Healthy Eating Tips For Families
The number of vegan kids has increased exponentially in recent years. Well-planned vegan diets are safe and offer health advantages, even for growing children. Talk to your practitioner and read up on the subject. Here are some practical tips for parents for dealing with everyday situations. Make sure to see the companion to this article by PCRM, The Vegetarian and Vegan Diet for Kids, as well as 10 Tips for Raising Vegan Children.
School Lunches / Snacks
It would truly be a challenge to find a classroom where every student eats the same foods. Lactose intolerance, food allergies, ethnic preferences, and religious or dietary restrictions all influence food choices. The classroom can provide an opportunity to introduce students and teachers to healthy foods. Fresh fruit, veggies cut into fun shapes served with bean dip, muffins, and crackers spread with nut butter and fruit, are all healthy, delicious snacks. See lots more in VegKitchen’s Healthy School Lunch article. more→
Kids often come home hungry after school. Give them a boost of nutrition and energy with these healthy after school snacks. They’re not much work, and are filled with flavor and nutrition. These choices range from savory to sweet, so try them all!
The number one question most parents ask about how to change kids’ eating habits is “how do you get your kids to eat a wider variety of foods?” I have lost count how many times I’ve heard parents say, “My kids:
…would starve if we didn’t feed them x or y.”
…are the pickiest eaters in the world.”
…would never eat that.” more→
What happens when one parent is vegan and the other one isn’t? Will the children be raised vegan or not? If you are a vegan but your spouse or partner is not, and you have or are planning to have children, then you are in what I call a mixed marriage. Families in this situation have some challenges to overcome and some difficult decisions to make. The good news is that it is entirely possible to raise your children vegan even if your partner is not a vegan. But it’s not easy. more→
True or False: It’s really important to feed our kids nutritious foods.
Of course every parent agrees on the importance of feeding our kids well—at least on an intellectual level. It’s putting principle into practice that’s so disagreeable. Consider this scenario: It’s late, you’re driving home from soccer (or basketball, piano, day care, or wherever) and Ronald McDonald beckons with fun and social acceptance for the kids and convenience and respite for the parents. more→
Many vegan families struggle with explaining to their children why they are vegan. When children inevitably begin to ask questions about their diet, the harder question to answer is “Why are we different”? more→
There are children who devour plates of crunchy salads and gobble up steamed broccoli, like it was candy, but what do you do if your kids refuse to eat anything green? Children need the vitamins and minerals vegetables provide. Vegetables from the cabbage family are exceptional sources of calcium, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotenes, especially kale and collards. Rather than trying to get your child to eat food she doesn’t like, fix the vegetables in a way that she will enjoy. And do add fresh fruit to the mix. Some children who are balky about veggies like fruit just fine. more→
Here are a few ideas for helping your child transition to a healthier diet, contributed by Amy Hemmert and Tammy Pelstring of Laptop Lunches.
Prepare your child. Talk with your child about nutrition and the importance of developing a healthy body. Together, come up with a family plan, including a list of steps the family wants to take to transition to a more healthful diet. Post the list in a place where everyone can see it. more→
A reader of this site wrote that she and her husband will be traveling quite far by car for their family vacation, and that they are tired of, as she put it, “soggy salads… and tasteless veggie subs…plus we don’t like supporting fast food.” What are weary (and hungry) travelers to do? more→
What does “organic” mean? The organic label on foods tells you that the food was grown and produced in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards. Except for farms that sell less than $5,000 of organic products per year, all those who sell organic food must have their practices certified (by an agent accredited by USDA’s National Organic Program) as compliant with federal law governing organics. more→
Sometimes, stealth is needed to dish out good nutrition. When kids go vegetarian or vegan, they don’t necessarily acquire an instant love for wholesome foods. Even longtime vegetarian and vegan children can be picky about foods parents hope they’ll take to more naturally. Subterfuge sometimes works far better than wheedling or bribery for getting good-for-them foods off the plate and into willing mouths. Here are some tips and tricks that worked not only on them, but their often picky, usually non-veg friends: more→