Newbie – Can my 1 year old eat a plant-based diet? (a question I received)

I received this email a few days ago. As I was writing them back, I realized I had these same concerns when my family made the switch. I wanted to share this with you because it’s likely there are more of you wondering the same thing. I hope this helps!

 Hi, I’m very new to eating a plant based diet. My husband and I watched forks over knives and the cnn special last heart attack and are excited to start eating this way. However I am not finding alot of information about feeding young children this diet. I’m afraid he would not receive the fats he would need to develop properly. Can you point out some resources I can refer to so I can make an informed decision about my 1 yr olds diet. Thank you!

~Mr. and Mrs.

My Response:

Hi Mr. and Mrs. 

 I am very excited for you to start your journey. Now is the PERFECT time for your toddler to start eating a whole food plant-based diet! I learned about this lifestyle when my twins were 6 months old. I turned Veteran and Maintenance Mommy a lot, but also to Dr Fuhrman’s, “Disease Proof your Child’ book for my resource of basic information. I would recommend you grab a copy from your library or we have them on our website for purchase.  It is a great book. He is an amazing doctor that believes in this lifestyle, especially for your children. He even goes so far to state that childhood diets are linked to adult diseases. He gives some really great ‘step by step’ and ‘for the ages’ information on raising your child on a whole food plant-based diet. He also compares this diet to others. You are doing a great thing by taking the time to research it out. I hope we can be a good resource for you. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you need and I will give you my best answers!

I make sure my little girls get avocados daily, they are a great source of healthy fat. You can mix them with brown rice cereal or just mush them and feed it to your child alone. If your child is picking up foods and self feeding, just cube the avocado small enough for them. There are also great benefits of nuts and seeds in giving your child essential fats. I use flax seed daily in smoothies for myself and my children. I use a small coffee grinder and grind up the flax seeds (about a teaspoon for your child) and  then add it to anything they are eating. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for development. You can do the same with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts (walnuts are a perfect nut for helping in brain development!) There are so many alternatives.

My best advice is to do your own research and stand your ground.  Mothers really do know best. You are in charge of your child’s health. Don’t let others sway you. My twins are very healthy almost three year old girls. Feeding all of my children a whole foods plant-based diet brings me peace of mind. I watch my kids stay healthy through the cold and flu season, they rarely get any allergy symptoms with the season changes, and ear infections (that use to be several a season) are never at my home. All of these I attribute to the change in our diet.

I hope that helps.

Happy researching!

~Newbie Mommy

Disclaimer:This is the fun section where we need to tell you that we are not doctors.  While we stand firmly behind all the information and research that we share with you, we are not your doctor (even though that would be kind of fun!).  Please consult with your own physician before making any changes to your own diet or that of your families.  Hopefully your doctor is just as excited about a whole food plant-based lifestyle as we are, and will encourage you every step of the way!

Source: WFM 1-10

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