Elvie does not feel deprived on our family Whole30.
I've had quite a few requests to elaborate a bit on what we are eating during our family Whole30. I have a feeling this will vary quite a bit from family to family, but I can tell you what works for us, and you can adjust as necessary. I'll just break it down into meals and snacks, then talk a little bit about what you can do long before your family Whole30 in order to be more ready.
Breakfast We basically have the same two choices for breakfast all week long: scrambled eggs cooked in ghee or toasted cashew bread* with fruit spread. Either choice can be served with fruit, and I offer whatever fruit we have available. I don't really like fruit with breakfast, so I just have coffee.
Lunch One word: leftovers. I rarely have to deviate from this, and when I do, I make scrambled eggs.
Dinner I do my best to keep this simple. Meat plus vegetable equals dinner. Done. The end. Pretty much every Monday night we have chicken and roasted potatoes. I like to make soup or chili on Saturday, since that's easy for the night that I wouldn't normally cook. Meatballs in the crock pot are super easy (load 'em with vegetables instead of bread crumbs) when we're going to be out of the house until dinner, and I love sauteed spinach on the side (are you sensing a pattern with the sauteeing?). Ham and sweet potatoes taste amazing together. Sausages can be cooked quickly in the oven while brussels sprouts are being sauteed on the stove. Pick a meat, pick a vegetable that sounds good with it, and you're done.
If you get tired of that, how about some lettuce wraps? Speaking of lettuce, use it to make a sandwich roll up or sub it in as the taco shell on taco night. Eat that burger without a bun. Add lots of herbs and spices. Make friends with ghee. It really doesn't have to be hard.
Snacks Most of our snack option are fruit and nut based. I mix together cashews and pecans, then add whatever dried fruit I can find that doesn't have added sugar (currants, currently). This is super portable and also super easy to throw in a bowl for Elvie when she gets a little hangry. We also love fruit with almond butter. Apples are my favorite, but it's good on pears and bananas, too. I keep a lot of fruit in the house, whatever is in season and on sale. This is a great time to get apples, and I use those to also make applesauce in the crock pot (just apples and cinnamon is all you need - cook until they're falling apart, then blend). I try to make meals hearty enough that not much snacking is necessary. If all else fails, Zinashi has been known to grab a few bites of leftovers from the fridge.
Before you start a Whole30 as a family, I recommend starting by cooking dinners that are Whole30 compliant. Make a habit of eating the Whole30 way for dinner most of the time, and then it won't seem so stressful or completely new and different when you begin your thirty days. Try to make other small, manageable changes as well, such as serving water as the only drink at meals and introducing Whole30 compliant snacks, and you will be good to go. It won't be easy, but it won't be nearly as hard as if you plunge everyone into it without transitioning a bit.
Finally, decide before you start what your goal is. Our goal with our family Whole30 is to figure out what is bothering Zinashi's tummy, but also to make a habit of eating well at home. We've got a few things in the freezer we'll need to eat up once our Whole30 is done, but my goal is to have only Whole30 style food when we eat at home after that. We'll save the sugar and cheese for when we're out and about, and we'll savor it all the more when it's a true treat.
I hope that is helpful. Please feel free to ask me more questions. I'll be writing another post once we get to the food reintroduction phase, and I'd be happy to give more information to make this more possible for more families.
*The recipe for the cashew bread we eat can be found here. I sub in full fat coconut milk for the yogurt to make it dairy free. If toast is a go to breakfast item for your family, I'd recommend either not having this as an option at all or trying it out beforehand and being honest about whether or not you would eat this if you were not on the Whole30. If you wouldn't, and this will just drive you back to whole grain bread when the thirty days is done, then don't do it during the Whole30 itself.