Concerned parents are questioning the dangers of a standard American diet (SAD) and exploring more nutritious options for their children. As serious childhood disease and disfunction escalate to alarming levels, researchers and parents alike begin to make the connection with poor food choices. Many have found a carefully selected raw and live food diet fosters exuberant mental, physical, and spiritual health in children.
The standard American diet relies heavily on meat, dairy, sugar, hydrogenated fats, and processed foods. This unbalanced approach creates many nutritional deficiencies and encourages serious illness such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Schizophrenia, autism, and attention deficit disorder are also linked to the consumption of low quality food. And yet, this is the very diet many children are given from a very young age, thus negatively effecting intense periods of growth and development.
The SAD model is by no means limited to America. In the UK, an article in the Sunday Times found that the national standard diet is so lacking in nutrition that it is stunting children’s development and threatening the nation’s future economy. The story continues with the following observation:
“Among the blizzard of detail accompanying last week’s revelations that junk food is damaging our children’s brains was buried one startling fact: the majority of the nation’s babies are, to a greater or lesser extent, now weaned on fizzy drinks and crisps.”
Nutritional requirements vary depending on the age of the child. From birth to six months, physicians recommend exclusive breast feeding. Beyond six months, breast feeding is still recommended as solid food is introduced. Many mothers continue to breast feed for years, considering it the most perfect food for their children.
For all ages, leafy greens are the key to radiant health. These champions of a raw food diet supply ample amounts of chlorophyll, bioavailable protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. Blending leafy greens helps to concentrate nutrition while breaking down the tough plant cellulose. When prepared in this way, nutrients are liberated and absorption is substantially improved.
Jinjee and Storm Talifero, who are raising four vibrantly healthy raw vegan children, offer guidance for parents:
-Do not limit the diet. Avoid nutritional deficiencies by providing a wide range of variety.
-Children need bulk; always let children eat whenever they want, even if this means they are grazing all day long.
-Maintain a nutrient dense diet of organic, local fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, along with moderate amounts of Celtic sea salt and raw honey*. Extra-virgin olive, flax, and hemp seed oils are also extremely beneficial for brain development and overall health. Avocados, bananas, and sun dried black olives are especially nourishing due to their high content of beneficial fat.
*Raw honey, if used at all, is not recommended until age two due to the possible presence of the botulism bacteria.
The Boutenko’s are another example of a thriving all raw family. By adopting a live food diet, the Boutenko’s were able to reverse and completely heal diabetes, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, arrhythmia, juvenile diabetes and asthma.
Some parents include organic, raw animal products such as goat yogurt, cheese, and bee pollen in the living food diet of their children. Every parent needs to research and recognize the specific nutritional needs of his/her family. With care and thoughtful planning, a balanced raw food diet supports healthy, flourishing babies and children.