>> Wednesday, February 15, 2012
It’s a fact that kids can be really picky eaters, especially when trying something for the first time or cooked differently. If you’re introducing raw foods to a child who is used to the textures and flavors of cooked products, it will take some time to get them to make the big change, because that’s exactly what it is. There are plenty of things you can do as a parent or relative to help your children embrace and enjoy a raw food diet, if introducing it when they’re a little older.
Get involved together
All get involved when preparing meals. Have your kids help you prepare all the ingredients and then you can answer any questions or anxieties they might have. Young kids love feeling of responsibility and helping out mom or dad so getting involved with food prep is a great way of introducing them to all the raw foods you have to choose from. When living on a regular diet, it can be more dangerous to allow young children to get involved because of the heat involved in the cooking process but this is not a problem with raw foods. Although there will be knives and slicers used, you can keep that part of the prep to yourself and let your kids enjoy the mixing or designing the plate layouts. Also, you can buy safe plastic alternatives of knives and slicers, so your child can imitate the process anyway and feel fully involved. Once the meal is made, the kids are much more likely to want to eat it when they remember the work they put in to make it.
Have fresh fruit available at every turn. Young kids who are given the opportunity absolutely love feasting on bananas, berries and other fruit. You can use these favorites to teach your child how healthy these foods are and begin to introduce more exotic fruits like kiwis, guavas and mangoes. The more choices available, the more exciting it becomes and then, over time, a small slice of one of the more exotic fruits can serve as a treat and you can phase out those cookies, cakes and baked goods they used to crave.
Enjoy the great outdoors
Plan a family day out and end it with a family picnic, packed full of raw foods. Kids love adventure and if you combine your raw food diet into the fun outing experience, they’ll associate the foods with a fun time. Whether you visit the local beach, park or trek down the local nature trail, you can be sure your kids will love it, burn off some energy and importantly, build up a healthy appetite. Bring out the picnic and you can all enjoy the fabulous variety of raw foods you’ve prepared. It’s also a great memory so when you next serve raw foods at home, your kids will remember the fun outing.
Be a role model
Your younger kids look to you for examples and the right thing to do. This is a great sign because if they see you munching on nuts, seeds and fruits, they’ll want to do the same. Even if it takes a little time for them to give up their old favorites once they see you and the rest of the family embracing all things raw, they’ll eventually come round. Especially if you introduce some of the great raw food snacks available like natural cacao, trail mix and yummy fruit smoothies.
The change won’t happen overnight and it probably took time for you to truly make the swap to a wholly raw food diet. Once you begin the process, involve your kids at every step but don’t be disheartened when they still lust after a cookie or French fry. These things will soon be out of your life and you can, as a family, live as dedicated raw foodies.
Rose Knut's kids sleep on organic latex mattresses and are taken to school in a hybrid car, but diet is one of the most important parts of their lives. It's not to late to adopt raw food as a way of life.