Friday, October 23, 2009

Children on a Raw Food Diet

Can children thrive on a raw foods eating plan? That is a question that is asked by so many who are contemplating the transition to eating more raw foods. I've perused many websites, read numerous articles and the views and opinions are so varied it makes you wonder why bother.

I've come to the point where I trust my own instincts and the advice of my husband when it comes to our eating plan. We both agree that an eating plan that incorporates raw food as the majority is the ideal for any person. We don't necessarily subscribe to the view that one has to be 100% raw to be healthy but we know and believe that greater health is gained when the diet is more raw than cooked.  What is your opinion?  Do you think children can thrive on a raw food?

We have two boys ages 6 and 7. Obviously they are in the formative stages of their lives and need to have all the necessary vitamins, nutrients, foods and drinks for their growth and vitality. In my quest to eat what's best I will not sacrifice their health. This isn't an all or nothing situation. It's a journey of discovery, a continual improving, an ongoing changing of habits. I am thoroughly enjoying the process. I love cooking and all the flavors and textures that go with different types of dishes. This is a challenge I welcome - discovering new ways to serve fruits and vegetables both cooked and raw. My boys and my husband have been the guinea pigs in my experiments. We have some keepers and we have some that will never grace our table again.

The tool that I use to gauge whether we are eating as we should is the Vegetarian/Vegan Food pyramid. I posted about it some time ago and since finding that piece of information I've been a bit more relaxed in my mind because I have a guideline of sorts.

I believe that children can thrive on a raw food diet. It just takes careful monitoring of what they eat to ensure that they get all they need. I also believe that some sort of supplementation is necessary so that when we have times of busyness or sickness or financial shortage they will still be getting the nutrients they need. What do you think?  Do you subscribe to the trend of thought that no supplementation is necessary or do you think it is?

Here are some examples of the kind of snacks my boys eat:

 Grapes and sugar cane

Popcorn and orange wedges

Guava and pineapple

Papaya, ripe bananas, pineapple

Smoothie, peanuts, raisins, pistachio nuts

There are lots more pictures I could show you but the point is this.  There are enough varieties of  foods out there to feed children instead of all the sugar laden, chemically produced, artificial things out there that are being presented as food.  As to supplementation I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.  Share websites you've found helpful and resources you've come across.  I am constantly learning and would love to get some more information to use for the health of my family.

Edited to add - I did a search on Amazon and found these books.  Thought they might be helpful to you. Enjoy.



  1. I just LOVE this post! Thank you so much for sharing about your family's (in particular your children's) journey with raw food diet. I have a big interest in the raw food diet and have at least one complete raw food meal a week and go from there.

  2. Whereas I do think that you could survive on these foods, I don't think I personally could. I like cooking, variety and the occasional fat laden, sugar encrusted treat, as, I must admit, do my kids. I do think an increase in raw foods is truly a great idea though. As a family,we love fruit, smoothies and raisins and a wide range of salad and vegetable items. Good luck with your journey. x

  3. What great snack ideas! These look like some of the things I would give my children. We don't follow a raw foods diet, but we do practice a whole foods approach to eating, cutting out refined foods, using only natural alternatives to sugar and eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. I am shocked at the eating habits of other children, especially my own niece and nephew, whom hardley ever snack on fruits, popcorn or cheese. I am so thankful that God opened my eyes to the whole foods way of eating so that my children may benefit from having optimum nutrition! Just one question: how are you ensuring that your children get adequate protein? I have always wondered how one achieves this on a vegetarian/vegan diet.

  4. Hi Quiskaeya,
    Way to go! That's awesome - having one complete raw meal is a wonderful way to start and increase your good health.

    Hi Helen,
    It sounds like you're doing a whole lot better than most when you mention "loving fruit, smoothies and raisins and a wide range of salad and vegetable items". Like I said it's not an all or nothing. The "fat laden, sugar encrusted treat" as you put it may not be the best thing to put in your body but if the rest of what you eat is healthful then no worries. Enjoy. The challenge for most people is the word occasional, it's more like everyday, several times a day.

    Hi Alexis,
    The whole foods idea is wonderful. I am not so shocked when I see the eating habits of other children around me but I am amazed that their parents don't make the extra effort to do differently especially in the land where we live that is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Almost everyone has some sort of family member or friend who has a garden and can get the stuff for free or minimal cost but they don't take advantage of that God-given blessing.

    As to the protein question, I will answer that in a later post.

  5. Alexis and I have very similar diets. One of the things my husband told me when I started to change our diet, was "You can do anything you want, jut don't take away my bacon or my coffee!" I'm trying to do more raw foods, though. I respect a vegan diet, as long as there are enough healthy fats and protein present. Growing kids really need a lot of good fat and protein. We use a lot of coconut oil and eat a lot of nuts (soaked and dried) and cooked beans. That's my take on it. Great post!

  6. Everything looks so good. I believe children can survive eating mostly raw foods. I agree with you about not being 100%. It is not necessary for one to be 100% in order to be healthy.
    Interesting post and great information!

  7. Hi Cheesemakin' Mama,
    I too understand a vegan diet but we chose to eat fish and eggs as part of our eating plan. We also eat a lot cooked beans as well and some nuts. Except for peanuts, nuts here are rather highly priced. We do have a lot of almond trees that nobody seems to pay attention to especially along the beaches so I've been toying with the idea of picking up those that have fallen whenever we get the chance and adding them to our arsenal. FREE is good. Thanks for adding what you do to the discussion.

    Hi Evelyn,
    It does, doesn't it? :) There are those who subscribe to the all or nothing school of thought but I think it sometimes leads to feeling like a failure when one does not succeed whereas if you aim for excellent health you feel much better about yourself and your choices. Thanks for sharing in this discussion.

  8. I haven't heard much about raw food plan but it certainly looks healthy and full!! My little one LOVES fruit and dried raisons and nuts.

  9. Hi Emma,
    The raw food plan is very healthy and full. Keep on feeding your little one with those fruits, raisins and nuts and make sure to include lots of leafy green vegetables and other vegetables as well.

  10. I fully agree! Our children (ages 6 and 4) have been vegetarian their entire lives, and we incorporate daily servings of raw foods into their diets. We get the "are they getting enough nutrients" question a lot, and it puzzles both my husband and me because we wonder whether they really think the meat from a McDonald's burger or frozen chicken nuggets are actually healthy sources of protein??!! Thanks for the information. I always find your food-related posts extremely informative!

  11. I'm happy to hear that you find my posts informative.  You know, as you mentioned about wondering whether they really think that the protein from the nuggets and Mc Donalds are a good source - I never thought of it that way.  And thinking about it that's really amusing.

  12. Raw foods that are mostly fresh fruits are what kids are loving. It could be part of their everyday meal. Preparing a large amount of these foods would make them more healthy. Raw food detox diet is also vital for children so that they could develop a good nutrient absorption.

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