raw food ideas for kids
raw food ideas for kids
I’ve been eating close to 100% raw for the past few months, but i’m still making my kids (ages 6 and 3) typical food (sandwiches, steamed veg., pasta, etc).
My younger son is not much of a fruit or veg. eater (lots of cheese and carbs) but daughter is quite open. I would love some suggestions and/or recipes!
keep it simple. have a variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, dried fruit and nutmilks available to graze on. have them involved in the process of throwing greens and fruits in the blender for smoothies. together with them, make collages and pictures with spinach leaves, veggies and fruits on a platter. have big lettuce leaves out and let them fill them with their choice of fruits, veggies and nut butters. we do these things very simply but occasionally make my kids homemade oatmeal/flax pancakes; eggs; some seed and sprouted breads with nutbutters and jam; pasta; and yogurt.
They won’t starve. they may complain for awhile, but they won’t starve. : )
kids are amazing and will develop a zeal when you let them play in your world!! involve them in all of it. we have wonderful conversations about life, food, stewardship, the earth and God with our kids and are constantly wowed by what they absorb and contribute.
My kids aren’t raw, but I’ve found that even my pickiest youngest one will eat/drink a green smoothie. I used to hide the fact that I was throwing handfuls of greens in at the end because they would have taken off running in the other direction, but now they see it, know that’s how they’ve been drinking them all along.
I’ve stopped buying white flour and sugar (or any products made with them) and grind up my own flour & use un-refined sugars. Some of my kids complained at first (especially when I stopped buying fake maple syrup), but they’ve all come to say that the way I make things is much better than what they get at their friends’ homes now. Three cheers for that!
thanks for ideas – i think the most difficult thing is the transition. my son is very picky right now – he refuses to try anything new (he ate everything as a baby). Right now he’ll eat just eat a few fruits (strawberries, banana and grapes) and
hardly any veg. I don’t buy any processed foods or sugary stuff, but i still think they could eat a more balanced diet. It doesn’t have to be 100% raw.
i make them all the time, but without greens. nondairy queen – how old were your kids and when did you start making the green smoothies?
mamamilk – you’re right that the kids love the process of making food and playing with it too :o)
mimo22 – two of my seven year old’s favorites – her favorite breakfast is an apple chopped, mixed with raw almond butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Her favorite dish to make is salad people from Molly Katzen. Cut up fruit and veg for different body parts, face, hair, you can use dried fruit for the face, spiralized carrots for hair, etc. etc. You just need to have some time to do it. They may look at a fruit or veg in a new way (“that would make a great body!”) kind of thing.
She also likes raw cashews and pistachios, carrot sticks and dip, guacamole, Zoe’s cheese with spring onions, berries, melon.
The picky stage will pass. My daughter ate crazy healthy as a baby and toddler and eventually rejected everything at least once, but it always passed – except for mushrooms and asparagus.
I wasn’t a raw kid, but my mother did always make sure I ate healthy and vegan. I remember one of my absolute favorite things was a peanut butter and jelly “sandwich” made with fruit leathers and nutbutter in the middle. I liked it because it was so messy! I lovvvvvved fruit leathers. That would be a good way to incorporate the flavors of fruit but introducing it like candy. If you made your own, maybe adding some greens to a berry one. so that it’s disguised as healthy?
I also really liked popsicles. My mom made so many popsicles! Depending on how old your kids are, buy a couple of fun-shaped molds (we had ones in the shape of fruit slices and mickey mouse heads), and put basically any smoothie recipe into the mold and freeze it for more “secretly healthy” foods.
Making sure your kids eat healthy really does make allthe difference. My older sister was raised in her very early years as a meat eater and such, before my mom had her healthfood revelation, and she is still overweight and a SAD eater. I, on the other hand, was raised vegetarian/vegan, and have always been health conscious and active. I’m 21, and still thankful for how I was raised.
And Amysue is totally spot-on about making healthy foods into fun shapes! I remember making cookies into letters and spelling out my name and stuff. I remember building vegetable and fruit castles! And what’s more, is that decades later, I still remember these things! If you start now, they will have such an incredible lasting impression on your kids….GOOD FOR YOU
this morning the kids had melon, mango and blueberries and they used toothpicks and made fruit ‘shish kabobs’. Very fun.
re: popsicles – made a recipe for chocolate ones the other day (avocado, agave, and small amount of unsweetened cocoa) –
they thought that was a real treat.
now i’ll work on the vegetables – love the idea of salad people :o)
Mimo—I started making green smoothies a year or so ago. Trying to do the math here :) My kids were 4, 7 1/2, 11, 13, 15, and 17. The only ones still stubborn about them are the 13 and 15 year olds.
I used to make fruit smoothies before (for the past 8+ years) and I just added greens to what we already loved.
My youngest (now 5 1/2) is a SUPER PICKY eater too. He has a small list of what he’ll eat and is skeptical of anything he’s not sure of. So I was afraid that when he saw the greens going in, he might rebel and say “I didn’t know that was in there” (although he is intigued that I eat leaves and has willingly taken bites before just to see if it’s anything like I say it will be—and never gets beyond a fraction of a bite). Anyway, he was fine with it, even knowing. Yay for that!
I’m actually finding lately that if I remove what he’s used to, after a few days, he’ll get desperate enough to eat or drink something else. This is Dr. Fuhrman’s experience working with picky kids. (He talks about it in his book “Disease-Proof Your Children.”)
For example this week, we ran out of store-bought wheat bread. So I made some. He kept telling me yesterday and today that he wouldn’t eat it (he used to when he was about 3 and turned away from it). Tonight he was so hungry before bed that he said he’d try a little. After a miniscule bite, he said he still didn’t like it. About 10 minutes later, he said, “I think I’ll try that again” and took a few hesistant bites until he was eating away.
He did this about a month ago when I ran out of juice. He wasn’t drinking water, but after a day or so of no juice, he started filling up his glass with water. Such a stubborn little guy!
nondairyqueen – my son seems like your youngest son. He is so opinionated now about what he does NOT like. If I put something on his plate that he’s not used to, he cries and cries and refuses to eat the whole meal. I just say, ‘ok, that’s what’s for dinner’ and then usually after he’s had a good cry he comes back to investigate. The thing is he still won’t try very much at
all. I really hope it improves!
Dr Fuhrman – makes sense. i’ll try.
my kids are 3 and almost 6, and they were the PICKIEST eaters. Of course, for a long time I was eating badly, not really eating much, just didn’t want to bother, so for sure they modeled me. They were eating hot dogs, pizza, whatever—they were underweight and my ped said they should eat whatever they can and will.
Since I have been raw, they have been much more open to eating healthier. I am transitioning them to vegetarian now, and while a raw foodist might look at their diet and say “unhealthy” it is a big thing for them. THey are eating brown rice, tofu, vegetables like spinach and corn and carrots, lots of fruit, and smoothies. They eat whole grain french toast with flax, tofu scramble and quinoa. Basically I started cooking from Beyond Peanut Butter and Jelly, which is a veg book geared towards kids. THey really like it. They also like nuts: cashews, almonds in particular. Mix it with goji berries and you’ve got a snack!
As far as the raw: I offer LOTS of fruits all day. My youngest loves berries, and my older one is more and more inlined to ask for fruit as a snack. When they’re playing in their room or watching tv, I bring in a big bowl of fruit.
Veggie are harder (raw ones i mean). They like carrots okay, but don’t love them. They will eat them with hummos, but again, not tons. For me, it’s a slow process. Given that 3 months ago they were eating like crap and now they eat quinoa, melon, berries, bananas, smoothies and more, it’s a huge change.
Oh, and smoothies are a great way to bring more raw into their lives. My boys love blueberry spinach smoothies in the morning!!!
If I had kids I would serve them a raw peanut butter and banana sandwich (the recipe is on this site.) This would definitely be a start. If you can convince them to switch from eating a few cooked items to raw ones every now and then than you are making good progress. Eventually they will see how much better raw food is. Just remember it is a slow process. I remember the first time I took a bite of gluten free bread (after having been diagnosed with celiac disease) and how aweful I thought it was just because it didn’t taste like the “real” stuff. But eventually I began to like it even more than the gluten bread. It is just what you get use to. But now I eat raw bread and let me tell you, it is the best bread in the world, especially the raisin flax bread I make. Your son might like almond butter spread on celery or even a banana spread with almond butter, or apples dipped in nut butter. Hope this helps!
My kids are about 60% raw. This morning I made them almond-butter and banana sandwiches on raw banana-nut bread. THey also ate some freeze-dried mango on the side with some pasturized juice (I have difficulty juicing for them so I use pasturized). I will make them some raw apple pancakes for lunch with maple syrup and they might have grilled chicken and steamed veggies for dinner (my kids don’t care for raw veggies but will inhale steamed). For snacks they will eat tons of fresh and dried fruits. Popsicles are great for outdoors. They love raw smoothies (although we have yet to work greens into them that they will like). They also like raw puddings, raw chocolate/truffles, and sometimes raw cookies. I avoid sugar, gluten, soy, dairy, artificial colors/preservatives. When I do buy meat I try to get organic free range. Occationally I will buy Ian’s allergy free chicken nuggets or fish sticks and soy-free organic freezer fries for quick meals. They also eat a lot of eggs cooked in just olive oil and salt. But the majority of food they eat is raw.
Some other things they like are sliced avocado on crazy bread (see recipe on goneraw), raw cereal (fresh and dried fruit and buckwheat with almond mylk), and ice cream made from bananas or frozen fruit. For special occations I will make a raw fondue (cheese and chocolate)...they LOVE that but what a mess! ;0)
For me, I try to be as raw as possible with the kids but when they are not eating raw I try to make them foods that are as healthy as possible (food allergies and convenience taken into consideration)
Just a side note: my kids rebelled for the first 2 weeks of being “raw” and wouldn’t eat. I would make them a raw meal and if they didn’t like it they had the alternative of eating raw fruit…nothing else. At that time I actually filled the bottom drawer of my fridge with cut fruit and veggies for them to get when they were hungry. This gave them some sense of “power” over what they had to eat but they were still eating raw…win-win. They also didn’t care for smoothies during that period but now will inhale 16oz each in a heartbeat. Now we don’t use the bottom drawer anymore (I need my fridge space) but during that period they got used to eating/snacking raw.
Aziah – I love the fridge idea since my daughter is getting so much more independent, she would love to help herself.
NonDairyQueen – I LOVED the Brady Bunch picture of your family!!
I have a problem recently with my daughter publicly complaining about our raw food lifestyle to friends and family in front of me, when she’s perfectly happy eating it at home. She’s giving off this victim-vibe of she’s the poor girl with the raw Mom. Anyone else get this?