Tips for Feeding a Healthy Child
1. Teach the value of “You are what you eat.”
Foods naturally have the qualities that we as humans may or may not want to experience personally - if you are what you eat, then teach children that they can choose how they want to feel with their food. If you want energy, eat raw and living foods that have living energy. If you want to feel depleted, eat processed foods out of a box that have had their nutrients depleted.
2. Choose real food over fake food.
Real food grows in the ground or walked around (or swam around too!) It generally has only one ingredient, will spoil if left out for too long, and usually doesn’t come in a bag, box, wrapper, or package.
3. Experiment with superfoods.
Superfoods are simply foods with superior levels of nutrition. Use these wonders of nature to insure that children receive the maximum amounts of nutrients possible. Foods such as goji berries, chlorella, ground chia and flax, reishi and chaga mushrooms are inventive ways to sneak the nutrition in. (Young children do well with grasses, for example, and will begin to train their taste buds toward alkaline foods.) As with any new foods, introduce one at a time. Start with trace amounts and work up to recommended serving size for children.
4. Don’t give up!
Try a new food 10x at least before you call it quits. Children (and acclimating taste buds) need several attempts before new tastes and textures feel right.
5. Take a tip or two from the raw foodists.
Raw foodists are vegans who don’t cook anything over 118ºF. These restrictions force raw chefs to be very creative - they sprout grains instead of boiling them, make cheeses out of nuts, and use veggies like zucchini to make "spaghetti." While a complete raw vegan lifestyle is not the optimal choice for most people, there are many simple, easy-to-incorporate, healthy and FUN tricks to be learned here.
6. Make every bite as nutrient-dense as possible - even (and especially) snacks.
Think of every choice in this way: Is this a healthy option, or it is taking the place of a healthy option? A bag of chips is taking up the space where a real-food snack like fruit or nuts could exist. SUPER-CHARGE your snacks! When on the go, grab a carrot, grapes, an apple, a handful of nuts or a homemade trail mix. These kinds of REAL food snacks truly provide children AND parents with sustained energy.
7. Eat together and never in front of the television.
This encourages mindful eating and meaningful meals rather than shoveling food in with no connection to how food makes a body feel. Humans ingest EVERYTHING in their surroundings, stress to loving words and laughter.