Food Phases: How to Deal When Your Teen Goes “Raw”

“Crap, now I have to figure out how to get protein in my preschooler AND my frickin’ teenager!”

Last month I was enjoying a rare date night out with my hubby. In the middle of dinner I received this text message from my teenager:

text #1

She’d apparently watched a documentary called Fed Up about the food industry and informed me via text that she will no longer be eating any processed foods. No more meat, dairy, eggs, bread, cooked foods, or typical teen snack foods (i.e. candy and chips) for her. Being a professional mom, I played it cool, like it was no big deal. I kept a poker face when my husband inquired if she was OK, and I didn’t let on that her text was anything out of the ordinary. Unbeknownst to the outside world, a battle of ideals and reality had begun in my head. Former Environmentalist Vegetarian Hippie Teenager me vs. current Forty-something Eternally Exhausted  Responsible Mommy me:

Teen Hippie: Yay! Go go go raw vegan girl! Screw the FDA and Big Agribusiness!  

Responsible Mommy: Crap, now I have to figure out how to get protein in my preschooler AND my frickin’ teenager! Damnit!

Teen Hippie: I can’t wait to go shopping together and use my Blendtec ultimate superfoods blender! 

Responsible Mommy:  Well, I guess it is pretty socially conscious of her. Maybe we could turn it into a homeschool project somehow and she can get credit for it on her transcript.

Teen Hippie: This is going to be SOOOO much fun! We can, like, look up raw food recipes together, buy local produce at the farmer’s market and, like, totally bond over our truly raw experience!

Responsible Mommy:  On the plus side, we will probably save money if we don’t have to buy her all those frickin’ bags of chips every week…and her new raw diet is probably going to drive my husband nuts…hmm…that could be entertaining.  

So this is what I sent her back:text

Next week we made our first two raw dishes: cashew chicken salad and chocolate fudge brownie bars. My three year old helped us and was so happy to hear she would get to eat a chocolate brownie when we were done…until she tasted them.

Picky preschooler:  Blech! I don’t like the brownie.  Can we make a different one?  This one is YUCKY!

We got the same response from my husband, by the way. So if you live with a toddler/preschooler and/or husband, these may not be the right recipes for you. But my teenage daughter and I thought they were delicious. Even Grandma liked the brownie – although she never quite understood how we made a brownie without cooking it and she kept asking my teenager if it had flour and eggs in it.

The cashew chicken salad tastes exactly like the real thing and the fudge brownie bars, though not traditional in flavor or texture, were very tasty and rich – perfect with a cup of coffee.

Here are the recipe links, if you are brave enough to venture into the world of raw foods:

I’m not certain how long my teenager will continue down her raw foods path. Only time will tell if it  will be just a brief detour or a lifelong journey for her. In the meantime, I –Teen Hippie and Responsible Mommy – am thankful to walk the line with her as she navigates her way into adulthood one raw sunflower seed at a time.




Author: Reformed Hippie Mom

I am a Registered Nurse, wife, mother to two beautiful daughters, writer, reader, & contemplative human.

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