The Sistah Vegan Project

Archive for the category “Children’s Nutrition and Health”

Green Spirulina Avocado Monster

I have three preschoolers and they love Spirulina. Kira Satya is seven months old and loves my homemade popsicles. This morning she had avocado, fig, and Pacifica Hawaiian Spirulina popsicle I made yesterday using Zoku silicon Popsicle molds. I highly recommend Zoku mini pops mold for preschoolers. All other molds are too big and they never finish the pops.

In my Vitamix blender I added 1 medium Hass avocado, five figs, 1 tsp of Jarrow baby probiotics, and 1 tbsp of Spirulina in the blender. I then blended everything on level 10 for about thirty seconds. I filled the molds and froze.

Eva Luna (2.5 yrs) and Kira Satya loved it.

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Luna refers to herself as the Spirulina monster. Scary, no? LOL.

Sun is five now and I grew him on Pacifica Hawaiian Spirulina. He is in the photo below with me, mama. He started on Spirulina in utero!

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Happy Kale Kids: How My Preschoolers Enjoy Their Greens

Luna and Sun devour kale in every form. Today they devoured a bag of Alive and Radiant Foods Quite Cheezy kale flavored snacks. Raw, organic, and yummy snacks at the playground. They were on sale for $3.50 as opposed to $6. I usually like making my own kale chips because of such high cost, but today I treated them. I recommend trying this on finicky little eaters.

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Want to do a Vegan Pregnancy? Sistah Vegan Can Help!

This is a pre-recorded seminar and you can listen and view the Powerpoint to it anytime, once you have registered for it.

In this webinar you will learn what you need to get started on your path to an amazing and fulfilling plant-based dietary pregnancy and post-partum period. If you are at the end of your pregnancy but want to learn how a whole foods plant-based Sistah Vegan diet can help you produce optimal milk supply for an infant, then this course is also for you. In addition, post-partum hair loss is significant amongst women; many tell me that years after giving birth, they struggle with hair loss and thinning. I will teach you how a few herbs and foods can regrow and strengthen your hair.

You may be scared. You may be confused. Or maybe you do have the confidence to practice a vegan pregnancy, but do not know where to begin. The Sistah Vegan project is offering the first introductory and comprehensive seminar (a.k.a. ‘webinar’), complete with audio and powerpoint slides to address the following:

* Guaranteed plant based remedy/prevention for prenatal anemia
* Learn this simple herbal remedy to prevent hemorrhoids
* Learn what simple seed can increase hydration, energy, and calcium
* Learn the top four plant based proteins essential for pregnancy
* Constipation is NOT ‘normal’, despite the myth. Learn how to poop 2-3x a day while pregnant.
* Learn how this raw juice can prevent gestational diabetes and manage blood sugar

Cost: $19.99 (if you cannot afford this, contact me for alternative options)

How to register and pay: Click REGISTER to sign up and access the webinar immediately.

Duration: 90 minutes.

Technology requirements: a computer with a fast internet connection and a free Anymeeting.com (my webinars are hosted through Any meeting.com )

Description: 

If you are like most folk who have listened to mainstream media in the USA, you have heard of the sensationalized stories once or twice a year, of a mother who ‘killed’ her child ‘because’ she was vegan. If you have had interest in getting pregnant and/or having a vegan pregnancy, you may have been ‘attacked’ by supposedly loving family members and ‘concerned’ midwives or practitioners that such a diet is ‘dangerous’ and ‘irresponsible.’

These are all lies, as myself and a plethora of women and their children are living proof that a properly planned vegan pregnancy and lactation period will help you and your baby thrive. Don’t listen to the hype. Below is a photo of my baby daughter, Eva Luna. She was ‘built’ by a whole foods vegan diet. In addition, you are looking at a glowing and healthy baby in which over 75% of her ‘food’ sources came from my vegan-produced breast milk, the first 13 months of her life. She was 9.5lb at birth and full term. 6 hour labor.

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Eva Luna, 13 months old.

About the Instructor: Dr. A. Breeze Harper is the director and founder of the Sistah Vegan Project, a organization dedicated to critical race feminist perspectives on veganism, as seen through the collective experiences of Black North American females. Dr. Harper started the project in 2005. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and University of California-Davis. Her innovative ability to integrate the use of educational technologies to analyze Black female vegans food and health philosophies earned her the Dean’s Award from Harvard University in 2007 for her Master Thesis work: this is an honor only bestowed upon one candidate per program.

Dr. Harper’s knowledge about diversity within the field of food and wellness has marked her as a highly sought after paid consultant and speaker for many American universities. She has given many keynote addresses including at Boston University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Oregon, and Southwestern University. She teaches students, faculty, and staff how and why people have unique relationships to food and wellness and how these relationships are impacted by race, socio-economic class, gender, sexuality, and ability. She has published extensively, including Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). She graduated summa cum-laude from University of California-Davis with a PhD in critical geographies of race and food.

If you enjoy the work I have done, if it has helped you, your organization, your students, your family, etc, and you want to see it go to the next level of a non-profit social justice organization, please contribute what you can by clicking on the GOFUNDME Link below. When Sistah Vegan becomes a well supported non-profit, I hope to offer a diversity of educational material (webinars, workshops, books, articles) that guide people through ways to raise pre-school aged children on a fun and healthy plant-based diet.  If you do not want to use this method, but prefer paypal, click on the link on the right upper corner of this blog page to donate via PAYPAL.

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Disclaimer: I am not a certified practitioner or medical doctor. Please consult with your practitioner before trying any of the foods or herbs that I recommend

Vegan Baby Bonnet: Body-painting with poop and other toddler adventures

Each week, I will be sharing toddler and preschool adventures. I will then end the story with some nutritional and other healing tips for pre-school aged children. My mother makes my toddler a lot of bonnets, so I decided that it was appropriate to name this special weekly series Vegan Baby Bonnet.

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Yea, this 22 month old may look innocent, but do I have a story for you.

Last week, I put my daughter down for her usual 1130am nap time. She always promptly falls asleep and doesn’t wake up for 90-120 minutes. No complaints. As a matter of fact, she starts singing the nap song I created as we drive home from the playground. Unlike most toddlers, she actually looks forward to nap time. Weird, but I’ll take it!

However, on June 3 it was a strange nap day. 10 minutes after laying her in her crib, I hear her whining about, “Mama, poop!!!” So, naturally I think she crapped out the pint of blueberries she had eaten at the playground, earlier that morning. So, here was go. Mama thinks she gets to change a blueberry sh*ts diaper.

When I open the bedroom door, in front of me is a naked Eva Luna and the smell of fresh poop. She is whining that she pooped… all over the crib. For some reason only known to herself, she took off all her clothes and her diaper and then pooped every where. She was quite upset and let me know, “Mama poop. Can’t nap.” Apparently she realized that if she wants to take a nap, maybe it’s not a good idea to take off your diaper, poop all over your bed, and then try to lay in it.

And then she got upset that her hands were dirty with poop on them. “Mama, clean hands! Mama, clean hands!” But no, she isn’t grossed out that she had taken the poop and body painted her belly and her arms with it. No, she was just disgusted that the poop was on her hands.

Yea, our parents claim we did sh*t like that when we were toddlers, but no, I refuse to believe it.

So, I gave the little booger a bath and replaced all the sheets and pillows in her crib and she finally took a nap.

Yea, I was irritated, but I also realized that I think I’m pretty lucky that Eva Luna poops about 2 times a day. Lucky because at the playground, I hear parents talk about how their babies and toddlers won’t poop for days. I have trained Eva Luna to eat a plant-based diet that is not only high in nutritious foods, but these foods ensure that she won’t ever have constipation problems. I know everyone is unique in their situation and food access, but I get asked all the time, what I feed her and why she does poop so much. So, here is what I do with her:

  1. Water, water, water. We go to the playground and she only gets water. Lots of it. No soda, no high sugary juice, no hot cocoa.
  2. Kale. Eva Luna eats kale in any form. She loves kale chips and my raw kale smoothie. I highly recommend it. If you’re asking yourself, “How the hell do I get my kid to eat kale”, click here.
  3. Hemp seeds. I make ice cream out of hemp seeds and it’s packed with vitamins and fiber and protein and EFAs. I blend hempseed, water, and banana in the Vitamix blender and then put it in a popsicle mold or throw it in the ice cream maker. My favorite is the Nutiva brand. Here is recipe I used from when my son was a toddler.
  4. Spirulina. I mix 1/3 tsp of Spirulina in a watered down apple juice. The ratio is 1 part water, 1 part apple juice. I only use Hawaiian Pacfica brand. Organic and seems like they aren’t “toxic” like so many others out there. Here is a link to my post about Spirulina.
  5. Pumpkin seeds. She devours raw pumpkin seeds. High in fiber but I also learned that pumpkin seeds are great intestinal cleansers for parasites. Which is essential when she is interacting with toddlers and preschoolers who like to dig in their butthole at the playground and then share the love by touching mouths and eye, toys, etc. Let’s spread the pinworm love! Ewwww.
  6. I minimize Luna’s consumption of refined flour products. And I say no to refined sugar products. These are just recipes for jacked up flora, bloated belly, and constipation.
  7. Speaking of flora, I make sure she gets her probiotics. Soy yogurt seems to be a good idea. Raw fermented pickled veggies are a good idea too.
  8. Exercise. Running around the playground 2 hours or more a day seems to shake things up and make things digest better. I guess it’s like “runners trots”.
  9. Tofu. Well, this is important. Her vegan source of protein is usually tofu. However, I have noticed that most commercially produced tofu has 0% fiber in it. That’s a no no. I have heard plenty of people tell me that tofu constipates them. I am careful with what we buy. I choose Hodo Tofu, an artisanal and organic brand that is local to the Bay area. She gets 20% of the fiber she needs in 1/3 of the Braised Tofu brand… but she can easily eat a half of a package.
  10. Avocado. She eats half large one almost every day.
  11. Luna gets Alvarado sprouted breads. I prefer that for her. We don’t use fake vegan butter. What we do use as ‘butter’ is olive oil. I lather it all over her toasted bread. I think Olive Oil is excellent in lubricating the intestines!

Well, I hope this was helpful.

Remember, please consult you physician or holistic practitioner before making changes to your kids diet. What works for Luna may not work for your kids. Everyone is unique.

If you enjoy the work I have done, if it has helped you, your organization, your students, your family, etc, and you want to see it go to the next level of a non-profit social justice organization, please contribute what you can by clicking on the GOFUNDME Link below. When Sistah Vegan becomes a well supported non-profit, I hope to offer a diversity of educational material (webinars, workshops, books, articles) that guide people through ways to raise pre-school aged children on a fun and healthy plant-based diet.  If you do not want to use this method, but prefer paypal, click on the link on the right upper corner of this blog page to donate via PAYPAL.

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How can I get my toddler to eat kale and broccoli!!!?

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I wanted to share with you 2 videos of my toddler happily eating broccoli and kale. I get a lot of parents asking me how it’s possible that my children eat greens because their children do not want to do that. My answers are simple: they won’t eat healthy whole foods diet if YOU don’t model it for them. My 20 month old sees me eating greens all the time: kale smoothies, steamed broccoli, raw okra. Ever since she was a newborn, she witnessed this; as soon as she wanted to begin eating solid foods, she demanded that I share with her my kale smoothies, raw greens, and other healthy greens that young children supposedly do not want to touch. Even more so, I have learned that babies develop palates for particular foods while they are in utero. I lived off of rich green and superfood diet that consisted of kale smoothies, raw okra, raw hempseeds, and chia seeds to name a few. I also learned that making ‘chips’ out of kale is a great way for them to eat kale ‘on the go’ or at the playground. I purchased a dehydrator several years ago and make kale chips for the kids. If you don’t have one, but have a gas oven, you can leave the marinated kale in the oven over night and the pilot light should be hot enough to dehydrate them.

Enjoy the videos below :-)

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Toddler puking because of upset tummy? Here’s an herbal remedy idea for kids and adults

Today my son didn’t feel well… He vomited 4 times and couldn’t hold even water down this morning. I tried to coax him into drinking lemon balm and peppermint tea, but he was disinterested…

…so, I went into the yard and got some lemon balm and peppermint and decided to make an herbal sorbet for him. See, the thing is, my son will eat it if it’s in the forms of: ice cream/sorbet, cookie or chips. Seems like most toddlers in the USA function this way. :-)

I went back into the kitchen and found 1/2 pint of strawberries and 2 pitted dates. I threw everything into the Vitamix blender, busted out the Cuisinart ice cream and sorbet maker, and poured it in. 15 minutes later, organic strawberry, lemon balm, peppermint sorbet was ready for him and he ate it up. It cooled him down , hydrated him and settled his stomach down. He did not puke anymore after that, felt better, was less feverish. It’s about 9 hours later and he’s been fine throughout the whole day. Lemon balm is great fo upset tummies and is also calming. But maybe you don’t know that it’s anti-viral too and that the tea and essential oil of Lemon Balm, also known as Melissa Officinalis, is used to combat herpes virus.

Recipe for Strawberry, Lemon Balm, Peppermint sorbet:

  • You will need an Ice cream/sorbet machine
  • 1/2 cup of lemon balm leaves chopped up small.
  • 1/2 pint of strawberries
  • 1/8 cup of freshly chopped up peppermint leaves
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 d of water

Blend until smooth then add to ice cream/sorbet machine. The consistency ends up being more like shaved ice then sorbet, but either way, he loved it. I know each person is different and many folk want warm or hot liquids when they have a tummy upset, but in this case, this worked well because it’s summer, a hot day, and he wasn’t interested in tea. I would have just gone for the hot tea ;-)

Disclaimer: Of course this is what works for my kids, so if your children are sick, please do contact your practitioner first before trying anything on this blog. However, I always want to spread the wisdom I have.

Baby screaming for a kale smoothie: Infants can like green raw foods!

Just another reminder that an infant in the USA can like raw greens and ‘healthy’ foods. I say USA because most people in the USA claim that kids ‘naturally’ won’t like vegetables. Just get them started early. Eva Luna is 11 months old and sees me drinking green smoothies every morning. Generally, babies want to do what their parental figures and older siblings do. She screams for it if I can’t give it to her fast enough. She is my green baby. THE RECIPE IS BELOW BUT DO NOT GIVE YOUR BABY THE ENTIRE DRINK. I DRANK MOST OF IT.

This smoothie has:

  • 1.5 c chopped Dandelion greens
  • 1 c chopped Lacinato Kale
  • 1″ cube of Fresh Ginger
  • 1/8 c chopped Fresh red peppermint
  • 1 Pinkerton Avocado
  • 1 Pitted date
  • 1.5 tsp Spirulina
  • 1.5 tsp Sol Raiz Maca Root Powder
  • 1/4 c Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • 25 oz water

Baby girl is a green smoothie addict!

How a toddler can enjoy kale: “Cheesy” Kale chips!

Who says a 2.5 year old can’t like healthy food? I made these kale chips. He loves anything that is a ‘chip’, so this is why he seems to like kale chips. :-)  They are lathered in apple cider vinegar, tahini, sesame seeds, a little agave, lemon juice, sea salt, and red pepper. I just throw it all in the blender, minus the kale. I lathered the batter on the kale last night and put it in the dehydrator. So, Sun woke up to ‘brunch’ with apple slices and kale chips.

Recipe is from this site:  http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2010/04/raw-vegan-kale-chips-making-our-own.html#comment-72161   I just altered it by using tahini instead of cashews and added apple cider vinegar.

Averie’s Raw Vegan Kale Chips Recipe for 1 Bunch of Kale
1 c tahini  or raw sesame seeds (soaked for a few hours)
1 Medium Red Pepper 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of half a lemon (2 Tbsp)
1/4 c Nooch (Nutritional Yeast) or more if you’re a fan of nooch.  I use 1/3c++
1 Tsp Sea Salt (or to taste)
Optional 1/2 Tsp Agave or 1/2 of a medjool date

Sistah Vegan Product Review: Seasnax, great for toddlers!

In this short video I review the vegan and non-gmo product, Seasnax.


You can purchase it here:

amazon.com/​gp/​product/​B004WZ4EIS/​ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=sistvegawebs-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B004WZ4EIS

And more about NON GMO project:
nongmoproject.org/​

 

 

Getting your 2 year old to like healthy vegan desserts: Pistachio Sorbet-Ice-Cream

Homemade Vegan Pistachio Sorbet

Below is my 2 year old enjoying the results of the creation. It shows that you can get children to like ‘not so sweet things’ at an early age. Recipe to follow.

This is best pistachio sorbet sweetened with pitted dates with a little raw vanilla. Recipe:

Gotta a Vitamix blender (or something comparable?) Mix 1/2 cup of raw pistachios, 3 pitted dates (you can always add more if you like it sweeter), 1/2 tsp of raw vanilla powder, 1/2 tbsp of soy lecithin, 1/8 tsp of gum Arabic (optional) and 2 cups of water. Blend until smooth, chill in the fridge for an hour, then throw in the ice cream maker.

I just wanted to say that if my work has benefited you, or you have enjoyed watching my critical race scholarship and/or health advice over the past few years, I’m wondering if you can return a favor. My fellowship to pursue critical race and critical vegan studies at the doctoral level was not renewed for 2011-2012, through University of California, Davis. I would like to finish my PhD and need some help. I know the goal may seem overwhelming, but I have about a combined support network/friends/followers of 1000 people (through Facebook, blog subscribers, and Twitter followers). If you could spare $10 to $25 a piece, then this goal could be met I think.

Paypal email donation: breezeharper (at) gmail (dot) com or go to the right side top of the screen and click on donation link.

UPDATE: As of June 13, 2011:

Donated: $2700

Needed for completion of goal: $7,300

Deadline: September 2011 (so I Can register for 2011-2012 academic year)

Sistah Vegan’s Kale Smoothie for Toddlers

Here is a video of Sun, who is 22 months old, drinking a kale smoothie.

I fill up my Vitamix blender with

1/3 c Nutiva hempseeds

1 tbsp of Pacifica Hawaiian Spirulina

1/2 apple

1 date pitted

2 c chopped Lacinto Kale

2 tbsp of Health Alliance Lecithin

1 Avocado ( if you don’t have hempseeds)

2 tbsp of hempseed oil (add at the end of blending)

2 strips of raw papaya (or you could use fresh)

1 inch cube of ginger (crucial for digestion)

Fill blender up with water until you have about 2 inches of water from the top. Blend on high for about 1.5 to 2 minutes and you can add ice cubes to cool it down since it tends to get got. A high tech blender is crucial to blend the hempseeds finely.

Screw You High Fructose Corn Syrup! Hemp-Spirulina for Toddlers

My 19 month old loves these. It’s called a “hempsicle”. I am not sure if I’m the first person to create the word, but it is a tasty treat and a great way to get my toddler to eat hemp protein, get his Omega 3-6-9, and some Spirulina. I want him to enjoy a creamsicle style vegan dessert that is packed with nutrients.  And I say, “Screw you high fructose corn syrup in all that popsicle crap marketed to little kids! My baby ain’t buyin it!”

Sun eating hempsicle

Hemp-Spirulina-Mango Creamsicles (You can always had more dates to make it sweeter)

1 c raw hulled hempseeds

2 c water

2 pitted dates

1 tbsp spirulina

3 dried raw organic mango slices

Throw in Vitamix (or something comparable, as I don’t know if other blenders can grind hempseeds finely) and blend for about 2 minutes.

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for about 6 or 7 hours.

“Spirulina, it does the body good”

Sun is going to replace that “Milk, it does the body good” ad with, “Spirulina, it does the body good”, complete with a Spirulina mustache instead of a milk one.

Sun, 10 months old.

The other morning I made a very easy baby meal for him out of Spirulina, bananas, avocado:

2/3 tsp Spirulina

1/2 mashed small banana

1/2 mashed medium avocado

I mixed them together and served. Sun loves it.

Spirulina is an amazing super food. I ate it while pregnant. It is probably one of the most perfect foods you’ll ever encounter. It has DHA, EPA, GLA. Depending on the brand, 1 level tbsp has 4 to 6 g of protein in it. It is exceptionally high in Beta-Carotene (16,000 IU per 1 tbsp serving). 1 tbsp also gives you:

4mg Iron, 175 mcg B-1, 280 mcg of B-2. Talk about and excellent source of iron!

When you purchase Spirulina, make sure it’s a good source. I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs or from Amazon .

Spirulina Super Baby Food Recipe

This morning I gave Sun his “yum yum” (what he calls breakfast). It was avocado, applesauce, DHA, and Spirulina. I wanted to share this with anyone else interested in making their own nutritious baby food.
Spirulina Baby Super Baby

1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp spirulina
1/2 mashed avocado
1 DHA Deva vegan softgel (I burst it open and mix it in the food)

Sun is 23.5 lb and big for 10 months, so he can eat the whole thing.

I also gave him 1/4 of a gluten free vegan ginger muffin I made last night. I used chicpea flour and applesauce with a little molasses. It’s high in protein and he really enjoyed it. I also gave a muffin to my brother last night as well, and he said, “Wow, this actually tastes like wheat!” He really enjoyed it which is a compliment coming from someone who eats Pringles potato chips all the time and Peppridge Farm cookies :-)  It’s a modified version of the Vanilla Cupcakes recipe in Erin McKenna’s new gluten free vegan baking book Babycakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked About Bakery:

2 cups chickpea (garbanzo bean)  flour

1/2 cup arrowroot flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 c coconut oil or canola oil

3/4 c applesauce

2 tbsp of molasses

1.5 tbsp of pure ground vanilla

1/2 tbsp cinnamon ground

1/2 tbsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cloves ground

1/8 tsp nutmeg ground

1.5 – 2 c of hot water

Preheat oven 325 F. Bake 28 minutes. After the first 14 minutes, rotate the cupcakes pan 180 degrees. After it’s done baking, let stand for 20-30 minutes.

I don’t like a lot of sugar. The original recipe calls for 1.3 c of agave nectar. That’s WAY too much for me, but you may want to do that if you want it to be sweeter. I prefer the molasses since it’s higher in minerals and vitamins, especially iron and potassium.

Cradle Cap? Try This Vegan Hemp Oil Recipe

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Sun had Cradle Cap, up until a week ago. His scalp looked like a desert. He was scratching and jerking his head throughout the night because it was itching him and disturbing his sleep. To cure this, I made a recipe that I must share with everyone.

Ingredients

3.5 oz of Nutiva Organic Hemp Oil

1 drop of Blue Chamomile Essential Oil (Matricaria recutita)

1 drop of  Calendula Select CO2

The Calendula Select can be very hard to use because it is thick. I suggest warming it up a bit (but don’t ever boil essential oils. Try dipping the bottle in water that is about 105 degrees for a few minutes).

In a glass jar with a dropper, mix everything together very well. Shake it hard for about a minute. Glass jars are the best for essential oils. Plastic can be broken down by essential oils, so try not to use plastic bottles for you carrier oils that have essential oils in them.

Apply about 7-10 drops of the oils on baby’s scalp where the cradle cap is. You may need more, depending on how bad the cradle cap is. Massage gently.

In general, I like to use hemp oil all over Sun’s body and face. Keeps him smooth and moist.

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