Plant-Based Across Generations with Karen Bender
This week, we invited PBNM Board Member Karen Bender to discuss her experiences sharing her plant-based diet with her family. Karen’s interest in nutrition, food, and health began early in her career as an early childhood educator/director and continued later as a speech-language pathologist for special needs children.
Three years ago, she started attending Plant Based Nutrition Movement’s (PBNM) monthly meetings. The information and support from those meetings were so motivating and valuable, and now she hopes to pass them on to others. Karen is currently one of the PBNM Cooking Coaches and has led some small cooking classes. She also completed the e-Cornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate to add additional educational components to future classes and presentations.
Coming to Appreciate Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Growing up, Karen Bender did not appreciate fresh fruits and vegetables as much as she does now. As she transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle, she has come to miss the days when fresh produce was so readily available in her household.
She has come to realize the importance of incorporating fresh produce into her meals. She has developed a new appreciation for the natural flavors, textures, and colors that come from whole foods. In fact, she misses the days when fresh fruits and vegetables were so readily available in her household. Now, she makes a conscious effort to prioritize these foods in her diet, and she enjoys exploring new recipes and flavors to incorporate them into her meals. She finds that not only do fresh fruits and vegetables provide her body with vital nutrients, but they also add vibrancy and excitement to her meals.
Karen’s ‘Why’ for going plant-based happened when she and her husband had some health issues that inspired them to dig further into the research on the relationship between food and health. They discovered that their current eating habits were not enough to improve their health.
They knew they needed to strive for a healthier lifestyle, and their research led them to the whole food plant-based diet, with remarkable results!
Being a Role Model for Children
Having a diverse range of food options in the house can be incredibly beneficial for children’s culinary experiences. Exposing them to new foods and flavors at a young age can expand their palates and encourage them to explore different cuisines.
By providing a variety of ingredients and dishes, children have the resources to try new foods and develop their own preferences. This can be a fun and exciting journey for them as they discover new flavors and textures. Additionally, having a diverse range of food options can help ensure that children are receiving a balanced and nutritious diet. It’s important for parents to create a positive and supportive environment around trying new foods, without pressuring or forcing their children to eat something they don’t enjoy.
Encouraging children to participate in the cooking process and allowing them to have a say in meal planning can also help increase their excitement and investment in trying new foods.
For individuals on specialized diets, traveling can often be a daunting and challenging task. With limited options available while on the go, it can be difficult to find food that meets their dietary needs and preferences. This is particularly true for individuals who follow a plant-based or allergen-free diet, as many restaurants and fast food chains may not offer suitable options.
One helpful strategy for those on specialized diets during car trips is to bring a cooler filled with prepared food to cover most of the meals. This allows individuals to have more control over their food choices and ensures that they have access to nutritious and satisfying meals while on the road. Preparing food in advance also saves time and money, as individuals can avoid having to stop at restaurants and fast food chains that may not have suitable options.
Enjoy our complete interview by CLICKING HERE!!