a different kind of coffee break with Gerry and Ray Coffey

Disease-Free Living Through Fitness and Nutrition

We began this Advice section as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health.  We believe that the information contained herein is true, but are not presenting it as the only solution to a problem.  We, personally, have found that a vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found.   Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body.  If you have a health problem, see your own physician.

Milk:  Raising Young Children Without Cow's Milk

Q. I have read the article on your web site about cow's milk. This is not the first time I have been warned about the consumption of dairy and I try to avoid it myself.  I have been breast feeding my son for almost nine months now and I am planning to continue until he is a year old.

A. Good for you, L.

Q. I want to be sure he is getting enough calcium after he is weaned.  I do not want to start my child on cow's milk, but I need to know what an alternative would be to ensure my child gets enough calcium.  It is fine to say eat lots of green leafy vegetables, but not all children will eat those types of vegetables especially if they are picky eaters.

A. Children become "picky eaters" for several reasons:

* Perhaps they aren't given a few different leafy green alternatives from which to choose * they're encouraged to eat when they're not hungry

* they aren't provided a good example by their parents who perhaps are not eating the fresh, leafy greens they, too, need Children live by example.

One of our grandchildren (we now have 9) was born here at our home and was nursed until he was 3. After he got teeth and began eating whole foods, he would see us eating salad and climb up on our laps and beg to share.  When he moved into his own home, these habits changed, and now he has to be bribed to eat even a little salad.

On the other hand, two of our other grandchildren have parents who eat "mountains" of salad. These grandchildren look upon salad as others might look at desert.  They gobble it up in addition to whatever else is put in front of them. They are 3 and 6 now and have beautiful teeth, hair and bone structure and appear to be very bright.  They now have a 3 month old baby brother who rarely cries and smiles frequently.  

And five of our other grandchildren have parents who aren't vegetarian, and follow their doctor's advice to eat lots of meat and dairy products to insure strong bones and teeth. Due, we believe, to their Mexican ancestry on their mother's side, they do, at present, have beautiful teeth, even though they don't consume much salad or vegetables. (That good start in life can change, however, if their diet is not health-promoting.)

The children, and parents, are often sick and do spend a great deal of time at the doctor's office and in the hospital.  One or more of the children have had pneumonia a few times (due, we believe to the mucus promoting qualities of dairy), and one spent 3 weeks in the hospital and the doctors still could not diagnose the problem for his fever and other symptoms.

Note: fever is the body's attempt to heal a problem and ideally nothing should be done to artificially stop that fever: ie., aspirin, cold cloths, etc.

Q. Should I give my child a calcium supplement?

A. We rarely recommend supplements as vitamins and minerals work in synergy with each other and once taken out of their natural state are in a form the body cannot readily utilize and they also throw the other vitamins and minerals out of balance.

Q. Is soy safe for young boys (I have heard there is an estrogen component in soy)?

A. We do not recommend soy because it is a concentrated protein and difficult to digest plus it has other drawbacks, as well.  You can find more info our website.

Q. Can you give me food suggestions?

A. Other articles on our website you might find of interest include: "Raising Helathy Babies," by Rhonda Malkmus, and you can order her excellent book on our website, as well. It covers information on everything from pre-conception to end of life, and also contains lots of good recipes. ($24.95 plus postage)

Thank you,

You are welcome, L.
Gerry Coffey,
Health Educator/Writer/Councilor International Vegetarian Union & Vegetarian Union of North America

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