Being a vegan can be a crucial ethical stance that you want to pass on to your children. You may want to reduce the exploitation of animals or for your children to grow up having a healthy relationship with food – vegans have a lower BMI (body mass index), which leads to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and low rates of heart disease.
However, making even small dietary changes for kids can be a challenge. How can you introduce your kids to the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle? Here are five ideas to consider to help make the transition easy and fun!
Make Sure They’re Getting All Their Nutrients
Children need certain nutrients to fuel their growing bodies and brains, so you have to research before making dietary changes. Before starting them out, figure out the best ways your children can get vitamins D and B12, protein, and all the other nutrients they need to help them grow.
Start With Vegan And Plant-Based Desserts
Finally, dessert comes first! Find some plant-based desserts that are kid-friendly; this will make your family’s introduction to plant-based eating much more fun and show them just how flavourful vegan diets can be!
Selections like Smart Sweets and Chiamigos Crunchy Peanut Butter or Chocolate Banana Nut Pudding are delicious plant-based desserts they’d never know were made without animal-based ingredients. It also gives you a chance to help them explore what goes into their non-vegan counterparts!
Do Everything Together
Your diet is more than the food you eat: it’s the choosing, the buying, and the preparation of this food, too. So why not include your kids in every part of it? Have them choose recipes, pick out produce, and work with you in the kitchen. You can make it destinations, too – go to the farmer’s market or your local specialty store to talk to growers and healthy living experts.
By doing this, you’ll help your children gain more than an appreciation for vegetarian or vegan diets – they’ll understand that cooking can be fun! It’s a great way to help build the skills they’ll need to take their plant-based lifestyle into adulthood.
Cook With Similar Flavour Profiles
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every option! Recreate your kids’ favourites by replacing any meat and dairy ingredients with a plant-based substitute. You can “spice” them up the same way, but take out the meat or dairy – you can make chili with more beans, and a dessert smoothie can use plant-based milk instead of dairy.
Take It Slower If Necessary
If they’re more resistant to changes to their diet, you can make the transition a slow one! Add a few more sliced cucumbers and carrot sticks to their plates and fewer meat products. Make them a morning smoothie with healthy greens and veggies to fruit smoothies. Add more vegan snacks.
Taking the transition step by step can help you overcome even the most change-adverse children. As you add more plants every day, you can get every member of your family on board with a vegan diet!