Shan Cooper placed her daughter Grace on a “Paleo Diet” when she was born, and her typical meal is more likely to be organic chicken and a plate of vegetables and not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crust cut off. The diet bans grains and dairy, favoring foods “cavemen could scavenge for,” like meat, fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
The diet seems extreme, but the Australian mother maintained that Grace almost never gets sick and “loves” eating healthy foods.
For breakfast, Grace typically has eggs fried in coconut oil with roasted veggies like sweet potato, carrots, potatoes, and steamed broccoli, a quarter of an avocado, and a small scoop of sauerkraut. Lunch consists of something like organic roasted chicken and roasted and steamed vegetables like broccoli. Grace snacks on fruit throughout the day, strawberries and bananas being her favorite.
Dinner includes something like spaghetti Bolognese (made with zucchini noodles of course), with organic beef topped with organic tomato sauce.
Shan, who has an agricultural science degree and is the author of a healthy recipe e-book, stated that her daughter only had a cold once.
“She spends a lot of time around other kids who are sick all the time — who have snotty noses, coughs, colds — but she just doesn’t pick it up,” she told Daily Mail. “It’s certainly not because I’m shielding her from any of that stuff. I absolutely think a nutrient-dense diet is giving her a strong immune system.”
Despite the strict diet, Shan maintains that she’s laid back about her daughter eating sugary and grainy foods one day, especially with birthday parties on the horizon.
“(What she eats now) is not weird, not anything strange that normal people wouldn’t eat. She loves it. I don’t feed her toast or cereal or anything like that. Again I think, ‘Sure that stuff is not going to kill her.’ If she eats a piece of bread I’m not going to have a conniption,” she said.
“I don’t want there to be any disordered eating around food,” she added. “Females particularly have enough problems with eating disorders … I want Grace to eat what makes her feel good. That’s the reason I eat this way. I don’t think eating a piece of bread is going to kill me. When I go out to dinner with friends… I’m just going to eat what’s on the menu. I’m not going to be a jerk about it. She’ll also learn what makes her feel good and what doesn’t.”
Respected dietitian Dr. Rosemary Stanton stated that she would “certainly sound a note of caution” to the mothers looking to follow Shan’s path.
“It’s really not usually a good idea to put a child on such a restricted diet, particularly when there’s no valid grounds for it,” she said, adding that she hopes Shan “knows an awful lot about nutrition.”
“Depriving her child of grains and legumes will make it much more difficult to achieve a balanced diet,” Stanton added, and advised parents to see an accredited dietitian.
“(Why) eating real food is such a scandalous topic is just bizarre,” Shan said, referring to the criticism she’s received about her daughter’s diet.
“If you want to feed your kid one of the most nutrient-void pieces of crap ever, knock your socks off. I’m not going to internet troll you. You do the right thing you think for (your) kid. Why people think it’s offensive to eat a plate of vegetables (over) a piece of bread — that’s bizarre,” she said.
Sources: Daily Mail