A growing number of kids are, well, growing up vegan! Polls show that the Millenial generation now makes up 42% of vegetarians and vegans in America – and are carving out their own version of “mainstream” by raising their children with healthier and more humane foods too. This is good news everyone!
Last week, the UK’s Guardian featured an article by vegan mom Sarah Campbell about her decision to raise her toddler on a nutrient-rich plant-based diet – and the surprising responses she received. Campbell explains, “Feeding my vegan toddler has been fairly straightforward; the hardest part has been dealing with people’s misinformation and prejudices.”
The American Dietetic Association agrees with health-conscious Millenials that: “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including… vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
Do you have vegan kids and find yourself bombarded with questions from parents, neighbors, teachers, and friends? Here are a few simple tools you can use when talking about your family’s compassionate choice from DC VegFest speaker and proud mother to three vegan children, Lesley Parker-Rollins:
- Educate. We know you wouldn’t make any choices for yourself or your children without a wealth of education on your side – so get comfortable using it, and share it! Need help? Here’s a great place to start.
- Smile. When questions do arise, (and they will!), be ready to answer with a smile. Rollins advocates that her positive attitude and willingness to discuss her family’s choice is often what keeps the lines of communication flowing.
- Stock Up. Don’t just keep vegan snacks at home: stock your child’s classroom, soccer game, or swim practice, too. Make sure your compassionate child is never “missing out” on the joy of eating!
Not all of us have access to awesome schools like these ones in New York or California that offer compassionate mealtimes – but we can create an awareness of the need for them by taking these steps to educate, smile, and stock up!