Raising Healthy Children on a Plantbased Diet
Did you know that many parents are raising happy, healthy children on a plant-based diet? If you're new to this way of thinking, you might be wondering how to go about doing this, and I understand this as I went through the same thing as a Mom myself! Eating a healthy plantbased diet is as beneficial for children as it is for adults, and success is all in the planning.
When your child is at home, watching what they eat is easy, but you will need to explain to friends, family, and teachers, so they understand why this choice was made and be aware of which foods are and are not suitable.
Meal-Planning for Beginners
Your child may already be eating a plant-heavy diet! Foods include bread, oatmeal, pasta, rice, fruits and veggies, and various mylks (oat, soy, rice, almond). Ensure you introduce your child to new foods gradually and flavours, so they don't develop an 'I hate that!' attitude.
For breakfast, try hot oatmeal with brown sugar topped with fresh fruit or apple sauce and a mylk or hearty oatmeal pancakes with bananas, chocolate chips, and a little squeeze of Blue Agave.
Lunch is perfect for savoury with wholegrain sandwiches with hummus, smashed avocado, veggie deli slices, and a minestrone soup.
At dinner, no one will say no to DIY veggie burgers! Store-bought or homemade, these whole grain and plant protein versions can be at topped with avocado, sauteed mushrooms, veggie bacon, and non-dairy cheese. Condiments can include mild salsa, mustard, ketchup, and a traditional relish or an adventurous chutney (mango, pineapple). What goes better on the side than oven-roasted or smashed potatoes?
What About Snacks?
Keep snacks like fresh fruit, carrot and celery sticks, applesauce, brown rice crackers, hummus or tahini, and date-based bliss balls handy for those mid-afternoon munchies!
If you have older children in the house, get them involved in meal planning and shopping with you. If your teens are interested in cooking, they may even want to prepare plantbased meals for the family once in a while. There are many cookbooks, videos, and other plantbased kids creating delicious dishes for everyone!
Some suggestions for you:
- Shiona "Shi" Currey aka Shi LaChef
- Omari McQueen
- Anthony Thomas "The Little Vegan Chef"
- Forks Over Knives - Kids Section
Know that your decision to adopt a plant-based diet is one that will benefit both you, your children, the animals, and the planet in the long run. As their Mom, they need you to help them create healthy eating habits and understand the role that food plays in their health and well-being.
How We Can Help
Compassionate Press publishes four beautifully illustrated hardcover books that discuss the power of compassionate living. Guiding them to understand that a human life is no more valuable than the life of a pig, a chicken, or a cow, is a strong message that will guide them to a compassionate lifestyle.