A lot of parents are becoming vegan and encouraging their children to eat a vegan diet as well. There are quite a few benefits to being vegan, but there are also some challenges that go along with it. Let's start by looking at the challenges.
The Challenges of Vegan Parenting
Many new vegan parents discover that it is more challenging than they thought it would be. They need to plan before they go out to eat, checking restaurant menus to see if there are vegan items their kids will want to eat. School functions may also be challenging, and parents may need to send a vegan-friendly snack or call the school to ensure one is provided. Eating at other people’s houses can also present challenges if the host is not vegan. Many vegan parents bring their own entrees to ensure that there’s food both they and their child can eat. Finally, being vegan can make you feel like an outsider, and while that may be easy for an adult to process, it can take a toll on the children.
The Benefits of Vegan Parenting
Despite the challenges of a vegan diet, you may find that the benefits outweigh them. Adults and children who only eat a vegan diet (especially a whole-food, plant-based one, as seen in The China Study) tend to be healthier. Children have less of a chance of becoming obese and developing Type 2 diabetes. Adults have a lower risk of diseases like arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
A vegan diet is also an excellent choice for those that are concerned about animals or the environment. Vegan parents don’t have to have uncomfortable conversations at the dinner table surrounding animal products served as the main course. And finally, animal agriculture is a leading culprit in climate change.
Vegan Parenting Tips & Tricks
It may take more planning to eat a vegan diet as opposed to one that contains animal products. However, it can quickly be done by utilizing the following tips and tricks.
Keep snacks in your car - There won’t be vegan options everywhere that you go. Because of this, you need to keep some vegan snacks in the car for you and your children. They will help tide you over until you get back home. Vegan granola bars, nuts, and crackers are all great options.
Take the time to search your grocery store - Your local grocery store probably has a lot of different vegan foods that you aren’t aware of. This is why you need to pick a time where you can walk up and down each aisle of the grocery store to look for vegan options. It is becoming a lot easier to find vegan products in most grocery stores. You can find everything from eggs alternatives made out of tofu to versatile baking products like active dry yeast and vegan chocolate chips.
Buy some products online - Many people struggle with being vegan because it can be expensive. However, you can lessen the expense by purchasing some of the products you need online. You may be able to save money by buying items in bulk or from retailers that specialize in vegan products.
Take a plant-based cooking class - All parents struggle with trying to get their kids to expand their palettes. This is especially true for vegan parents whose kids may want to eat animal products. Vegan parents can deal with this by taking a cooking class to learn how to make a lot of different dishes that are kid-friendly. It’s a good idea to learn how to tweak certain dishes that contain animal products in order to make them vegan. You may find that a lot of dishes can easily be turned into vegan ones by substituting just a few items.
Join a support group - Raising kids is tough, and parents need to find support where they can so that they don’t feel so alone. Because of this, it’s a good idea for vegan parents to join a support group. If they don’t want to meet in person with a group, there are quite a few vegan groups available online. These groups are a great place for parents to ask for advice or to just learn from the experiences of other vegan parents.
Vegan parenting doesn't have to be that difficult. By utilizing the information mentioned above, you can successfully practice veganism with your children. It may seem difficult at first, but with the proper resources and support, you will feel more confident in your decision to be a vegan parent.