- Food and Cooking»
- Food For Kids
Coaching Kids To Eating More Plant-Based Raw Foods.
"Connecting Kids and Sustainable Foods"
We all know eating plenty of fruits and vegetables every day are the way to go and especially healthy growing children! That's a tough sell for kids though; as some parents have a hard time getting their picky kids eating something significant, let alone more fruits and veggies.
With every single meal and snacks, children develop lifelong eating habits. The food choices they make while young can impact how their genetic factor develops later in life. Healthy kids make healthy adults, but only 39% of children ages 2 to 17 meet USDA recommendations for fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, and only 7% of children ages 2 to 19 meet recommendations for whole grains. Eating the types of foods listed above that contain natural fiber help combat many diseases later in life including cancer. Referenced at the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Why plant-based raw foods? In no way this editorial is advocating that raw or living foods consumption should be strictly a 100 percent of someone’s diet regimen and it is essential taking into consideration the proper handling and preparation of non-organic, plant-based raw foods to reduce the risk of food contamination and food-borne illness, as well as, clinically identify the presence of food allergies and sensitivities in some kids, though, as stated by one of the world's leading authorities on nutrition, David Wolfe says that, “adding plentiful amounts of living foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, seaweeds, grasses (wheatgrass), sprouts, herbs, flowers, fermented foods (live cultured foods such as sauerkraut), Superfoods and Superherbs (tonic herbs) has shown conclusively that increases vitality and it is fundamental for most.”
All these is common sense right? A cooked seed won’t grow, but a raw seed will! Heating food over 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys much of the important nutrients in food. Cooking food also changes it’s compounds, diminishes the natural liveliness and destroys much of the natural enzymes (your body can also create enzymes, but can only do so much) that is required to break down vital nutrients. By eating more plant-based raw foods at an early age will help reduce so many digestive ailments that adult Americans are suffering today. It’s been also determined by the American Academy of Pediatrics' that by eating more fruits and vegetables help kids concentrate and do better in school, grow and develop a strong body, feel good about themselves and lower their future risk of chronic diseases.
Recognizing how the world is revolving right now is evident the urgency for parents to get involve in the process of preventative health and nutritional education in children. From food sensitivities, child obesity, learning and social disabilities, eating disorders, chronic diseases that includes type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver, to cancer and the list goes on, our kids are getting sicker and sicker and are facing many issues at a sky rocketing epidemic number, more so now, than when we were growing up as kids.
Kids go through many changes in live and learn in different ways, primarily as subjects as they learn in school; dealing with peer pressure, media and pure mutineer advertisement, where it seems that video games and unhealthy foods are conveniently accessible in every corner of the planet. Nowadays, parents have endless resources to discover, edify and motivate to support their children's welfare through all these sweeping experiences as the information gateway, social media, and even the expertise of qualified health coaches becomes easily accessible.
Coaching your kids to enjoy healthy eating is easier than you think if you can maintain an open mind, a little patience and a whole lot of creativity!
How can you coach your kids to eating more raw and full of the great foundations foods? Here are just a few ideas and don’t be afraid to make them your own!
Let’s go to the market field trip: Plan a visit to your favorite farmers market with your children to see what’s in season, or even the produce section of a regular supermarket. Encourage your kids to talk to the famers and to ask them questions about how the foods grow and how they like to eat them. Your children will enjoy learning about where the foods come from, recognize fruits and vegetables, smelling and admiring its colors and they will be more likely to try eating the foods they’ve learned about. When you get home, plan a trip to the park, pack a picnic with some of the goodies you got at the market and have a blast with them, kids will learn to appreciate Mother Nature as well as its fruits!
Grow with me: Planting a fruits, vegetables and herbs garden for sure will motivate kids to eat the fruit of their hard work. Gardens provide healthy snacks for kids and especially on the go, as well as opportunities to learn about how food grows.
Gardening will help develop useful skills for life by learning about sustainability, food cycles, working with nature and how to take care of the Earth. The best place for kid’s gardening is in their playing area, where they can reach, experiment, observe and play.
Be a Chef for the day: Kids love to cook regardless of their gender! Let your kid’s wash, peel and chop the veggies for recipes the whole family can enjoy. Get them a Chef hat, an apron and spoon, kids will gobble up the foods they help create.
Let’s eat a rainbow: Most kids love coloring rainbows and they responds with more enthusiasm and curiosity towards foods that they don’t normally care for when it comes to bright colors. Eating fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and spices and herbs of different colors gives our body a wide range of valuable nutrients. Let your kids know that eating foods of all different colors will provide them with nutrients that help them grow and allow their bodies to fight off invasion from bacteria and viruses. A creative way to get children thinking and eating outside their regular habits is by creating color days. For example, make an entire day “Orange Day”. Have them think of the many different ways to eating orange fruits and veggies. Or simply make them match the colors of a rainbow with fruits and vegetables and decorate a plate in a rainbow shape.
Playing with food is allowed: Kids naturally love to play, and who says that food should not be a form of play? If it gets your kids to eating healthy foods, where is the harm? For example, an old classic is to transform a simple celery stick into something entirely different and fun is by spreading raw peanut butter on top and adding some raisin “ants”. Small seeds such as hemp seeds or sesame seeds can be transformed into “magical sprinkle dust”. Take cookie cutters and transform whole sprouted bread slices into beautiful butterflies, stars, hearts or race cars.
Creating faces and shapes is also another a great way to spark your child's interest in healthy snack recipes for kids. Encouraging kids in a positive and voluntary way will allow them to explore and have fun by eating foods you never thought they would enjoy!
6 Fun Ideas On Plant-Based Raw Snacks.
- Green Smoothies and Natural Juices: Fabulous for chlorophyll, minerals, micro nutrients, and vitamins. These are an easy, delicious and nutritious, kid-friendly way of getting most of plant based raw foods, because parents can make it sweet and colorful which kids are attracted to. Either in a high-speed blender, food processor or juicer just add apples, carrots, cantaloupe or any other favorite fruit to give it a sweeter flavor to their taste. You can also use any frozen fruit base, such as bananas, pears, blueberries or peaches and add more nutritional value with hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, spirulina powder, or bee pollen. You can also add disease-fighting greens such as kale, spinach, or wheat-grass. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
- DIY Dips: Kids love dunking their foods into most dips, making your own just using a food processor can also be a great way of adding more nutrition in their diet. For example, making your own hummus.
Hummus, made with garbanzos is high in protein and no saturated fat. Start by adding a cup of raw sprouted garbanzos or lightly cooked garbanzo beans in a food processor, blend in liberal amounts of olive oil, tahini, sea salt to taste and a fresh lemon juice. You can also play around with adding garlic or red peppers for variety. This hummus is a HIT with most kids!
- Deconstructing Sushi: Seaweed is highly packed with valuable vitamins, minerals and very high in protein. Most parents assumed that kids wouldn’t even touch sushi, nevertheless, nori sheets. If you allow them to explore with their hands taking a small square (about 1 ½ inches) of a nori sheet, filling the inside with cooked brown rice, sesame seeds and a touch of low sodium soy sauce and turning them into a iridescent green “snowball” may entice them to eat them and even show off with their school mates by bringing them for their school lunch.
- Hocus Bogus Ice Cream, “non-dairy”: It does not get any easier than this. In a food processor, place frozen ripe banana chunks. Blend with other favorite fruits until you begin to form a creamy paste. Done! Put some in a bowl and enjoy. The texture and consistency is exactly like ice cream! Other frozen fruits can be used, even avocados but bananas work best because they are not very watery. Top with nuts, fresh fruit, or a homemade chocolate sauce made from equal parts raw cacao powder, a little melted coconut oil, and some raw honey or agave nectar to sweeten.
- Raw Fruit Pops: Just stick any peeled our cut fruit, put it in the freezer… and that’s it!
- Sprouting! Kids love to sprout and are so tasty, nutritious and fun! Mung, sunflower and bean are among kid’s favorites. They are crunchy and chewy.
Ultimately, kids love to have freedom and fun, let them explore, learn and create, when you least expected they would be adding an array of healthy plant based raw foods to their diet gaining a long, healthier and happy life!