In Australia, a fitness fanatic mother claims she has never given her daughter sugar, and that her little one is on the Paleo diet since birth.
In 2016, Shannon Cooper, from Brisbane, said that she has devoted her life to living happily and healthily, simply by eating the right kind of food.
Shannon’s daughter, Grace, who’s 13-months-old at the time, has never had processed carbohydrates since birth.
Little Grace only eats meat, vegetables, nuts, and fruits, foods that a “caveman might eat,” Shannon told Daily Mail.
The Paleo diet was made famous by celebrity chef Pete Evans, he restricts his followers from eating processed foods, dairy products, sugars, salt, legumes, grains, and oils.
Paleolithic diet, Paleo diet, caveman diet, or stone-age diet is a modern fad diet containing foods thought by its supporters to imitate those eaten during the Paleolithic era.
There are different variants of the diet; some are predominantly plant-based but the most recent popular variants focus on animal products.
The diet avoids processed food and typically includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat and excludes dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol, and coffee.
Grace, who has been on the Paleo diet since birth in addition to being breastfed, has only been sick once in her life because of her “nutrient-dense diet,” Shannon said.
“I have a background in science and animal health & have done a wellness coaching course,” Shannon wrote on her website. “I have done my certificate IV in Fitness, taught boxing classes and the occasional boot camp.”
“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 said. “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.”
Shannon said that she adopted the paleo diet way before she had given birth to Grace, adding that she discovered the paleo diet after reading a book about it around five years ago.
Shannon said that she had struggled to live with food allergies and that it had become a part of her normal life. So, she worked to improve her diet around them.
“I just got sick of not feeling great,” Shannon said. “That had become my normal and (I decided) that wasn’t going to be normal anymore.”
Despite raising her daughter on a strict diet, Shan acknowledges that Grace will eventually eat sugary foods.
“(What she eats now) is not weird, not anything strange, that normal people wouldn’t eat,” Shannon said. “She loves it.”
“I don’t feed her toast or cereal or anything like that,” she explained. “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 conniption. I’m not going to not let her go to kids’ parties. She’s going to go to kids’ parties and eat what’s there.”
“I’m never going to go to Grace, “You can’t eat anything at this party – but I packed you some kale, here you go”.
Shan has said that when her daughter is old enough to understand what she likes and doesn’t like, she is not going to force her to stay on a strict diet. She just wants to create a solid foundation for her baby’s future health.
“She’ll be old enough to know she can choose whatever she wants to eat,” she explained. “She’ll probably come home jacked up on sugar and cake and say, “mum I don’t feel very well.”
“And next time instead of eating 12 cupcakes she might only eat three,” she continued. “I don’t want there to be any disordered eating around food.”
“Females particularly have enough problems with eating disorders … I want Grace to eat what makes her feel good,” Shannon said. “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 with dinner with friends… I’m just going to eat what’s on the menu,” she said. “I’m not going to be a jerk about it. She’ll also learn what makes her feel good and what doesn’t.”
Because of Grace’s strange diet, trolls went on to criticize Shannon and her unique parenting towards her daughter.
However, Shannon did not back down and responded to the criticisms in the best way that she can.
“(Why) eating real food is such a scandalous topic is just bizarre,” Shannon said. “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,” Shannon continued. “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.”
According to medical experts, the Paleo diet certainly has its pros and cons. The main idea behind the diet is to eat as our caveman ancestors did, and lots of experts agree that our ancestors ate healthier than we do in modern times.
Parents considering the paleo diet should consult with their pediatricians before making a change.