RAISING VEGAN CHILDREN
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
I get asked every day if my son is vegan. First, let me clarify that a well-planned, plant-based diet is ideal for all stages of life—including childhood. With the right planning and knowledge, a child can get everything they need. But the hardest part of raising vegan children doesn’t seem to be the planning or the food; instead, it is dealing with judgmental eye rolls from the world around you. The biggest problem people seem to have is the idea that you would be “imposing your own beliefs and ethics on your children,” and that the choice of whether to eat animals should be theirs. Wait a minute . . . their choice? As a parent, every single day is filled with making big and small choices on their behalf. How much screen time do I give him? Which school do I send them to? Will she get baptized? Do I buy him that new, trendy toy that every kid in his class has so he doesn’t feel left out? Can she
have that one cookie before dinner? We make decisions on behalf of our children all the time, and the majority of these are either to keep them safe or to help them become the people we want them to be. The way I see it, veganism fits nicely into both categories.
KEEPING OUR CHILDREN SAFE. The moment our babies enter this world, we strive to protect them—it’s pure instinct. Just as I teach my son the safety basics of crossing the road or not running with scissors, I also want to keep him safe from unbalanced eating habits, obesity, and disease. So I teach him about basic nutrition, I explain the importance of greens, and I enable him by offering a variety of plant-based foods.
HELPING THEM DEVELOP INTO THE PEOPLE WE WANT THEM TO BE.
Of course, a vegan diet for children is not only for the plant-based health benefits. Teaching kids about not eating animals means explaining the true meaning of compassion. This helps them shift the way they view the world. They learn about kindness toward all of earth’s creatures and understand
that every life matters.
For more information and tips on children and veganism, check out Chapter 8 of Lettuce Live Better!