|Yes, vegan kids DO have more fun!!!|
As promised, I wanted to share with all of you a few vegan parenting tips I have learned along the way. I don’t consider myself to be a “granola” or “hippie” kind of mom. I like to call my style of raising a vegan child to be “realistic”. I long ago accepted the fact that I can’t do it all, but I know I can make veganism work for her the same way it has worked for me. I just need to keep things simple but also make it fun for the both of us. Before I start on this blog post, maybe I should post some legal mumbo-jumbo and tell you all that I am not a licensed pediatrician. In fact, I never held a license in nutrition…But one thing I do as a vegan mom is that I talk to other vegan moms and I also talk to Raegan’s pediatrician before I think about doing anything. Luckily, Raegan’s doctor is pretty vegan savvy. He’s not a vegan himself but I like to think he’s a well read guy who knows his stuff. People often ask me about raising my daughter as a vegan and if you thought the usual vegan questions as an adult were stupid (Where do you get your protein/calcium, etc.), the ones regarding vegan children get even dumber… *sigh*
|I’ll take the milk on the left!|
The first misconception is that all babies MUST drink cow’s milk as soon as they turn a year old!!! And no one raises the milk debate to a mother with a child with a dairy allergy, but they will always openly ask a vegan parent like as if what they are doing is negligent. Rest assured, I have been trained with this VERY common question and my answer actually comes off as kinda inspiring to a non-vegan parent. My answer is that my milk of choice with Raegan has always been unsweetened hemp milk mixed in with a little bit of rice milk for sweetness. Then I inform the person about how hemp milk is LOADED with Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s that you will never find naturally in cow’s milk. I have convinced a couple of moms to ditch the pricey formula/full fat cow’s milk and to try hemp milk and the feedback I have gotten has been AWESOME!!! There are plenty of other vegan milks out there (in case hemp is not your thing) that are safe for toddlers such as soy milk, oat milk and almond milk (Disclaimer: Almonds are one of the least likely to cause allergies out of all of the tree nuts but you should be avoid this all together if nut allergies are an issue!!!). There are also vegan supplements available that you can mix into your child’s vegan milk to boost the DHA and EPA content of their beverage. Needless to say, the benefits of using vegan milk more than outweigh the lack thereof in dairy.
So as you probably noticed in the title, this will be a reoccurring segment on this blog aside from all the awesome food topics I usually cover. I have to ask to all those with children, or those who want to raise vegan children (either now or in the future!), what challenges are you most concerned about???