After posting about what my vegan toddler eats in a day, I wanted to write a post with some resources and information on why we eat a balanced diet and what I mean by a balanced diet. I also wanted to address some concerns about getting nutrition advice from bloggers (like myself) and why you should question what you read.
Be wary of the diet advice you find online!
Nowadays, you can find countless accessible resources with tips and recipes for raising a healthy vegan toddler or child. Social media, for instance, can be an amazing place for inspiration, connections, and support. BUT, and this is a big but, there is also a lot of crap out there.
I myself have been swayed by bad advice from influential YouTubers and bloggers promoting dangerous crazy and restrictive diets for vegan children and babies. Health or diet advice (especially one that promotes restricting certain macro or micronutrients) should only be done with the support of a registered dietician!
What’s A Balanced Diet (at least for my family)
It is absolutely possible to have a healthy balanced plant-based diet and raise healthy vegan kids. Just like it is possible to raise a healthy child on an omnivore diet (read more here). BUT, being plant-based does not mean restricting food groups or cutting out all oils and fat! Those things are not synonymous with one another.
Being vegan or plant-based simply means you do not consume animal products or purchase items that support animal exploitation! Personally, I do not follow a low fat, or high carb, or keto diet because my research just does not support that as a long term diet option which promotes healthy development in children (or adults for that matter). We do not cut out food groups! Period! Even if that means I look like I had 3 kids in a bathing suit.
Fat is important for hormone production, maintaining good cell membranes, brain development and so much more. Carbs provide children with the fuel they need to grow, develop and fuel their bodies and protein builds muscle, make enzymes, hormones, repair tissue and many more countless function.
I respect the medial and research field and the countless studies the show why a diet with all 3 food groups in the right ration is important for human development and growth.
Abbey Sharp: Abbey is a registered dietician, food blogger, and TV personality. She has some amazing videos on fad diets and intuitive eating, plus she is hilarious! A mama herself she offers some great nutrition advice for building a fostering a good relationship to food and raising healthy kids.
Plateful Health: I connected with Vivian on Instagram many years ago because of her wealth of information and knowledge. Trained as a medical doctor she has spent the last 14 years learning and practicing lifestyle medicine with the mantra that food is medicine.
While she does not specifically speak on child nutrition she does provide a ton of evidence-based research and information on the benefits and power food has over our health.
Kids Eat In Color: A registered dietician and super knowledgable, Jennifer is a great resource to have. Sharing amazing tips and tricks to get your kids to eat a healthy diet. Jennifer understands and talks about the stress mom’s experience when trying to feed their kids and ways to cope. She believes that a healthy food relationship is vital to our child’s wellbeing and has amazing suggestions. Check her out.
UnNatural Vegan: While UnNatural vegan is very mysterious about herself and no one even knows her name, she does provide some good information that is always well-referenced and sourced. I have a feeling she had a Ph.D. because that girl knows how to research! I tend to stick to her videos about fad diets and raising healthy kids.
Do you know some good resources that should make this list?
I will update this list as often as I can so if you have some suggestions please comment below and I will check them out.
Hope this was informative. And remember to do your own research, after all, I am also just another food blogger. While I do have a Ph.D. in Health Science I am NOT a dietician or nutritionist.