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Your Kid Wants to be Vegan... Now What?
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Your Kid Wants to be Vegan... Now What?

Your kid comes home and says "I am never eating animals again."  What do you do? Do you give them the "This is my house, you'll eat what I serve," line? Or do you try to be supportive? 

The first thing you should do is congratulate yourself on raising a compassionate, intelligent child. They have made a connection--a connection between what they eat and how they feel. This is beautiful! 

Rather than squash their enthusiasm or feel like your cooking skills are being questioned, I suggest a compromise. Let them be a vegetarian or a vegan, but you both have to learn about nutrition. They can't live on peanut butter sandwiches and crackers, just like you don't need to eat "protein" at every meal (I put this in quotes because there is protein in everything. Even a potato has 1 gram! And most Americans are actually getting too much of it.)

Why not head to the library and pick up a few veg cookbooks to try? 

Here are a few suggestions:

Nava Atlas - anything by Nava is going to be good! May I suggest Vegan Express or The Vegetarian Family Cookbook for starters? Simple, quick and delicious recipes that the whole family will enjoy!

Isa Chandra Moskowitz - author of Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Give her recipes a try! 

The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn - A great book with easy, tasty recipes even the carnivore's will love!

PETA's Vegan College Cookbook: 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School - A fun and "young" take on vegan eating on the cheap.

You may want to watch some films like Forks Over Knives (http://www.forksoverknives.com/ ) Vegucated (http://www.getvegucated.com/ )or Food Inc for real information about where our food comes from and what we really need to eat to be healthy.  You may be surprised about your own food choices and want to make some changes yourself.

Finally, think about all of the things you already make that are vegetarian or just need a few modifications. 

  • Spaghetti, just leave out the meat.
  • vegetable side dishes
  • salad - the more greens the better!
  • rice and beans 
  • hummus

The truth is, there are lots of veg friendly foods that you already eat. You simply need to open yourself to noticing them. Your child may be going through a phase, or be radically changing their habits. Either way, why not choose your battles? You can fight, or you can strengthen your relationship.

You choose.

 

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

 

 

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Leave a Comment

  1. JayMoondog
    I think I need to buy a copy of The Engine 2 Diet for a co-worker. Thanks for the tips!
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    1. 3LittleBrds
      3LittleBrds
      That is a great book! Thanks for your comment!
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  2. The Flaming Vegan Crew
    The Flaming Vegan Crew
    Great book and site suggestions! Just so you know for the future, if when typing your blog post you highlight a book title or website title and then click the little chain icon in the box below where you put the text, you can enter a URL to link to. Just a little tip we thought you might find useful!
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    1. 3LittleBrds
      3LittleBrds
      It didn't work when I tried it - will do that next time. Thanks!
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      1. The Flaming Vegan Crew
        The Flaming Vegan Crew
        You bet! If it doesn't work again just let us know and we'll look into it for you. Today's our first day, so there's a chance there's a bug here or there yet!
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      2. The Flaming Vegan Crew
        The Flaming Vegan Crew
        Oh, and if you'd like we can go back and add the links to the above post for you. Just let us know!
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        1. 3LittleBrds
          3LittleBrds
          If you would, that would be great. I don't see how I can edit...
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          1. The Flaming Vegan Crew
            The Flaming Vegan Crew
            Will do (probably tomorrow)! You can only edit for like the first 15 minutes after you submit a post (can give you a boring explanation as to why if you're interested :-)
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            1. The Flaming Vegan Crew
              The Flaming Vegan Crew
              Well...it took us WAAAAAY longer than we thought it would, but we've now added the hyperlinks to this post!
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  3. SittieCates
    SittieCates
    This is really helpful! Great post. ;-)
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    1. 3LittleBrds
      3LittleBrds
      Glad you liked it. :)
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  4. aleviola
    Our daughter,Francesca, went vegetarian(not vegan)for 15 years thanks to influence from two"Up With People "girls from Switzerland that we hosted at our home .We were very supportive and I,being a chef,tried to make her home meals always interesting.
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    1. The Flaming Vegan Crew
      The Flaming Vegan Crew
      The Flaming Vegan Crew is wondering why *our* parents are not chefs!? :-)
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      1. 3LittleBrds
        3LittleBrds
        Me too! Great parenting aleviola!
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  5. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Great post! It is natural for kids to go vegan and I would really like more parents to be supportive of it. I am a vegetarian moving towards being a vegan but I know it would have been easier if I had started early on.
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    1. 3LittleBrds
      3LittleBrds
      I agree. I am mostly vegan, meaning I am flexible when I have to be. It would have been much easier had my parents not thought that milk was the perfect food.
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  6. VegMom
    Thanks for calling my attention to the Engine 2 Diet book. I haven't checked out the recipes in that one. I must have missed it because it doesn't have the word "vegan" in the title. :-)
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    1. 3LittleBrds
      3LittleBrds
      I avoided that book too until I watched Forks Over Knives. Go get it - you will love it!
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  7. Veganara
    Veganara
    Vote no 8. I have only just seen this, it must be one of the first posts on TFV! Great information.
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  8. beachgurl
    Good nutrition is good nutrition. Childhood obesity is our country is rampant and the Standard American Diet truly SAD. My hat off to any child and parent that is willing to reevaluate the situation, and search for a better way. Carnivores often assume that any meal plan that doesn't include meat is flawed. The ingredients that are lacking the most in the SAD are vegetables and whole grains, the building blocks of most vegetarian and vegan diets. Complex carbs are the body's favorite source of fuel, and the only source of fuel for your brain.
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