Category Archives: Raw kids

Making Nut Milk

Thanks to the wonders of our new nut milk bag my oldest son has now progressed to making the almond milk for me each week. Using a cheesecloth was such a drag and a messy operation too. Hooray for nut milk bags!

At $7.95 per bag they might seem expensive but we would go through several packages of cheesecloth a month so we are saving money actually. To clean I just flip it inside out and rinse well under hot water and I hang it to air dry.

Making Almond Milk

nut milk jar

Veggie Pops for Kids

Spinach Popsicles

We are big on green smoothies in our house. We usually make them once or twice a day at least and I load them full of healthy, leafy greens and veggies. So even if my kids don’t want to eat veggies with dinner I do not worry because they already have two to three servings in their bodies already thanks to green smoothies.

With summer around the corner it is even easier to accomplish this with delicious warm weather treats. Our green smoothies become green Popsicles in just a few hours! How many other parents would LOVE to get their kids to eat 3-4 servings of leafy greens a day?

The prinicple is the same, just mix leafy greens and veggies with fruit in a blender and pour the mixture into popsicle molds. For added sweetness you can use a bit of raw agave nectar but a ripe banana is usually sufficient. My kids love these so much they go through a dozen every two days so obviously they are pretty darn tasty. The fact that they are healthy too is a big bonus.

Because so many plastics have nasty ingredients that can leach, I also make sure to use BPA Free Popsicle molds. We like the stars and rockets Tovolo popsicle molds.

Here is an easy green Popsicle recipe that my kids love. I am sure yours will too.

Electric Green Popsicles

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas

1 medium pineapple

2-3 cups spinach or other leafy green

Water

Blend until smooth and pour into molds.

Eating a Veggie Pop

Is a Raw Vegan Diet Safe for Kids?

Child eating salad

This is a very common question that I get and one that actually surprises me. Not because it isn’t a very good question but often because it comes from parents who have never really analyzed their children’s diet before. Many parents are feeding their kids processed foods, a variety of cooked meals, meat and dairy, etc and yet they don’t think to ask if THAT diet is particularly healthy. They don’t analyze every food and wonder if their kids are getting adequate nutrition. Why? Because the majority are eating that way. If everyone else is doing it then it must be healthy right?

But when words like raw and vegan get tossed into the mix many parents will shy away and start asking: Is that healthy? Will my kids get adequate nutrition? Because it is unfamiliar and not the societal norm, it gets scrutinized as a potentially unhealthy or substandard way to eat.

Like I said these are good questions to ask but my question is…why are you waiting until NOW to ask that? Ideally this is something you should have already been studying and analyzing and you should already have a good idea of how to determine if your kids are malnourished. But yet when kids eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) put on a little too much weight, develop cavities, have behavioral problems, get colds often, or suffer from a chronic problem like asthma or eczema…parents don’t often associate that with malnourishment. But they can be. A raw vegan diet is closer to what their little bodies were designed to eat than ANYTHING else on this planet and any move in that direction is healthier for them. There are no essential nutrients found in meat, legumes, grains, or dairy products that are not also available in fruits, veggies, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. 

David Wolfe, one of the world’s leading authorities on nutrition, states, “A carefully chosen raw-food diet containing organic fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, superfoods, and herbs with appropriate supplements works beautifully for both children and older adults.”

That said it is still important to look for signs of malnourishment in kids who eat lots or even ALL raw vegan foods. Not because the diet is risky but because you should be doing that anyway. Every parent should, and raw vegan parents are no exception. While a diet of fresh raw foods is optimal in my book we can’t just take for granted that all their needs are being met.

It is important that parents understand how to supplement and provide all the nutrient rich foods needed for the amounts of Vitamin D, B-12, Choline, Vitamin K, Iron, and DHA that a lot people, including raw foodies, tend to be deficient in due to lack of education. There are many rich sources like leafy greens, raw seeds, sprouts, and even the sun that will give you what you need; and in some cases there may be the need for supplements depending on how the food your kids consume if grown. Soil conditions, pollution, even hereditary problems can mean that vitamins and minerals are not being absorbed the way they should be.

 

Be observant! If you see dark sunken eyes, tooth decay, an underweight child, or any other symptoms that might mean their nutrition is less than optimal…fix it! Many raw parents have opted to use supplements just to make sure they are covering all their bases. Some possibilities include:

 

  • Soya lecithin
  • Vitamin K2
  • Vitamin D
  • B12
  • Vegan DHA from seaweed

Supplementation may be especially important if your kids are not eating enough greens. Dark leafy greens are VERY important. I absolutely loved the book Green for Life as it explains this beautifully.

We share an amazing 99.4% of our DNA sequence with Chimpanzees. In fact, many scientists believe they actually should be classified as humans! They have the same A-B-O blood groupings as we do. We are also closely related to Gorillas. With all of the similarities between us why do they not also have our degenerative diseases? Their diet! A Chimpanzee’s diet consists of 50% fruit, 43% greens, 5% pith, bark, and seeds, and 3% insects and on rare occasions…small animals. Are we eating diets proportional or even remotely similar to that?

Plant proteins from leafy greens are an essential part of a healthy diet. Green Smoothies for Kids are very beneficial and nutritious.

I encourage all parents to help their child(ren) see the benefits and wonders of raw foods and rest assured that as long as they remain observant, the children will get everything they need.

The BEST book on this subject is Evie’s Kitchen. It is written by a raw mom who documented the first 4-5 years of her raw child’s life.

Evie’s Kitchen Book Review

Last night I dived into Evie’s Kitchen – Raising an Ecstatic Child. It wasevies kitchen even better than I imagined when I anxiously ordered it a few weeks back.

If you have been living in the raw food world for any length of time you most likely have heard of Shazzie. She is a raw food guru who lives in England and Evie is her adorable daughter. The book Evie’s Kitchen is her story as a raw child and it is truly a magical book. I particularly enjoyed it as I have a daughter who is only a couple months older than Evie…I kept thinking I wish we lived in England so they could be playmates.

The book chronicles what it is like in full detail to raise raw kids…the joys, the struggles, the need for supplementation, etc. It is also a book about natural and attached mothering as Evie was breastfed for 4 years, co-slept, was worn in a sling, never given a vaccine, and was treated in a manner respectful of her nature. Unschooling is even mentioned in the book. It really was like finding the diary of an admirable natural mom and child and following them on a journey from birth to age 4. I loved that Evie is being allowed to grow up wild and carefree and getting the best possible nutritional start. I thought I put a lot of effort into child nutrition but this book schooled me.

Shazzie did not try to make herself look like the perfect mom either. She talked about depression, yelling at Evie in moments of weakness, fights she got into with Evie’ father, and nutritional mistakes she made that she learned from. Seeing that other side of her coupled with the amazing way she and Evie are together, fully chronicled with hundreds of pictures, was a rare treasure. The photos are gorgeous, the many recipes sound and look delicious, and Evie really captures your heart… a true child of the wild…so beautiful. If only all children could have a small piece of that.

I highly recommend all moms read this gem… especially if you are a natural, attached parent and want to get the perspective of someone successfully living those principles. It is a great read for moms of little girls too.

The nutritional information about supplementation and raising raw kids is great for raw families as well. Enjoy!

ek_pages

Asian Pears

asian pear

My oldest son (8) has decided he wants to try one new fruit each week. I am not sure where he got the idea but it sounds good to me. Today he picked his first… a big, orangey colored, Asian pear. It was ridiculously priced of course at $3.08. But the verdict was good. He shared a small bit with me and his two siblings and we all liked it. It was IMO a very firm pear with tough skin. It smelled kinda woodsy and it is VERY sweet… like candy sweet. While it was tasty I am not sure if we will be buying more…maybe if they are on sale. Until that time regular pears will do just fine.

Next up he says he wants to try a Plumello. In a few weeks I might make a trip to the Asian market to get him a Durian….that would be an adventure for him. ;)

Photo credit

Raw Family Book Review

Over the weekend I read Raw Family again. It really is an awesome book raw familywritten by the Boutenko family. It follows their story and how bad their health was. The mom was told she had heart disease and might die in only a few months. The father was told that a wheelchair was in his near future and that if he couldn’t slow his pulse down, he too would die soon. The son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and the daughter had nightly asthma attacks. They were in pretty bad shape.

Victoria (the mom) couldn’t make any sense out of all the contradictory health advice she was getting in books and from doctors. So she started looking around when she was in public trying to spot the healthiest most vibrant people she came across and ask them what they were doing. This is how she met a woman on a raw, vegan diet and that is what spurred the whole family to go cold turkey raw, vegan. Within a couple months the family ran a marathon together and all their ailments reversed including the heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes.

The story is told in part by each family member. My favorite part is when the family hiked the Pacific Crest Trail together…it is a dream of mine too.

Raw Family  is kind of small so you can easily get it finished in single evening. I highly recommend it!

Raw Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here. Are you prepared? If not you may want to pick up my Raw Kids Recipes book with several recipes that would be a tasty addition to any Thanksgiving Feast too. Since Persimmons are in season why not make the delicious Persimmon Pudding with a scoop of Raw Ice Cream? The Mini Tomatoes with Pine Nut Cheese or the Mushroom Caps would make great appetizers. The Imitation Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Chickpea Crunchies, and Almond Milk could replace regular mashed potatoes, steamed peas, and Egg Nog. There are many ways to make this year’s celebration a whole lot healthier by adding delicious and nutritious raw food dishes! All you need to do is pick up the Raw Kids Recipes un-cookbook and make a commitment to better health!

Got a Thanksgiving recipe to share? Comment below!

Recipes for Raw Kids

Eating raw definitely presents challenges. I think that applies double for eating raw with kids because they just haven’t developed a taste for many of the things adults like and eat. Kids can be picky. However, getting kids eating raw early will not only help them nutritionally it will also allow them to develop a taste for foods in their natural state. Conventional, processed foods with chemical sweeteners and nasty preservatives kind of destroy their palate IMO. After a few years of candy bars a slice of watermelon is less than exciting. Kids need to get on the raw food bandwagon early!

So I am delighted to share a product with parents that will no doubt help in this regard. The Recipes for Raw Kids Un-Cookbook! It has nearly 90 pages of information and and recipes for raw kids including no cook pizza, lemon cookies, Persimmon Pudding, Carrot-Jicama Nori Rolls, and Celery Soup!

It also has a list of tips to help your kids appreciate and EAT raw foods. Check it out:

Raw Kids Recipes Book

Ready for Apples?!

Who doesn’t love to eat apples? Some are tangy, some are sour, some are sweet but they are alwaysKids love apples! delicious! Snagging a fresh one off the tree is a divine and healthy treat. And we are just coming into apple season. There is an orchard near me that my kids call the apple barn. Every year we go to an apple festival and pick fresh apples, go on a hayride through the orchard, and the kids ride ponies. We can’t wait to go again this year.

Did you know you could eat a different apple every day for more than 19 years, and never eat the same kind twice?! There are more than 7,500 different varieties.

The scientific name for the apple is Malus domestica. The apple is a fall fruit. In spring, flowers begin to spring forth on the trees. They are white and pink with five petals. Eventually the petals fall off so the apples can begin to grow.

 

The fruit is picked in the fall as they ripen and you don’t need an orchard to enjoy a fresh picked apple. One tree will yield enough apples for a single family to eat and share. We hope to plant one soon.

 

The apple tree did not originate in Asia. It is believed that apple trees predate other fruit trees. Biblical people picture the forbidden fruit as an apple. Early wild apples were small and didn’t taste very good. The Romans learned to turn this “wild child” into a civilized type that people could eat. The results were varieties similar to what we eat today. They were sweet and had white flesh that was tasty.

 

Alexander the Great is credited with introducing the Grecian society to dwarf apples. On one of his campaigns into Asia Minor, he brought back these trees. Apples were viewed as special treats. No we are told to eat one a day to keep the doctor away.

 

Colonists brought the apple to America when they first settled here. They couldn’t bring trees on the long sea voyage from England so they carried seeds instead. The seeds were planted and flourished as apple seeds.

 

The most memorable story of apple cultivation is that of Johnny Appleseed. He is kind of an American folk hero. He made it his life’s work to bring the beauty and taste of the apple to people all across America. Wherever he went, he taught people how to grow apple trees and tend their own orchards. Thanks to him, the industry grew.

 

Apples and Pears are in season so why not make some apple-pear fruit leathers!

 

How to Make Apple-Pear Fruit Leathers:

 

Sort, wash, pare and core apples and pears. Cut the fruit into slices or chunks that can be puréed or ground easily and use a food processor or blender to puree. Spread out thinly on teflex non-stick dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 6-8 hours. Remove teflex sheets and flip fruit leather over and continue dehydrating until desired moisture is obtained.

 

These fruit leathers are an excellent snack for children and adults alike and are much better for you than a candy bar!