A plant-based whole food lifestyle is the best gift you can give your child.
But what is plant-based whole food?
Foods that come from plants and which are not heavily processed are called plant-based whole foods.
For any food product to be called a plant-based whole food, it must be:
Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are plant-based foods. Nature is full of colorful, vibrant and nutritious plant-based foods that kids love. When shopping, look out for these foods and products which contain these foods.
The foods which contain all the natural parts and nutrients of the food in their original proportions are called whole foods. This means that foods should not be heavily processed. Minimal processing is allowed, as long as the nutrients in the original food are retained after processing. Thus, if a whole grain is crushed with the husk to make flour, the flour is also a whole food. If oil is extracted from seeds, it is not a whole food since oil is only an extract of the seed, and not the whole seed.
REMEMBER: Your food needs to be plant-based AND whole. Eating a highly processed plant-based diet is unhealthy too, as is eating an animal-based whole food diet.
Things To Avoid
- A plant-based whole foods diet avoids all animal products– any meat (red or white), eggs, milk and milk products, honey, gelatin, etc.
- Heavily processed foods with additives, flavorings, preservatives and other chemicals are not considered whole foods, even if they are plant-based
- Note that oil, sugar, excess salt, etc., which are considered common daily food items, are also not included in whole foods since they are produced by significantly processing the whole food
A term used along with whole foods is ‘organic’.
Organic food is food which is grown as naturally as possible. This means that no pesticides or fertilizers have been used in growing the food. Growth hormones, which result in unnaturally large fruits and vegetables, have also not been injected in the plants.
See Why Plant-Based Whole Food? to discover how this lifestyle can work wonders for your baby.