(Rip’s daughter, Sophie)
Day 2: “What about my kids, can they be plant-strong?”
A. Not only can they be plant-strong, they will definitely thrive on a plant-strong diet and get all of the nutrition they need.
Children follow many of the same principles of healthy eating, as adults. So long as they are getting enough plant-strong calories they are going to thrive nutritionally. For healthy fats, use avocado, seeds or nuts, but there isn’t a need for them to get excess amounts of concentrated fats like oils (just like adults).
We think it is important to remember that many children in this country are not healthy, nor eating anywhere near a plant-strong diet. Because of this we see a lot of physicians who are having a hard time coming up with good dietary guidelines, because of the health crisis of children in our country.
What if your child doesn’t like greens?
Many children do not develop a taste for greens until later in life. You can focus on the more starchy vegetables like, peas, green-beans, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes and then start to add on top of that. Add in greens slowly, and try not to “sneak” them in. We find that kids who are exposed to different vegetables a little over time do a lot better, than kids who have greens/veggies disguised somehow.
*Of course some kids LOVE greens, they should definitely be encouraged. We just don’t want parents to worry if their children don’t happen to love greens at the moment.
Tip from Ann Esselstyn: Try using dark green romain lettuce leaves, and putting some hummus or a little nut butter on it, and rolling it up! The dark green romain lettuce seems to taste sweeter to kids than a lot of other vegetables.
For some tips and nutrition guidelines for children (babies – teens) check out this helpful chart by PCRM.
For breastfeeding moms, you will need to slightly increase your caloric intake, and you might consider adding a little bit more of healthy fats. Aside from that you won’t have to change much of your diet. (Please talk to your doctor and lactation consultant if you have anything that you are worried about specifically).
Do you have plant-strong kids? What has helped them make the transition?