As we know, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to our children. Parenting Perspectives is a blog series which aims to share posts from other mums (and dads) that take an alternative view to “traditional” parenting, whether by choice or not.
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This week, Samantha from http://www.porridgeandparenting.com shares her story of what it’s like to parent as a vegan and how she overcomes the obstacles she is sometimes faced with.
Parenting as a Vegan
When we decided to go vegan back in March, my immediate concerns were over the health of my toddler. We are raised to believe that children need milk to grow and we often hear about the importance of calcium for healthy development, so I knew I would need to tread quite carefully. Not only that, but my toddler is a notoriously fussy eater so I knew it wouldn’t be easy to get her to eat a vegan diet.
One of the biggest myths out there is that we need to drink cows milk and eat dairy to get our calcium, there are so many plants based places to find it! Once I figured that out things got a little easier. They are by no means simple, like most toddler anything green is immediately dismissed so I have to be a little bit sneaky and hide spinach in as much food as possible and get quite creative with mealtimes. Pizza is a good one for us, she doesn’t really notice that the cheese isn’t dairy and we can load it up with veg. We do ensure she takes a multivitamin every day too, but that is good practise for all toddlers, not just vegan ones!
Being a Vegan is Challenging
I try not to be too strict with her though. Being a vegan is challenging as it isn’t considered ‘the norm’ so a lot of people struggle to cater for it.
Not only that but it is a decision my husband and I have made after researching it and learning about the industry, so I don’t buy or cook dairy or meat and I don’t have it in the house but I also want to leave my daughter to be able to make her own decisions. If she is at a birthday party for example, I won’t be taking cake out of her mouth because I know it has eggs or butter in it. I buy her the occasional Kinder Egg treat and I certainly don’t dictate what she eats at other people’s houses. I generally just say she is vegetarian as that is much more common and easily catered for too.
I’d say she is 100% vegetarian and maybe 80% vegan.
As she gets older
As she gets older, I will explain why we eat the way we do. There are a few kid friendly YouTube videos which do a good job of simplifying the many documentaries we have watched. They make it easy for children to understand so I will be showing those to her later in life. Though like I said, I will be leaving her to make up her own mind. I wouldn’t be upset if she chose to eat meat or dairy at school but I also won’t be cooking it for her at home.
Find out more
If you would like to know more about Samantha’s ventures into veganism, please visit her blog or social media pages on the links below.
See our Parenting Perspective page for other Parenting Perspective posts.