Raising vegan children can be a breeze if you know how to go about it. In fact, raising healthy vegan children is probably easier than raising meat-eating children. Why? Well, if you are considering raising a child on a vegan diet then you are at least somewhat concerned about good nutritional health and that is actually the most important step in raising a vegan child. Also, here are some additional tips on making this good deed even easier.
1. Encourage healthy eating habits – when your child asks for chips go for the organic tortilla chips or better yet pop some popcorn the old fashioned way in the popcorn popper and season it with some non-hydrogenated butter and nutritional yeast. Try these and other healthy snack options to highlight healthy snacking over junk food snacking;
2. Be creative – if there’s one thing that children are notorious for it’s inspiring creativity. Dig deep into your imagination to come up with cool meal combos and snacks. Being a vegan means thinking outside of the box;
3. Diversify – they say that variety is the spice of life and this couldn’t be more true. The best way to combat boredom with any diet is to eat a variety of foods. Children bore fairly easily so you have to constantly switch things up to keep them eager and interested;
4. Cook more – Do more cooking and less microwaving. The food will be a lot more flavorful and nutrient-rich. Plus your children will appreciate the time and attention you give their nutritional health;
5. Read nutritional labels – make it your business to ensure that the ingredients in the foods that you purchase for your family are beneficial not detrimental to their health. Avoid artificial sweeteners, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and other synthetic food ingredients that only lead to obesity and increased health risks;
6. Meal planning – plan out your meals ahead of time. This way you ensure that your child always receives an adequate amount of vitamins and nutrients;
7. Stay away from processed foods – shop the perimeter of the grocery store and buy more natural, whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, and whole grains;
8. Make it fun – leading a vegan lifestyle should be fun-filled experience for your child. A vegan diet gives you increased energy so burn some of that excess energy by cooking with your child, coming up with new recipes together like adding best vegan plant based meat for example, or having meatless potlucks with friends and family who live nearby;
9. Collect and use recipes often – these days tasty vegan recipes can be found just about anywhere such as online, at the library, the bookstore, or word of mouth so you will never run out of new vegan recipes to try; and
10. Lead by example – If your child sees you practicing healthy eating habits they will likely follow suit. Children look to adults for guidance and as a primary source of information. Why not be the vegan that they most respect and admire?