The Daily Beet

08 Jun Family Friday: Amanda’s Family!

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Every week we feature a plant-strong family. This week we hear from plant-strong Mom, Amanda.
“My name is Amanda, a 34 year old stay-at-home mom to Clara (3 1/2) and Soren (18 months). After watching ‘Forks Over Knives,’ my husband and I decided to participate in the Engine 2 Diet 28-day challenge through Whole Foods.
We jumped right in and knew that we were going to make these life altering changes for our whole family. I never really had any fears about changing their diet…with the exception of dealing with the food wishes/demands of my independent three year old!
It appeared that our families did have more concerns like “How will they get enough calcium, fat, protein, nutrients, etc.?” For some reason, I did feel like I had to “justify” changing the kids’ diet and “being healthier” sadly didn’t seem to cut it. I suspected that my daughter had a dairy sensitivity and eliminating dairy in our house became my justification to family and friends and seemed to curb any criticism. The fact that I talked about all of this with our pediatrician seemed to calm any worries our families had as well.
The first thing we changed in their diet was DAIRY. Almost immediately, it became evident that my three year old and myself were practically ‘addicted’ to cheese! She continued to ask for it daily. One night, while playing at her grandma’s house, Clara saw a slice of fake, plastic cheese amidst the play food. She literally ran to the basket of play food, grabbed the fake slice of cheese and tried to take a bite out of it! At that moment, I realized that her little body also goes through with-drawls and cravings.
We just stuck with it, got through the old cravings; today she does not want cheese even if it is offered and she is clearly healthier. Since eliminating dairy in her diet, Clara no longer has a ‘tummy ache’ once or twice a day and she never has trouble with constipation like she did before the changes. My son was 14 months old when we made these changes and he was much easier to transition. I had just stopped nursing him, so after speaking with our pediatrician we decided to give him rice milk in his sippy cup with meals. I know this isn’t recommended with a true plant-strong diet, but my son likes the milk and it works for us.
I have so many mom friends who struggle with getting their toddlers and preschoolers to eat vegetables. They are so amazed when they hear that my three year old actually requests KALE! They want to know how I prepare it, serve it and what I hide it in. They are quite surprised when I say that it is just torn in pieces, steamed and seasoned with a touch of sea salt and garlic and Clara likes to eat it with her fingers. The key is that Clara sees Mommy and Daddy eat it all the time! And eventually, after putting it in front of her multiple times, she decided to try to it and realized she liked it!! Now Clara is the role-model for her little brother and he wants to eat everything his big sister eats 🙂 It is a lovely cycle!”
Thank you Amanda!
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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Dawn
    Posted at 10:32h, 08 June

    I really hope to be just like this for my kids! I don’t have any yet, but when I do they will not grow up on chocolate milk and chicken nuggets!!!

  • jennika wasilewsky
    Posted at 10:45h, 08 June

    I find it odd people seem to think you have to justify your diet. They are over worried that a plant based diet won’t be enough nutrition. Calcium is in vegetables and so is protein their chemical breakdown equals that of dairy and meat products. In other words calcium is calcium not matter which source. Your decision to chose a plant based source shows pride for your family!

  • Celina Alderman
    Posted at 12:19h, 08 June

    What great news! I have 2 very picky eaters. I’m not looking forward to their complaints but I know that they will appreciate this when they are men. Our target date to begin is June 15; my hubby didn’t want to waste any food in the fridge. Silly man!) We are starting our own garden as we do not have a Whole Foods Market or any other organic food store nearby. I picked the easiest way possible for growing; aeroponics wins! If it sounds interesting, check it out at alderman.towergarden.com. Blessings galore!!!!

  • Cathy
    Posted at 01:03h, 09 June

    Way to go Amanda! I sure wish I’d stopped eating dairy and started eating kale when I was three. Your children are so fortunate that you’ve embraced this way of eating.

  • Kate
    Posted at 07:34h, 11 June

    We did that with veggies 30 years ago. We ate them (I pretended to like them.) The children just ate them as a matter of course. Unfortunately, we didn’t get fully into the plant thing for another 27 years. I’m so happy for your little ones that you have done this for them.

  • Meghan
    Posted at 14:34h, 12 June

    I think it’s so wonderful when parents introduce their children to healthy foods at such a young age. My 2 year old’s favorite food is broccoli! We are making the switch to plant-strong on Monday, and although my husband and I will be in it 100%, because my son eats breakfast and lunch at daycare, he will be plant-strong for just 1 meal a day, plus weekends.

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