Support group for healthy eating toddlers!
To the parents of a toddler:
I'm starting this thread for a number of reasons. I know that going raw, being raw, and having kids can be difficult at times, especially through the picky toddler stages! Getting your kids and toddlers to eat raw, or any amount of raw will do so much for them. I'd love to share advice, gets some tips, share toddler-favorite recipes, and share my toddler story.
My, well, OUR story....
I want to start off by saying, I feel like I'm the luckiest parent on the earth. We, my husband and I, have 1 son (so far, we're working on fixing that!). He's well behaved, calm, happy, energetic, and eats better than any 3 year old I've ever seen! (We're not around any other healthy eaters, let alone raw foodies!) His father and I have always been very direct with him, talked to him like an adult and explained things to him like a person. When it came to food and eating better, we did the same thing. He's grown up to have such a healthy aspect of food, and what its supposed to be. Nutrition! Not just something that tastes good, but something thats going to make his skin soft, and his hair grow... and the normal kid ideas as well... it will definitely make you run faster, just higher and be so happy!
My son is not 100% raw, and we didn't always eat vegan or even vegetarian. He grew up eating (EDITED: SAD Food, i.e....) cereals and crackers, fruit snacks... all organic of course, but I still wasn't satisfied. So when it came time for my husband and I to make the decision to become vegan, we had to give him logical reasons. Reasons that we believed to be true. (edited: SAD) milk is for baby cows... we wouldn't want to take their milk away from them, would we?! He didn't like that idea, so onto nut milks! We also don't want to hurt the animals... so no eating them :) Also, there is sugar and additives in even organic cereals, which he's always been told that sugar is bad, so he went along with it... well, at least he does sometimes! He doesn't always like this idea. I'm not saying we don't ever let him enjoy a bowls of organic store bought cereal, but this is a very big 'treat', for lack of a better term. I don't really like using that word, because it means that certain 'treats' must be better than anything else he has to eat first. We try to avoid that word or any like words all together.
Here's an example of my 3 year olds food during the course of one day, just to give you an idea.
A plate of one cut apple, one mandarine orange, and one kiwi.
Snack: a piece of sprouted toast with coconut butter, coconut water with pineapple.
Lunch: Some plain kelp noodles, maybe a handful of spinach, a carrot, maybe half a cucumber.
(I've tried to get him interested in dips, but he doesn't like them... he likes everything plain)
Snack: glass of nut milk with cacao and raw honey, maybe a pear OR guacamole with organic chips
Dinner: Usually dinner is (edited: SAD meal). I always try to make the pasta sauce raw.
Other snacks throughout the day... WATER, all day long... he loves fig bars, which are 100% raw figs, and also he eats, on average, two raw chocolates a day.
A little trick: He's also fascinated by the fact that we eat what we grow, or whats in the yard. In the summer, he loves to walk around the yard and find the Sorrel... its a herb that grows as a 'weed' in many climates. Its very high in vitamin C and tastes very similar to a lemon. (Sorrel is often mistake for clover, but instead of three circle leaves, is three heart shaped leaves.) He gets a handful of sorrel, some kale from the garden and some wild green onions, and says "Mommy look, a salad!", and proceeds to stuff it all in his mouth. (after washing it of course) Makes me so happy I could bust!
This is a typical day. I want people to know that it IS possible. It wasn't always easy getting to this place with him, and there's still so much more that I want to get into his diet. I want parents to know that it IS possible for your toddlers (or grown kids!) to eat spinach, or an entire plate of raw veggies. Most parents give up and feed there kids the same old diet because they want them to eat SOMETHING, after refusing to eat the new, nutritious foods placed in front of them. Kids, babies, toddler, will NOT starve themselves. They will eat what you give them eventually and they WILL learn to like it. I'm not advising anyone to starve their children, but you must remember that you're job as a parent is to teach your children what you know is right. This will benefit them in the long run! Start off with fruits and raw nuts, coconut, make raw cookies (great for hiding things!) raw chocolates, dips, raw nut yogurts, nut milks. Everything else is follow. I made all of my son's nut milks chocolate in the beginning, just to get him used to the flavor. Plus raw cacao is full of iron! I'm still amazed when I watch him eat, in comparison to the SAD eating kids that I know. When we are out and about, adult and kids stare at him in awe when they see what he's eating. They always want to know what it is, and how in the world we got him to eat like that. I guess the easiest way is to just start from birth! If not from a very young toddler age, when they will still eat almost anything you give them. I don't think there's anything wrong with little white lies as well, if they are for the greater good! (Believe me, your kids will thank you later!) I swear, if I put chocolate on anything, he'd eat it! He'll often ask me "Does it have chocolate it in?". Sometimes I say, SURE it does! If it will get him to eat it and love it, why not! Make raw breads and crackers and call them cookies. Try to make things cheezy tasting with the help of nutritional yeast. Whatever is best for your kiddo's :)
The asking for tips side:
On the other hand, there are still so many things that I'd like to get my son to eat. He wont go near any seaweeds. He wont eat any cookies/crackers/chips or cereals if he knows they were dehydrated and not out of a box. UGH. Can't fool this one! Also can't get him to eat the raw nut yogurts (he used to eat (edited: SAD) yogurt daily), raw nut cheeses, smoothies that aren't chocolate... I tend not to worry about this too much, because he eats so well most other times, but it would be so convenient if he'd eat these things. I'd also like ways to hide the flavor of spirulina, seaweeds, and other superfoods. If anyone has any cookies, cracker, yogurt recipes, etc that have really worked for their little ones, I would truly appreciate it!
Raw mumz, hang in there! Support each other! Do whats best for your babies! Love them and nourish them in any way you can! If anyone has questions, please ask. If anyone has any advice please give!
Lots and lots of love,
Raw mommy :)
Last edited by ReneeH; 12-30-2012 at 03:59 PM.
Reason: EDITED to remove references to cooked food
You're off to a great start! But, have you tried making the Chili from Alissa's book? It's fantastic!!!!
My kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!!!
There are SO many yummy recipes to choose from! For my kids, variety is the key. They LOVE that I make different things! Check out the link in my signature line.