20 Best Tips For Raising Vegan Kids

20 Best Tips For Raising Vegan Kids

What Does It Mean To Be A Vegan?

A vegan is someone who does not consume any animal products or eat any food derived from animals. It's more than a diet; it's a philosophy of causing the least amount of harm to other sentient beings as possible.

It is not possible for very young children to actually “be vegan” because veganism is a lifestyle that must be understood in terms of its basic principles in order to be adopted.

Rather, you could say that children can eat a plant-based diet until they fully comprehend the vegan ideology and are willing to stand by its precepts.

On this website, however, we use the terms vegan and plant-based interchangeably and encourage everyone to get as near to veganism as possible.

The Advantages Of A Plant-Based Diet

Is A Vegan Diet Suitable For Children?

The short answer is yes, a child can obtain what they need from a vegan diet with proper preparation and information. The most serious issue with vegan diets in young children is nutritional deficiency. As a result, parents must be well-informed; otherwise, vitamins D, calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and maybe vitamin B12 may be lacking.

So, what are the most significant considerations for parents when feeding their children a plant-based diet? Continue reading to learn more.

Best Tips For Raising Vegan Kids

Here are some of our best recommendations for raising vegan kids, including how to make plant-based cuisine more appealing, how to deal with difficult social situations, and more.

Please keep in mind that every child and family is unique, so pick what works for you from these suggestions!

1. Health Specialists Should Be Involved

It's a good idea to talk to your pediatrician or a pediatric nutritionist about your concerns and potential hazards before changing your child's diet.

Demonstrate that you're knowledgeable about supplementing and essential nutrients, and inquire about any warning signs that your child's nutritional needs aren't being met.

Speak With Your Children

2. Speak With Your Children

Explain why you want to make certain food substitutions at home. You can go into more or less depth depending on your child's age and appeal to their natural love of animals!

While finding the perfect words to describe what is going on in animal agriculture can be difficult, assisting people in making the connection between their food and real animals can already help. Here are some of the best reasons to go vegan.

Kids don't like to be coerced into anything, so listen to their worries and make the transition as painless as possible.

Parties In The Classroom

3. Parties In The Classroom

It's critical to speak with the teacher at the start of the year and inform them that your child does not consume animal products. Most instructors will allow you to send in a nonperishable alternative snack that they can keep on hand in case of a birthday or holiday celebration. Include your child in the purchasing process if at all feasible, and let them select two or three alternatives that they are enthused about. No Whey! is one of the outstanding treat brands to search for.

Vegan versions of Rule Breaker Snacks and Just Desserts are available. True, vegan parents must do a little more legwork when it comes to eating out, but with a little forethought and preparation, the process can be made significantly less stressful. Remember: you're a fantastic plant-based mom who is doing the best you can for your child!

Cook Their Favourite Dishes

4. Cook Their Favourite Dishes

Nobody likes to have all of their favorite foods suddenly taken away from them! Think about how you can make vegan pizza or tacos instead of coming up with fresh and unexpected family dinners. It will help you most raising vegan kids.

Purchase shredded vegan cheese for spaghetti or casseroles, and experiment with vegan sausages or faux chicken to replace the animal-based counterparts! Accepting these vegan options can be really beneficial. Make sure to include vegetables in most meals (chopping them finely or pureeing them helps!) and try different dishes every now and then.

 

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5. Gradually Transition To A Plant-Based Diet

Toss some vegetables into your tomato sauce, blend frozen spinach into smoothies, cook with olive oil rather than butter, and serve fruit for dessert!

Invite your kids to help you make coloured bean burgers or decorate beautiful smoothie bowls. You can also allow children to select meat and dairy alternatives at the store. All of these small changes can help your children and entire family eat more complete plant-based foods!

Give Your Children As Much Fruit As Possible

6. Give Your Children As Much Fruit As Possible

Fruit is frequently enjoyed by children, even if they dislike veggies. Apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, watermelon, mango, and pears are among my children's favorite fruits.

Provide A Variety Of Vegan Snacks

7. Provide A Variety Of Vegan Snacks

There are a plethora of vegan snacks for kids on the market, many of which your child may already appreciate.

Kids require calories and nutrients all day long, from fresh fruit to vegetables with hummus, rice crackers, pretzel thins, trail mix, apple sauce, energy bars, and chips.

To determine if your kids prefer vegan bliss balls or vegan smoothies, make your own vegan bliss balls or vegan smoothies. You should keep it in your mind for raising vegan kids.

Allow Your Children To Assist You In Making Green Smoothies

8. Allow Your Children To Assist You In Making Green Smoothies

My twins used to adore green smoothies, and they still do from time to time. Unfortunately, my four-year-old is not a fan! He appears to like chewing his food and simply enjoys eating. He likes to drink from my cup, so I always give him a green smoothie when I make one. Smoothies are an excellent method to introduce greens, fruits, and nuts/seeds to picky eaters. Just don't push it or your kids will start to dislike you!

9. Cooking Separate Meals For Your Children Is Not A Good Idea

I have absolutely prepared separate meals for my children in the past, and it has caused me a great deal of worry! When planning meals for the week, keep them in mind, and even if it's not something they'll eat, offer a few sides they'll enjoy, such as apples, bread, corn, or whatever. I offer to let my older kids prepare their own PB&J if they completely despise what I've made.

10. Allow Them To Participate And Assist you with meal planning

Inquire about your children's preferences for the week's meal. Allow them to go through recipes with you so that they can choose what looks nice. Grow a garden, go to the farmer's market, and involve them in cooking and baking if you can.

11. Keep Vegan Munchies On Hand At All Times

There are a plethora of vegan snacks available. Fruit, hummus-covered pretzels or pretzel thins, hummus-covered vegetables, rice crackers, tortilla chips and salsa, energy bars (larabars, luna bars, Clif bars), toast, popcorn, cereal, vegan yogurts, applesauce cups or squeezes, dried fruit, trail mix, almonds… The list might go on forever. My children are active and require snacks in the afternoon or late.

12. School Functions And Birthday Celebrations

Social circumstances such as get-togethers with friends or school lunches can usually provide some difficulties. There is no right or wrong way to handle these situations or what to allow your child.

If your child is serious about being vegan and refuses to consume animal products even when they are not at home, go to someone in charge of meals at school to see if they can provide a vegan option.

If that isn't possible, you can always send your youngster to school with a lunchbox! Here are some vegan lunches that are easy to take with you.

Talk to the other parents about your unique dietary needs when it comes to play dates, or send your child over with some tasty food to share with their pals! Birthday parties can function in a similar manner.

Encourage your children to feel self-assured and proud of their eating habits, and since more and more people are adopting plant-based diets, the stigma around veganism will fade away.

13. Enjoy Some Delectable Treats To Commemorate The Occasion

Vegan sweets are a fantastic way to get someone interested in the vegan lifestyle. There are a million sweets you can create with your kids (and impress their friends!) ranging from chocolate cake to chocolate chip cookies to vegan mug cake to funfetti vegan cupcakes.

14. Allow Kids To Make Their Own Decisions Outside The Family, Depending On Their Age

This may be a touchy subject, but your children will eventually have to learn to make their own eating decisions as they get older.

Your child's age will vary based on your household, but at some point, he or she will have to decide for themselves whether or not to remain vegan. You can still have control over the food you prepare and keep in your home, but they will eventually make their own choices. Leading with kindness and honesty is always the greatest approach, in my opinion.

15. Separate Foods From Time To Time

I'm the type of person that throws everything together in a bowl, but my kids don't always enjoy it. If we're having buddha bowls or tofu-rice-veggie bowls, I'll put the items on a separate dish for my kids. It can definitely benefit a kid with a fussy taste if it's a meal where you can easily do that.

16. Avoid Preparing Separate Meals For Your Children

I have absolutely prepared separate meals for my children in the past, and it has caused me a great deal of worry! When planning meals for the week, keep them in mind, and even if it's not something they'll eat, offer a few sides they'll enjoy, such as apples, bread, corn, or whatever. I offer to let my older kids prepare their own PB&J if they completely despise what I've made.

17. Birthday Celebrations

Always have a vegan version of whatever is being served at a gathering. Because of prevalent food allergies, most parents will let you know what they will be provided ahead of time. If they don't, simply inquire! Your task is to create a vegan choice that is as intriguing as the one on the menu. Thankfully, most children's parties are very predictable; pizza and cake are nearly always there. Make a simple vegan pizza at home or pick up a frozen pie or a slice from the hot bar at the store.

Most Entire Foods locations feature a vegan option at the pizza station, and you can get Daiya, Amy's Kitchen, or Sweet Earth Foods vegan whole pizzas in the freezer department of your local store. If you don't want to create an entire cake for dessert, opt for cupcakes. They're easier to travel, and the leftovers can be frozen. The Minimalist Baker's funfetti cupcake recipe is kid-approved.

18. Playdates

Let the host parent(s) know that your child does not eat any animal products when negotiating the date, time, and place (vegan can sometimes be confused with vegetarian or even gluten-free). Inquire about their children's favorite snacks so you may offer something comparable or provide enough food for your child to share. Children, on the whole, are better communicators than adults because they don't hold back. Your youngster can positively introduce their friend and his or her family to the benefits of a vegan lifestyle by sharing one of their favorite plant-based delicacies.

Allow Them To Assist In The Kitchen

19. Allow Them To Assist In The Kitchen

Starting with the grocery store, you can get your kids more involved in all things food! Go around the aisles looking for new vegan foods to try, or download our free vegan grocery list to get some fresh shopping ideas.

Begin a vegan meal planning session with your children, and have them suggest their favorite dishes or search for new vegan recipes together to decide what to make! When it's time to make the real dinner, have them chop vegetables (with help if needed) or stir the sauce, or help in any other way you can think of. Your children will be ecstatic about the meals they helped prepare!

20. Mental Well-Being

If you observe your children becoming anxious around mealtime, you should talk to them about it!

If they are depressed and forced to not consume any animal products, allow them to have a healthy relationship with food throughout their lives.

Once youngsters comprehend what happens to animals who end up as food, they may see the world and their friends through new eyes.

If they witness people around them eating animal products, they may become offended or furious, and you must explain that changing one's diet and going vegan is not easy. As much as possible, instill compassion in your students.

You Are Instilling Compassion In Them

Reasons To Be proud That You Are Raising The Next Vegan Generation

1. You Are Instilling Compassion In Them

Children are born sensitive, and any encounter with animals brings them joy. The idea of these same creatures dying on our dinner plate goes against everything we teach our children about kindness, love, and empathy, so promoting and nurturing compassion for other species makes perfect sense. Your plant-powered child will be able to see the world in a new light, and not simply in terms of animals. Veganism means causing as little harm to the globe as possible, whether it's through our interactions with the animals we live with, our environment, or other humans. And what a great thing it is to be able to do so.

2. You Are Safeguarding Their Generation And Future Generations

Adopting a plant-based diet is critical for the planet's survival. Veganism, according to Oxford University experts, is “probably the single biggest strategy to lessen your influence on planet Earth.” When you consider how much land, water, and energy it takes to produce meat vs plant-based alternatives, this comes as no surprise. A 14-pound cattle burger consumes 93 percent more land, 99 percent more water, and produces 90 percent more greenhouse gases than a Beyond Burger.

3. You Are Helping Them Get Off To A Good Start

It's all too easy to forget that, aside from being extremely ethical, a wholefoods plant-based diet is also extremely healthy. Vegan newborns and children will get what they require – and more – from a well-planned and diverse plant-based diet.

The variety of fruits, vegetables, pulses, legumes, and occasional treats that your child will enjoy during their weaning journey and beyond will provide them with the essential nutrients they require: calcium from leafy greens and tofu, iron from pulses and dried fruits, and omega 3 fatty acids from flaxseed and walnuts, to name a few. Vegan diets are also naturally lower in saturated fats, which have been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease when consumed in excess.

Vegan newborns and children should eat a “broad variety of foods to provide the energy and vitamins they require for growth,” according to the NHS. The Vegan Society has a wonderful summary of plant-based diets for babies and children if you're searching for some advice on how to give your children the greatest vegan start in life. It's also a good idea to discuss healthy plant-based diets for babies and children with your doctor or health visitor.

Conclusion

To summarize, plant-based diets are the way to go if we want to address the environmental crisis and conserve our world and its resources for future generations. Your child will be at the vanguard of the green revolution if they grow up on a plant-based diet.

Making the decision to raise your infant or child as a vegan is a wonderful thing to undertake. Not only will a well-planned and diverse vegan diet provide them with all of the nutrients they require to flourish, but you'll also be protecting the environment for your child's future and future generations. To all the plant-based parents raising little vegans: you are awesome.

I trust you enjoyed this article on the 20 Best Tips For Raising Vegan Kids. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly.

JeannetteZ

 

 

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Your Opinion Is Important To Me

Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? Do you have any questions or ideas? I would love to hear from you. Would you please leave me your questions, experience, and remarks about this article on the 20 Best Tips For Raising Vegan Kids, in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.

 

 

 

Here are links to some of my favourite articles:

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Best Vegan Restaurants In Naples, Italy

32 Best Vegan Restaurants In Pisa, Italy

38 Best Vegan Restaurants In Milan, Italy

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26 Best Vegan Restaurants In Madrid, Spain

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