I know so many people that want to do a Whole30 month or longer, but have kids and feel like it’s impossible; either because they don’t think their kdis would eat it, or because they think doing it without their kids involved would be too tempting. The reality is your kids should absolutely do Whole30 with you! Not just because of you, but for them too! And it’s maybe not as obvious as you think.
I get having picky kids.
In fact I used to be one myself and sometimes have one now. And while we have been easing into our Whole30 challenge, there have been many days my oldest says “ew” just by looking at a food without trying it. And I know what it’s like to have a sensory kid that has texture and taste aversions.
Because I was, and still am one. Well, maybe I’m not a kid.
But the number one reality is that if you do not have certain foods in your house, then your kids can’t eat them. Similarly, your kids will get hungry and they will eat.
So surely they at least like eggs or have a favorite fruit they gravitate towards? I know that I have to buy pomegranates in bulk because my girls eat the seeds like candy. And hey, I’m ok with that! They’re learning to satisfy their sweet tooth with whole food options and not refined sugars.
How having your kids complete Whole30 with you is the best plan you have!
It is a rule in our home that our kids can’t have refined sugar until they turn 2. And even then, we severaly limit it.
Even so, my three year old loves ice cream. And despite her interest in red bell peppers, avocados, and even raw onions, there are the days when she’s just a typical 3 year old demanding ice cream for breakfast.
So even the best of intentions and plans doesn’t mean our kids won’t want what’s bad for them, in fact, they will crave it constantly.
But don’t we all?
As adults, we know how to divert our attention and work through these issues and we understand what a sugar craving is. In fact one time I mentioned to my husband I didn’t go through the drive through at Dunkin’ Donuts one day when I really wanted to get a Caramel Coolatta (not when we were trying to do Whole 30) and he replied with “It’s not often that we deprive ourselves from the things we want. So that’s great.”
And that’s just it. It’s not often that we deprive ourselves from something we want when we have the means to get it.
So doing Whole30 with your kids goes far beyond just health and nutrition. It’s about helping them learn to understand that consuming (whether it’s food or buying material things for ourselves) is not what makes us happy and is not ultimately fulfilling in the end. Because once we eat the ice cream, we just want more. And once we buy the new ____, there’s already something else we have our eyes on!
Why you shouldn’t do Whole30 Alone
It’s about teamwork! Doing something challenging together helps build closeness in the family. You’re all in it together and working towards the same end goal.
So when they ask for ___, you can mention that there is none in the house, but you can offer them an alternative.
Successfully Completing Whole30 with kids
Go ahead, plan to finish it with your kids. I think you’ll all be happy you did it with one another.
Just take time to ease into it by taking 60 days (or 8 weeks) to not only buy what you need, but also talk about it with your kids. Shift your focus from the idea of not eating things you may really crave to postive conversations and time together.
Add in activities to make the experience great like family game nights with a certain dish or movie nights with another meal. It not only takes the attention off the food if they are complaining, but it also creates some traditions centered around quality time together.
Find more on Whole30 as a family
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!