Raising vegan kids, would you?

I often wonder if children get enough protein on a plant-based diet, which is understandable given how important protein is for a growing body. The recommended intake for a healthy adult is 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams for men.

Being a parent has some serious challenges but bringing up vegan children in a non-vegan world – yes, you need a superhero outfit to cope with that!  It’s tough, really tough.  Tammy Fry, plant-based holistic nutrition advocate, mom and Director of Meat Free Mondays in SA shares a few ideas to help you out.

Remember, your child is not you
It is up to you to teach them the values that you hold as a family unit. You are there to guide them and inspire them. If they make different choices to you as they get older, don’t take it personally or as a sign you have failed.  

Keep mealtimes exciting
Get creative in the kitchen with your children – try making food art with the vegetables (think Rainbow Wraps, Noughts and Crosses (winner eats all) and become a master of disguise (hide the veggies they don’t usually like to eat!). 

Talk about the food you have made
Let your kids know about the health benefits (educating yourself and your children will greatly benefit you all), the way you prepared it, and where it comes from (for example if it’s homegrown, from a farm nearby). Talking about where animal products come from too, may help the rest of the family understand your point of view (keep emotions out of these discussions – be frank, honest and logical).  

Realise that everyone is on their own journey. You cannot enforce your own feelings on others. Listen to their point of view, be kind, and give your own thoughts in a non-confrontational way. Plant seeds. Do not judge. Be compassionate.  

Be prepared for events. School events, fundraisers, get-togethers, and kids’ parties all typically include animal products. Pack some options for your kids.

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