It is one thing to follow a plant-based diet, but when you want your kids to also be plant-based, it might take a different method. This is especially true if they have been eating meat and dairy previously, but you want to transition them more into vegan options. Here are some easy tips for raising plant-based kids.
Feed Them Plant-Based Foods They Love
Don’t try to switch your kids to nothing but plant-based foods just yet, and don’t introduce new foods right away. Start by giving them more of the vegan foods they already eat that they love. This might be a selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, vegetarian chili with loads of beans and veggies, or pasta with a tomato sauce that doesn’t contain any meat in it. You can start gradually adding more of the plant-based foods they love, with some new ones you want them to try.
Sweeten it Up with Fruit
Kids love sweet foods, so fruit is the best thing when switching to a plant-based diet. Instead of candy which is not only loaded with sugar but often animal products like gelatin and dairy, you can instead give them their sweet cravings with healthy, fresh fruit. It contains all-natural sugar and is a great way to show them how yummy a vegan diet can be.
Focus on Proper Nutrients
You must make sure your kids are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to grow big and strong. When switching to a plant-based diet, this just means a proper balance of nutrients with each meal. Focus on adding fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and beans and legumes. This combination ensures their meals and snacks have all the calcium, vitamins, electrolytes, iron, protein, and zinc your kids need in their growing bodies.
Make it Fun for Them
You can take their new vegan foods and make them a lot of fun to eat. Whether you cut their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into fun shapes or add vegan cheese sauce to their pasta or veggies at dinnertime, you can make it so that they don’t miss the meat, dairy, and eggs from their favorite meals. It is much simpler than you think to make plant-based foods your kids will not only eat but will have fun with.