This week I have been contemplating whether raising our children on a whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet would be the miracle solution to curbing the environmental impacts of food industry whilst simultaneously abolishing childhood obesity issues?
The WFPB diet consists of plant-based foods and excludes meats, dairy products, eggs and other animal products whilst also discouraging consumption of any refined and processed foods
Basically WFPB is like following a vegan diet without the vegan junk food.
We know that a meat rich diet is costly for the environment and that the prevalence of processed and convenience foods in our supermarkets has resulted in the over-consumption of refined sugars and saturated fats by a large volume of people.
However, we also know that a restricted access to certain food groups, especially in a child’s early years could lead to detrimental effects. Babies and toddlers experience rapid growth and a relatively high intake of fat is required to support their development. Research suggests that vegans tend to consume much less saturated fat (than meat-eaters) and are at an increased risk of Calcium and iron deficiencies.
Clearly advocates of a whole-foods diet would frown at the use of refined oils and fortified alternatives (eg, fortified children’s soya milk) to combat the risk of deficiencies because these products tend to be heavily processed and processed foods pollute the planet more than whole foods.
Perhaps the real question is, if we decide to adopt a plant-based diet do we need to resort to using processed fortified foods to ensure that our little ones are not going to miss out on essential vitamins and nutrients?
I would like to think that a WFPB diet is the solution we are looking for but clearly this topic requires (and deserves) more than a 300 word blog to dissect the point in question. Besides I am not a nutritionist, I’m just a parent interested in healthy eating wanting to help facilitate the discussion on current food issues that matter.
I would love to hear your thoughts! Is anyone considering this same question whilst making decisions about Weaning? Or are there any vegans out there have insights you could share from raising children on a plant-based diet?
Let me know what you think. Comment on the post to share your views and experiences with the WtN community.
Farmyard animal photos kindly provided by @andreadixie