Veganism is more than just a meal choice for some, as it’s also a lifestyle change. People go vegan for either fitness or advocacy reasons, such as simply believing that it is a healthy diet or a way to fight for animal rights. Besides staying away from meat, dairy, and any other food that’s an animal byproduct, some vegans extend their choice to only using cruelty-free products for cosmetics, toiletries, and other items.
In this day and age, being vegan isn’t as hard compared to a decade ago, and opting for this lifestyle has actually become rather common. There are even a lot of celebrities now who are proudly vegan, as Veopolis mentioned before in another post. But while undergoing this change solo, seems doable, how does it differ for vegan parents raising their kids into the lifestyle?
Familiarising kids with vegan choices
In theory, it would be easier to have your child adapt to a plant-based diet if he or she has not got used to meat yet vs. an adult going through a transition. This is why it can be advantageous to present vegan food options to a child as he or she is growing up.
“Vegan diets also present one opportunity for families to teach children about nutrition and healthy eating principles from an early age,” said dietician Bahee Van de Bor in an interview with The Independent. As long as parents carefully plan their kid’s diet and know where to get alternatives for nutrients a growing child needs, they should be fine. Take note of the figures of a child’s recommended daily intake of nutrients, and create meal plans that match.
Abundance in resources about veganism
Whether it’s cooking a plant-based burger for a treat or giving your child an organic snack after playtime, it’s easier than ever to incorporate vegan products into their lifestyle. Veopolis also suggests keeping things interesting by indulging their sweet tooth from time to time to make them understand that veganism can be fun, too! More and more vegan restaurants are also opening, making the switch more manageable than always having to cook at home.
Overcoming potential struggles
It’s worth noting that just like any kind of diet, a vegan diet is not for everyone. Parents should assess if this is the case for their kids. If the child has any nutritional deficiencies or other problems, consulting a paediatrician is still the best solution.
Plus, parents who raise their kids as vegans are sometimes met by judgmental parents, and that in itself is a struggle. Entertainment Daily touched on how parents had mixed reviews on Holly Willoughby’s Truly Scrumptious Baby, a book containing advice on how to introduce vegan choices to your baby. In the end, everyone has a different parenting style. Being well-informed about veganism and its benefits or effects is enough basis for a parent to decide whether or not they want to raise their child as vegan.
Times have changed and raising a vegan child has now become very attainable. Of course, it’s always a good idea to talk to a nutritionist first to help make the task of looking for dietary alternatives.
image credits: Unsplash/Prudence Earl, Unsplash/Toa Heftiba