Lollipops, candies, french fries - sweet and salty goodies surround our children everywhere. Not surprisingly, an ordinary apple, or indeed anything green, loses its attractiveness. How can we help children perceive and love the pure tastes and flavours of natural food?
As parents, we want nothing more than for our children to live a healthy and fulfilling life. What is best for their body? Especially in childhood?
Advocates of raw or living diets follow principles that are based on scientific knowledge that the human body benefits mainly from raw foods that is of plant origin. In raw food, which does not undergo chemical treatment and is prepared at low temperatures (at or below 45 ° C), a large amount of healthy nutrition is retained in the most natural form. A raw diet is rich in vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene, iron, etc., which naturally strengthen the immune system. It contains a high proportion of fiber and enzymes that promote digestion and is also rich in proteins, which the body uses to generate energy and build body tissue.
Only Raw Treats!
Mothers of young children will appreciate the fact that raw food, prepared from the best quality ingredients available, is an inherently natural and clean food. Raw treats do not contain gluten, lactose, additives or any other fillers. Instead of using refined sugar for sweetening – dried fruits such as dates or agave syrup and yacon syrup are used. It is advisable to make sure that the dried fruit used is indeed raw and organic - most conventional dried fruit are dried at high temperatures and are far from being really RAW and ORGANIC. More on this topic here in the video below.
PURE FLAVOURS VS. CHEMICALLY ENRICHED “FOODS”
Children may still refuse healthier food. How can we enrich our diets with healthy dishes that will delight and satisfy the whole family? The main thing is to be persistent, because you will later benefit from your child having good nutritional habits and they will be very thankful later on in life.
HOW TO ENTHUSE AND EXCITE CHILDREN ABOUT FRESH AND HEALTHY FOOD?
1. Begin with sweet vegetables - try to incorporate all the components a balanced raw diet has to offer into your existing diet. For example, chopped sweet vegetables your child likes already – young children usually prefer pieces of vegetables over mixed salads. Give them sliced cucumber, carrot, peas or other seasonal vegetables.
2. A somewhat different soup - if you have a lover of soups at home, why not serve it to them with a little side-plate of sprouted mung beans or sprouted lentils. You can also decorate the soup with a handful of soaked sunflower seeds, or stack a few walnuts at the edge of the plate. Over time, add more and more fruits and nuts from the “raw kitchen”.
3. Merry fruit - offer fruit with every snack, preferably separately and in the form of a game. Children can enjoy whimsical pieces of fruit cut in the shape of flowers or other shapes that they can create themselves, with, for example the help of a gingerbread cookie cutter.
4. Eating together - try to involve your children in the preparation of food. Let them help you with setting the table, serving food on a plate, layering a fruit dessert or mixing a smoothie. Being able to prepare a healthy meal for their mom, dad or visitors will motivate them to eat healthily themselves. They will find it easier to form a relationship with food that they will then associate with a pleasant family ritual.
5. The star of the show – blenders. Many children like fruits in the form of a puree or smoothie. We can add some green leaves (such as lettuce, spinach, lamb's lettuce, parsley leaves or carrots), which are the most nutritious vegetables and form a suitable combination with the fruit. Some children are discouraged by the green colour, so start with only a small amount of green, and increase over time. And most importantly - talk about healthy foods with your children so that they can perceive healthy food as a natural part of their diet from a young age.
6. The power of chia seeds – the miracle food called chia was discovered by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs about five thousand years ago. It is not for nothing that chia seeds are referred to as a superfood - they are extremely rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Try adding them to some of your favourite children's dishes – to make a thicker fruit puree or a delicious drink of soaked chia seeds and mixed fruit.
7. For those with a sweet tooth, only the BEST - some kids just can't resist sweets. Teach them that even sweet treats can be healthy. You will see how fast they will fall in love with raw desserts and delicacies made from quality fruit, nuts and seeds. Lifebars have long been a favourite among children.
A Final Tip
Be patient - More than anywhere else, patience is a virtue here. Do not try to quickly and radically change your kid's diet, eliminating all baked and cooked foods, so that your child is staring helplessly into a bowl of salad that they are not used to eating. Incorporate small changes gradually and discover new foods together with your child. Raw foods should be and are entertaining for both you and your child – only that way will you discover all the delicious flavours it has to offer.