plant-based nutrition and obesity in children

I'm constantly asked, DO YOUR KIDS EAT THIS FOOD?! People can't believe that kids will eat beans, tofu, and a variety of veggies and fruits, and yes, without complaining! Can children really eat these foods? Yes, and they will! My biggest hangup as a mom, was saying to myself, "I'll make that for my husband and I one night when we eat without the kids". Why?! It was my own preconceived notion, and well, I just didn't feel like fighting. When I went through my culinary program, I threw that logic out the window. My kids never ate soups, beans (on a regular basis), or tofu before, and guess what? Once I said, "this is what's for dinner" a miraculous thing happened.....they ate it! There are definitely things my kids like better than others. They LOVE stir fry, enchiladas, taco night, make your own pizza, and we always have a "salad bar", jars filled with already chopped veggies ready to be placed onto a salad.We come to a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons. Maybe you're an animal rights activist, an environmentalist, a health enthusiast, a person who is sick and trying to get well, and some of us are all of those things. Most of us make this choice as adults. Why? Because most of us have grown up in households where plant-based living is not the norm. But your kids SHOULD be taught about plant-based living. Your kids should be eating this food too! It teaches them how to live a healthy life and be compassionate to the planet. Plus, cardiovascular disease doesn't start in adulthood, it begins in childhood!A recent study conducted through the Cleveland Clinic on obese adolescents ages 9-18 (many of which were Type 2 diabetics), compared children placed on the American Heart Disease Diet versus a low-fat plant-based diet, as advocated by Dr. Esselstyn (book: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease). The study was only 4 weeks long. In just 4 weeks, researchers saw "significant improvements in nine measures: BMI, systolic blood pressure, weight, mid-arm circumference, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and insulin, as well as two common markers of heart disease, myeloperoxidase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein" in those children following a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet. Those on American Heart Association diet saw drops in only 4 of these markers, weight, waist circumference, mid-arm circumference and myeloperoxidase. For more on the study, click here.Nutrition is powerful. The standard diets advocated by the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association don't reverse disease in the same way a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet can. Plants are powerful. Why don't you hear more about this? There's no money in prescribing kale and broccoli. Help share the benefits of plant-based nutrition with others. Let's help break stereotypes that plant-based people don't get enough nutrition. They get MORE nutrition. Have an answer ready to go for the 1,000th time you're asked, where do you get your protein? Your calcium? What's wrong with eating eggs and fish? You can help to educate!Here are some recipes my kids love (all are made without oil):

Oat Waffles With Fresh Orange

Black Bean Enchiladas (use filling as a plain taco filling too, just zest it up with more cumin and some chipotle)

Craisinut Granola Bars

Stir Fry/miso marinated tofu

Until next week...happy, healthy eating! Go on out and be a plant-ambassador!Jessica of www.gardenfreshfoodie.com

Related Blog Posts

top 5 benefits of a detox diet to reset yourself

war on waste: are fresh veggies healthier than frozen?

got milk? the dairy industry’s mass deception

5 ways you save the world by eating vegan for lent

what happens to your body when you go vegan?

what difference can one person make by going vegan?

how easily can the pope go vegan?

supercharge your sex life

is it possible to prevent and reverse disease?

5 ways plants power us in 2019

detox your body

lose weight simply: eat smart

here’s what happens to your body on a juice cleanse

4 reasons plant-based eating helps with weight loss

juice cleanse success plan

your sugar detox guide

eating healthy doesn’t have to be scary - 5 simple tips

the most unusual facts about berries

can you get enough protein from plants?

5 foods you should never eat

spotlight on: activated charcoal

5 superfoods for women's health

ancient remedies we use today

5 plant-based foods that help you lose weight

five magnesium-rich foods for stress relief

why detox?

10 ways to sneak in more veggies

high fiber foods you can snack on

myth vs fact: 5 things you didn't know about vitamin c

plant-based aphrodisiacs that work

5 heart-healthy foods

8 underrated veggies & why you should be eating them

probiotics - your best friend around the holidays

5 winter superfoods for more energy

5 easy ways to detox after overindulging

the key benefits of juicing

should you take supplements?

veggie anatomy 101: carrots

is plant-based good for kids?

are plant milks good for you?

good carbs vs. bad carbs

food facts: tomatoes

frozen vs. fresh: know your veggies

10 seasonal superfoods

5 summer foods to keep you hydrated

how much water should you really drink?

plant foods that boost your energy

sodium's effects on health and weight

5 winter squashes you need for better health right now

fat vs. sugar: the battle rages on

the soybean saga: myths and facts

top reasons to have an apple a day

pumpkin seeds and their health benefits

turmeric and it's powerful benefits

growing edamame & health benefits of soy

pumped for peppers!

what's sugar doing to us?

benefits of basil

benefits of raw foods

check out cherries!

nih guide: how to lower blood pressure with a dash eating plan

eat more dark chocolate and lower your blood pressure!

beans v. beef: an infographic

boost your healthy gut bacteria with plant-based foods

stop the madness! treat heart disease with a healthy diet -- not drugs!

cabbage-it's history, use, and nutritional benefit

a plant-based diet is key to controlling diabetes

want to lower your cholesterol? a pill is not a magic bullet!

are you at risk for heart disease?

can eating more veggies save your eyesight?

don't have breakfast without one of these three!