View Full Version : kids and protein
06-23-2008, 09:59 PM
Hi, I am just starting to switch from a SAD to the raw diet but doing so slowly. Mainly for 2 reasons, I am breastfeeding my youngest and don't want him to get too much of my toxins and secondly because I am lacking info regarding kids. I know a lot is being said about protein intake for adults but not much is mentioned about kids and as we all know, the growing needs of small kids is different than us. Plainly said, I feel that I am 'hurting' their health when I don't have a rich protein source in their meals. So my question is how much protein is ok for kids? Can they really just eat fruits and veggies all day with occasional nuts and legumes or should they be eating a high source of protein and fat at every meal? I mean calories is an issue for me because even if they eat a lot of fruits and veggies, it still doesn,t amount to much calories at the end of the day. Anyhow....I need help and support as you can see!!!! Oh, and I'm also afraid of all the pressure of 'what are you feeding your kids... just fruits and veggies, that's not enough!!!!':(
06-24-2008, 11:46 AM
It is not possible to have too little protein in a diet that contains enough calories. There is no medical name for protein defeincy other than malnutrition (which is caused by too little calories). Make sure that they have enough calories and the protein will take care of itself.
The time that a child grows fastest is the first 2 years and that is when they are meant to survive on breast milk which has only 4% to 6% protein and it is hard to find foods lower than that.
Remember that some of the largest animals on the planet are vegan and they find enough protein in their diet.
I would be more worried about lacking Essential Fatty Acids as it is easy to not have enough so make sure that they get plenty.
06-25-2008, 12:15 PM
Thanx Sport for the answer. I guess than my next question is how many calories do little kids need in a day and can their need realisticaly be met soley on fruits and veggies since they have such a small appetite to start off with?
06-25-2008, 12:35 PM
2 - 3 years: 1000 - 1400 (2-3 years)
4 - 8 years: 1400-1600
9 - 13 years: girls: 1600-2000 boys: 1800-2200
14 - 18 yr. girls: 2000
14 - 18 yr. boys: 2200- 2400
You can find a full summary IOM's Dietary Reference Intakes in this chart:
- Randy Borum
06-25-2008, 09:03 PM
Well this is definately a good start. I guess the best way is to have a food journal for a while to ensure that they are eating enough calories. My 2nd child is 22 months and has lost some weight on the SAD diet this winter so I'd love to see his weight come back on the raw diet. The really good thing for me is that he really loves his fruits and veggies.
thanx a lot for the help. All this raw stuff looks so healthy but it is so different if not down right opposite of all the other food info i've been taught!
06-25-2008, 11:12 PM
Its so true. Almost everything I grew up with learning about nutrition is wrong.
Here is a very informative article on the protein myth;
06-26-2008, 04:11 PM
Wouldn't it be possible/probable for a child to be deficient if the diet was all fruit (according to vegan books I have read)?My kids love fruit but since protein % are around 5 or less, I make sure they eat different veggies and nuts/seeds they like, plus sprouted grain "breads" and "milks" to drink. They love the breads which I make with raisins or other dried fruits, as well as green smoothies and food processor treats which include nuts, hemp protein, coconut, and dried fruits. Those concentrated foods help get more calories and hence more protein in as Sport pointed out.
06-26-2008, 09:34 PM
Thank-you so much for that info. I guess I should continue to follow my 'gut' feelings as I am alreading adding nuts, good oils and other 'rich' food in their diet. I have yet to make dehydrated stuff as my dehydrator is arriving shortly... can't wait cause I will definately go 100% when it arrives. Unitl then, I do the best I can and do add a little cooked food strictly to increase their calories (the funny thing is that my kids enjoy simple raw foods over my homemade cooked stuff.... what a time saver!!!).
07-06-2008, 09:31 AM
I have just begun on this journey of researching and eating a raw food diet. I have the same concerns about giving my kids a 100% raw diet as well. There is a medical term for protein deficiency and it is called kwashiorkor. It primarily happens in underdeveloped countries and is associated with diets high in carbohydrate and low in quality protein. Children have higher protein requirements per kilogram of body weight. This and their greater susceptibilty to infections that increase protein requirements make them more susceptible to protein deficiency than adults.
I'm not saying a raw food/vegan diet wouldn't be enough protein for a growing child, but I would explore that subject much further before embarking.
Raw Angel Mom
07-07-2008, 02:49 PM
Depending what your child respond well with certain source of protein either nuts, seeds or whatever the source, you can add some extra in their smoothies if they drink any, or on top of their salad or any meal. I watched a dvd from a raw family with five children and they add almond (crunch with your vitamix) in everything and use a lot of coconut. Here where i am, we don't have much access to coconut but we do have different raw food.
For what i have read, a child do need more fat, or protein or even sweet to develop then an adult. I am still reading but research is always importan.
07-11-2008, 03:52 PM
They need half as much protein that they would get from cooked food. Because the protein is absorbed better.
My son has been raw for a year.
Before that he was under weight and sick every other month. He had ear infections all the time and was pale and had dark circles under his eyes.
We took him off milk and he improved alot. We took him off meet months later and he improved even more. We started him on raw and gave him green smoothies every day. That is where he gets most his protein. I also put some coconut oil in them for better absorbtion.
He is now at the correct weight. Which is funny because I have lost 50 pounds eating the same food. Being raw helps us find out true weight.
He has only been sick a few times in the last year. And it was amazing to see how his body handled it. One time he asked for an avocado..which he hates. I gave him one..that's all he ate for the day. He slept all day and woke up the next day and was better. He hasn't touched an avocado since cause he still hates them. But his body knew it would help so it gave him the craving for that day.
Another time he has a sinus infection coming and the doctor knew I wasn't happy about giving him antibiotics. So she said to hold off and try and keep him hydrated. So I bought some coconut water which has the higest source of electrolites found in nature...and gave him that...He got better on his own and I didn't need to do the antibiotics.
The last time he was sick...I found out he snuck candy from the bulk bins at the store. I was worried that raw wasn't working cause he was sick for a week. But caught him in the act and he confessed. UGH.
He knows now that it makes him sick and he is doing really good about not having cooked when I am not around.
We take kelp supplements for Iodine and B-12 drops. Other than that it's just raw food that keeps us healthy. He gets sick from cooked so it's easy to tell people who think he is not getting what he needs..I just say he will get sick. I was sick and tired of going to the emergency room at 1 am because he was in so much pain from ear infections. We tried meat and milk for protein.... Didn't work. We tried this..it worked. So we are sticking with it and everyone else can have their opinions that commercials/government/Oprah tell them to have.
I hope this helps. I want to encourage you to switch your kids to raw. It was actually easier than us switching. Kids natually love fruit. Just take away the bad options and they are left with only the good ones. Even if you are not ready for the change. I remember sneaking cooked food in the bedroom because I didn't want him to see me eating it. How silly is that. So he has been going strong for a year. And now I am right there with him.
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