Raising Vegan/Raw Children
*Vegan/Raw children tend to grow at a slower rate than children on the SAD (standard American diet) because there aren't hormones and animal products in their food.
*The Question of Protein Deficiency- Dr. Neal Barnard, says it is extremely unlikely to have a protein deficiency on a diet drawn from a variety of plant food. When you exclude animal proteins it will actually help the body retain calcium better.
*A child should not be fed when tired, emotional, or ill. (The body is quick to heal, when food isn't in the way.)
*It's best not to establish fixed mealtimes. Instead, permit your growing child to eat when hungry.
*Children who eat predominantly raw vegan foods tend to heal more quickly than those who don't.
*After the child has decided to wean, there is no need for any kind of milk. (Why Vegan?)
*Mother's milk supplies all the protein, fat, vitamins and minerals the baby requires and it's an absolute necessity for as long as the child desires, and essential during the first year of life. Any child weaned too early from their mother's milk may develop problems with digestion and lack of growth.
*Between ages of 2-3, the child should be taking in sufficient calories from fruits, including avocados, and can eat vegetables in addition to the continuation of nutrients from mother's milk.
*Wait until the child is 2 or 3 years old before giving them nuts or seeds, because of possible allergies to nuts and the greater digestive capacity that nuts require.
*Dr. Graham says, "Under the age of 5, children still require plenty of fat, but more than the percentage of fat found in mother's milk would be too much fat. When children begin eating solid foods, their overall fat intake is likely to remain close to 50% for a year or two, or even longer depending on when/if they are forced to wean."
*Dr. Graham says, "When children reach the natural weaning age, at roughly 5-6 years or so, the percentage of their fat intake should begin to drop.
*In Victoria Boutenko's article "The Imprinting of Eating Habits" says, "Lifelong food preferences start to develop while the baby is still in the womb. The strongest pattern for future food preferences is formed during the ages 9-18 months."
*Babies have difficulty digesting starch prior to the age of 3. Most children under the age of 3 or 4 do not secrete enough of the salivary enzyme ptyalin or the pancreatic enzymes necessary to digest starch. Babies who eat cereal grains and legumes will often have indigestion, colic, constipation, colds, hives, diarrhea, problems with tonsils and adenoids, poor dental developments and other more severe problems.
*Ruth Yaron, "Super Baby Food", says a 4-7 day waiting period is recommended after the introduction of each new food in order to enable the mother to avoid any possible reactions to a single food.
*Don't badger children to follow food combining principles unless they are interested. Their younger, hopefully less damaged digestive system works better than ours. They might become interested in proper food combining at a later date.
*Set an example, by what you eat. They learn by example
*Taste buds eventually change to healthier foods.
*Good transitional foods are: steamed sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, whole grains- millet & quinoa, steamed squash, vegetable soup, split pea or lentil soup.
*If a child is not willing to give up bread or pasta, then switching to gluten-free brown rice pasta/bread or whole wheat would be good during this transition.
*Some advantages your children will experience after 3 months of living on predominately or exclusively raw foods are:
-absence of eye, ear, nose, throat, sinus infections
-increased energy and attention spans
-enhanced ability to process info
-heightened sense of ease, comfort, harmony, and perception
-strengthened immune systems- fewer colds, no diseases
-enhanced athletic capability
-increased brainpower and intellectual curiosity
-emotional poise and greater range of expressively
*Feed your child before attending a birthday party. Also be sure to bring plenty of raw treats to share.
*Be cautious of dried fruit. It can wreak havoc on the teeth. It is less harmful if it is mixed into a food, such as a smoothie or sauce. Teeth should be brushed immediately after. This should be an occasional treat and not eaten frequently as a part of a daily meal.
*Include children in the preparation of making food by using the fun equipment.
-Saladacco (makes pasta out of vegetables)
-Snow cone maker
-Mini food processor
*Adding vinegar to salads can be problematic. The consumption of vinegar (acetic acid) can cause thyroid problems. Vinegar is extremely acidic. The adrenals depend on phosphorus which is depleted by vinegar and this will affect every gland in the body. Additionally, vinegar stops digestion.
*Make sure your child gets adequate sleep.
*Try to do some sort of activity or exercise every day.
*If you want to be sure to obtain adequate vitamins and minerals for your children and yourself eat plenty of fresh garden salads and fresh fruit.
*B-complex vitamins, choline, biotin, folic acid and vitamin C are found in a variety of green vegetables and fruit.
*Zinc and Iron are found in leafy greens and nuts/seeds.
*Vitamin A is found in yellow vegetables and fruits apricots, peaches, tomatoes, cabbage, bok choy, romaine lettuce and spinach.
*Vitamin D: 15-20 minutes of daily sunshine- outside.
*Folic Acid is found in leafy greens, almonds/walnuts/sunflower seeds, papayas, oranges, grapes, avocados
*Calcium is found in leafy greens, sea vegetables, sesame seeds, almonds, figs, oranges, and most vegetables and fruits provide calcium benefits.
*Vitamin E is found in nuts/seeds, cherries, blackberries, leafy greens, and apples
*Vitamin B12: Supplement or get your levels tested to be safe.
*In the end it is your child's decision to decide to eat high raw vegan. Don't be too forceful as they become teens. Keep a loving atmosphere.