

      • Galina L. on February 23, 2012 at 18:55

        Probably, beef tong is the easiest organ to eat, I boil it until it is ready(it takes a while), remove skin under running cold water, slice and reheat before eating with garlic and sour cream, it is also good in chilly.

      • Neal Matheson on February 23, 2012 at 22:11

        I really like tongue, Lambs’ liver would be my liver fo choice pan fried with butter and mushrooms. I find the tast a bit milder than beef liver. Liver pate is also an option.

      • Galina L. on February 24, 2012 at 14:01

        I don’t know what kids would think about a pate, but it is easy to check. Family already have chickens, I assume some chickens end up being cooked. Just reserve liver from 2 – 3 in a freezer, gently cook it, add one small sauteed onion, blend all together with softened butter, leave it in a cold place to chill. If they like it – good, if not eat it up yourself. I often put thin layer of butter on the top or that top layer would be unpleasantly looking. Chicken livers cost next to nothing in a store.

      • ChocoTaco369 on February 24, 2012 at 05:22

        Sadie, I’ll give you a recommendation. I don’t care for organ meats. I’ve been Primal for a year and they still don’t sit well with me. Beef heart isn’t bad and I’ve eaten calf liver begrudgingly, but ultimately I don’t like sitting down to a big slab of organ meat and therefore rarely do.

        What I did do is stopped buying ground beef. I bought an 800 watt meat grinder, which is under $100 for a very good quality one. Now, instead of spending $4-5/lb on CAFO 85% ground beef, I buy very cheap beef 4-5 lb beef roasts and throw in a heart, a kidney and a liver. Now, all your burgers, meatloaf, tacos and ground beef dishes have liver and heart in it and you and your kids won’t even notice. It’s a great way to eat your organs and have no idea, and it comes out cheaper than store-bought ground beef, which literally is cheap parts of hundreds of cows. Nasty.

        Don’t forget the other benefits of a meat grinder. I make my own sausage instead of sugar- and chemically-cured, overpriced store sausage, I’ve made ground veal, ground lamb, ground deer…ever try lamb burgers? You will if you have a meat grinder!

      • Gina on February 25, 2012 at 10:15

        This is so tempting, though I would have to find some counter space for it. I’m one who can’t stand the taste of liver, so grinding a little in with the rest of the meat sounds like a great idea. What brand of meat grinder do you use?

      • Galina L. on February 25, 2012 at 13:02

        I use a manual meat grinder , it could be really inexpensive, like under $20. It is better to experiment first with small amounts of different organ meats added to a beef. Heart and tong were fine, but my family didn’t like it when I added liver or brains into burger meat.

      • ChocoTaco369 on February 26, 2012 at 21:14

        Gina, I have a Deni 3500. It looks as if it’s been discontinued as the price as nearly doubled on Amazon. When I bought it around 6 months ago, I paid something like $90-100 for it. It’s a pretty nice piece of equipment – definitely not commercial grade, but nice nonetheless. Whatever you get, make sure it comes with an attachment for stuffing sausage.

    • Rachel on February 23, 2012 at 11:02

      I agree!

    • Jarick on February 23, 2012 at 11:09

      I agree with you 100%. It makes sense both from a historic and a biological standpoint.

      One thing I don’t quite understand is the insistence by some on adding high quantities of fats into the diet, say from coconut milk and butter (or in some cases cream). I can’t imagine too many HG’s herding cattle and churning butter, or dragging coconuts hundreds of miles away from the tropics. Maybe I’m wrong, but Dr. Harris seems to have shifted his philosophy in that direction.

      Meat and starches, with a little fruit and veggies for variety seems to be a good start.

    • Neal Matheson on February 23, 2012 at 11:26

      We don’t need to use our imaginations there is plenty of data out there both anthropological and archaeological much backs you up some doesn’t. If you click on my name you can access my blog where some of this informattion is presented and some linked to. There is a great one on Dr Harris’s blog (I think it;s called Gumby guest post)

      There are and were plenty of succesful populations who didnt eat much if any glucose but honestly I doubt they were as active (mentally as well as physically) let alone stressed as many people today.
      On the whole I would agree but many leafies are tasty the ramsons are up at this time of year and are pretty light calorifically but really really tasty, why do people bother to grow and cultivate leafy veg?
      I did notice that the Ms Wahl vid mentioned the high vitamin and nutrient load of many HG diets yet attributing it to the ddiversity of the plant species consumed. I would have thought nutrient rish animals and soils would also be candidates.

  40. Darya on February 23, 2012 at 10:14

    Funny, that’s exactly the way I feel when I cut out beans and grains. If they don’t want to add those, I’d recommend eating more carbs as potatoes, fruit, etc. Kids know when they need to eat.

  41. LadySadie on February 23, 2012 at 10:37

    I appreciate your opinion, and to clarify, there is always fruit in the house. After reading all the good nutritional advice myself and then sharing the information with the kids, I think that maybe I was overly concerned about them being hungry, just because this is a relatively new choice at our house, and with the exception of the very informed crowd here, I really have no other adults to consult with regarding this food/lifestyle choice.

    The absolute best line of all is, “Hungry means you have to work. Now, how hungry did you say you were?” I will probably repeat this about fifty times a day for a couple of weeks until they catch on. It worked beautifully last night and resulted in a round of smoothies followed by a clean blender… Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  42. Canadian Eh on February 23, 2012 at 13:33

    Kevin, you are quite the annoying guy. you remind me of a “low carb taliban” that Martin Berkham of Lean Gains talks about.

    Over 1 billion people in Asia eat rice daily. I’ve lived in China, Hong Kong, Korea and most people there are thin. You almost never see an obese person. They eat noodles, rice, dumplings, starch basically.

    Get it in your brain that people need carbs. Paleo is great but I guarantee you in Europe and Asia no one gives a rip about it. You tell the Italians to give up pasta, the French their bread, and the Russians their potatoes. Good luck.

    • Kevin Geary on February 23, 2012 at 13:45

      I’m having a discussion. I’m sorry that people who don’t agree with you are “annoying.” But you’re the one who is using illogical statements to make a point, ie: “asians are healthy because they eat rice” or “nobody in Europe cares about what you think about carbs therefore you’re wrong.”

      I’m trying to have a conversation to share and learn and you’re attacking me with illogical statements calling me annoying. I think I’ll pass on including you any further.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 16:53

        “I’m having a discussion”

        From my perspective, for what that’s worth, this “discussion” pretty much consists of you claiming that VLC is best for one & all and when anyone posts conflicting opinions, ideas, or even actual data, you claim that you verifiable statements have been misrepresented.

        Some “discussion.” you may have noted that I wasn’t much interested after just a few of your posts. I’m not antagonistic to low carb at all. I nderstand its efficacy, particularly for initial weight loss. But for maintenance, or getting that last 15-20 pounds off? No way. May work for some, but I doubt for most.

      • Kevin Geary on February 23, 2012 at 16:58

        See below.

        You claim that I insist VLC is “right for everyone” when I haven’t even defined VLC or “low carb” anywhere on this article. It’s hard to say something is right for everyone when that something hasn’t even been defined.

        You confuse me making the point that “the majority of people don’t need as many carbs as they think” with “everyone should be VLC.” Again, please stop misrepresenting my argument.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 17:05

        Back peddling.

      • Kevin Geary on February 23, 2012 at 17:08


        I’m done talking to you. You’ve made a claim about my argument which you have failed to back up which you now claim I’m backpedaling from. You’re wasting everyone’s time.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 17:27

        “You’re wasting everyone’s time.”

        How ironic.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist on February 27, 2012 at 13:10

        Is there an “ignore user” feature you can turn on for your blog? I need to add Kevin to the list.

      • bbot on February 27, 2012 at 21:02

        Seriously! Not to mention his “contributions” such as they were had zero to do with the subject of the post. Has he even admitted that we are talking about the diets of children here? Sheesh. Good thread, minus Kevin Geary/ toady-ing alter ego Conrad.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 23, 2012 at 18:25

        Funny how numerous people are so called putting words in your mouth kevin. How many times have u said that on this thread. That’s your reply 2 damn near every 1. Maybe u need 2 choose your words a little more wisely so u don’t keep contradicting yourself. But I guess every 1 else is in the wrong. By god it can’t be u, can it?

      • EricsGirl on February 23, 2012 at 21:00

        Certifiably ridiculous, Kevin. Not at all because you differ in opinion, but because you won’t even acknowledge or defend what you’ve said! You have absolutely made claims about the supposed superiority of VLC in this thread and then claim to be “misrepresented” when you’re called out on it.

        Either your multi-personalities are in conflict again, or you just like to run people in circles. Now THAT is a waste of everyone’s time. HAVE. MERCY.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 21:24

        No, can’t be Kevin. Nope. All of the dozen or so people he’s replied to missunderstood him and it’s their fault.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 21:30

        And BTW Kevin, the coment culture on my blog is not “don’t fuck up.” everyone does that from time to time when engaged in debate. The culture is: come clean early. I do it myself, because I fuck up too.

      • Canadian Eh on February 23, 2012 at 21:32

        a quote from the “guru” Kevin:

        “Oh, and your logic is skewed. If people who are lean consume carbohydrates, it doesn’t mean that carbohydrates make you lean. Nor does it mean they’re beneficial. It simply means that their body is more efficient at metabolizing carbohydrates. ”

        So what exactly makes them lean?

        I’ve got quite a few athlete friends who eat a high carb diet and are 5%-10% bodyfat. Rice, noodles, some protein, but the predominant macro is carbs.

        You are trying to skew your logic to fit your dogma.

        I bet as a kid you ate carbs. Don’t tell me you didn’t have hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta, pizza, sandwiches. How long have you been LC Paleo and how much fat did you lose?

        Look, over half the world eats carbs regularly, if not more. I don’t see nearly the overweight epidemic in Europe or Asia as I do in North America.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 23, 2012 at 21:43

        “Certifiably ridiculous, Kevin”

        Beginning to sense the snake pit yet, Kevi?. When provoked, my commenters are the most vicious in the paleosphere. Some even double as sciency.

      • Kevin Geary on February 24, 2012 at 06:06

        EricsGirl, If I’ve made those claims, quote them. First, show me where I defined VLC. Then show me where I said VLC is superior for everyone.

        If you can’t quote me, then you can’t make these ridiculous claims while claiming I have multiple personalities.

      • Kevin Geary on February 24, 2012 at 06:17

        Yes, the’ve done a wonderful job so far.

        1. None of them have provided a quote where I defined VLC or LC, yet continue to claim that I say VLC is “best for everyone.”

        2. They argue with elementary logic such as, “carbohydrates MUST be good because Mr. Universe competitors eat them.”

        For example, look at your friend Canada above. He’s trying to tell me that his “friends” eat high carb diets and have 5-10% body fat so high carb MUST be healthy.

        3. Then they gang attack to protect themselves.

        I’m not trying to be an asshole. I do like to challenge people so I get their best responses so I can learn and we can have a lively debate. Unfortunately, I haven’t found that on this article. Instead, I got heavy doses of the above three things with very little to no scientific backing.

      • bbot on February 27, 2012 at 21:14

        Are you really “not trying to be an asshole?” Because it seems like perhaps you have found something you can succeed at without trying. Do you care about the situation described in the original post? Are you at all interested in what practical steps might make relatively newly paleo kids feel full? If not, please save your attempts at “lively debate” for another day.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 08:22

        Your logic is skewed

    • Galina L. on February 24, 2012 at 14:13

      I am Russian, and I can tell that although they are not as fat as Americans and most people eat home-cooked meals, many Russians are not very healthy. Don’t be concentrated on how crowd looks, they have high blood pressure when aged, many people suffer from cardiac-vascular diseases, cancer and diabetes. Not the case for hunter-gatherers. They eat enough of carbs to have the deceases of civilization and definitely, more then they need.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 15:24

        @Galina- who says carbs cause disease in the first place though? What about all the cultures who eat high carb diets but don’t suffer from diseases of civilization? I pérsonally eat a low carb diet and believe in the benefits of it. But just because its the right diet for me and somebody wrote a book about it backing it by science doesn’t make it an absolute truth. A lot of low carbers find the diet works for them and than they take that science and think it pertains to everyone. There’s science backing high carb diets 2 and damn near every diet out there, that’s why the shits so confusing. So I don’t think its really accurate 2 state that 2 many carbs cause disease.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 15:41

        * atleast as a generalization anyway

      • Galina L. on February 24, 2012 at 17:51

        It is just what I think and my logic could be not perfect, I came to my conclusion through personal observation and some reading. First of all I think that a society with high occurrence of cardie-vascular diseases, cancer, cavities, diabetes could be used as an example of the one eating a healthy diet even if their members are not as fat as Americans. I think the excess of nutrients is the problem in modern world, and the carbohydrates are the easiest food group to over-eat. That is why when too many people eat too much, I think it is carbs they are over-eating. During summer I went to Russia for 2 months to help my mom to sort-out her health issues.Mom lives in a 4-th floor without an elevator, walks a lot. She was eating a very healthy diet by all standards, a lot of veggies and fruits, oatmeal for breakfast with dried prunes and apricots, soup and salads everyday, only sourdough rye or whole grain bread, fermented dairy,potatoes. Her weight was raising, blood pressure became an issue that required medication. From my perspective – she just ate too much of everything. Eliminating grains , dried fruits and potatoes from her meals brought her appetite to lower level in one day and normalized her blood pressure. The most annoying dietary advice for me is “just eat real food”, because you can over eat that as well.

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 21:30

        @Galina- I wasn’t talking about your logic a couple posts up if that’s what u thought. That was directed at someone else..Glad 2 hear your moms doing better. I agree, over eating is definitely a big problem if it gets out of control. I think for people like us who find low carb to be optimal carbohydrates can be especially easy to over eat. I know I really have to watch my intake and not go crazy on them cuz the cravings start kicking in big time. I think for a person who thrives on a higher carb diet its a little different though since higher sugars is the optimal fuel 4 their specific body type so they get the same satisfication that we get from eating more protein and fat..I agree eating real food is just 1 part of the equation. I think finding the right macro’s is especially key to keep from over eating. I can eat till the cows come home if I eat 2 many carbs and not enough meat

  43. Canadian Eh on February 23, 2012 at 14:06

    Dude you aren’t having a discussion. You are refuting people’s personal experiences with their kids needing carbs with blanket statements that low carb is best for everyone.

    Have you lived in Europe or Asia? I have. I saw people eat rice, noodles, bread daily and everyone was fit.

    Do you play sports at a competitive level? I do. You need carbs for high athletic performance, period. Look at the diets of NFL, NBA players, MMA fighters. They all cosume carbs.
    Michael Jordan’s favourite pre-game meal was steak and potatoes.

    Have you ever had children? If not then how would you know what their nutrional needs are.

    You don’t seem to get it that low carb may not be the best approach or practical for all people.

    • Kevin Geary on February 23, 2012 at 16:21

      “Dude”, you’re still being illogical. Let’s go through the points you just inferred.

      1. I didn’t make a blanket statement that said low carb was good for everyone. I never even really defined what low carb is. You’re putting words in my mouth.

      2. Seeing people eat rice, noodles, and bread in Europe or Asia is not a scientific basis for why carbs are supposedly healthy. Everyone “appeared” fit, but that could be meaningless. This is an illogical argument.

      3. Because NFL, NBA, and MMA fighters eat carbs doesn’t mean carbs are necessary for high athletic performance. This is another argument based on shoddy logic.

      4. What Michael Jordan eats pre-game doesn’t make it healthy. Anderson Silva (an MMA fighter you described in your previous argument) eats McDonalds Big Macs pre-fight sometimes. Using your logic, that means McDonalds is healthy.

      5. I’m a coach of child athletes. So you’re assumption that I’ve never interacted with a child on a health or nutritional level is baseless.

      6. I never said low-carb was the best approach for all people. Again, you put words in my mouth.

      Please slow down and think through your comments before you post them. Thus far, you’ve offered nothing.

      • LadySadie on February 23, 2012 at 17:02

        Kevin, I really appreciate your enthusiasm, but this really came down to my over-reaction to my kids probably missing fast and easy pre-made meals. You have ALL made valid points, and I guess with the carbs, I am in the middle of the road. We are really very well balanced (carb-wise), although we could be a little more on the strict Paleo bandwagon in other respects.

        The care and thought you have put into your comments is great, really, especially since you are a coach of child athletes! Thanks again!

      • Galina L. on February 24, 2012 at 14:16

        I think if children don’t have cavities and not catching every bad around, not fat,they are fine. They are not living in a monastery with paleo restrictions .

  44. Canadian Eh on February 23, 2012 at 17:21

    Kevin, all you seem to do is antagonize people’s personal experiences with low carb and try to come up with reasons to steer them. The children who were hungry may have legitimate reasons to eat more starch. Do you have any scientific proof to say otherwise?

    You don’t seem to have much real world experience with cultures and foods. Have you lived in another country for a long enough time to see how they eat? The Chinese and Japanese eat rice daily, yet most are not fat. Explain that to me.

    Most major US cities have obese people. This is caused by all the processed foods and sugary sweets that is cheap. No other country matches the US for percentage of really fat people. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

    Listen to Robb Wolf’s Paleo podcasts. They have said many times if you do high intensity work that uses the glycolytic pathways you need carbs. Otherwise your performance suffers.

    Here’s a direct quote from you: “But some on here were discussing how paleo can be seen as “high carb” and I was simply stating that there is no benefit to “high carb” for the vast majority of people.”

    All athletes will indulge in fast food sometimes. Look at what they eat 90%, I bet there’s starch.

    Your attitude is very narrow minded. Read up on Lean Gains, Robb Wolf, Mark’s daily apple.
    You obviously haven’t heard of carb refeeds.

    saying bodybuilders don’t need carbs to build muscle, where did you pull that?

    Show me some scientific proof or real world experience before you go spouting off.

  45. Canadian Eh on February 23, 2012 at 17:32

    I’ll give you a real world example. My main diet now is Paleo-ish with moderate carbs and high fat/protein.

    I eat about 5 potatoes a day, and will substitute that with noodles or rice. I cycle a few days low carbs and high.

    My one vice is soft drinks, specifically Coke. I have drank 2-3 cans a day for weeks. I try to keep it to 1 a day now. I work out 4-5 days, with heavy weights and playing sports.

    Even with a litre of Coke and over 100 grams of starch/day I didn’t gain weight. And this wasn’t just once a week it was 5-6 times a week.

    And I am not some young guy with a fast metabolism. I’m mid 30’s. Low carb all the time doesn’t work for everyone. What part of that don’t you understand.

    • Kevin Geary on February 24, 2012 at 06:11

      I don’t know what the schools are like in Canada, but you need to take a debate course STAT. Your entire existence is based on logical fallacies. Every example you give is how “someone in the world somewhere does X and gets Y as a result so X MUST be the reason for Y”

      For heaven’s sake, you’re arguing with me that drinking 2-3 cans of coke per week must be healthy because it appears to have no negative side effects on YOU and solely based on your weight. I can’t tell you how nonsensical that is. It’s the logic of a 3rd grader.

      • rob on February 24, 2012 at 06:35

        This is why I never get into the “healthy” debate, you wind up arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, “healthy” has no real meaning.

        I go by how I look naked in front of a mirror.

      • Canadian Eh on February 24, 2012 at 10:17

        Dude, I’m using real world results. You are just talking out of your ass without even providing ANY examples.

        Does Paleo even work for you? Give me numbers of how much weight or bodyfat % you’ve lost doing it. How long have you been striclty compliant on it. How many carbs do you eat?

        Flip your logic around. Paleo or LC might work for YOU but not other people. They may need starches, carbs, fruit, whatever.

        I can drink Coke without adverse effect. Many people can eat high carbs with no problem. Others can’t.

        Every example in the comments here where people say they need more carbs, and you just blab on about LC and why they aren’t useful. Just shut up dude.

      • Kevin Geary on February 25, 2012 at 10:09

        “I can drink Coke without adverse effect. Many people can eat high carbs with no problem. Others can’t.”

        None of that means anything. You’re stating an observation. Science is not solely based on observations. You can’t draw a conclusion from the observation alone. And there is no proof that there is no adverse effect from the coke. You could be a Diabetic in 30 years and then have to apologize to us for leading us astray because your science was based on “I can drink 2-3 cans of coke per day and not gain weight.”

        Until you can form a coherent argument backed by something, there’s no reason to continue discussing this.

      • Conrad on February 24, 2012 at 16:41

        Schools in Canada suck. High school is a daycare for kids between the ages of 14-20.

        But despite vegetating in the Canadian school system I’m still not as stupid at Canadian Eh.

        However, I’m the only one that eats Paleo and they all appear healthy. I’m fucked! Impending heart attack! I must be on the verge of one with the all extra fat I eat in comparison to them all!

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 18:33

        Hey alright! Another tool!

      • Tim Gwaltney on February 24, 2012 at 23:22

        I’m going 2 go out on a limb and guess your one of those 20 year olds that’s still in high school. Huh conrad??

    • Galina L. on February 24, 2012 at 14:31

      Being fat is not the only one single marker of a wrong diet. It takes years to damage metabolism. Gary Taubes described in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories, how it took for groups of people on traditional diet 20 years to fully develop all range of western deceases when they moved from his native habitat to modern one. In 10 years they started to have cavities and the inflammation of appendix. My 50+ years old acupuncturist who eats only food prepared by his China’s culture standards , has blood pressure 145/95, from time to time going to dentist to treat cavities. May be he eats too much rice and noodles, he is not fat and looks fit.
      I hope you will drop your coke drinking, try to change it on something else like club soda with lemon juice.

      • rob on February 25, 2012 at 10:02

        Club soda with lemon juice is for wussies and elderly women, he should stick with the Coke so long as it is working for him.

      • Galina L. on February 25, 2012 at 12:38

        It could be a good chance that Coke works on slowly developing hepatic insulin resistance rather working for him. It is very common for young people to carelessly consume all junk without visible harm, then deal with damaged metabolism later in life. I don’t get it Rob why do you consider being too weak to resist drinking carbonated syrup like Coke to be a macho thing, as opposite to drinking plain carbonated water, probably with lemon.

  46. Denis on February 23, 2012 at 22:32

    Anyone remember the Great Vizzini from “The Princess Bride?” The dude who talks himself into drinking poison? Kevin Geary, ladies and gentlemen!

  47. Gina on February 25, 2012 at 10:21

    An idea for quick snacking is to keep a rice cooker full of rice on the “keep warm” mode. The girls can get a bowl of rice and use their beloved nori sheets to wrap it with. Add some canned tuna or avocado and you’ve got a handroll! You can also fry eggs and put them over rice – let the yolks run into the rice and mix with a little salt or soy sauce – heavenly. Make a hot cereal by taking a bowl of hot rice and adding your Amish milk, maybe add some fruit and nuts.

    • Jason Sandeman on February 25, 2012 at 13:13

      Oh yes, this is exactly what my Asian friends mothers use to have all the time. Snacking was a snap!

    • Paul Jaminet on February 25, 2012 at 10:56

      Great suggestion Gina! +1.

  48. Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2012 at 10:16


    I’ve put up with Kevin far longer than I should have.

    He has now been banned and his last stupid comment deleted. I’ll blog about it later.

    • Jason Sandeman on February 25, 2012 at 13:10

      Thank you Richard! If there is one thing I can’t stand with so-called debaters is they think they can dance around a direct question by pointing out “illogical” aspects of the question. Pretty fucking cowardly, IMHO.
      I never bought into long-term VLC – one just has to look at tradition to see the fallacy of that argument. Traditionally Asians eat a lot of carbs. Why is it suddenly do bad? Are you telling me that 3000+ years of tradition is wrong, but the Inuit tradition of VHFLC is right?
      Sounds like Kevin was carrying an inconvenient truth. While it was somewhat fun to see him get torn down, I guess it got boring fast.
      To give my 2¢ on the issue – my experience with kids is they require more carbs to fuel their growth. I’m not advocating giving Twinkies to them, but things like rice, potatoes, and other things they will actually eat are the norm in my house. My kid won’t eat sauerkraut unless I finish it with potatoes and apples – his palate isn’t there yet. He may need his special sauce – ketchup – for his roasted pork rack – or even apple sauce – but he’s a kid. They just eat differently until they get a bit older and they develop their bitter taste buds, and the appreciation for it.
      Now, I am not speaking as authority on this, just anecdotally from my experiences with my kids, at work, friends kids, and keeping with trends in general.

  49. Bobbie on February 25, 2012 at 10:31

    Sorry for the random placement of my comment/question, but I am reading your book and now reading book and posts about intermittent fasting.

    Question – which I’m sure I will not like the answer to – does it count as ‘fasting’ if I drink coffee with fat in it?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2012 at 13:19


      Nope. Fasting is zero caloric intake. but, tiny caloric intake probably won’t derail you too much (but it might renew or intensify hunger). So, if you do use some cream, I’d keep it to no more than a couple of teaspoons.

    • Galina L. on February 25, 2012 at 16:39

      Sometimes during fasting I drink black coffee with a slice of a lemon, it kills all food cravings. Some people find that idea too extreme, but it works for me and there is a chance you will find it appropriate as well.

  50. […] few days ago I posted about hungry kids on a paleo diet. At the time of this Saturday posting, the comment thread stands at 211 comments. There were 212 a […]

  51. Bobbie on February 25, 2012 at 13:28

    dammit that’s what I was afraid of. I have to give up the “bulletproof coffee”

    thanks for the reply!

    • Shane on February 25, 2012 at 20:19


      I’m pretty sure Martin Berkhan (guru of intermittent fasting) is fine with a bit of fat/milk in your coffee during a fast.

      I think you’d be good with your bulletproof coffee, just don’t have a bajillion cups :)

  52. Weekend Link Love - Edition 179 | Mark's Daily Apple on February 26, 2012 at 08:00

    […] What to do about hungry Paleo kids. The comment section is, as always, great. […]

  53. Paul Riemann on February 26, 2012 at 18:46

    Having read Kevin Geary’s posts reveal something rather amazing. His lack of understanding basic logic when he has repeatedly chastened others for their “flawed logic”. Below are several of his comments, all examples of a particular logical fallacy . He wrote:

    “Fat is the number one macronutrient that triggers satiety.”

    “There is really no benefit to the consumption of carbohydrates past a certain — and pretty limited — point for the vast majority of people.”

    “The body is able to create all of the glucose it needs for day to day operation from fat.”

    “…there is no benefit to “high carb” for the vast majority of people.”

    “The nutritional science is crystal clear that fat triggers satiety far more effectively and for longer term than do carbohydrates.”

    The answer to him repeated ad infinitum should have been: how do you know? Kevin Geary is guilty of the fallacy of induction. He drew general and universal conclusions from particular examples. Unfortunately, this is an inherent problem in the scientific method itself, and I wish people would be more candid and less dogmatic given this truth. Induction is almost always a fallacy. It has very few exceptions.

    However, I want to add that I suffer from significant insulin resistance and therefore *probably* benefit most from a very low carb diet; at least until said metabolic issue is resolved and corrected. But I recognize that given much that has been written and discussed over the past few years in the LC/Paleo world it is probably NOT potatoes and rice that has caused the current obesity epidemic and it’s underlying metabolic derangement (with all due respect to Taubes whom I greatly admire). Rather, it is the garbage we’ve eaten in the form of refined sugars, grains, and unhealthy trans fats and industrial seed oils.

    Perhaps if Americans had only consumed carbs in the form of clean starch we never would have gotten where we are today in the first place. Starchy carbs are doing the same basic thing to the bodies of insulin resistant people that sugars and grains are; namely, raising blood sugar and causing a heavy insulin response to bring the blood sugar back into normal range. But, once insulin sensitivity is restored perhaps even people like myself could bring potatoes and rice back into the diet…and maybe even be better off nutritionally for having done so. VLC proponents like Geary have thrown the baby out with the bath water.

    Hey Kevin. Got logic?

  54. Casey on February 26, 2012 at 20:00

    Are your kids eating a lot of fats? As in, fattier meats, eggs, coconut oil… ? Also, give them some more potatoes and maybe even rice. Paleo is not a “one-size fits all” diet. There are different variations that stay within the framework of what is considering paleo-eating. In my family, there are three different types of eaters. I do well on the low carb side – only berries and occasional sweet potato I split with my daughter. My husband does best when he has more carbs, particularly tubers and white rice. My daughter needs a mix – she fills up great with fatty meats and needs a sweet potato or the likes every day. It is quite possible your kids are not getting the type of foods that suit them best and you need to experiment. Plus, the more active they are, the more likely they really need more starch. I know a lot of paleo people are scared of starch, but kids have much faster metabolisms and need that extra fuel. I think the fact that they feel like they are starving is a big sign they are not getting enough of what they need.

  55. Conrad on February 26, 2012 at 20:30

    Paul, I’m glad you posted or I would not have said anything.

    Induction: The process of reasoning from the observations of concretes or individuals to a general or universal conclusion.
    — This is a necessity of all higher thought and abstraction. Concept formation is, in fact, induction.

    You’re right that Kevin’s comments hold an “inductive” flare as he does not support any of them and they were not deduced from any of the previous comments. But I think your problem here is Induction and Science in general. However, nobody contested Kevin’s statements at first; they are thoughts that do float around the paleo community and I’m sure people participating in the discussion are not hearing them for the first time. And therefore I really think that Kevin was simply trying to further the conversation and thought in a way to answer the questions he was most concerned about. People have different ways of bring about points and shaping the conversation and this should not be met with hostility.

    You’ve also taken out of context some of those statements. The context being that each of them was met with antagonism. And instead of challenging his statements or providing further insight Kevin was attacked personally.

    In my first post I started with the same format that Tim Gwaltney used. I did this to see how it would be received. The format being “Hello Gary Taubes, I mean Kevin…” (used as an insult)
    It’s no surprise that Tim barked at me in anger. But please note that when Tim insulted Kevin, Kevin did not lower himself to this level, instead he kept trying to continue the conversation despite the hostility from more than one person.

    So we’ve got Hostile Tim and a person battling with the merits of induction. Kevin be damned!

    • Tim on February 28, 2012 at 21:59

      @Conrad- is Gary Taubes a bad guy? Is hey shithead on the same level? I said hey Gary Taubes I mean kevin because he was preaching with a dogmatic nature and being antagonistic while insulting other peoples intelligence. Look at the comments according to the time they were written. Kevin came off as an all knowing ass out the gate before I even referred to him as Taubes. I know Hes your boy N shit but all your doing is representing TEAM TOOLBAG to the fullest.

    • Tim on February 28, 2012 at 22:10

      one more question for you Kevin I mean Conrad. Why is it since Kevin was banned from this site and he took his dogmatism to the marks daily apple forum hes being perceived in the same light by the majority over there as well? Interesting isnt it

  56. Tim on February 28, 2012 at 22:00

    lol hey conrad is real name kevin?

  57. Calories in - Calories Out - Page 17 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 17 on March 1, 2012 at 10:41

    […] less than 50. Some do fine on 10. I don’t really like to “define” it by numbers. My Paleo Kids are Hungry All The Time!!! Help!!! | Free The Animal I don't care if you don't "like to define it by the numbers." The fact is, you did […]

  58. Paul Riemann on March 2, 2012 at 05:24

    @ Conrad,

    Aristotle, Locke, and Hume may be your heroes; but, unfortunately, I do not believe in abstraction. But this thread is not the place for a detailed debate over the inherent problems in empiricism.

  59. Lanna on March 5, 2012 at 00:32

    To the OP, my first instinct was that your children are just hungry.
    They’re constantly in motion, expending a ton of energy. Or at least they should be.
    I have an 8yo boy who practically has a hollow leg. He by far out-eats me and my husband (and has the muscles and height to show for it – kid’s been in size 10 pants for almost a year!). He’s very active – after 6 hours one day in the snow, he had an igloo duplex complete with windows and chimneys to show for it.
    So while we’re still testing the waters Paleo-style, even currently eating a fairly locavore/balanced diet (we home-can our own tuna among other things, does that count? or a then-7yo who says the peaches from the store are icky and that I need to can more of the good ones?), we still have snacks around for the kids. Cheese sticks, yogurt, nuts, carrot/celery sticks, leftovers, any fruit that’s laying around, jerky, whatever.
    I usually start by giving the kids about what I think they’ll eat at any given meal, and they can go back for seconds or thirds if they still truly feel hungry afterwards. Tonight I had a bunch of chicken in the crockpot (like 4+ pounds?) and another several pounds of steamed veggies and then some baked rice, and when I came home, there were barely any leftovers to put away (granted, it was my husband, FIL, 8yo, 5yo, 3yo and 2yo that ate it all, but still). If they eat bit by bit until they’re full, that’s better than regulating it so strictly that you end up with children drastically reacting in the opposite direction (like I did – food was on lockdown at our house growing up, and it did *not* do me any favors). I prefer them to eat when they’re truly hungry, vs. being a slave to 8am, noon and 6pm, when the magic clock says it’s time to eat. Kinda like I didn’t/don’t nurse my children on a strict schedule and just nurse on demand.

    Oh, and fwiw, I’m in the kitchen for at least a few hours a day prepping/making food, minimum. It takes *time* to prep that much produce, to get whatever in the oven or sauteeing on the stove, especially with children underfoot. There’s even some days (during harvest season) I’m in the kitchen for up to 16 hours dealing with food. Your children are a little older though, so I totally love the idea of “hungry means you have to work” – I’ve used that when I can with my brood, and it’s quite useful. Good luck!

  60. Healthy Weight Loss Concepts | FC Safe Kids | on May 6, 2012 at 19:37

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  61. lisa on May 23, 2012 at 12:21

    Great Post, thanks.

    I switched the kids (11 and 13) over to paleo lunches for school about six months ago and adjusting to hunger was a phase they went through along the way as they could not find as much “instant food” when they felt hungry. Now we just feed them more, and they are starting to figure out where to “find” the food. They take a smoothie – coconut milk/oil and fruit, veggies sticks, apple, bag of nuts and dried cranberries, steak strips or sausages or beef jerky, sometimes a larabar and sweet potato or asparagus in olive oil). It takes 20 minutes to pack lunches and the kitchen is a mess by the time they hit the door.

    At first we were worried their friends would harass them for having such a weird lunch, turns out the other kids are jealous. Our kids feel sorry for the kids at the table that only have peanut butter and white bread. I never would have imagined.

    Both kids can have as much food as they want, whenever they want. One is very underweight and one is very over weight (she gets less fruit) but they both ask for more olive oil or ghee, regardless of what is being served.

    We can’t control what they eat when they leave home and try not to impose any guilt or blame about it and they still have treats (in laws and teachers!) but they ALWAYS come back from the treat saying they have a belly ache.

    one day at a time

    • Galina L. on May 24, 2012 at 09:37

      Lisa, It is great you decided to switch kids on a normal food. My son thought that it was a privilege to eat the cooked from the scratch food, it looks like even kids start to think that all what comes in a box is a junk. It caught my attention that one of your children is on overweight female. It is possible, she also needs not only fruits limitations, but also limitation of starches like sweet potatoes and to be encouraged to avoid snacking and eating close to a bed time. Also make absolutely sure she doesn’t have a PSOS. When a person is already overweight or obese, often eating in a paleo-style is not enough. Normal-weight people have better appetite control system, they can’t over-eat meat, butter, cheese, but it is not necessary so in case of an overweight person. There are a lot of examples on a web.

  62. […] emailed me before and that email turned into the insanely popular and controversial post on hungry kids. She tells me her kids aren't hungry, anymore. She […]

  63. […] My Paleo Kids are Hungry All The Time!!! Help!!! […]

  64. Janet on August 15, 2012 at 12:00

    Interesting article but I disagree that children should be encouraged to share food at school. First, it is against the rules at most schools. Second, most parents want to pack what they want their children to eat, not what other parents prepare. Third, with the prevalence of food allergies, it is risky to give food to other people’s children.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 15, 2012 at 12:24



      Sorry, my grandparents taught me not to be a pathetic hand wringer about every conceivable risk and all 4 of them lived well into their 80s, all smokers and drinkers, too. But they all ate real food, every day.

      • Janet on August 15, 2012 at 18:06

        “Pathetic handwringer?” Would you say that to this little girl’s mother? The girl died because someone at her school shared her food (yes, the girl with food allergies had been taught not to eat other people’s food…no one knows why she made an exception this time).

        C’mon, just asking for a little heart and empathy here, not some cute comeback.

      • Richard Nikoley on August 15, 2012 at 18:29

        No, I wouldn’t say that to that little girl’s mother. Everyone else? Yes. Shit happens, no one gets out of life alive.

    • Galina L. on August 15, 2012 at 12:30

      Ha! Whatever you disagree with sharing food at school or not, most of the time it is out of your control.

  65. […] for kids (the woman who's the inspiration for that—here too—will have a guest post here […]

  66. […] subject of a couple of other blog posts—one of which was included in version 2.0 of my book. See here, and […]

  67. […] photo is courtesy of reader, commenter, post contributor, and 41-yr young mother of three (here and here, too), "SSS." It was taken by a local professional photographer with an interest in […]

  68. Anjuli on October 4, 2012 at 11:01

    Great post. Thank you!
    I just had a quick question regarding protein amounts for kids. What is considered a reasonable amount of protein intake for toddlers (grams per day)? And, how much would it grow based on their age? I have 16 mo old twins and was wondering if too much protein is bad or ok? We rarely give them grains or regular flour food. They eat regularly – good protein, vegatables, dairy and fruits.

  69. LadySadie1 on October 4, 2012 at 12:12

    Anjuli, I don’t think that there is a magic formula or portion size based on age. I think that you have to offer reasonable, quality choices and the kids will regulate their intake.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 13:51

      Saddie, just popped in to answer myself.

      I think kids probably have pristine intake regulation given real food. Just provide them over some days liberal supplies of protein, fat, starch (real, like potatoes or white rice, but not a ton of butter and cream to make them enticing). Take note of how they eat until they want no more. Take note, so as to make it simpler going forward.

      They are little animals. Let them express.

  70. ladysadie1 on October 4, 2012 at 15:02

    “They are little animals. Let them express.”


    I also want to add that it is important to put many different choices so that you don’t end up with “picky eaters”. In the long run, that will make your meal planning/shopping more difficult. It is much easier if you train “your little animals” to take advantage of the food that they have in front of them. You spare yourself and your food budget from lots of drama in the long run by teaching the kids to accept a variety of different foods.

  71. Amy Moran on June 30, 2015 at 12:42

    Has anyone heard of celiac disease? One in 100 people in the US has it. One out of every 40 who have it, know they have it. Is it possible that people going on the paleo diet feel great partly because they have undiagnosed celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and they have removed the offending grains? Maybe rice and quinoa and sorghum or actually really still okay food choices.

  72. Anthea on August 12, 2017 at 03:02

    This is an old thread, but I need the ideas and suggestions, so hopefully someone can post back. (Please be nice, as I stress over her eating a lot, and am trying my best).

    My daughter is 3.5 years. She is intolerant to dairy and gluten, so has been Paleo-ish since we worked out her issue around 10months of age (I ate Paleo-ish so she didn’t get transfer through breast milk).

    Her breakfast at the moment can consist of 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, a banana, small child’s handful of nuts and berries, and some avocado if not too expensive. If she’s hungry after that (often) I end up giving her rice flakes and gluten free Weetbix cereal with almond milk as I’ve run out of Paleo ideas, or my other ideas are for her lunch or dinner). She’s gone off bacon at the moment.

    Lunch = leftovers including a protein, and veggies usually cooked in coconut oil.

    Dinner = meat/fish and veggies usually cooked in coconut oil.

    My main issues are: giving her snacks that are Paleo, but aren’t the same as breakfast, lunch or dinner. She needs m/ tea and a/noon tea as is so physical, but has tummy trouble with more than 2/3 pieces fruit a day. My easy ‘in the car’ or preschool snack tends to be rice crackers, as I’ve run out of ideas and don’t want to do anything with egg as she’s already had 2 for breakfast or lunch (and don’t think 3+ eggs every day is right for her). She can’t have anything with nuts at preschool due to the no-nut policy. She loves meat at dinner, but isn’t terribly keen at other meals. I want to include more fat but not sure how, especially at preschool with no nut based products allowed.

    My other issue is variety in her diet for her main meals and filling her up enough at those meals. For instance, vegetables for lunch every day last week consisted of raw carrots, cucumber, bok choy stems and potato/sweet potato. What do I then give her for dinner??? More of those??

    I seem to need so much food for her (I have no issue with the quantity she eats other than finding it a logistical issue).

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