Most land and sea vegetables, and foods that are high in vitamins and minerals have an alkaline-forming effect on your baby’s body; most animal foods that are high in protein and fat, along with highly processed carbohydrates have an acid-forming effect. Whole grains and dried beans have a slightly acid-forming effect on your child’s body, but soaking or sprouting converts them to become more alkaline-forming. The sprouting process releases enzymes and other phytochemicals, which makes them slightly alkaline-producing. Offering a variety of whole grains provides options for an alkaline-producing effect. You can be confident that whole and natural foods are generally more alkaline- producing, while refined foods are more acid-producing.
Your child’s body maintains its balanced (homeostatic) condition and naturally keeps the pH of his body fluids in a slightly alkaline range. When the net acid- and alkaline-forming effects of his diet match the slightly alkaline pH of his blood, it is much easier for his body to stay in balance than if he eats foods that are extremely acid- or alkaline-forming.
To assist his body in maintaining this condition, you can make whole grains and fresh vegetables the center of your child’s diet. In general, foods toward the center of the yin-yang spectrum are more alkaline-forming, and foods on the extreme ends of the spectrum are more acid-forming.
It is difficult to provide a reliable list of acid- and alkaline-forming foods, because some foods such as fruits can be acid- or alkaline-forming, depending on the situation. Several factors that influence the acid- or alkaline-forming effect on your baby’s body when eating fruits are: the condition of his body at the time, and the ripeness, quality (organically or conventionally grown), and preparation method of the fruit. The amount eaten and combination with other foods also play a role in how eating fruit can affect your baby’s body. If he eats a balanced diet with moderate amounts of fruit, then eating fruit can be alkaline-producing to his body fluids.
The following list indicates which common foods have an alkaline-forming effect on your child’s condition, and which ones result in acid formation when they are digested and assimilated into his body.
Please note that this list of acid- and alkaline forming foods is not comprehensive.
Adapted from Acid Alkaline Companion by Carl Ferré and used by permission of George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation. Learn more at OhsawaMacrobiotics.com.
Aside from choosing a balance of acid- and alkaline-producing foods, you can also help your child maintain his natural alkaline condition by adjusting his environment. Because lifestyle factors such as stress and pollution can create acidic reactions in his body, make sure that he gets outdoors, is around oxygen-producing plants, and has free time away from electrical devices, such as televisions and computer screens. This will help your child maintain his slightly alkaline state.