November 3, 2013

Why Raising Vegan Children is a Good Idea. ~ Jennifer Lewis

When I first went vegan, I thought it was impossible to raise healthy children on a plant-based diet.

I wasn’t sure how my kids would get enough protein and calories and all I could picture was battle-mania over eating their vegetables.

I am happy to report that my limiting mindset around kids being raised on a plant-based diet was just that—a limiting belief. My kids love their vegetables and they are thriving.

So why should we transition our children to a vegan/plant-based diet?

• We will help our children to prevent disease.

Leading physicians are stressing the importance of good nutrition in the world of using food as medicine. I attended a health conference where I sat in on lectures given by Doctor T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr.

Dr. Esselstyn shared with us that some children eating the Standard American Diet already showed signs of heart disease by the young age of twelve. That is pretty scary when the number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease!

He did stress that we can reverse this disease by eating a plant perfect diet.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell stressed the fact that our body has the infinite wisdom to heal if given the right foods. The right foods are a diet rich in non-GMO, whole, unrefined foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes and beans.

By feeding our children a plant-based diet we teach them to enjoy a variety of whole foods that will keep them healthy for a lifetime. They will naturally get more fiber, phytochemicals and nutrients. They will learn to be empowered to make healthy choices that fight disease, not feed it.

• They will be more focused and able to concentrate.

Processed foods made with dairy and sugars contribute to brain fog, agitation and lack of focus. Cow’s milk has been show to induce an opioid effect—think morphine. By replacing cow’s milk with a fortified alternative like soy, rice or almond milk, they will be able to concentrate more and perform better at school.

• They will live a longer life.

At the rate of today’s childhood disease (one in three have type 2 diabetes) and the early onset of cancer, which research shows can be brought on by childhood food choices, our children’s generation is not expected to outlive their parents.

How scary is that?

A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes and beans support a healthy life. They will be able to lead full, lengthy and happy lives and outlive us. What is even better is they can do it with vitality!

• Sustainability.

The Living Planet report calculates that “humans are using 30 percent more resources than the Earth can replenish each year, which is leading to deforestation, degraded soils, polluted air and water and dramatic declines in numbers of fish and other species. As a result, we are running up an ecological debt of 4.5 trillion dollars every year.” say the report’s authors, led by the conservation group, WWF, formerly the World Wildlife Fund.

Where are all those resources going? They are being used to raise animals for human consumption. By eating a plant-based diet we can cut down the cost necessary to sustain us and teach our children the importance of taking care of our planet. We don’t live in paleolithic times and we do have a choice concerning what we eat.

We have convenience at the tip of our fingers and today it is even easier to live abundantly on a plant rich diet. Our planet needs us to make this choice. It is being said that at this rate, we would need two planets the size of our Earth to sustain us by the year 2030.

• We do have time.

Too many parents today feeding their kids junk food use time as an excuse. I would like to say that this, truly, is no excuse.

We can find several time saving tips that can help us make fast and easy, healthy, vegan meals. Remember when he or she was an infant? You cuddled and loved them and fed them the best nutrition possible, no matter how much time it took.

The same needs to ring true today. Our kids health should be our top priority. Everyone has 24 hours in a day.

We need to make use of our time, wisely.

If we don’t show our children how important their health and this Earth is, who will?

We, the parents, above anybody else, love our children and want the best for them.

Let’s make sure that they get the best start for a happy and healthy future.


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Assistant Ed: Steph Richard / Ed: Catherine Monkman

{Photo: Michael Gabutin via Pixoto}

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