Healthy Food – Going Raw For Kids

I had an email from Deana the other day asking about the best way to start eating raw when you have kids. This is possibly a question that many of you have asked so I thought I would post my answer to her, so you all may benefit. For those who may not be aware, a Raw Food ‘Diet’ Lifestyle is where 75% or more of what you eat is raw or uncooked (above 46 degrees C). Generally a vegetarian based eating style some even go as far as eating no animal products at all. So as well as no meat there are no dairy products, eggs or animal by-products. This is called being Vegan or Raw Vegan. Many Vegans do still consume processed foods like bread, biscuits, pasta and rice. You can certainly have cooked meals of vegetables and warm raw food that has not been heated above 46 degrees. It is easy to make raw soups that are warm by continuing the blending process for 5-8 minutes. At home we eat a 85-90% raw food diet with no bread or processed food and no dairy products. We do still eat eggs. I make almond milk and raw bread from the almond meal that is left from making the milk.

Going raw with a family seems daunting I know. Kids are however, very adaptable. Depending on your reason for wanting to go raw and how raw you want to go I actually think it won’t be too difficult. My biggest tip is to take it one step, one meal, one day at a time. And don’t try to trick them into eating raw food. There are lots of yummy options that you wouldn’t even know were raw. Just explain that you are trying something new. Get them involved with the meal preparation if you can. I always found my kids were more likely to eat something if they made it themselves.

Depending on their age, and what sort of ‘diet’ you have been eating, your biggest obstacle will be getting them off the processed sugars/foods. The convenience foods. This is what causes all the cravings. There are plenty of low GI natural sweeteners available that they will love (and you too) if they need things sweetened up. Rice Malt Syrup, Coconut Nectar, Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar, Maple Syrup to name a few. Fresh fruit with a handful of nuts (whole or chopped) is an amazing snack. The nuts help to balance the blood sugars and provide lots of amino acids for protein building, so it is more sustaining than just eating fruit alone. Have you ever had a couple of pieces of fruit and felt great and then half an hour later been starving again?

Once they get used to having 50% raw food on their plate at each meal though, you won’t have to worry about it. Start removing processed carbohydrates like white rice and pasta, bread if that’s possible and replace with salads full of sprouts, toasted pine nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and be creative with dressings if you can. Increase the amount of fruit and vegetable foods that they already like to eat and remove anything processed. If you need to have a cooked carb with lunch or dinner then go for roasted sweet potato or pumpkin or roast any root vegetable. Even zucchini and eggplant are great roasted. Also look at brown rice or quinoa.
It really is a matter of having something to follow, recipe ideas that are simple and sweet alternatives that you can make in bulk and have on hand. Being organised and prepared is also really, really important.

Kids are pretty switched on when it comes to most things, including food. If you put them in front of a buffet, they will naturally go for the fresh fruit and vegetables. However, we are the role models so be the very best food role model that you can. Please email me through the contact page with more specific questions if you have any.

With Love and Gratitude, Rochelle

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