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.
I think having that balance is important. #HumpDayLinky
II really admire you for all doing this, it’s something that I have often thought about, but haven’t done anything about… We do eat meat and dairy, but I make sure it’s both organic and had a decent life or I don’t buy it… I find we are eating more and more vegetarian meals though, at the request of my older two which is great! 🙂
This is such an interesting post and it is so good to see it for your perspective. I also love that you are willing to let her make her own choices as she gets older and would be willing to cook meat for her if she chooses. Good for you mama!!
I agree, it’s great that Samantha’s daughter will be able to make an informed choice when she’s older.
Veganism is becoming a lot more popular isn’t it. I really like the approach you are taking to it with your daughter. Letting her make her own decisions about what she eats is really positive. X
Keep it your way, don’t listen to others. I’m vegetarian but I’m the only one in the family who doesn’t eat meat – my husband and my baby girl are both love meat. My son has sensory issues with meat, so he won’t eat it. Cooking is challenging! #humpdaylinky
Oh this is so interesting! I’ve often wondered what happens when vegans have children and whether their children follow in their footsteps. That’s great she would be willing to cook her meat, I think having an informed choice is so important.
What a great perspective! I’ve always wondered about people in this situation. Thank you for sharing!
I think that’s great that you are raising her as you see the right way, as all parents do. But taking an approach to let her learn and discover food her own way too. I was surprised that if she decides to eat meat in the future you wouldn’t cook it at home for her. I’m sure she won’t be old enough to cook herself, so really you are not giving her a choice x
Interesting to hear about veganism. I think so long as you have balance and your daughter is getting all the nutrition she needs then carry on. When she is old enough she can make her own decisions. #humpdaylinky
Completely agree with us not needing dairy, like you say there are so many plant based options (I for one love coconut milk) – I also really admire how you don’t over push veganism on your daughter, she’ll be confident and comfortable with her choices later on in life knowing that her parents didn’t force her either way… well done!
A close friend of mine is vegan and has raised her children in this way but is the same the kids make their own minds up. Normally they opt to stick to it. Sometimes they don’t. Parenting is all about choices our own as parents and enabling our kids to make theirs x
I really admire the fact that you will ultimately let her decide for herself when she is old enough to do so. Well done! 🙂 #humpdaylinky
This is so interesting. We have been talking about changing our diet to make it more eco-friendly. I couldn’t completely cut out milk, eggs and meat though, I would find that really difficult to do.
I I salute you. It takes courage and effort to be a healthy vegan and to raise your children as vegans or vegetarians. I drift between veganism and vegetarianism and never serve meat, fish or eggs to the family.