Below is a sample of raw food meals for a 3 year old. I don’t usually create meal plans because every child is so different in the way he or she eats. My son preferred mono meals whereas my daughter liked to create simple raw food recipes, so the following meal plan is only a representation of what is possible and you would need to modify any meal plan to meet the individual needs of your child.
Bringing your family to a raw food diet, or one that is very high in raw food, can be fun and creative. If going 100% raw is your inspiration but you don’t feel quite ready to introduce it, adding some steamed vegetables are a good transition from more mainstream ways that parents feed their young children. Ideally we would like a couple hours between meals or snacks for better digestion, but I don’t at all try to schedule times with young children, as they should be able to follow their own schedule.
Morning: Big bowl of watery fruit (mango, apple, pear) – as much as desired.
Late morning: Pina Colada Green Smoothie: big chunk pineapple, 2 bananas, leafy greens like Romaine lettuce, 2 cups water
If this is too green and she doesn’t like it, then try the Yummy Collard Summer Smoothie with:
1 cup raspberries, 1 frozen banana, 2 or 3 collard leaves (or maybe start with only one), 3 ripe nectarines, 2 cups purified water. Blend until smooth.
Midday: Banana Fig Pudding: Bananas and Figs (fresh or rehydrated). Blend them together to make a pudding. Or your child can eat them fresh in bite-sized pieces. Bananas are high in potassium. Figs are high in calcium. Let her eat as much as she wants.
Snack: Creamy Avocado Dressing or Dip with chopped fruits and veggies such as bite-size pieces of peeled cucumber, celery (if she’s able to chew it), carrot, red bell pepper, etc.
Creamy Avocado Dip: 1 avocado, 1 red bell pepper, 4 Tablespoons lemon juice or less, 1/2 cup water. – Blend until smooth and creamy for dipping.
If your child likes a fruit sauce better, you can make a mango-raspberry sauce by blending mango and raspberries, and serve fruits and veggies to dip in it.
Early evening meal: Start with some fruit like cantelope or watermelon, then wait a short time.
Then if you are wanting some serve Steamed veggies such as carrots, cauliflower, and sweet potato. If he or she would prefer this as a midday meal, the fruit meal could be the later meal.
Morning: Bowl of chopped watermelon
Shortly after, B.A.T. Cereal: 2 bananas, 1 apple, 1 teaspoon raw tahini
See recipe and picture at www.SuperHealthyChildren.com/Recipes
Mash two bananas, mix in a small scoop of raw tahini, and top with small, coarsely-chopped apple pieces. My kids ate this yummy cereal replacement for many years. In summer, we would substitute the apples with peaches or nectarines. Let your child eat as much as he or she wants even if adding more bananas.
Midday: Zucchini Linguini with Marinara Sauce. Do you have a spiral slicer to make zucchini linguini? If not, you can purchase one at www.SuperHealthyChildren.com/Products. This is great for kids and if your child has tried pasta then this would be a good transition. This can be chopped up for her or him and a simple raw marinara sauce can be used by blending 1 tomato, 8 soaked sundried tomatoes, 2 dates and some fresh basil.
Snack: a variety of organic berries, organic grapes cut in half, bananas
Evening meal: Steamed veggies depending on what she likes: steamed broccoli, avocado, tomato as much as she wants
The below Pumpkin Seed Milk and Chia Seed Pudding or Cereal are in Raw Vegan Recipe Fun for Families: 115 Easy Recipes and Health Tips for raising the healthiest children. Available for purchase at www.SuperHealthyChildren.com/Products.
Pumpkin Seed Milk: 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (presoaked 4 hours, rinsed and drained)
2 cups filtered water
3 large pitted medjool dates
a little ground vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. Strain milk through a nut milk bag into a separate bowl.
Chia Seed Pudding or Cereal
4 Tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in warm water to cover
1 cup pumpkin seed milk
1 cup fresh juicy fruit
Chop fresh fruit into a bowl. Add milk and chia seeds and let it sit for 10 minutes. Blueberries and/or raspberries make a nice addition.
Later Midday Meal: Cucumber Dogs: 1 cucumber, 1 mango, diced, 1 tomato, diced.
Slice the cucumber in half lengthwie and scoop out seeds to make a hollow area in each half of the cucumber. Fill the indentation with the mango and tomato mixture. (At 2 years old, it may be better to also peel the cucumber as the skin on some cucumbers can be tough).
Snack: Bananas (As many as desired), chopped papaya (not Hawaiian Papaya as they are GMO) as much as she wants
Early evening meal: Avocado and steamed veggies of choice: steamed zucchini, steamed cauliflower (See which vegetables your child is attracted to. Cauliflower can make some children a little gassy. I make a delicious raw Cauliflower Spanish Rice in Raw Vegan Recipe Fun for Families that kids love: The cauliflower is ground down in a food processor.)
The meal could also be Pinenut Lasagna, which is just tomato slices with pinenut cheese (pine nuts ground down to a cheese in the food processor). The pinenut cheese is spread on top of the tomato as a couple layers and sliced in bite-size pieces.
If your child ate a lot of the early day meal, he or she may not want a high fat avocado or pinenut meal later in the day. You really need to look at how much the child eats and what he or she wants to have. Our food should always be about what’s fresh and alive, what attracts us most at that specific time, and how we want to eat it (in mono meals or simple combinations.). There are some children who prefer eating only mono meals, one food at a time.
All of this meal plan has to be catered to the individual child, and a lot of what I gave my kids was highly dependent on their decisions. When they were having growth spurts or were more physically active, I did note that they were eating more of the overt fats like nuts, seeds and avocado.
Karen Ranzi with Gabriela and Marco Ranzi
For the best in raw food coaching, Karen Ranzi, M.A. (Award-Winning Author, 21 Year Raw Food Coach and Chef), will guide you on your raw food journey. Sign up at: