There have been several studies that show eating the right foods early in life can have a protective effect later in life. For example it has been shown that in utero ingesting nutrients that are cancer protective can prevent cancer later in life. When our cell differentiation is at its fastest rate seems to be a time that DNA imprints are formed. So when we are infants and during the teen years are the fastest rates of cell differentiation. These are the most important times to be eating foods that are wholesome and do not contain large amounts of free radicals such as what is found in vegetable oils.
Soy foods seem to have an affinity for breast tissue. My Master’s thesis concluded that soy foods are chemoprotective if given during adolescence. To add to that hypothesis another study was released that showed soy foods with a protective effect if given during childhood. Now there has been a lot of negative press about soy foods especially from an organization that I support the Weston Price Foundation. I do agree that the majority of the soy produced in this country is not healthy for ingestion because it is genetically modified. Also soy is being used as an additive in foods way too often thus causing food sensitivities.
However small amount of soy given one to three times per week from properly prepared organic soybeans is most certainly part of a healthy diet. Research confirms this with its numerous studies showing the chemoprotective effect. The properly prepared soy foods are tempeh, natto and miso. Most kids will like miso soup, some will like tempeh if you make it taste like meat, and if you find a kid that likes natto I want to meet them. So if your daughter has not yet hit puberty then adding some miso or tempeh in small amounts may provide tremendous beneficial effects later in life.
Licensed Dieititian / Nutritionist
Maynard, MA & Cambridge, MA