Have you decided to raise your kids vegan, and now you’re not sure where to start? I hear ya! Today I’m sharing with you a list of 20+ vegan parenting resources that provide an invaluable amount of information to help you in raising your vegan kids.
While going vegan has gotten easier in the past few years for adults, raising kids as vegans can still seem puzzling.
I mean, how do we make sure that the plant-based diet we chose for our kids provides them with everything they need to grow strong and healthy, and doesn’t fall short on any nutrients? Also, how do we help our kids understand the reason for why their family is vegan, and to navigate the world as vegans once they’re old enough to make their own decisions?
I started looking up information on vegan parenting while I was still pregnant with my daughter baby J. I wanted to make sure that I could provide her with a childhood where she’d fit in with other kids rather than stand out as a vegan.
I quickly realized that the information on vegan parenting was a bit scarce. While there were some books and websites, I didn’t find a one-and-done place that I could come back to for more info.
After a couple years of research (my daughter has just turned 16 months, by the way), I developed a list of vegan parenting resources that I’m going to share with you today. These resources have been very helpful to me in my own parenting journey, so I hope that you’ll find them valuable in raising your own vegan kids.
An important note: the subject of vaccinations (oh yes, I’m going there!) While I believe that everyone should be able to raise their children in a manner that they believe is the best for them, my personal belief that it’s best to say “yes” to vaccinating our kids, both for their sake and the sake of our society. For this reason I chose not to include in this list a few books or online resources that go against this belief.
This list is arranged into two main chapters: resources to be used by parents, and resources to be used by their kids. Resources for parents include two subchapters – books on parenting healthy and happy vegan kids, and online resources (printable PDFs and websites) that provide information on nutrition and help with other vegan parenting challenges.
Resources for kids are meant to be used by the kids themselves, so this chapter includes vegan children’s books, cookbooks for young vegan chefs, and websites with kid-friendly information on veganism.
One more thing: This list will continue to evolve as I discover new resources for parenting vegan kids, so please check back! Also, if you know of some useful resource that isn’t on this list yet, please let me know, and I’ll add it in (as long as it doesn’t have an anti-vax message).
20+ Vegan Parenting Resources
Books on Raising Healthy Vegan Kids:
The Smart Parent’s Guide to Raising Vegan Children – a book by Eric C. Lindstrom that covers every aspect of raising vegan kids, from health and nutrition to social situations (birthdays, class field trips, etc.), holidays, trips to the doctor, vaccinations (Eric is pro-vax), traveling, etc. I’ve written a full review of this book in this post over here.
The Smart Parent’s Guide also talks about instilling the sense of compassion in kids and touches upon the subject of speciesism. But my favorite part of this book is the resources for vegan kids and parents at the end: kid-friendly recipes, books, movies, websites and more.
Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes – a cookbook by Dreena Burton, a veteran vegan cookbook author and mother of three daughters. Dreena presents over one hundred recipes approved by her kids, and shares her tips for stocking your pantry,
packing school lunches, dealing with picky eaters, etc.
Forks Over Knives Family: Every Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy Kids on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet – in addition to a wide selection of whole food, plant-based recipes for kids, this book from the creators of the legendary Forks Over Knives documentary features lots of information and tips for building a foundation of health in plant-based kids starting from their conception. The book is also useful for parents who are trying to get their not yet vegan/plant-based kids towards an animal product-free diet.
Baby and Toddler Vegan Feeding Guide: Simple, Evidence Based, & Dietitian Approved – a book by Julia Feliz Brueck that aims to cover your plant-based child’s nutritional needs. Chapters include such topics as meeting nutritional needs of infants and toddlers; information for skeptical parents; tips for eating out, participating in playdates and parties, etc.
A portion of this book’s sales is donated to Chilis on Wheels – “an organization that helps provide warm vegan meals to homeless people across the mainland U.S. and in Puerto Rico”.
Online Nutrition Resources:
7 plant-based baby food recipes for babies who are just beginning to eat solid foods (baby-led weaning approved!). This is a blog post that I wrote to share recipes my daughter enjoyed when she started eating solids at 6 months.
40 vegan snacks for kids – healthy and delicious plant-based snack ideas that even picky eaters will enjoy. This list includes simple recipes and snack ideas for both savory and sweet treats. Useful for kids from about age 2 and up.
Eating Well: Vegan Infants and Under-5s – an extensive, 140 page-long downloadable guide by the UK-based First Steps Nutrition Trust nonprofit. This useful information-packed guide covers every stage of children’s lives from birth to 5 years, and highlights nutritional needs for each age, sample foods and recipes, vitamin supplementation (if needed), dealing with picky eaters, etc. Chapters provide age-appropriate plant-based meal and snack ideas, recipes, and breaks down energy and nutrient requirements for each age group.
Nutrition for Kids: a Dietary Approach to Lifelong Health – another downloadable guide, this time by Dr. Neal Barnard’s Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. This 28 page-long guide focuses on the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet for children vs the standard American diet. It aims to guide kids and their parents through the transition to plant-based eating, and provides sample daily menus, recipes and meal planning tips.
Downloadable guides for every life stage by The Vegan Society – this link will take you to a page with nutrition guides arranged by various life stages: pregnancy and breastfeeding; kids under the age of 5; 5-10 year olds; 11-18 year olds; and older adults.
Raise Vegan magazine and website. The first ever magazine about vegan pregnancy and parenting is chock-full of advice and tips for raising happy and healthy vegan kids. The founder Janet Kearney was inspired to create a magazine for vegan parents due to the lack of information and numerous misconceptions about raising kids on a plant-based diet. Today the monthly magazine is published by an independent US and UK-based team of vegan enthusiasts and parents, and is shipped worldwide. The Raise Vegan website also publishes vegan news and various resources for vegan parents and kids.
Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting group on Facebook – also founded by Janet Kearney, this online community for vegan parents has over 45 thousand members. During my own pregnancy, I found this group very useful for a variety of topics, from asking for tips on vegan pregnancy and baby products to occasional ranting about misunderstandings with non-vegans 🙂 This community is often the quickest to answer vegan pregnancy and parenting-related questions when no one else is available. However, note that the advice often comes from regular people who aren’t nutrition or parenting specialists, so please use your judgment. Also: the topic of vaccinations is banned from discussion.
Resources for Vegan Kids
Vegan Children’s Books:
Ruby Roth’s books. Ruby Roth’s books are considered to be the cornerstone of any vegan child’s library. V Is For Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind (3 to 7 y.o.); That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals (6 to 9 y.o.); and Vegan Is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action (7 to 10 y.o.) – each book introduces little readers to the compassionate lifestyle in an easy-to-understand, teachable format. Roth doesn’t shy away from sensitive subjects like animal testing, the choice not to visit zoos and circuses, etc., but does it in a way that will resonate with each child’s age. Interesting: Ruby Roth not only wrote these books but also illustrated each of them by herself.
Libby Finds Vegan Sanctuary by Julia Feliz Brueck – a board book for vegan kids that tells the story of Libby, a rescue turkey that inspires compassion and finds safety at an animal sanctuary.
That’s Not My Momma’s Milk! – a board book by Julia Barcalow that introduces the young readers to various animals nursing their young, and shows the unmistakable bond between baby animals and their mothers. Children learn that each momma’s milk is meant for her baby.
Not a Nugget – a book by Stephanie Dreyer that helps little readers make a connection between various animals and animal products or foods that are made from them. The book lists interesting facts about each animal to help children understand that animal’s lives are just as complex and worthy of respect as ours.
Veggie Vero book series by Veronica Green – Veggie Vero is the first vegan superhero girl who lives in the town of KalesVille and helps her animal friends by solving mysteries and educating others about cruelty-free living. The series includes 4 books with various adventures of this vegan superhero and her friends.
Kayla The Vegan – a book by Stewart Mitchell about a vegan girl named Kayla who goes through a tough time at her new school as her new classmates find her vegan lifestyle odd and unusual. Eventually she makes friends with a popular girl named Brianna, and together they show their classmates that being compassionate is cool and eating healthy, cruelty-free foods benefits everyone.
Lena of Vegitopia and the Mystery of the Missing Animals – a vegan-themed fairy tale by Sybil Severin about a brave little girl who stands up for the animals of her land and rescues them from being eaten. “Magical things can happen when you harness the power of veggies!”
Steven the Vegan – a book by Dan Bodenstein about a vegan boy named Steven who teaches his claasmates why animals are his friends, not food on a trip to an animal sanctuary.
Vegan Children’s Cookbooks:
My First Vegan Cookbook: Plant Based Meals Made By Kids – an illustrated cookbook by Stine Sidsner Garside full of recipes that are simple enough for kids to make on their own.
The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth – another beautifully illustrated book by Ruby Roth, this time with recipes that kids can make by themselves or with adult supervision.
Vegan Websites for Kids:
PETA Kids website – love or hate PETA, but they surely deserve credit for this website designed specifically for kids interested in veganism. This website has sections for vegan-friendly activities, games, quizzes, and of course, food.
Grow Up Vegan – a UK-based website that provides kids with info on the “why” and the “how” of going vegan, tips on eating and thinking as a vegan, etc. The overall tone is easygoing and non-judgmental. The website picks a “Vegan kid of the month” from its followers on the 1st of every month. Also: kids get a Grow Up Vegan Achievement Award for going through all of the website’s pages.
Parenting vegan kids may seem puzzling at times, but I hope that my list of vegan parenting resources makes things easier for you. like I mentioned before, this list will be updated as I find new resources, so please check back often!
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Original image credits: 1, 8 – Karl Fredrickson via Unsplash; 2 – 5 Alina Zavatsky; 6 – Ben White via Unsplash; 7 – Hal Gatewood via Unsplash.
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