The overall aim in early childhood should be to steer away from an animal-based diet and favor a largely plant-based one, so the child will become used to foods at an adaptable age. Even if the child rebels in adolescence there is a good chance of coming back to a plant-based diet in adulthood, especially if the parents set the example.
Dr. Spock, arguably one of the most famous pediatric thinkers out there, published an article in 1997 in which he advocated that children be raised on a vegetarian diet. Since then, numerous studies have supported this idea that a vegetarian diet is the best way to support lifelong health.
While most of us were no longer kids in 1997 and missed out on the excellent advice, we still have a chance to bestow the values of healthful vegetarian life on our kids.
A friend of mine has taken this advice to heart, raising her daughter without any artificial sugars or sweets. Now, when she eats raspberries she squeals with delight because they are so delicious. To her, they taste like sugar — and they’ll taste that way for the rest of her life.