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transitioning a toddler to raw - help!

Hi raw parents – you are exactly who I need to talk to!

I’m fairly new to raw – just a few months now, and am maintaining about 80% raw.

I also have a toddler who is in the “I only eat a few foods” phase of life.

Of course he eats fruit, and I give him lots of it. He will drink a few sips of my green smoothie if I use a straw – so of course I do. But this isn’t consistent – sometimes he will, sometimes he won’t.

He will eat cashews, and he likes SOME of the cookies I make in the D, but that’s really about it.

I’ve recently read more about the acid/alkaline balance in the body and the list of acid foods. Among them things like meat (even chicken, which is a staple in our house before raw) and bread (a staple for him).

How on earth can I get him to eat more raw foods? He is keen to my tricks and also notices when I WANT him to eat something – and generally won’t. He is VERY sensitive to energy, so I cannot fool him really.

Obviously this takes time, but he also has pooping issues since he started solids (having to do with his sensitivity, he holds it in because he doesn’t like the way it feels to poop). I feel like if we make the transition to raw for him as well, these issues might resolve more easily (alkaline body!).

I bought some chia seeds to try and sneak into something (if he sees the little dark seeds in something he will likely not eat it – he is such a purist), but I honestly haven’t figured out what to do with them yet.

So um, help! Any help is greatly appreciated (x-posting this on every board I am on for extra help).


  • Congratulations on your choice for living foods. Everyone has their own groove when it comes to eating for themselves and feeding their children. As individuals our needs are unique and the combo of raw and non-raw varies for each person. 80% is definately a do-able thing for kids… the fruits and green smoothies are great! As are nuts (almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)

    How old is he? usually, between 18 mos and 3 years, kids tend to taper off, get picky, on the variety and amount of foods they eat. mono-meals work really well. setting a big plate of cherries or watermelon, cantaloupe, etc… allows kids to ‘forage’ off the table. I often will cut up a variety of fruits and veggies (avocado, kiwi, apples, oranges, sweet bell peppers, berries, carrots, spinach) and lay it on a platter like a rainbow and let them pick and choose – they love it. Remember too, that kids tend to be grazers – so don’t worry if you sit him down for “meal-time” and he doesn’t eat much. A few oz. of a green smoothie feels like a meal to him. : ) His taste will become more acquired as you go along. He has to be deprogrammed from the bland, gummy, rubbery tastes and textures of the standard toddler diet. When my 3 year old was 18 months old, she’d sit on my husbands lap and eat bowls full of arugula with sour greek dressing. She loved the flavors and textures. Now, she has sweeter tastes, though she still likes her avocado with tons of lime. You may see your son really digging certain flavors for a season, then all of a sudden change it up and refuse those things. And vice versa – so if he’s refusing certain things now, don’t write it off – keep offering – one day, he’ll surprise you.

  • Yes! That is my plan. He is 2 years and 10 months old, and he is definitely a grazer. I don’t expect him to sit for meals, because it isn’t his thing – he will sit with us a few minutes, then is off doing the next thing. I do that, too – set out foods for him to eat on plates and in bowls. I think I could definitely add more of a variety though on one plate.

    I do keep offering – I am just hoping that the transition will actually happen, I guess – that one day he will choose my raw corn chips (so delicious!) over rice crackers, or D bread over spelt toast. :)

  • im having the same problem with my son! im glad you posted this.my oldest wont try anything new, and he cant stand the texture of smoothies..they make him gag.

  • Similar issues with my almost three year old. He loved the green smoothie for two weeks then has refused them ever since. He doesn’t even like to use the terms breakfast lunch or dinner so I just tell him I’m going to fix him a snack plate for most meals. I usually put three or four items on the plate i.e. apple slices, peas, a slice of tofurkey, and two broccoli flowerettes. Of course he goes for the apple first and then wants more. I tell him he can absolutely have more if he eats a bit of everything else. It usually works because he definitely wants more apple! Also one thing that helped with broccoli was that we had some older kids over who loved raw veggies and my son watched them eat so he wanted to eat the same things. When they ate the broccoli tops they told him they were eating the leaves off of the tree like the dinosaurs do, so now all I have to say is “eat your leaves and you can have more apple” :o) One other thing that got him to try sprouts is that I bought an organic micromix that still had the colorful edible flowers mixed in. I started to eat the flowers and he thought that was the funniest thing ever so he wanted to try it. Now he loves eating the flowers and sometimes will try a bit of the sprout leaves. Also I’ve made essene (sp?)bread in the D from sprouted wheat berries and will drizzle raw honey or agave on it. Good luck!

  • sarawsaraw Raw Newbie

    You should make the cocoa buckwheaties on this site. I am trying to slowly move my kids to more raw foods, and they all LOVED these so much. All three of my kids (8,8, and almost 3 year old) munched on this, and then had some sliced oranges. Make Popsicles for him that have greens in them. I’m going to experiment with a chocolate green smoothie, and then freeze it for the fun factor. I can let you know how my experiments go. My toddler is the most picky eater, and LOVES bread and cheese. I feel guilty now for giving her stuff like that, but I do realize how hard, and rough it is to detox off of these foods. She doesn’t understand what is going on in her body. In fact, she walked around in the kitchen today asking for chocolate. I said I didn’t have any. She insisted that I had chocolate though. LOL I said, “What, are you on your period or something?” She was ACTUALLY pacing for chocolate. haha. She does love the larabars, and will eat cabbage with ranch. So, I NEED to mimic ranch, and FAST! (hug) You are NOT alone with the picky toddler! Maybe we can help each other out!

  • This is all such great advice. I am new to Raw and trying to transition my kiddos over to 50-75% raw. I have a great hubby who will eat a few things raw, but hasn’t felt the need to become high raw… so it is a challenge!

    The popsicle thing is a great idea. My kiddos (9 and 6) will eat those if they can’t taste the greens in it. :) Mono meals work well for them as well. A big bowl of cherries, or cantaloupe, or frozen bananas are their favorites :)

    They just got back from Grandma’s house where they basically ate chicken nuggets and corn dogs all weekend…even though I sent lots of Raw goodies for them… AHHH. They are sooo grumpy and irritable today. A definite detox week for us….

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