What If Toddlers Had Their Own Version of the Paleo Diet…? Oh Wait. They Do.

This article is also being featured over at Mamamia.

It’s the food revolution that’s sweeping the globe, as more and more toddlers embrace the fussy-eating philosophy that has inexplicably sustained human life for thousands of years. From baby cavemen to modern toddlers, this unhealthy form of eating has never been more popular. If you haven’t already heard about the White Food Diet, here is everything you need to know.

What is the White Food diet?

The White Food diet is an ancient set of dietary recommendations for young homosapiens. Tiny humans have thrived for millennia by wilfully restricting their diet to a small selection of nutrient-deficient “white” foods, whilst strenuously avoiding “coloured” food at all costs.

White foods are low in nutrition and high in salt, sugar, fat and refined carbohydrates. The White diet is not about healthy living or weight loss: it’s about eating for baseline survival.

There is little scientific data to support the evolutionary benefits of restricting nutritional intake at times of peak development, but the results speak for themselves. Millions of irate toddlers can’t be wrong.

What will my toddler eat on the White Food diet?

The list of approved foods for the White diet is short and strictly policed.

Key components of the white-food diet include: plain pasta, noodles, rice crackers, hot chips, chicken nuggets, bread, yoghurt, rice and sugar.

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Whilst some of these items don’t look white, there is good reason for that. Deep frying is the preferred method of preparation for the white-food diet. Despite giving food a distinctive golden glow the base ingredients are still considered “white” for the purposes of this dietary regime.

Can my toddler eat things that aren’t white?


Advocates of this eating regime are fanatical and vocal about their dietary choices, and are always keen to engage in arguments about food. White-food toddlers are often sanctimonious about their eating habits and dismissive of coloured-foods, believing them to be harmful and unsavoury.

There is one exception: tomato sauce.

Whilst not strictly a “white” food it does contain unacceptably high levels of sugar and salt (both white), which makes it acceptable to toddlers on the White diet.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.43.16 pm

Is White Food a fad diet?


Toddlers have subsisted on some version of the white-food diet for two million years. Paleolithic toddlers survived on white root vegetables and the milky flesh of freshwater fish for millennia, until the Neolithic Revolution occurred.

With the birth of agriculture came the cultivation of the rice, grains and refined carbohydrates which make up the bulk of the modern White diet.

Many* historians argue that fussy toddlers were the catalyst for agricultural development, the result of desperate dinner-time experimentation by tribal elders who were tired of endless daily requests for fish and potatoes*.

* Zero                    

*This is patently untrue pseudo-scientific nonsense.

What is the reasoning behind the White Food diet?

There is no rational basis to the White diet. It contradicts every instinct that human beings have to perpetuate their own survival.

What are the health benefits?

There are no apparent health benefits.

Aren’t coloured foods good sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals?


How does my toddler get vital nutrients if they cut coloured foods out of their diet?

They don’t.

Toddlers on the White diet believe that vital nutrients are vastly over-rated, and in some cases harmful.

Should I give vitamin supplements to my toddler?

Vitamin supplements are recommended if you wish to facilitate optional functions like growth, brain development, strong bones, healthy organs and regular bowel movements.

How can my toddler stay White when we eat out?

Please advise waiters that your child has special dietary requirements, to ensure they don’t come into contact with fruits, vegetables, red meat, legumes or other coloured foods. Most cafes and restaurants should have at least one white-food option on the menu, even if it is just bread. It’s a good idea to carry a packet of rice crackers or a vanilla yoghurt squeezie in your handbag, just in case.

We hope this clears up some of the questions you have about the White way of eating. If you can see past the stubborn food refusal and the lack of nutrition and the annoying evangelism and the limited meal-planning potential, it really has a lot to recommend it.

101 thoughts on “What If Toddlers Had Their Own Version of the Paleo Diet…? Oh Wait. They Do.

  1. Ha! Love this. This could be our house at the moment…except you have to randomly exclude one item that you are now ‘allergic’ to or have decided is ‘disgusting’, even though you loved it the week before.

    • LOLOLOL!! Thank god my white-food three year old hasn’t yet got the advanced vocabulary to get to that stage, but I KNOW it’s on the card with this kid. Allergic. LOL.

  2. Thank god and praise intuitive parenting!
    This was the very strict diet my daughter naturally chose and I’m soo glad I supported her in this noble endeavor. Last week she handed in her thesis and will begin Phd. soon. It was totally the diet that did it and I will now write a BOOK and form a CULT based entirely on this one experience. My BLOG will tell you how to sign up for the 3 week PROGRAM…early bird special only $2,999.
    Hugzilla thanks for sharing the WORD x

  3. My 3.5 yr old has been a staunch proponent of the White Diet for about a year now. Regardless of the tempting colourful meals I place before her, she has not once succumbed to the pressure to venture outside of the allowed foods list. Her dedication to this diet is something to behold. Although, forgive me, it’s not a diet it’s a LIFESTYLE CHOICE.

    • Hahahahahahha! Yes, it’s definitely a lifestyle choice. He goes to great lengths to ensure that nothing vaguely nutritious passes his lips. So far, a complete success!

    • My eldest is like that and he went through a fussy stage but nothing like the stubbornness that my youngest displays. I have to admit, I like a bit of white food myself. I think I could live off hot chips and scallops if it weren’t for the old waistline…

  4. Ha ha ha ha. Love this. Unfortunately my 6 year old didn’t get the memo that she is supposed to have outgrown it by now – she would live on rice crackers and air if she could but will take spag bol without complaint on occasion too. Luckily raw veggies are also acceptable today apparently. Meal times are a battlefield with her at the moment (which I am determined to win!) but no doubt it will be something else next week!

    • I’M NOT LISTENING TO THIS!!!!!!! Gah! I’m still in denial that this is a “toddler phase”, even though he is rapidly becoming a preschooler and still no closer to outgrowing it. I think I would weep with joy and relief if this child ate a single stick of raw veggies.

  5. Hahaha! I give you exhibit A: Ari has just come to the computer and said “Oh chippies!” I asked him what was on the other plate pointing inside the circle… he went quiet and finally said “A smiley face!” A firm follower of the white way.

    • Hahahahhahahha! Whilst I was editing my three year old climbed onto my lap and got all excited about that graphic. We literally had to sit and name everything several times, completely oblivious to the fact that he was the inspiration for the entire piece. LOL.

  6. Lol! Its terrible isn’t it. #nowhitefoods here as much as possible! If my plate doesn’t look like a rainbow then I struggle to eat it. I hate serving my kids white but sometimes its just gotta be…. for no arguments sake x

  7. Haha! Brilliant! My toddlers are totally on this white food diet wagon and have been for some time. Great to know they are on trend and up with the play of the latest fads out there!

    • Gosh, that would make things so much harder for you guys. Thank god she eats well. Honestly, it’s one of those things that if you can tick it off you don’t have to lie awake at night worrying they’ll end up with the first case of scurvy since 1806 in the developed world.

    • Yes. I think you need to get them to a nutritionist ASAP. It sounds like they might be consuming dangerous levels of nutrient-dense food. Surely the developing body cannot cope with all that ?!

  8. Haha! I must admit that I thought I was coming here to read about Pete Evans and his bone broth malarkey. My hell is yet to come, even my little boy on the spectrum eats coloured foods, though he won’t try anything new at the moment (it is strange, he will try new junk foods, and recognises them as belonging to that branch of the droopy food tree innately)….

  9. OMG can you imagine it lol! Mind you, I’d happily eat all of those things if I wasnt going to get fat and sick lol. Gee I remember when I was teaching Grade 2 – they totally would have signed up for this diet!! Actually one kid even once told me that he was allergic to fruit… he wasnt!!! Cheeky little bugger!

  10. Kids can thrive somehow in spite of the white only rule which takes away any ability you have as a parent to fall back on “but you will be unhealthy / won’t grow/ will have problems” as you watch them grow out of their clothes thanks to the calcium in icecream (I may know this from 3 mo in Europe where my then 7 year old survived on bread and ice cream 80% of the time)

  11. Bahahahahaha!!! LOVE this. My 6 year is only JUST emerging from the white food diet but my 3 year old is holding on with every will inside of her. Third child and I am just embracing the white food diet. I’m too tired to fight it. God, that makes me sound terrible doesn’t it?

    • LOL!! I loved those days. I still can’t believe my three year old used to eat ANYTHING I gave him. Maybe I hallucinated all of that from a sleep-deprived stupor…

  12. Interesting. Food for thought one might say. It’s a funny thing … A lot of the food that comes into our house begins as white. Then over time (possibly due to dubious food handling practices) other shades begin to emerge. Still, as they say in the classics, what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger.

  13. Is cheese pizza on the white list? It has taken me 2 years but I have FINALLY managed to introduce the idea of tomato paste underneath. That’s a veggie right? It totally counts in the 2+5 doesn’t it?? Cos we are proudly now at 1+0 if it does.
    Corker post.

    • Hahahahhaha cheese pizza with only actual cheese on it? That’s classic!! Even my fuss-pot will eat it with the tomato paste, so I admire your tenacity and patience. Bloody hell, these kids hey!?

  14. Ba ha ha ha. I relied on the fact that a renowned pediatrician in our country says that it’s quite satisfactory for toddlers to exist on their other preferred ‘fresh air’ diet. It makes no sense given their rapid growth but it seems to work. It’s eat your broccoli or eat nothing sround here 😉

  15. My toddler is a huge advocate of the white diet. She’s in the process of converting her dollies to the diet also as she constantly cooks them pasta and chippies in her toy kitchen.

  16. There are days I’d be happy to serve up the white diet. Because we only have one solitary food here – pasta. I’d kill for him to eat some rice or potatoes (that aren’t fried). Holy shit it’s frustrating!

  17. My kids are crazy! I buy them white bread (as I was deprived as a child) and they whinge there’s no grains in it, I make them pretty lunchbox presentations the teachers commend me for, I get asked if tomorrow they can just have honey or plain butter sandwich!?! Whats with these kids. I think the introduction of fortune cookies as a reward for eating all their dinner of late has been a huge success, I especially love telling white lies what the message says, I say white lies, you may call it bs! – whatever works huh? lol!

  18. Ha ha ha ha, love this! You nailed it. My 8 year old has been strictly following this diet for most of his life…. he is still alive and well. I was shocked and alarmed last night when I saw him eating the roast dinner ….. WITH PEAS on his plate – and he ate them all!!! What is happening? Will he be ok? Thanks for the laugh.

  19. Bahaha Love it!! I’ve seen many toddlers eat their way through the white diet. Although I’ve got to say that they tended to favour a little bit more tomato sauce than your serving suggestion shows, especially since the rule was always that they had to pour their own sauce on the plate (“I want to do it!!”).

  20. Bahaha, just gold. Glad to know we’re following at least one fad diet in our house. Although you did forget that other one exception to the ‘no coloured foods’ list… lollies.

  21. GOLD!!! I was in a shopping centre during lunch time on my way to visiting a client. I passed at least 3 mums feeding their kids hot chips. I was like mentally fist pumping them “YESSSS! Hot chip Mamas unite!”

  22. My daughter loves whites but also loves cucumber without skin (I notice that’s a bit of a theme too) and I love that you remembered tomato sauce.. she loves tomato sauce. It’s funny because I was obsessed with tomato sauce as a child so I try to remind myself that it’s normal. It is so strange though and I bet you’re right about cavemen celebrating grains – having something else to offer makes you feel much better about the situation

    • On the basis of these comments I actually tried giving my three year old a piece of cucumber without the skin on (nothing to lose, right?). He touched it with his tongue and looked at me like I’d tried to feed him RatSak. LOL. Not a win!

  23. You know my kids were actually better eaters as toddlers than they are now! They’d eat anything and everything (mostly) but now they whine and complain like nothing else. Not that they get away with it. Yes, I’m one of those mums who make them sit there till they finish. I figure if I have to eat broccoli so do they!

  24. You are a genius. This is so my niece. I was once eating cherry tomatoes in front of her and of course they look like lollies so she asked for one. She put it her mouth and then spat it back out into my hand. Into my HAND. Then asked for another one and I told her she could only have it if she ate it. She spat it out on my lap. She just couldn’t figure out why something that looked like lollies tasted so vile. She also likes sushi but hates the seaweed so if she has sushi for lunch, I have to bite the seaweed off it. If I didn’t love her so much and if I didn’t think she was the most fucking hilarious human on the planet I’d kill her.

  25. Ha ha ha. Flashback to last friday when my niece was DRINKING sauce and I had to explain to her mum why she did not eat her healthy lunch. Opps.

  26. This is hilarious! When is the recipe book deal coming? My 3 year old started out ok- his allergies were a bit of a god-send because we (read: his grandparents) weren’t allowed to give him junk food. Then he discovered chips. And it was all over.

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