Surviving the Whole30 with Kids
Last September my husband and I decided to take on the Whole30. (Check out this post for the staples you’ll need before you get started!) But as you might know we have 3 kids. And one of my biggest pet peeves is having to make not 1, but 2 dinners in order to appease everyone. So it was really important that I find kid-friendly recipes that not only met the requirements of the Whole30, but that wouldn’t cause a scene at the dinner table.
So began our 30 days of trial and error.
And just to be clear, my kids did not adhere to the rules of Whole30 in the same way that my husband and I did. I considered trying to include them all the way, but quickly realized I would be fighting a losing battle for 30 straight days, and I just didn’t have it in me. Instead what we did was make something each night that could easily be adapted or added to without a whole lot of extra effort on my part.
Also, second disclaimer, I realize that all kids are different and what my kids are picky about, may be different than what your kids are picky about. But I would enthusiastically enter mine in a contest for the pickiest eater with high expectations of them winning. So if mine will eat the food on this list, I really hope that yours will too.
Pulled Pork Tacos
This pulled pork recipe from The Defined Dish is sooo good and sooo easy. My husband and I ate this over cauliflower rice or salad and topped with things like sliced radishes, cilantro, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.. My kids put the meat in soft or hard taco shells with a salad on the side.
Seconds were asked for, my praises were sung, and plates were cleaned.
Ok, so ⅔ of that sentence is true. I’ll let you decide which ⅔. Either way, this was a win.
Green Chili Beef Egg Cups
I’ve made several versions of Whole30 egg cups or egg casseroles that are loaded with veggies, which I love, but my kids won’t go near. This egg cup recipe keeps it simple with diced green chilis and ground beef. You could even serve these for dinner with roasted potatoes and a salad. Another win from The Defined Dish.
What kid doesn’t like chicken nuggets? This grain free nugget recipe from Every Last Bite looks easy and delicious. Serve it up with some homemade french fries and everyone in your family can feel like a kid again.
These roasted potatoes from Taste of Lizzy make a great side that are easy to whip up and go with just about anything. I like to add some diced bell pepper and onion to mine just to make them a little more interesting.
And a little tip I discovered is that if you put them in a ziplock bag with the olive oil and kind of “rough them up” a little bit by giving them a good shake, the edges come out crispier. My kids love these dipped in ketchup.
On a night where I just need a break, it helps to keep a pack of Whole30 approved hot dogs on hand. We’ll eat it with a salad or veggies and some homemade french fries or a baked potato.
Chicken and Broccoli
Lemon Garlic Salmon
I don’t know about your kids, but mine can put away some salmon. Thankfully I love it too and there are so many recipes to keep it interesting. Just serve it alongside a roasted vegetable your kids like and dinner is served.
My kids loved this lemon-garlic salmon recipe from 40 Aprons.
My oldest LOVES hamburgers. So whenever he sees they are on the menu for the week he is pumped. Thankfully, burgers can easily be made Whole30 friendly by wrapping them in lettuce. And if your kids like cheese on their burgers, it’s no big thing to throw a slice on for them.
Try these In-n-Out inspired burgers from 40 Aprons.
Another go to lately has been any recipe involving shrimp. My boys love it so much that I’ve started buying double what I used to. And it makes a really easy weeknight meal. Pair this chili lime shrimp skewer recipe from Tastythin with salad, cauliflower rice and avocado and you’re all set.
Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
One of the ways we survived the Whole30 was by making comfort foods we love adapted to the rules. This is one of those meals. And it’s one my kids will actually eat too.
We recently tried this meatloaf recipe from Paleo Running Mama and it was really good. She even has a recipe for homemade Whole30 ketchup!
And this is our favorite Whole30 mashed potato recipe.
Fried Cauliflower Rice
My kids have recently become huge Hibachi fans. Mostly because of the smoking onion volcano. But the other part they love is the fried rice. So I tried out this fried cauliflower rice version from 40 Aprons and they barely noticed a difference.
Banana "Ice Cream"
Need a dessert option that will keep everyone Whole30 compliant? If you haven’t tried banana ice cream made from frozen bananas, you won’t believe how rich and creamy this turns out. Add compliant ingredients like nut butter, cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or cocoa nibs to make it your own. Here is a simple banana chocolate ice cream recipe from Our Paleo Life.
I realize that baked goods fall into the SWYPO category (google it), but I’m in the camp of people who mostly just care about the ingredients. I feel no guilt about eating a slice of this for breakfast and my kids gobble it up too. This is my go-to paleo banana bread recipe found on the Ambitious Kitchen blog.
Breakfast for Dinner
During the week I don’t always have time to make a warm breakfast, so there were a lot of nights during the Whole30 that we made a nice big breakfast for dinner. Bacon and eggs, omelets, breakfast casserole, hash browns, the list goes on. Add toast for your kids if they want and call it a meal.
I’ve always been intimidated by roasting a whole chicken. But it turns out it’s actually really easy. And it’s a great base for a kid friendly Whole30 meal. We just tried this roasted chicken recipe from Grits and Chopsticks and it was amazing. Look how pretty it turned out!
Have you tried the Whole30 with kids? How did you survive? Which recipes were a hit with everyone in your family? Please help a momma out and share them in the comments below!
And for a list of Whole30 staples you should have in your pantry you’ll want to read this. You’ll appreciate it when you’re half-way through making dinner and you don’t have to run to the store!