13 fun paleo ideas for kids (and parents!)

Posted on May 9th, 2012

Let’s continue with this Paleo series I started a few weeks back. I’ve written about eating Paleo here and here…. with more recipes for breakfasts here… But I’ve had a few requests for kid’s meals, so here you go: some paleo school lunches, and a CLEVER flower power egg invention! It’s really not that faddish or draconian…more of a way of eating that cuts out processed crap.

photo via apronstringsblog.com

 flower power eggs

Donna and Anne from Apron Strings Blog came up with this pretty and clever idea.

* 3 x capsicums (bell peppers), in red, green and orange

* eggs

Cut the capsicums into 1.5cm rings; place in a non-stick lightly oiled skillet. Now crack an egg in the middle of each ring and cover and cook over low heat until done. If you like your yolks runny, just cook over low heat until whites are done. If you like your yolks firm, break the yolks and then cook over low heat until both whites and yolks are firm.

13 tips for making paleo lunches:

1. Pre-order my I Quit Sugar Cookbook, due out soon! It has a chapter on kids’ recipes, most of which are paleo (ask your kids if they like the sound of coconut popsicles!).  PS, if you pre-order you will receive 30% off, plus a gift. Plus you’ll get the book before everyone else.

2. Make sandwiches with this great Paleo bread from Deek’s bakery. Available online. 

All Deeks products are grain free (including the absence of rice and corn), are additive and preservative free. They are made from freshly ground organic seeds of quinoa and amaranth as well as soya (de-bittered, enzyme inactive), tapioca, almond, buckwheat, pumpkin, potato, sorghum and besan. Some products have dairy, some have yeast, some have eggs. Deek’s is based in Canberra – at the Pearce shops – but delivers to most cities.

3. The people over at Paleo Parents suggest:

  • let the kids pick items for the grocery list. They’re more likely to eat something if they’ve picked it themselves. Be wise: give them a few options, and let them pick one. You know all three are healthy, and they feel like they’ve had a say.
  • let them pack their own lunch box. Keep things age appropriate… but even really young kids can spoon almond butter into a dip container by themselves.
  • Try to do mostly ‘meat and veggies’ lunches each week.
  • Leftovers: last night’s chili, or slices of the beef roast, pieces of cubed leftover chicken
4. Boiled eggs and tinned tuna are your friends.
5. So are mini capsicums (bell peppers): stuff them with tuna and ricotta cheese.
6.  Sweet coconut chips: coconut flakes lightly toasted with cinnamon (great for after school).
7. Apple sandwiches: almond spread between apple slices, a chunk of cheese between two slices of apple.
8. For more snacks, check out these “2 ingredients or less snack ideas”  and these super simple, grain-free snacks
9. Make fun shapes. Paleo Parents again: try these stainless steel mini bento cutters (around $5) – creating all kinds of flower-shaped fruits, veggies, and cheese pieces in lunchboxes.
10. Try these coconut flour muffins
11. Make a meatza. Yep Pizza with a meat crust.
12. Ham wraps: wrap slices of ham around a pickle, a cucumber, avocado…
13. I like this recipe for sweet potato hash browns from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen.

What else?

Jenny at Nourished Kitchen runs some great meal plans which might give inspiration.

And here’s a great link to some grain free dinners on a budget from Holistic Kid. They have a bunch of great ‘kid friendly’ resources.

And what about ten grain free dinners on a budget!

Got some of your own recipes or links? Do share. I know there are a lot of parents out there after inspiration.

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  • Brittany

    Great post, thanks Sarah. I wanted to know if anyone knows where to buy spaghetti squash in Melbourne….thanks!


    Ed Stark Reply:

    Hi Brittany.
    I saw some spaghetti squash at Hurstbridge Farmers Market on the weekend.
    You should have luck finding it at other Farmers Market across Melbourne.


    Altissima Reply:

    A couple of the stalls at Sth Melb market sell spaghetti squash. It’s in season now, so ask at your local market and/or farmers market.


  • pip

    I swear your very existence is the difference between me starving to death and not! Transferring this diet on to a fussy child (whilst avoiding dairy) is incredibly difficult but we keep trying. I’m pre-ordering your cookbook now by way of THANKS for your blog and the inspiration to stay well. My way of eating (and therefore life) has completely shifted in the past couple of years and your cyber support is truly essential to staying upbeat and positive whilst trying to exist happily in a world which seems hell bent on making me sick. Thank you. xx


    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Thank you back to you Pip!


  • Love it this post. Not having kids myself this definitely inspires the big kid in me to put more thought into packing my lunch!


  • Karen

    Lot’s of great ideas for my own packed lunch too!


  • Karen

    Oh and I just made these bad boys which would make great after school snacks:

    2 cups almond meal
    2 tsp cinammon (or you can use cacao)
    Sweetener to taste (yacon syrup, stevia)
    Coconut oil (set but not solid)

    Mix dry ingredients. Add a couple of dollops and mix. Keep adding coconut oil until it forms a ‘paste’ like cookie dough. Roll into balls (I made about 8) and pop in fridge to set. Yum x


  • Karen

    Dollops of coconut oil I meant to say! And not sure why that smily face came up. It should say eight. Over and out!


  • I’m with Kylie above…as a 30 year old I cannot describe how happy a flower egg would make me in the mornings. I’m going to try it tomorrow for breakfast and hopefully it will kick start a wonderful day!


  • Meagan

    Deek’s bakery looks amazing! I don’t suppose you (or any fellow commenters) know of a similar bakery in America, do you? My husband and I are both happily eating Paleo, but we were big bread eaters beforehand and do miss it occasionally. I’d love to be able to find a grain free bakery that ships to California.
    Thanks so much for all of the great information. I’m looking forward to the cookbook!


  • Ivy

    All that almond is a big no-no across kinders and school due to nut-allergies. other than that, some great ideas! I love meatza, its a Sunday-night staple in our house.


  • great tips ! we eat a lot of vege sticks with hummus or bean dip! 🙂


  • Belinda

    Oh no Sarah – just saw the promo shot you posted on twitter. Have a look in the mirror behind you. You look like skin and bones 🙁


    Alice Reply:

    Rude!!!!! Sarah, you look nice. It’s rude to comment on other people’s bodies regardless of if they are overweight, underweight or anything! I don’t think you’d like it much!And to do it in a public forum….


    toni Reply:

    I thought you looked fab too Sarah!


    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    I love how people think it’s any of their business what other people do with their fat cells. Nobody comments on the Agony Uncles if they have gained or lost a few kilos but a woman’s body is public property for ridicule, scorn and criticism?


  • Jasmine

    Great ideas. I can see I’m going to be spending some time “pinning” them all tonight 🙂

    We’re not strictly paleo, as we still have dairy and some grains. But I have been cooking a lot of paleo meals and snacks lately. My 7 & 9 yr olds are the pickiest eaters in the world, but since cutting out sugar and processed (we’ve never eaten much processed anyway) they have been trying (and LIKING!) so many new foods. Some of the meals I’ve had success with are:
    http://paleomg.com/pumpkin-cashew-coconut-curry-coconut-rice/ – I was actually surprised they ate this, but they did!!! I’ve since made the cauliflower “rice” as a side dish for other meals.

    http://www.thefoodieandthefamily.com/2012/02/14/swedish-meatballs/ – these were another hit. I served them with zucchini “noodles” – zucchini cut into “noodles” with a julienne slicer, blanched in boiling water for about a minute, drained then tossed in butter.

    I’ve made several of the recipes from the following link. The brussels sprout, bacon & sweet potato hash is amazing – never thought my kids would eat brussels sprouts, but they do! We love that dish topped with a poached egg or some grilled haloumi. There are also lots of great treat recipes, like the “cakies”.

    Another easy side dish or snack that we love is cauliflower poppers. Just cut cauliflower into florets, coat with whatever oil/fat you like (I usually use coconut oil) and roast until tender and just starting to crisp around the edges – YUM!

    Lunchboxes can be a little tricky. I keep it fairly simple, this is where grains still come in for us. I make sandwiches with sprouted grain bread from here:
    But with the weather turning cooler, now I’ll be able to send a thermos filled with soup in their lunchboxes. I also add some veggie sticks and hommus/ homemade cream cheese etc, sometimes a piece of fruit, real yoghurt, cheese or boiled eggs.


  • Erin

    Confused re the paleo bread as legumes are not true paleo?

    Loving the fresh ideas however!


  • Fiona

    Great ideas! I’d just caution that canned tuna is very high in mercury and shouldn’t be served to kids very often.


  • A very interesting post and great ideas, the capsicum and egg (such a cute vision) and tasty too :).


  • Almonds are pretty much no-go in all kindergartens and primary schools because of nut allergies. You can make sunbutter out of sunflower seeds and apparently they’re ‘kosher’ as seeds don’t cause the same allergic responses.

    That bread isn’t really paleo – anything with soya flour is a pretty awful idea. Particularly for people with thyroid issues – soy of any description can easily suppress correct thyroid function. At least that’s what the endocrinologist and immunologist told me.

    Elana’s Paleo Bread is pretty awesome: http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-bread/
    I have tweaked it further so it suits my tastes but her site is FULL of lunchbox ideas for kids!


  • Olivia

    Thanks for this Sarah, I don’t have kids but those flower power eggs are fabulous!! I’ll be making some to satisfy my inner kid tomorrow morning.

    I love eating paleo and have been doing so on and off for a few months now. What I really struggle with is weekday breakfast. I have an early start and so not much time to prep breakfast in the morning. So far I have tried pre-making a big frittata / tortilla loaded up with veggies, which is awesome. It even freezes pretty well. But I like variety, so can you give me some more ideas for grab and go paleo breakfasts?


    Alice Reply:

    Green beans, olives and ham! Yum yum . Breakfast antipasto 🙂


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  • Catherine

    Hi Sarah, I just had a quick look at the Deeks site and thought I should point out that they are listing sugar as an ingredient in the savoury breads – not sure if you saw this. Also I wouldn’t be recomending canned products as many of them use Bisphenol A ( BPA) in the lining of the can and this has been linked to numerous health problems – best to stick to the boiled egg . Please don’t think I am having a go at you – I very much enjoy your posts and am glad that you are bringing such an important message to many people , but I thought you would be interested in looking into this . Thanks



    Hi Sarah, l ordered your new cookbook today, but realised after paying with PayPal, that it was the incorrect address. How to l fix this? I just don’t want it to go to the wrong address.

    Thanks Snez


  • Love it! Can’t get enough paleo tips from friends and family and… your site. (I’m ashamed that this is my first post but I go weak at the knees for little simple meals packed in cute boxes and zip lock bags!).


  • Ellen

    Sarah, I think you should write about Matcha! I follow both Paleo and low0 Alkaline so I drink Matcha green tea powder so much. For me it gets rid of sugar cravings, leaves me energized and it has sped up my weiht loss so much! The place I buy from is zengreentea.com.au- this company started selling at the markets on the weekend and then she opened it up online. Such an awesome product!!!! One teaspoon is 30 cups of normal green tea!


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  • Nicole

    I’m big on starting the day with a fresh green veggie juice and my 16 month old daughter loves it too. It’s a great way to sleek in loads of greens……what better way to start the day!

    Throw in whatever greens you have in the fridge and one piece of low sugar fruit or lemon/lime. My personal fave is….

    1 handful of wheatgrass
    4-5 stalks of celery or 1 cucumber
    4 leaves of Cos lettuce or kale
    1 apple
    1/4 lemon and yummo!

    Of course you can throw everything in a blender if you don’t own a juicer that can juice leafy greens. The options are endless!

    Another super easy snack is a celery log boat.

    Chop celery stalks into small logs about 5cms long, place Almond Spread or any other nut butter in the middle and sprinkle with Sprouts or Mung Beans…..yum!

    I have a pic of my daughter helping me make these while eating all the sprouts on me……I wish I could add the pic to show you.


  • Kimberley

    I have two sons aged 2.5years and 7months. One of our favourite afternoon snacks is fresh Guacamole and vegetables.
    1 Mashed avocado
    1/2 lime juice
    Mixed together. Then we cut up carrot sticks, brocolli and cauliflower to dip in. We usually have some cheese and nuts of some sort on the side too.(But you could easily just send guacamole and veges to school/kindy)
    My 2.5yo loves to help make the guacomole; He is a great masher!


  • Connie

    I agree with ^Kimberley that vegetable sticks and dip are a great sugarfree snack – one simple dip I picked up from the kids’ daycare was vegemite mixed in with cream cheese or ricotta.

    I find dessert time difficult (theres only so many times they will accept natural yoghurt with fruit/cinammon etc) so I have also recently tried blending natural yoghurt, cold coconut cream and berries to make an instant soft “ice cream”.

    Its probably mentioned somewhere else on your site but my kids also love sweet potato fries roasted in coconut oil and cinammon.


  • My daughter loved icecream do we have swapped icecream for freshly made tapioca with a teaspoon of vanilla essence during these cooler months. I don’t think she woul look twice at icecream anymore. Quitting sugar and gluten has transformed the way we live and think. It has cured my sons silent reflux and got him of pharmacological medication, it has brought out the best and healthiest energy in my toddler and it has allowed me to effortlessly loose weight at a steady pace. Everything we put into our mouths is nutritious and delicious. I am happier, more energetic and I feel healthier. I will never go back to the sugar laden life! The results speak for themselves and by just telling my story I had inspired so many people to either try quitting sugar or to cut back on simple things like tomato sauce to live healthier and more vibrant lives. If more families could eat this way and with such purpose and respect for food we would have a healthy generation of children with far less behvioural issues, sleep issues, the list goes on and on.


  • Ummm, those flower eggs are pretty much the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the great post!


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