What does raising vegan children look like in today’s society?
I started asking this question long before I became pregnant. As someone who’d been vegan for over four years by the time baby J was born, I knew that I wanted to raise her vegan.
In today’s world, especially here in the Pacific Northwestern part of the US where we live, leading a vegan lifestyle has gotten easier. Lots of new vegan products are popping up on the market, and many restaurants are adding vegan-friendly options on their menus.
Yet when it comes to raising vegan children, things get more complicated than ordering a tempeh bacon sandwich at your favorite brunch spot. How do I explain to my daughter what being vegan means to our family? How do I tell her the reason why we don’t go to the zoo like the rest of the kids her age? How do we navigate birthday parties, or Halloween trick-or-treating?
The deeper I got into the intricacies of raising little vegans, the more questions I got.
Yet, like any parent with a big vision for their child, I was determined. I decided to see if there was any literature devoted to the subject of raising vegan kids.
Luckily for me, I quickly found what I was looking for. Eric D. Lindstrom, the founder of Meaty Vegan Blog and the author of The Skeptical Vegan book, had just released a vegan parenting book that was exactly what I needed.
The Smart Parent’s Guide to Raising Vegan Kids: Lessons for Littles in Plant-Based Eating and Compassionate Living combines Eric’s experience of raising his own two vegan children with stories from multiple other vegan parents.
The Smart Parent’s Guide leaves no stone unturned when it comes to various aspects of raising vegan children. The book is full of tips on:
– Building your child’s health through a plant-based diet;
– Helping your child understand the importance of being compassionate and embracing veganism as they grow older;
– Communicating with your pediatrician about your child’s nutritional needs;
– Navigating birthday parties, holidays, road trips, etc. as a vegan family;
– The importance of vaccinations for vegan children (yes, I know that vaccines are tested on animals, but you really should hear Eric’s point here).
In addition to all this, this book is a true goldmine of vegan resources for kids and families: Eric lists movies, books, online resources, ideas for vegan child-friendly activities, and an extensive list of vegan food options at mainstream restaurants. Plus, there’s a list of easy kid-approved vegan recipes that Eric lists from A to Z. Banana sushi! Cheesy macaroni! Watermelon burgers!
But my favorite thing about this book were the stories from real vegan parents about raising their kids vegan from birth or transitioning them to veganism later on. It was reassuring to hear real parents like myself talk about their everyday challenges and successes, and sharing tips for bringing up kids as vegans. Ultimately most of the parents Eric interviewed agree that raising their kids as vegans has been easier than they originally thought.
Not a big fan of reading books because you get bored easily? I’d still recommend The Smart Parent’s Guide because it’s written in a conversational, easy-to-follow way with plenty of moments that will make you laugh out loud. Or at least smile 🙂
Did I get you interested yet? The Smart Parent’s Guide to Raising Vegan Kids is available now wherever you buy books. Amazon (linked) is a well-known book-selling heavyweight, but if you’re interested in supporting independent booksellers instead, just stop by your favorite local book store.
Eric C. Lindstrom has graciously provided me with a copy of The Smart Parent’s Guide to Raising Vegan Kids to give away to one lucky reader of Vegan Runner Eats blog! To participate in this giveaway, just answer this question in the comments:
What’s one vegan-friendly snack that you and/or your kids love?
- This giveaway is open for the readers of Vegan Runner Eats 18 years of age or older who reside in the US or Canada (sorry international folks!). Anyone can comment on this post, but only US or Canada residents qualify for participation in the giveaway.
- The giveaway starts on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019, and ends on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST. The winner will be randomly selected, and their name will be announced on Vegan Runner Eats blog page on Facebook on Wednesday, January 16th. The winner will be contacted via email that they submitted when leaving their comment.
- By submitting a comment to this post, you agree to participate in this giveaway. Please note that you still need to follow the rules in #1 above to be eligible to win.
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Images in this post are courtesy of Eric D. Lindstrom.
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