Meet Grace, The Toddler Who Has Never Eaten Sugar

Meet Grace, The Toddler Who Has Never Eaten Sugar

An Australian mother recently made headlines when she revealed her toddler has never eaten processed foods.

Online most parents, food blogger, Shan Cooper, from My Food Religion doesn’t feed her toddler Grace mashed food from a packet.

Grace’s diet, like her mother’s, is rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and eggs.

Mother Raises Toddler On Clean Eating Diet

The family avoid processed foods like bread, pasta and crisps. Instead, they choose to make wholesome alternatives from fresh produce.

Cooper adopted the clean-eating lifestyle years ago and it seemed only natural to continue those choices when she became a mama.

Cooper believes the clean eating diet is helping her daughter to thrive, specifically by boosting her immune system.

According to her mama, Grace has only ever been ill once, which is arguably pretty impressive for a toddler.

Meet Grace, The Toddler Who Has Never Eaten Sugar

My Food Religion/Instagram

Since the launch of her paleo cookbook, CBF Paleo, the family’s diet has made news around the world, with many quick to criticise Cooper for raising her daughter on such a strict diet.

Addressing the criticism on her blog, Cooper wrote: “How dare I deprive my child of what is basically kindergarden (sic) grade glue (flour & water…. Also known as bread) as a staple in her diet in place of whole foods!! Man, I’m a jerk. Grace might end up with ‘gluten-deficiency’….. Oh hold on, there’s no such thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, what they left out of the article (OF COURSE) is that I am not going to have a melt-down if my kid shoves some bread down her gullet at some point, or eats a piece of cake at a kids party. If Grace (and I) eat things on occasion that are less-than-ideal, so be it but those things will not be making up the majority of our diet.

Do I think a bowl of pasta is going to cause her or I major health problems? Hell no, BUT, what I do think, is that if she’s chowing down on on a big bowl of pasta, she’s not chowing down on a big bowl of veggies and they win in the nutritional stakes. Every. Single. Time.”

Grace’s diet is high in fresh greens, veggies, coconut oil and plenty of seeds, to make sure she’s getting plenty of nutrients. Cooper’s Instagram feed is full of photos of delicious looking healthy meals intermingled with adorable shots of Grace.

Meet Grace, The Toddler Who Has Never Eaten Sugar

My Food Religion/Instagram

Cooper plans to breastfeed Grace until she is around 18 months old, meaning she’s also getting plenty of nutrients through breastmilk for the time being, too.

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where not raising your kids on a healthy diet was more worthy of media attention than a diet rich in fresh foods? Sigh.

The media attention surrounding Grace’s diet shows just how far we have to go as a society. Food habits develop early, so it’s important to help your child learn to love healthy foods in infancy.

While this diet may sound extreme to some, Cooper is quick to point out that she wouldn’t deny Grace the opportunity to try cakes and sweets at birthday parties in the future.

To summarise, this is a story about a mama making healthy choices for her child and, for some reason, the internet took offence to this. Afterall, it’s much easier to criticise somebody else’s choices than take a long, hard look at what’s on your own plate.

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Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.


  1. Fruit contains fructose, which is a sugar. So she doesn’t eat fruit?
    Cutting, cooking, freezing etc are also methods of processing food. So she doesn’t do that either?
    Well that truly is a unique method of eating. Best of luck with it!

    1. I’m pretty sure she means processed sugar. However, the growing number of people who eat LCHF or keto (like myself) don’t tend to eat fruit, they are very high carb. Probably moreso than they ever used to be now we genetically modify everything to be bigger and sweeter! Strawberries and other berries are amongst the lowest carb fruits and are sometimes enjoyed by those people who are not trying to lose weight via those methods, but at the end of the day, fruit isn’t essential to life – all the nutrients you can get from fruit, you can also get from veggies, without the sugar. There is no harm in a child having a serve of fruit each day.

  2. Good for you, mama. I wish that I had grown up that way. My whole life wouldn’t have been such a struggle to be healthy.

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