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Now, you might think that you have your hands full with your children. You’re trying to make sure they always have enough to eat, always arrive at school and their sports groups at the right time, and that they’re on the right path to becoming productive, lovely members of society. It’s not easy! But what about when they begin – shudder – to think for themselves? This will disrupt the rhythm that you’ve set. At a certain age, your child may decide that they want to adopt a vegan lifestyle.
If so, how you will you react? Below, we take a look at some useful tips that’ll ensure everyone in your family can benefit.
Learn What it Means
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll likely have already heard about veganism. Still, you might not have a deep enough understanding to make it part of your family’s lifestyle. So what exactly does it mean? It essentially means avoiding foods (and products) that contain substances derived from animals. It’s like super vegetarianism, essentially. As well as not eating meat, a vegan practicer would also refrain from drinking cow’s milk, eating eggs, and so on. It also applies to clothes and beauty products, too – so no leather goods, for example.
Understand the Motivation
If your child has just woken up one morning and announced that they want to stop using animal products, it’ll be a good idea to understand where the motivation has come from. Have they been watching one of the many documentaries that expose the cruelty that factory farmed animals are subjected to? Or are they being peer-pressured into it by their friends? Once you know where it’s coming from, you’ll be better equipped to manage it moving forward.
Talking It Out
Even people who have conducted plenty of research find it difficult to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle instantly. And if you’ve only just discovered what the word fully means, then you’re going to find it even more difficult! Your child isn’t going to go vegan on their own. They’re going to rely on you to facilitate the switch. As such, you’ll be well served by suggesting that you ease your way into the lifestyle. Of course, if your child is dead set on veganism, then getting them to agree might be difficult! But that’s where you stellar parenting skills come in.
It might sound scary to hear that you need to start making vegan-friendly meals. But it only sounds scary; in reality, it’s as easy as any other cooking. Indeed, it might even be easier! There are a whole host of vegan recipes that only require a few ingredients, and which can be made in fifteen minutes or less. Things get even more straightforward when it comes to “big batch” meals, too. Making a big pot of meatless curry for the whole is the same as making a curry that contains meat.
In the Cupboards
Your child might think that it’s all good and well having a vegan lifestyle when it comes to their main meals, but what about snack time? They’re going to have to wave goodbye to all their old favourites! But don’t worry: they’ll still be allowed to have treats from time to time. There are plenty of vegan-friendly snacks that your child can enjoy. For example, did you know that the original Oreo cookie is vegan? Some versions of Doritos and Haribo are suitable for vegans, too.
A Healthy diet
If you’ve already created a diet for your children than ensure that they’re eating healthy, nutritious meals that give them all the vitamin and minerals they need, then you’ll need to consider how you’re going to give them the same as part of a vegan diet. Fortunately, one of the biggest misconceptions about veganism is that it can’t give a person everything they need. It’s not true at all! One of the main benefits of eating fish, for example, can be replaced with vegan omega 3 capsules. For protein, meat isn’t the only option; there’s also quinoa, tofu, and soy based meat alternatives. It does require a little bit of research, but only a little.
Have you seen Pulp Fiction? In the film, one of the characters comments that “my girlfriend is a vegetarian, which essentially means I’m a vegetarian too.” You’ll find yourself saying the same thing when referring to your child. It’s much easier to make one big family meal as opposed to several based on everyone’s dietary preferences! If anyone in your family is as strong in their belief in eating meat as your child is in their belief against eating it, then it’ll be no great problem, however. Many meals can be made to be vegan or non-vegan; if someone wants to eat meat, just add to their dish.
There’s nothing better than the whole family getting dressed up and going out for a meal! And one person being vegan shouldn’t change that fun part of life. However, you might need to think about where you’re going to eat a little bit more. While many restaurants nowadays also cater to vegan diets, some don’t. If you live in a medium-sized city, there will be options though. You could even try going to a vegan only restaurant. The creations they have on the menu will delight anyone with a love of food, vegan or no.
Celebrate their Decision
Your child’s insistence on following a vegan lifestyle might be a little bit annoying but think of the bigger picture. They’re taking a stand for what they think is the right thing to do. There are not many people out there with that attitude! As such, you should celebrate their decision. The world needs more people that put thought into the consequences of their decisions. And hey, don’t just celebrate it: be a little bit proud – you’ve raised a child that thinks for themselves. Encourage them, and they might just go on to do great things!
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Thanks for stopping by today, I hope this post is of help to you if you have a child that’s thinking about following a vegan diet.
*This is a collaborative post.