Kids, Paleo and Nutrient Density

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I really do need to Sexify my blog titles like Dr. Harris does! Ok, This needs to be a quiky but I’ve been deluged with this question of late and I want a singular place to address it. The question? “Will my kids “miss anything” nutritionally with a Paleo diet?”

Great question and this really gets right at the brass-tacks of how the paleo concept stacks up against other nutritional approaches in terms of nutrient density.

Before we get to that let’s look at this issue of feeding kiddos. As a conscientious parent, one would assume you would want to feed your child the “best” you can, right? Make sure they get all the building blocks for brain development, bones, strong immune function etc. This is the concern surrounding paleo-kids on the part of parents, dietitians and physicians: Without grains, legumes and diary our children will be horribly stunted and unhealthy.

This is what we will call our Null-Hypothesis: Without Neolithic foods (breads, grains, dairy, etc.) our children will receive inadequate nutrition to live and thrive. We will likely observe diseases of deficiency in our children if this Hypothesis is true.

Now, how might we go about proving or disproving this Hypothesis?

1-We could argue. This might even be productive. I could site historical anecdotes which might be compelling, but it’s really not “proof” one way or the other.

2-I could character-assassinate anyone that disagrees with me. This is great fun to be sure, but actually moves us further away from the question at hand.

3-Quantify. We could compare and contrast different nutritional mixes and see what type of trends emerge. Perhaps there are foods that are inherently MORE nutritious for a given number of calories than other foods? Yes, indeed there are more and less nutritious foods.

Let’s look at a few papers and some charts from those papers. This first paper is:

Macronutrient Composition:
From:
Origins and evolution of the western diet: Health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:341-54.

Let’s look at Table 4 from that paper:

This table compares the relative nutrient density between various foods. To make this comparison we need to look at how many vitamins and minerals a given food has relative to it’s caloric content, in this case 418 kJ (about 100 Cals). The “best foods” receive a 7 ranking, the “worst” a 1 ranking. What we find is whole grains are piss-poor nutritionally as compared to veggies, fruits, lean meats and seafood.

Now let’s look at:

The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups. J Am Nutraceut Assoc 2002; 5:15-24

First, let’s consider Table 2 from that paper:

This lays out the days offerings for a 2,200 cal day based on lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruit and nuts. Let’s look at the specific macro-nutrient breakdown in Table 3:

A few things are worth pointing out:

1-The protein is high. No, it will not give you kidney disease, no it will not hasten osteoporosis. We can talk about those specific topics in another post.

2-It is NOT “low carb”. You could obviously modify this as per your desires, either up or down, but paleo is NOT synonymous with low carb.

3-Fiber. Oi-vey! If I had a nickel for every hand-wringing dietitian and MD who could not figure out how to get fiber without bran-muffins and oatmeal. 42g is far more then that recommended even by the fiber-conscious ADA.

4-The omega-3/omega-6 fat ratio is spot on at about 1.5 6 per 3. Kids brains need both long chain essential fats and this meal plan provides FAR more than what is possible with grains, legumes and dairy.

Finally let’s look at Table 4 from that same paper:

nutrient densityKreiki! Look at that. If you consume a paleo diet it LOOKS like you are taking a nutritional supplement. Several hundred if not thousand times the RDA in various nutrients, all from food sources. The only thing “lacking” is calcium, which is based on at best misguided information, at worst outright lies on the part of the ADA/AMA with regards to appropriate calcium flux through our bodies. This article shed some light on the calcium topic.

So, let’s re-visit that Null-Hypothesis: If I eat a paleo diet (or feed it to my kids) I/they will become nutrient deficient. If you notice, We have a meal plan built from the most nutritious foods available (lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruits and nuts) and the result is a remarkably nutritious meal plan. Now, our brilliant RD’s, professors of nutrition and most physicians will SWEAR that you will die without grains, legumes and dairy…but what will happen if we REMOVE one of the favorable food categories (like lean meats) and ADD one of the unfavorable food categories (like grains)? Folks, I hope this is obvious to you, the total nutritional content of the diet goes DOWN. Pause a moment and let this sink in. You can run these numbers any way you like, more nutritious foods will ALWAYS be more nutritious. And no, there are no secret substances in grains, legumes and diary that confer health, quite the contrary, they REMOVE nutrients due to anti-nutrients found in them and because they damage the gut lining. If your gut is irritated, and grains, legumes and diary do just that, you not only face the problem of less total vitamins, minerals and antioxidants when you displace paleo foods, you also increase the risk of autoimmunity and other immune related problems.

I may start a challenge: If you can construct a more nutritious diet (nutrients per calorie) with grains, legumes and diary (that are UNFORTIFIED) I’ll pay you $5K. It would be great for effect, but it’s an un-winable bet for the poor RD’s MD’s and other folks who think grains, legumes and diairy are nutritional heavy hitters.

So, Our Null-Hypothesis turned out to be wrong: Grains, Legumes and Dairy are NOT the most nutritious foods we can feed our kids. I will look at all of this in more detail in the book.

I am not yet a parent, so I do not want to play the arm-chair expert here, so I’ll leave it up to you to actually THINK about this topic. Does it make sense to you to feed YOUR kids foods you can scientifically prove are less nutritious? Grains, legumes and diary do not stack up against lean meats, veggies, fruit and nuts. That is obvious, now it’s up to you to figure out what YOU do about it.

For a little more light reading I’ll direct you to the excellent post Dr. Eades did comparing the health of a Hunter Gatherer group and an agriculturalist group. The HG group ate large amounts of meat, fish fruit, veggies and nuts. The agriculturalists displaced these foods and began consuming large amounts of grains and legumes. Take a moment to consider these facts:

1-The Agriculturalist kids showed significant signs of malnutrition as compared to the HG’s.

2-The Agriculturalists showed significantly higher infant mortality AND early childhood death with the adoption of a grain, legume based diet.

Think rationally, draw your own conclusions. Henceforth, if someone has a question on Paleo and kids, I’m referring them to this post.

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  1. Melinda
    April 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Rob –

    I recently removed all processed foods and simple carbs from my children’s diets. Someone said to me, “It should be safe as long as they are getting all the nutrients they need” and that’s when it sunk in. They were certainly not getting all the nutrients they need from frozen waffles, goldfish crackers and pretzels. We are going full steam ahead and they are completely different kids in only one week. I know that sounds hard to believe but the changes we have seen are blowing us away. Paleo is the ONLY safe food to feed them.

  2. Matt
    April 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    As a new dad, I want to thank you for posting this! I eat paleo and my wife eats mostly paleo (I do the cooking). I’m really committed to raising our son on a paleo diet and I’ve done my homework, so I don’t need convincing. But now I can send the grandparents, siblings, etc. to this post!

  3. Nick
    April 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Great stuff Robb!

  4. Dawna
    April 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Robb~
    My 12 y.o. son just debated his health teacher about the presence of lectins in grains. So flippin’ proud! When he told her what he ate for breakfast every morning (bacon, apple slices, almond butter) she told him that he’d be better off with a bowl of cereal! The reason? It’s more convenient. She is puzzled why he has so much energy since he doesn’t eat grains. *sigh*

  5. Rob Silver
    April 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    You always seem to get the message across better than most. makes me more excited for the book.

    great post robb! (even though kids are a loong way away)

  6. Tim
    April 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I can attest to Paleo being a true boon to fertility! I decided to skip my long walk to listen to Podcast 23 and opted to stay close to home and my very pregnant wife! Good thing I did, we just welcomed Fritz (6lb 12oz, 4/15/2010) into the world. And this is a great topic, as my intent is to keep Fritz fed right from day one. So far so good, and thanks for the resource Robb!

  7. Jenn
    April 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I convinced my husband to go Paleo in September but hesitated with the kids till October of last year. My daughter is a carb fanatic and I was afraid of the fighting. Well, as Mom and Dad went Paleo we simply added more of our food to their plates and started leaving off the grains. Eventually we told them (they were 3 and 5 at the time) that we aren’t suppose to eat grass, that bread and pasta was made of grass and that it was making us all sick. They actually understand on a certain level and have become use to the eating. I’ve been amazed at what they will eat now that a year ago would never have crossed their lips! Cucumbers and pepper for snacks, asking for fish for dinner, it’s amazing.
    I saw a change in them immediately. When we were fine tuning the eating we could tell the days that they had a roll for snack and the days they had carrots! Tempers, moods, arguments all lessened. The cereal for breakfast might be fast but it makes for tired, weak, and grumpy kids. I wouldn’t go back for all the money in the world. In the 7 months they have eaten this way their weight has been steady, which I feel is loss of unneeded fat combined with their added growth. They are both outgrowing pants in length, but still fitting in the waist (which is new!!) and I can see that their bodies are stronger and fitter then they were before. They are still kid squishy, but they aren’t sloppy, if that makes sense.
    We still fight the bread issue, and the pizza issue, but it’s manageable now; as with anything, an occasional lapse is acceptable, as long as it’s occasional. We are headed to my parents for 5 weeks and I know that, though they will try, I will still fight my folks on some of these issues. But with my kids understanding and with my parents helping, those wheat waffles once a week will be tolerated when the other meals are solidly nutritious!

  8. Brad Hirakawa
    April 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I am glad you mentioned “fortified” grain/dairy products. I’ve spit palm smacked many faces of parents that point to the fucking box of breakfast cereal and tell me how nutritious whole grains are. Even seen that error in the literature. I can only surmise poor nutrition is making everyone dumb. How’s that for a hypothesis? :)

  9. Paul
    April 16, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Robb,
    Thank you, this post could not have come at a better time. I teach high school PE and shared the way I eat with a couple of students who lift with me at lunch, they then told their nutrition teacher and here is a small portion of the full page e-mail I got.

    “The Food and Nutrition guidelines suggested are of great concern to me, especially for young students. As a Nutrition Educator and NSPA certified personal trainer I agree with eliminated processed foods, and limiting trans fats and added sugars. However, eliminating low fat dairy, whole grains and legumes is not considered to be part of a healthy diet plan even for a short period of time. There are too many health benefits of these foods to eliminate them from the diet even temporarily. ”
    Unbelievable. I tried to talk to her and find out which nutrients she was afraid the kids would be missing out on and she couldn’t answer but would not budge. My own kids, 3 and 5 eat very close to paleo and thrive. We notice huge behavior problems following birthday parties where the are throwing back pizza and cake. Thanks again

  10. julianne
    April 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Paul – I am a nutritionist and was taught the standard line. I was already a Zone diet convert when I did my study though. After I started working at CrossFit I researched and read all I could on The Paleo diet and tried it immediately with fantastic results.

    The problem is that many do not keep expanding their knowledge or even question what is taught.
    This was the article that I couldn’t argue with –
    “Cereal Grains – humanities double edged sword” by Loren Cordain

    http://www.direct-ms.org/pdf/EvolutionPaleolithic/Cereal%20Sword.pdf

    What if you gave her the link and asked her to read it? And tell you what she thinks?

    Mu kids have very little grains, no legumes and very little dairy. it is hard to cut them all out, however I’m going to try and further cut them down especially cut out gluten grains. They are just so healthy and fit and virtually never get sick and if they do it’s minor.

  11. Jason
    April 16, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Looking at the “sum rank score” in Table 4 from the first paper, it looks like whole grains and whole milk are in the same ballpark as fruit, lean meats, and nuts and seeds. In fact, nuts and seeds have a slightly lower score. Vegetables are the real nutritional heavy-hitters in that table.

    But people already believe that vegetables are nutritious. Nervous relatives need to be convinced that meat is healthier than whole grains and dairy.

    By the way, I pulled out CRON-O-Meter and played around with the diet studied in the second paper. By substituting 250g nonfat unfortified milk for 11g walnuts and 2g almonds, we get a diet with equal calories that still has sky-high levels of all previous nutrients, plus it meets the RDA for calcium. I think this new diet qualifies as more nutritious by the standards of that paper.

    In lieu of $5000, I would accept a copy of your upcoming book! :-) I’ve just started eating paleo and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2010 at 7:27 am

      Jason, no dice! Non-fat is processed and dramatically changes the nutrient density! Nice try though, glad to see peeps are thinking about this. Remind me when the book is out and you will get your free-be BTW.

  12. Ben
    April 17, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Hi Rob,

    You say “We have a meal plan built from the most nutritious foods available (lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruits and nuts)”, but in the rankings in figure 1, nuts are ranked lower in many nutrients than either grains or dairy. So why then are nuts considered more nutritious? Is it simply that when the anti-nutritents / gut irritant factors of grains and dairy are accounted for the absorbed nutrition is greater for nuts than neolithic foods, or is there some additional reason for including nuts.

    I know the diet is from a hypothetical paleolithic diet, and so is based partly on food availability rather than optimal nutrition. I suppose the question is centered about how the data in table 1 should inform our current dietary practices?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2010 at 7:24 am

      Ben-
      If you notice the nuts/seeds play a relatively minor role as compared to the other foods. Nuts & seeds DO pose some GI problems for some, hence our suggestion to use items like coconut oil and avocado.

  13. Cindy Woods
    April 17, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Robb, sure wish I had known about this stuff when my son was younger. How can you get an 18 year old to eat better, let alone switch to Paleo.
    We have struggled his whole life with severe ADHD and now he has acne. I just know he would improve with a change to Paleo life style.
    I can only hope that as he matures ( yeah right) that he will see how good his old mom is feeling and performing and make the choice.
    Thanks for all you do, Robb! Looking forward to the book.

  14. v
    April 17, 2010 at 6:34 am

    my concern is calcium and magnesium- especially since i got scoliosis at around 16, after they stopped checking at school. it isn’t so bad that i needed a brace. my first year in college i had a doctor check it out, and he said leave it alone, the curve wasn’t that bad. i got plenty of vitamin d as a kid growing up and working on the family farm, but i ate crap all day. dr holick says that calcium can actually leak out of your bones if you have good/high vitamin d levels but not enough calcium.

    i tried to do some research on scoliosis, and it seems the cause is still a mystery, but one source said being deficient in magnesium could be a reason.

    i teach immigrant students and many of my students are from countries where they traditionally don’t take in a lot of calcium- like the ivory coast (africa) and china. these kids are consuming bone broth soup daily. while i am starting to prepare bone broth soup, my kids don’t like it (yet). so i have the older 14 yr old who loves paleo take a calcium/d supplement 2x a day and the other daughter who’s 12 still eats a lot of yogurt and drinks milk, but i still have her take a supplement.

    so unless you paleo parents have kids who love bone broth soups, i say supplement with calcium.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2010 at 7:18 am

      V-
      Scoliosis has a strong autoimmune underpinning. In your description above you claim a high vit-d level, which we have no idea as to it’s veracity (who is really out in the sun much anymore? Air pollution? Sunblocks?), then go on to mention you ate a lot of junk. Gut irritation, autoimmunity? Regardless of calcium intake, if the gut is irritated you will not absorb it and the absorption is NOT the issue with scoliosis, autoimmune issues in the osteoblasts seem to be at cause here.

      I’m also afraid you missed the entire point here: Your folks from the ivory coast do not consume large amounts of meat, veggies or fruit. It is not surprising they have adopted bone soups, but this is wholly unnecessary with a paleo approach. You are not consuming the anti-nutrients of grains, you receive more than adequate calcium and 5-10x more magnesium which is the counter ion to calcium and works to spare calcium in the body. I’ll post some before and after radiographs of clients who did nothing other than alter their nutrition towards paleo and reversed advanced osteoporosis. Both male and female, old and young.

      By all means, supplement as you like, but the logic is flawed to look to people who consume the vast majority of their calories from grains for insight on what to do in this situation. The Pima of early America found they would avoid certain disease if they added lye to their corn meal. Do we then need to supplement our diet with ash? Absolutely not, just avoid excessive amounts of the problematic food and displace that with meat, fruit and vegetables.

  15. Ben
    April 17, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Thanks Rob, but that doesn’t clear up whether nuts and seeds are more or less nutritious than grains and dairy, especially if one simply looks at the numbers and ignores additional factors like gut irritation / auto immune factors. So following the data in figure 1 you could take the Paleo diet proposed by Cordain, swap the nuts for grains / dairy, and have a slightly *more* nutrient dense diet?

    I claim my $5K. (joke, especially as who eats only a few grams of grains / dairy as they’re more usually the majority of a neolithic diet)

    Also I thought the main reason for recommending avocado or coconut oil over nuts and seeds as fat sources was the decreased omega 6 intake? I didn’t realize there are digestive issues too.

    Not trying to be a pain here. Just geeking out on the details.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

      Ben-
      By all means, geek away! You could do that, or ditch the nuts and seeds…and then we are back to a basic paleo schtick. keep in mind, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are at best seasonal. Now, If you REALLY want to get geeky on this you need to consider Optimum Foraging Strategy. This food does not just “happen”, we need to consider the energy necessary to collect, process and consume these foods and weigh that against the nutrient density.
      http://thepaleodiet.com/articles/AJCN%20PDF.pdf
      http://thepaleodiet.com/articles/Milton%20Rebuttal.pdf

      So, when we look at the actual energy cost of obtaining these foods, Grains, legumes and dairy fail to match up again. Nuts and seeds play a minor but important role due to fat content.

      Now, this is getting persnickety on my part, but you guys are looking for the full accounting, so here we go! If we added a few other qualifiers like “known allergen”, “suspected gut irritant” etc. and re-compare the lists, grains and legumes fall far, nuts and seeds maintain their at best, marginal placement.

      Keep in mind, this is an amalgam of 200+HG groups. With some fiddling we can find a few situations with a borderline exception, until we consider the energy cost of those foods in the ancestral environment. Now, that may not matter to us as we can buy any and all of these foods from a supermarket, but it places these foods in their prober ancestral context.

  16. Ben
    April 17, 2010 at 8:02 am

    @Jason. Looks like you had the same idea. That’ll teach me to read all the posts before jumping in.

  17. Ben
    April 17, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Thanks Rob.

    Ironically “optimum foraging strategy” of a kind is the argument I keep getting from people as a dodge against Paleo; e.g. who has the time / money / opportunity to cook every meal / source grass-fed meat / grow their own vegetables; although I think they’re failing to optimize for health. Takes us back to your reply to Dawna regarding convenience.

  18. v
    April 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

    i don’t understand why you doubt my claim i probably had a high vita d level. do you doubt life guards have one? i said i was a farm hand, ie: out in the sun for at least 4 hours every day from mid June to the end of August with my bare back exposed ( i wore shorts and i swim suit to deal with the heat) and no sun block ( at that time from ’76 to ’84 tans were in).

    maybe i had autoimmune issues. the whole scoliosis thing is weird since my 3 siblings had pretty much the same crappy diet and the same sun exposur, but don’t have scoliosis. i also did gymnastics, which i read may have factored in.

    i will have to ask my student about her diet in the ivory coast, i just know she has a lot of soup made with goat meat/bones.

    i lived in taiwan 7 years so i know that besides the bone-broth soups, they are heavy consumers of vegetables, meat, and seafood- more so now that their average income has gone up in the last 40 years. of course they eat lots of rice. i was super skinny when i ate their non-diary non-gluten diet. i looked like they did.

    I would really appreciate the info on your clients who reversed osteoporosis. it would be of maximum benefit if i had a good idea of what they were eating. thanks for all the work you do.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

      V-
      I’ll get the stats on those folks, I’ll try to get PDF’s of the radiographs etc. Teh basic deal however has been “paleo”. No one weighs or measures so there is some variability there.

      My only thought on the Vit-d is how low MOST people are. Life guard…we are kinda talking a different story, but obviously I’m making assumptions here.

      • DocNate
        August 26, 2012 at 7:09 am

        Hi Robb,
        Have you posted the films that you mentioned here? I’m presenting a Paleo/Osteoporosis lecture this week and they would make an awesome visual.
        Thanks,
        Nate

  19. Paul
    April 17, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Julianne,
    Thanks for the link, I am going to read it tonight. I had dusted off my copy of Good Calories, Bad Calories and was prepping. Don’t really want to start a research fight, but was surprised that me suggesting not eating grains, dairy, or legumes would prompt such an emotionally charged debate.

  20. Peter
    April 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Robb, kick ass post – as usual. Btw, the Paleo Diet Blog has a post on 2/2/10 on the Paleo Diet and kids. The post included Dr. Cordain’s personal account of what he is feeding his sons as they grow up.

  21. Jason
    April 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Sweet, thanks Rob!

  22. Jess
    April 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Hey Robb,
    I have a grandmother who is 87 and obese. She is 5′, 270lbs, and eats nursing home food. I have a feeling that she would be able to walk again if only she ate nothing but meat and vegetables. How can I convince my parents that eating in a paleo way could help wheel chair bound obese grandma walk again? She doesn’t have diabetes or heart disease. She also has no signs of dementia.
    I might also add that my grandmother was a chain-smoker and never had cancer, she did drugs in the hippie era and never got fried, and frankly my whole family is shocked that she continues to thrive the way she is.
    Thanks.
    How do I convince her that walking is a good thing?
    P.S. I think that all of these parents here are doing wonderful things for their children that will not only benefit them physically, but also mentally. I just got diagnosed with ADHD as a senior in college (after 4 solid years of terrible grades/parties), and boy I wish my family had done more research on health before they decided to raise their family on pop-tarts and send them to college with all sorts of mental problems. Okay, I’ll stop ranting on my parents… but who knows, more fish and less candy might have changed my brain lol. at least now i’m still learning new ways for the better

    • Robb Wolf
      April 18, 2010 at 7:32 am

      Jess-
      this is heart breaking. I honestly do not know what to say here but it seems you have two options:
      1-Try to help, make suggestions, but do not be attached to the outcome. The likelihood of change is unfortunately, low.
      2-Accept. Love her while you have her, make the time as easy and enjoyable as you can.

      I’ve helped a lot of people but my family has not been among them. It’s both ironic, and a bitter pill for me at times but it;s just how things are.

    • Cindy
      February 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Jess,

      Don’t rag on your parents (kind of depending on their ages) too much. My mom grew up poor as a church mouse with crappy nutrition in her household. She married my dad (a farmer, hunter, fisherman and steel worker) and learned how to can and freeze the bounty he provided. Unfortunately, while she was raising the six of us (between 1946 and 1976), the government and corporate America were drilling into her that Crisco and Mazola were better than good ol’ butter and lard. TV dinners were ‘just as good and far more convenient’ than the labor intensive venison and other great fare we were consuming. Eventually, my mom succumbed to the the Little Debbie Cake and never baked again! Honestly, this sounds funny, but it’s not. I watched the woman go from relatively healthy in the early 60’s (when we lived on the farm), through an awful middle life crisis, used as a lab-rat for early versions of today’s thyroid medications, to senile dementia.

      Where am I going with this? THANK GOD for the Internet and modern technology! There are plenty of great, bright folks out there challenging “conventional” medical and nutritional “wisdom” (and I use that word lightly. Those like Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, Mark Sisson, Sarah Fragoso and their contemporaries would be hard for us to come by without the Internet. I am 54 and have used my body as a dietary experiment since the age of 13. I finally believe “I’ve got it!”, but can’t convince my children of the beauty of Paleo. I will watch sadly as my almost-28 year old daughter goes through the same stupid issues I dealt with before she hopefully comes to it on her own. Fortunately, I am the primary caregiver for my granddaughter, and although she is not Paleo when she is with her parents, she is when Tutu is in charge. It’s the best I can do right now.

      I hope the best for you and your grandma!

  23. Jeremy Jones - Diablo CrossFit
    April 17, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Word Brad.

    Our son Jax will be two in a couple weeks. We have been feeding him a 85% paleo (some gluten and legumes that Grandpa and Grandma sneak in). He was breastfed for the first 10 months or so of life, and my wife supplemented with at least 2g-3g of fish oil the entire time.

    He has been “underweight” (according to flawed recordings of kids weights from a while back – when breast was not ‘in vogue’). Almost always below 10% – 15% of where he was supposed to be. . . Now that being said, he was in the 90th percentile for height. Yup, bottom 5th for weight, top 10th for height. We must be doing something right.

    He just passed the 97th percentile for height (he is about 38″ at 26.5lbs), and I believe it is his diet. I know it is N=1, I am tall (6′ 4″) and my wife is no shortie either (5’5″), but he is half Chinese. . . and that has got to count for something.

    He also started sleeping 12 hours a night at about 8 weeks of age. And he continues to do so, 12 hrs a night with a 2-3 hr nap every day.

    All I know is that I expect him to have larger C&J and a faster 400m than me before age 10.

    -jj

    • Gwendolyn
      February 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      I have a low weight percentage toddler as well (we’re rocking the 11th). She’s happy, energetic, runs constantly, sleeps well…is pretty much perfect. Our Dr. is making us do a bunch of tests and dietitian consults because she’s “underweight” and I’m humoring her but I’m not worried. She was 25 lbs at 10 months (strictly breastfed because she refused solids till nearly a year) and it just fell off once she started walking.

      She eats almost entirely paleo (minus the occasional treat) and still breastfeeds occasionally at almost 2 years old. It really pisses me off that the growth curves are based off of formula fed kids and our kids’ weight is compared to that of their peers who have been fed processed crap since they were born.

  24. james_cf_addiction
    April 18, 2010 at 5:55 am

    You have 333 grams of salmon for breakfast. That’s 11.7 OUNCES of salmon for breakfast. Seem a little high to anyone else?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 18, 2010 at 7:21 am

      James-
      We kill that much protein around here pretty routinely, but one could always just cut it in half?

  25. Martin Frigaard
    April 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Love the post.
    One minor detail though…wouldn’t the null hypothesis be that there is no significant difference between Neolithic and Paleolithic diets (in terms of their nutrient density) and the test (or experimental hypothesis) would be that there is a significant difference between Neolithic and Paleolithic diets? The null hypothesis, therefore, is usually the negation of the test hypothesis. The null hypothesis cannot be proved. This truth reflects the logical truth that it is easier to falsify than to verify. If I assert that all crossfitters are morons, you can continue to question my assertion no matter how many moronic crossfitters I produce; whereas the production of a single smart crossfitter would refute my claim; moreover, you do not actually have to produce an intelligent crossfitter to maintain your skepticism. Science, much like the Devil, is in the details.
    Seriously though, I couldn’t agree more.

  26. Dante
    April 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Great post, as a fairly new convert to paleo, I’ve always wondered about how to introduce it to the kids. Still not sure about how to make school lunches without bread, still need to get creative there I suppose.

    Anyway, you last comment struck a chord with me. Why is it harder to help family than strangers? I’ve had exactly the same…failures I suppose…with my own family, where friends and work colleagues respond much better to my advice (fitness and weight loss). Can’t work it out, and it cuts me to the core…

    • Robb Wolf
      April 19, 2010 at 6:33 am

      Dante-
      Not sure as to the “why” but I’ve just learned to help those who are interested in change. As Rickson Gracie said: “flow-wid-the-go”.

  27. Matthew
    April 19, 2010 at 4:38 am

    re: the diet of ivorians,
    I don’t know anything about Ivory Coast in particular, but typical West African cuisine includes tubers, sometimes fermented, as their starch (ie fufu). From what I have heard (from a native) goat stew over fufu would be a very typical meal. Just fwiw

  28. Redding Mark S
    April 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Great post, and the comments are fabulous too! I’m trying to get my kids to eat more paleo foods but they are already skinny and I’m also concerned about making sure they get enough calories. Is anyone else in the same boat?

    • Robb Wolf
      April 20, 2010 at 11:39 am

      Mark-
      this is a funny one for me. I have a sneaking suspicion kids will not starve to death, nor “under eat” if given generally “good” food options.

  29. David Velez
    April 20, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Quick question: What are the names of some of the anti-nutrients in grains, legumes, etc? I was having a discussion with a friend who thinks paleo is absolute bollocks cuz he asked me what the names of the anti-nutrients are and what they do and I couldn’t come up with an answer. Help me out here buddy… I’ve got a grass-fed New York Steak on the line here!

  30. Steve Caddy
    April 20, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Hey Robb, this is a tough one. Our little girl is just over two now and eats a paleo-skewed Neolithic diet. Her mother, a cardiac nurse (thereby exposed to the professionally delivered standard line) is a chronic doubter. I’m wearing her down a little after being Paleo for a good 3-4 years now but there’s no overcoming convenient grain-based foodstuffs when there’s no home consensus on food philosophy.

    That said, we can agree on the obvious details like nutrient density. The mini might eats eggs and butter for breakfast with Dad, loves fish, kills a plateful of broccoli and will eat the ham, tomato and butter out of a sandwich and toss the bread. Lean by imitation! ;)

    Grandparents are the weak link, but I remember Loren making a point that also keeps me from getting all paleo-fanatical at home: Kids grow up in a world where they are exposed to huge volumes of Neolithic foods that are tied up in our cultural conventions, and will routinely come up against figures of authority and trust who will advise them against high fat, high protein, saturated fat, red meat, grainlessness etc. Having a little elasticity can let kids be kids and, hopefully, avoid both metabolic and behavioral diet-related baddies. Something to think about.

    A couple of quick things: saw some research-in-progress from PNG suggesting that food allergies and disease appear in proportion to exposure to Neolithic foods. No surprise, but this was on mainstream TV. Good shiz.

    I’ve been advising a friend on leaning out some. He came to me on ‘FatBlaster pills’, a herbal remedy and accupuncture. No dramas. Tell the man to eat eggs for breakfast, protein at every meal and as much paleo fat, coconut cream, and veggies as they can handle and suddenly he’s fielding text messages from ‘concerned’ friends, relatives and trainers.

  31. Leif
    April 20, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Great post, this is a really important topic. I have a little different take on it, I think. I am fully convinced of the efficacy of eating paleo. Our son is 16 months old, cute as a button, and he is still breast fed. The vast majority of food he gets is paleo, and his growth pattern is similar to what Jeremy reported with his son. That is, he is relatively tall and skinny, being in the 70th% for height but only 5th% for weight.

    He usually loves meat, eggs, nut-butters, and fruit. The problem is veggies, it is just so hard to get him to eat them most of the time. He will eat some carrots or sweet potatoes, but not always, and refuses anything green most of the time. There are times it seems he will only eat rice. I really try to limit the number of times per week he gets rice, but it is really hard when he refuses everything else. The extended family doesn’t make it any easier.

    I worry about the rice. I also worry about him eating so much fruit with all of the info about fructose being so bad that has been on the podcast recently. I think we are on the right track, but it is hard, and I expect it will only get harder as he gets older and there are more outside influences.

  32. julianne
    April 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Mark – if you look back to old black and white films of kids at school they nearly all look skinny and wiry. We are just so used to seeing well padded kids we view them as the norm. As long as kids are growing and have strong immune and digestive systems and are healthy, personally I see nothing wrong with skinny, they are just part of the range of sizes that kids come in.

    I was considered slightly pudgy when I was a kid, however that was in the 60’s – to today’s kids I look average if not lean.

    How times have changed!

  33. Savannah
    April 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Hi All- but most specifically V-

    So I am loving this diet the more I read and study it, and I have studied nutrition quite extensively as I practice energetic medicine and natural sports medicine on horses, equine athletes, mostly. But I also have worked with people and their health as well.

    So originally I was under the impression that high protein diets contribute and can even cause osteoporosis, and then I dug a little deeper-and found this article

    here is a great article- its not Paleo but generally supports the Paleo diet findings-
    http://www.westonaprice.org/Dem-Bones-Do-High-Protein-Diets-Cause-Bone-Loss.html

    on another note- I don’t see it mentioned here, and it may very well be in another thread as i am very new here- but the tables with the nutrition values do not specify organic or conventional vegtables, and fruits and meats, nuts etc. I also do not see the nut nutrition specified as raw or roasted, which are VERY different in reaction and absorbtion and by product in the body and nutritive value.
    And as we all know the nutritional values of foods grown conventionally and even “organic” as our soils are SO depleated, can really create a very wide variance in these numbers. As well as what conventional foods are treated and sprayed with, irradiated, GMO’d etc..

    Any thoughts or comments?

    Lastly I also personally feel and have experienced the cause of overabundances of yeast, organisms and /or parasites in my system and in the systems of people and animals which can really affect how a person eats and the choices we make in food. These little guys have thier own consciousness, and switching diets to one that gives very little food to our little “friends” usually causes an uproar from them and we experience it as intense cravings and it being very difficult to be consistent with not eating the carbs and simple sugars etc. So I do cleanses often and also parasite and organism cleanses to keep them at a minimum and found it very simple to switch. Just a suggestion for anyone interested to look into.

    thanks Robb!

    Savannah

    • Robb Wolf
      April 22, 2010 at 7:35 am

      Savanah!
      Welcome to the Pseudo-science. We will tackle your questions in the podcast.

  34. julianne
    April 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Robb
    I came across this study – don’t have access to full text but looks intriguing –
    A double blind placebo controlled study giving omega 3 to ordinary kids – but the conclusion says: “Despite the wide range of cognitive and behavioural outcome measures employed, only three significant differences between groups were found after 16 weeks, one of which was in favour of the placebo condition. Exploring the associations between changes in fatty acid levels and changes in test and questionnaire scores also produced equivocal results.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171055

    I’d be interested in your comments

    • Robb Wolf
      April 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      Julianne-
      I’ll try to track that down so I can find the dosage. As it stands though, they are saying fish oil does nothing.

  35. Fred Hahn
    April 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Great post Robb.

  36. Dana
    May 5, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Re: the vitamin D thing, I think we in North America overestimate how much D we’re getting from sunlight, especially at the higher latitudes. It’s possible there were human cultures in Paleo times who left their vit D synthesis up to sun exposure but I doubt there were many. They also got D from food sources, like seafood.

    I don’t care if you tan daily, if you’re farther north than say the Mason-Dixon line and it’s not mid-summer, eat stuff with vitamin D in it. Don’t stop at that puny little daily value amount either. Your skin makes many thousand IU of vitamin D under optimum conditions–eating or supplementing a couple thousand IU isn’t going to kill you, especially if you get it in proper proportions with vitamins A and K.

  37. Melissa Fritcher
    May 14, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Fantasteak article. I’ve been studying nutrient density, among other topics, for years. Grok on! :D

  38. Bea Percontino
    October 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Many thanks for writing this info, I don’t know about everyone else, but I could totally use it.

  39. Ashley
    November 3, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Hi Robb!

    My husband has been talking about going Paleo since reading Dean Karnazes’ book over 3 years ago (he mentions eating like a “caveman”). He’s a science geek (love it!) and he’s been doing research on Paleolithic eating for years…I got sick of hearing him preach about it, but not actually follow it, so I bought your book for him and finally got him to pull the trigger! Not only did I switch MY diet and his diet, but I completely changed our children’s diet! I feared the little carb monster in our kids, but I figured it would be better to treat it like a bandage and just rip it off quick in one fell swoop. We’ve only been eating Paleo for a week, and I cannot BELIEVE the changes in my children!!!

    Our kids are 6, 5 and 4 years old (yes, I’m a rock star, I know) and they HATED veggies. My youngest, Alexander, at age 4 surprised me the most. Xander took to the new foods like a fish to water. This is a child who would not even LOOK at veggies without making the “puke” face. I sat, AMAZED, while this kids DEVOURED a plate of carrots with organic peanut butter! Later that day, he said that he wanted celery (CELERY!) with peanut butter and raisins!! This kid doesn’t even like to WEAR green, let alone put it in his MOUTH! I was so happy I almost cried….not kidding.

    I’m having trouble figuring out what to send in their lunches though. I’ve been sending them off with apple slices, peanut butter, 100% juice boxes, carrots, hard boiled eggs etc. But I know they’ll get sick of that fast. My oldest, I’ve been sending him with some lunch meat…but no bread. I’ve been making steak tips, chicken and turkey over the weekend, and sending them in their lunches too, along with fruits and veggies. Do you know of any resources for Paleo Kid lunch ideas? I’m an avid visitor to http://everydaypaleo.com/ (I adore Sarah’s blog!) and she has some AMAZING ideas….but do you know of any others?

    Robb, I can’t thank you enough for the way you’ve changed our lives. Though it’s only been a week, I can tell that this is going to be something special, and something my family will follow for the rest of our lives! (which will be much longer now, thanks to you!)

    Cheers,
    Ashley

    • Cindy
      February 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Ashley,

      I’m not Robb, but I’ll jump in. I just subscribed to Chris Kresser’s “Personal Paleo Code” and the Meal Planner is awesome! You can plug in your dietary preferences depending on what you want to avoid and it will generate a week of meals for you along with recipes drawn from over 30 different sources and gen up a shopping list to boot!

      I had a blast shopping the last two days, because I knew what I needed! No police are going to come after you if you don’t follow the meals on the days indicated, but you will get AMAZING variety!

  40. Jesse
    December 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Hey all,

    My sister is starting to wean her infant (9 months) off the natural nipple. She has been feeding him Paleo solid food up to this point. She asked me what to do with regards to dairy after he is weaned. I made a suggestion off the top of my head that high quality dairy (organic, free-range,grass fed, consider goat) would be ok during his youth as he is growing. I based this off of a Robb’s discussion (in the context of mass gains) about dairy having growth potential beyond basic nutrient content. After doing initial reading (i.e. reading Dr. Cordain’s essay on Paleo in infants), I realize I may have seriously misinformed her. Should the dairy be completely avoided? Are the negative effects greater than any benefits? I was just wondering if you Paleo parents out there have experiences with weaning, good resources, or any input on the matter that I could pass along to my sister.
    I have no experience with kids and have no idea what infants are supposed to eat.
    Thanks,
    Jesse

    • Gwendolyn
      February 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      Generally it’s best if kids are breastfed till a year. After that, it’s probably ok for them to just drink water if their diet is rich enough in everything else they need but prior to a year, they really still need mama.

      Mine wasn’t interested in solids forever so we’re still breastfeeding (along with her much improved appetite for solid food, mostly paleo) and she’ll be 2 in a year. For what it’s worth, the WHO recommends breastfeeding until 2 years…but I fully understand that there are women who can’t or don’t really want to do that and that’s fine…if she can hold out till a year though, I would totally encourage her to.

      We still avoid dairy as much as possible but when I do give it, I get as grass fed and organic as possible. Raw is best, but I don’t have access to reputable sources for raw milk (and I’m not sure, honestly, if it’s ok to give to little ones that young…can anyone comment on that?)

      Hope that helped!

  41. Kim
    June 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Robb, This is a great article on nutrition for children. THANKS! My 8 year old daughter was diagnosed 1 1/2 years ago with petit mal siezure disorder. I refused all medicine and started working on her diet and adding lots of fish oil. THis was all before I was introduced to Paleo foods. I am in transition to changing her diet from a modern diet into a full Paleo diet. Can you add any input on this diet and this kind of seizure disorder? Thanks so much!

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  43. Brandi
    September 30, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Ever since I have “deprived” my children of dairy and grain as my sister in law calls it, my children actually eat their vegetables, no fight. We talk at every meal about the foods we are eating and what they do for our body, and then our children begin requesting those foods. When topics of off limits foods come up we talk about why they have been banned and what they do to our bodies. It has opened up a lot of discussion and I feel great knowing I am improving the life of my children and hopefully their children. Kids ages 7,5,3,1. I make green smoothies and then the leftovers go in the dehydrator to make fruit ‘n veggie rolls! We make almond milk, and then have nut meal for our version of cookies (we also do this with coconut). These options are not only healthy but delicious and leave the children full and energized. The first month was harder, but it was about the 3-week mark when things really improved.

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    October 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm

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  45. Katie
    November 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Robb, we have been a the paleo/primal diet for about 3 months now. I am at a loss as to why my children are constantly hungry despite feeding them regularly and large portions. Could you help me determine what I am doing incorrectly before I go broke?

    • Amy Kubal
      November 8, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      Katie, what are you feeding them now? How old are they and what are their activity levels? You may need to up the vegetable starches – sweet potato, yam, winter squash and or the fat. I would love to help you get this all figured out! Let me know if I can help you! http://robbwolf.com/consulting/amy-kubal-consulting/

  46. Vivian
    February 9, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I started my family on the paleo diet a week ago, primarily because my son suffers with alopecia and I have had a high ANA reading in my blood which is undiagnosed. My son is a slight build but my daughter and I could certainly do with a bit of weight loss. I am meeting great opposition from the children but we are perserving, however, is it wrong to promise them the occassional treat after the thirty days is over? (I mean are we never allowed another birthday cake?) Having said that my daughter and I have lost some weight which is good and for my part I don’t even feel like eating three meals a day. I wake up in the morning totally fully and don’t want to eat until lunch time. After all that, in your experience have you had any success with alopecia sufferers following the paleo diet?

    • Amy Kubal
      February 9, 2012 at 6:01 am

      Vivian!

      Here is a recent post about “Life after Day 30″ – http://www.robbwolf.com/2012/02/02/8204/

      Meal number and timing is completely up to you – do what works best for your situation and listen to your body!

      And yes! Paleo can help in the case of alopecia – it definitely isn’t going to hurt anything!

      • Vivian
        February 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

        Thanks Amy, that’s great to know. Eat when you are hungry certainly makes sense. And as you say if after the initial period if you couldn’t have a glass of champagne on your 20th wedding anniversary or one your mother’s world famous shortbreads once in a while life would be pretty miserable. I will keep you posted as far as my son’s alopecia progresses. The children complain that they are hungry but I can’t see how they possibly could be – turkey patties, fried mushroom and spinach for breakfast, port steak with veges for lunch and lamb with veges for dinner – a few blackberries for those who will eat them (sadly my son won’t) and I think we’ve done very well for the day.

  47. Vivian
    February 13, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I have another question to ask – the children and I are all suffering with sore stomachs, really dry mouths and feeling thirsty, waking up to urinatne at night and not sleeping well and furry tongues and a bit of belching and I’ve noticed that the children have bad breath – are these normal symptoms at about two weeks in?

  48. MGG
    March 13, 2012 at 9:29 am

    We are Primal/Paleo with raw dairy. I went back to work just before my 16 month old turned one, and we started introducing raw milk as she gradually weaned off the boob. She is now fully weaned, and drinks just water and raw milk. We’re very lucky to have a great trustworthy source (we live in London, UK).
    I believe current thinking is that babies should not have non breast milk until they are a year old, but a little earlier would probably be fine. And besides, it’s better than formula! I agree that nursing for a year (or longer) is optimal, but if she needs to wean earlier then that’s her decision.
    How about expressing? You can freeze breast milk easily, and then it’s there when it’s needed, even if it doesn’t come direct from the boob!

  49. Diqueta
    March 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Robb, I have a question, I love the idea of changing my families eating to the Paleo way but my son is allergic to nuts and seafood. What does one do in this instance?

    Thanks,
    D

    • Amy Kubal
      March 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      You can eat paleo without nuts and seafood! Grassfed meats, ‘clean’ poultry, and fat from coconut products, avocados, olives, etc. :) Don’t let the exclusion of two foods stop you from changing your lives!

  50. Robin Singer
    May 22, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Robb,
    I hope you find this little comment among this pile of a gazillion comments. I am a believer in the Paleo lifestyle and use your site almost daily to keep myself educated on this topic and all related issues. I am truly grateful that you and others are out there fighting for this to make mainstream knowledge. I am writing to ask one thing. Please, please, please pay someone to proofread your posts before you put them up. They should be flawless, as it speaks to your credibility. Some skeptics will use this as a way to discredit you the first time they see a typographical error. Please take this into consideration. Thank you for reading this. Keep up your ever-so-important role in this world. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!!!

  51. Mayra
    August 15, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Rob,
    My 2.5 yo son was recently diagnosed with Vitiligo, just days after we dicided to go Paleo, he’s having trouble eating because he doesn’t like meat (not used to it) or veggies but he does like eggs. My concern with that is that I believe you said that eggs should be limited with any autoimmune disease…what else can I do so I know that he’ll be okay? Also would like to add, my husband has acid reflux and I was diagnosed with anxiety and ovary cysts so I’m hoping all this changes with Paleo :)

  52. Tom
    September 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Rob,
    I have read this with interest but would make the comment that with frequent instances of poor spelling the authority of any technical or scientific writing is easily undermined. I apologize if this comment appears inconsiderate; it is meant to be constructive. Best wishes, Tom

    • Robb Wolf
      September 23, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Tom-
      amy of these are/were written on the fly. In an airport, on a plane. I do the best I can but spelling has never been my strong suit, and is not likely to change. If that’s a deal breaker, check out one of the sites that pays for a proof reader!

  53. Nichol Boettner
    January 27, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Robb, my family and I have been on Paleo for two weeks tomorrow, I have seen huge changes in the kids. We are a homeschool family and in the last few days we have noticed the boys are more calm and the girls are less moody. I myself have found that the smallest amount of dairy hurts my stomach and my husband smells bad….. my concern is the smell and the fact that the kids are so hungry. I have the Practical Paleo book which stresses very little fruit and only 3 meals a day….what am I doing wrong. We have cut out all dairy, gluten, we eat nothing from a box or can, Only BIBLICAL CLEAN LOCAL MEATS, we are 90% organic, down to the vitamins, cleaning products and personal care. I am not sure what else we can change….they are HUNGRY…What is your advice?

    • Amy Kubal
      January 27, 2013 at 6:16 am

      If your kids are hungry – LET THEM EAT!! The 3 meals per day doesn’t necessarily apply to them – they are likely very active and growing. Let them have more liberal amounts of starchy carbs – yams, sweet potatoes, white potatoes with out the skin, etc., and more fruit. Provide them with good foods and let them eat!

  54. Siobhan Gibson-McBeth
    February 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

    My husband and I are on day 16 of our initial 30 day “trial” and we feel brilliant (thanks Robb). My son is 18 months old and been lactose/cows milk allergic (docs can’t decide which) for as long as I can remember. I even had to reduce my dairy intake while I was breast feeding. We’ve shifted our son on to paleo as well although it can be hard getting enough of any kind of food into him when he’s in a fussy mood. But I noticed within a few days of removing grain there were no more waking up screeching and painful passing wind during the night. He only woke up if his nappy leaked or he needed a drink. We had a follow up with an NHS Scotland nutritionist from before we went paleo that was to look at his dairy free/low soya diet. When I had to explain our diet change, her face was brilliant. I explained about the higher carb level needed for him compated to me and veggies like sweet potato are the answer. For fun I asked her what others I could use for him. She said that was it and that although it was my decision she’d hate to see me put him on full paleo and have “his growth stunted”. It horrified me that she had this opinion despite his weight gain being better in the period he’s been eating paleo than the same length of time before our switch. Granted I do still give him some rice on occasion if he’s refusing the veg and I have organic, plain, gluten free rice cakes that he nibbles on occasion as well, but he’s healthier, happier and I am barely able to keep up with him now. So Robb thank you so much for your book and website, you’re saving my life (strokes, astjma and cancer in family) and my husbands (Alzheimer’s in family) and hopefully our son will live a long and healthier life than even his mum and dad. PS his grandmother is now paleo as well! Lol

  55. sarah
    March 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

    When I was a nutrition major a light went off in my head. I raised my hand and asked “If vegetables, fruit and even meat have a higher nutrient density, why aren’t they at the bottom of the food pyramid. What’s wrong with them?”
    After all the damn chemistry and biology classes they made me take, the stupid answer I got, and would continue to get was “Carbs are the preferred fuel for the brain.”
    I knew that this was a super dumbed down answer.
    I’m telling you they were trying to brain wash me. No, wait. They did brain wash me. I was living under the whole grain rules for years. Spewing that to anyone who would ask.
    Finally it just stopped making sense again (or I reached an age where their brainwashing powers wore off).
    There is no other answer. Almost everything is more nutrient dense than whole grains!
    Thanks for all your work, and bringing everyone out of the insanity that is the SAD.

  56. Sonia
    March 25, 2013 at 4:30 am

    I just started my son on paleo diet.He is 3,5 and was diagnosed with autism 4 months ago.First I removed the dairy(intolerant),than gluten, but it wasnt enough as he has major gut issues- reflux,bloathing,lots of runny stools.I am already noticing improvements.The only problem is to make him eat the food, cause he is 3 year old and quite picky.Of all the fruits,latelly, he will only eat banana and he will not eat fresh veggies(only cooked)
    So I am after some advice,or a book with kids frendly paleo :)

  57. Angeli Yuson
    April 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Hey Robb
    I don’t have kids yet but I really want to bring my kids up paleo when i do start a family. My partner isn’t completely on board but what he doesn’t realise is that he is eating “paleo” when i cook for him every night. I think he just doesn’t understand and he doesn’t want me to limit our kids. Of course it is not limiting our kids health if they are getting lean meats, veggies and fruits in their bodies.
    Anyway, lets see how it goes when i do have kids.
    I have no doubt we will all be eating a paleo diet.
    Thanks for all your information, i listen to you every day on the podcasts. =)

  58. Krzysia
    November 4, 2013 at 12:39 am

    My family and I (husband and three kids, 12,10 and 8) decided to go paleo around a year or so ago. I cannot believe the changes in my kids. I make them a cooked breakfast every morning and at the same time cook them lunch to take to school with them. It’s hard work and takes a lot of planning but it’s worth it. No more headaches and tummy aches, behaviour is way better. They were often hungry in the beginning but I give them larger portions now and I regularly make coconut butter, banana and egg cakes for them that are really filling. I’ve lots of tips on my blog for easing your family into paleo, if you’re interested. K-lossfitness.blogspot.com A couple of years ago, I’d never done any exercise in my life and ate a diet high in grains. It wasn’t a terrible diet and I wasn’t overweight but I was always tired and grumpy. I have since retrained as a personal trainer, exercise at least 5 times a week and get my kids involved too. They love paleo and can see the benefits really easily, especially when they feel so bad on the occasions when they do have grains. My youngest son, especially, has seen the biggest changes. He no longer has (excuse me) waterfall-like poos, he is calmer and much, much less tired than he was. He has also grown more. I suspect he suffered from mild leaky gut with his wheat diet and so found I hard to absorb iron and other nutrients. All my kids notice how bad they feel after wheat. We love paleo!

  59. Christina D
    November 5, 2013 at 8:12 am

    My youngest son was just recently diagnosed with a severe dairy allergy (even a small amount will give him a rash and make him vomit) so I am considering switching my family over to a Paleo diet. You listed off all of my concerns, and immediately made me feel better about all of them. This was a very thorough and concise explanation. Thank you so much!

    Now the real trick, getting my bread and cheese loving husband to wean those out of his diet haha.

  60. Dan
    April 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    “Several hundred if not thousand times the RDA in various nutrients, all from food sources. ”

    Is this even ideal? More doesn’t always equal better when it comes to nutrition.

    • Squatchy
      April 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      True, more is definitely not always better, but in this case it’s probably a good thing getting more nutrients from various foods in good physiological amounts. I’m not talking about eating pounds and pounds of liver or anything.

  61. Melanie
    July 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve just stumbled on this site and am more excited now to start my new journey with paleo. I am always tired but am still able to muster up the necessary energy to get out of bed everyday, make it through my workouts most of the time and then there’s my roundtrip 3 hour commute and 8 hour work day. I know that the food I am putting into my body plays a major roll in that so with a new life about to start in a couple of months should start a new lifestyle. My fiance and I have decided to start this and high hopes to my 11 year old daughter accepting the change as well. Thank you all for your stories. Again, I look forward to this journey.

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