The Vegie conference, conducted on October 15-16 in Los Angeles, centered around doctors and nutritionists talking about “feeding kids right” with a spiritual message from Dharma Master Sure about “feeding the mind right.”
Although the doctors used different approaches, they all agreed on the importance of a plant-based diet for children: a variety of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, beans, seeds and nuts—with all colors, green, purple, yellow, orange, white. Kale was mentioned at least 20 times. Fair warning was given to ban sugary foods and drinks, dairy, saturated and polysaturated fats, refined flour & cereal, excess salt and protein.
Dr. Francine Kaufman, from Children’s Hospital in LA, spoke about the obesity-diabetes epidemic that threatens America and what we must do to stop it. These are some of the changes being brought into some schools: (1) Soft drinks and junk food in vending machines have been replaced with nutritious snacks, bottled water, and juices. (2) Vegetable-based lunches and free fruit are being offered. (3) Football teams are giving up junk food.
Kids are saying, “It’s cool to drink water.” A school nurse in England said, “I used to give out 30 inhalers a day. Now after a change to vegetable-based school lunches, I give out only 5 a day.”
Alex Jamieson, who spoke on Confessions of a Former Sugar Addict, left us with this tip. “Throw out the junk food and learn to eat healthy—a week without a headache is proof enough!”
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Disease Proof Your Child, said that it’s important to give children healthy food when their cells are developing. We should give children what they need, not what they want. And he said to remember that people like the food they grew up on.
Dr. Jay Gordon, author of Good Food Today, Great Kids Tomorrow, said, “Yes, vegetarian children and adults need to take Vitamin B12 supplements, but not other vitamins. A well-balanced vegetarian diet is sufficient.” He also said, “We train each other to eat more, so we can also train each other to eat less.”
In speaking about the dangers of dairy on the immune system and bone development, Dr. McDougall said that children instinctively know what food is good for them. He once asked a child, “Would you drink giraffe milk?” The child said, “No, that’s for baby giraffes.” “Well, what about pig’s milk, monkey’s milk?” “No.” “What about cow’s milk?” “Uh, Now I get it! Cow’s milk is for baby calves, not for me!”
Is soy a wonder food or poison? Dr. McDougall warned that soy, rich in fat and protein, can be beneficial but should be eaten in small amounts. Isolated soy concentrate is under investigation and is believed to cause premature aging, birth defects, and brain damage. Other names are textured soy and defatted soy. These soy products are found in such foods as: fake meats, soy burgers, candy, snacks, Ensure and baby formulas, such as Isomil. Both Dr. McDougall and Dr. Gordon urged parents to stop feeding their babies these formulas. The question was asked, “After my baby is weaned from breast milk, what can I give it?” Dr. Gordon said, “Water and baby food.” “What if I don’t have breast milk?” “Breast milk is donated or sold. Almond or rice milk will do.”
A question was asked about cancer and tumors: The answer: Tumors, cysts, and cancer are all related to high-fat, refined sugars and flours, and lack of exercise. The cure is the same: eat green, eat less and be active.
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn explained what cholesterol levels say about your diet. Grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, in their natural forms, contain all the salt and fats that a person needs for perfect health. People in the Papau Highlands, who not include oils in their diets, are free from heart disease. There is great danger in eating oils that contain trans-fats found in commercial, refined oils such as: corn, canola, soy, cottonseed, margarine, peanut butter, and mayonnaise. He left us with this message: “Wisdom is knowing what to do; virtue is doing it.”