Feeding Vegan Children: A Plant-Powered Series

Most of you know that I don’t post many personal details about our children on my blog.  I’ve discussed it here.  I occasionally share photos (as with today’s post) that show them as part of our family, but without identifying their faces and features.  For the most part, I like to keep them anonymous so that they have their own life journeys apart from my blogging as an author.

Still, I AM a vegan mom of three strapping vegan girls!  And, I realize that this is a unique perspective as a vegan author and blogger, and that I have useful information and experiences to share.  I receive e-mails and comments daily about vegan parenting.  So I know you are searching for more information and insight – either as vegans moving into parenthood… or parents moving into veganhood!

Last week I was struck with the idea to do a series on feeding vegan children.  I should mention that I do share many family-friendly tips in my cookbooks, especially in Let Them Eat Vegan.  There is an entire section in the back of the book called “Powering the Vegan Family” and “The Plant-Powered Lunchbox”.  Plus, I sprinkle advice and tips all through the recipes.  But, after a brief discussion on facebook (as well as numerous e-mails these past few weeks), I decided it was time to consider a “Feeding Your Plant-Powered Children” series – here, on my blog.

If I start this series, I need information from YOU.  I need to know… what pieces of the puzzle you are missing, what stresses you, what is difficult, what is too time-consuming?  I’d like to have a “Feeding Vegan Kids Wish List” of sorts.  Tell me where you need help!  Is it recipes?  Day to day tips?  Meal planning and preparation ideas?  Social situation advice?  Help with ingredient groups (ex: nuts or beans)?  Lunch strategies?  Snack ideas?

Tell me – What information would YOU like to tap into from this vegan mom of three?

My intuition tells me I am on track with this idea.  I will run with this series if the response here is strong.  I am off to Summerfest this week, and will work on ideas once I return.  So, please comment if this is something you’d like.  And, equally important – please share this idea to recruit more feedback.  The buttons are above to share to pinterest, fb, etc, so get the word out – so I can get the word in!

107 Responses to Feeding Vegan Children: A Plant-Powered Series

  1. Clementine says:

    Did this series ever come to fruition? I did a quick search on your site and did not find it. I would love it if you’d still consider writing this. My current concerns center around the diet of my 20 mo old son. He is not a fan of well, anything really. Except fruit. Sometimes bread. But beans, most veggies, and other grains are a no-go. He’s definitely in his picky stage, so having an arsenal of delicious toddler-friendly meals would be terrific. Thank you!!!

  2. Kaylie says:

    I know my comment is a year late, but is love to hear tips on vegan pregnancy and just generally raising vegan children in a non vegan world. My boyfriend still eats meat occasionally, and refuses to stop eating dairy (raw), which is fine, though I ideally would like my kids to be 100% vegan to avoid confusion and learn the morals of a vegan lifestyle. How do you handle holidays like Easter and Halloween (trick or treating) or birthday parties of friends? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Maybe you should put out a vegan parenting book if you haven’t already ;)
    Namaste

  3. Sara says:

    Hi Dreena,

    Thank you for the wonderful blog. My biggest problem is also picky eating. I have moved into vegan diet, but my children are very slow to follow.How do you work on changing tastes, if your kids grew on white bread, milk, macaroni and cheese?

  4. Erica says:

    I’d like to learn to make my own vegetarian meats. I am fortunate because I live in one of the world’s Blue Zones (here in so cal!) and am looking for ways to make my own veggie meats delicious and palatable. Sometimes gluten proteins can be a bit chewy. I am trying to avoid canned veggie meats because cans are lined with BPA, and would like to consume less of the processed veggie meats in the frozen section, which can also be expensive. I’d love to hear your recipe if you have any or know of any yummy ones. Thanks!

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Erica, I don’t make veggie meats. I make a lot of hearty meals using beans, grains and nuts – which are very filling and satisfying. But, I do not use gluten for making seitan and other meat substitutes as I prefer working with more whole food products. But, I’d recommend that you check out work by Bryanna Clark Grogan for veggie meat recipes.

  5. Alli says:

    I echo the above comment about planning for sleep away camps and school lunch. I find it super challenging when my children are out of the home overnight. I have 3 boys 13, 9, and 5. Also, I am finding my boys do not agree with a vegan lifestyle. (breaks my heart) I am noticing that when they are on their own and able to make their own food choices (the older two now earn their own money and go with friends to convenience stores, movies, out to dinner etc.) they are going overboard with unhealthy options because they don’t get them at home. Should I be worried and what can I or should I do about this?

    • Terri Exel says:

      Continue to let them choose what they want to eat when they are not at home. I have three boys (8, 12 & 14). I switched our family’s diet 1.5 yrs. ago. I get grumbles every now and then from my 14 yr old. When they are out and about the two older boys choose vegan foods. It’s my youngest that I have the problem with. This kid will take any opportunity he gets to not be a vegan. My 12 yr. old is a numbers and facts kind of kid—all he needed was the info from The China Study & Forks Over Knives and our family’s health history to help him decide to be completely on board with the switch. My 14 yr. old is an animal lover…Even though I provided him with all the facts & figures as I did for #2…the only thing that motivated him was seeing a factory farming video. My youngest was given the same information and saw the same videos…he will still choose a cheese pizza, mac & cheese, ice cream etc. when he is not home. I hope that all three grow up to be healthy vegan eaters. Unfortunately, in the end it’s their choice, and they’ll have to live with the choices they make. That doesn’t mean we stop feeding them the information they need to help them make a more informative decision/choice. ;)

      • sav says:

        Vegan KID here. I’m a 17 y/o girl whose family has been vegan for pretty much as long as I can remember. We switched to veganism 10 years ago from vegitarianism, and I do remember going over to friends’ houses and eating dairy, etc. But then as I got older, I started to realize that dairy made me feel a little queasy and I started to understand the animal rights component of veganism a little more, so I stopped eating dairy. The worst thing that you can possibly do is try to restrict them. My parents even let my older sister buy non-vegan products with her own money as long as she was in charge of preparing them. She doesn’t eat them anymore, she decided she would rather go 100%. Be sure to make them their favorite foods and try new desserts, or remind them that you love them no matter what. Don’t be mad if they bring home a chocolate bar, just let them do what they want to do. In the end, you can’t control it. The more you make them want to rebel, the more they will, and remind them of how much good they are doing for their fellow animals.

  6. Buffy says:

    I have been vegetarian for 6 months. I have switched to being vegan in the last few weeks and have removed all animal products from my home. I have been teaching my kids (13, 10, 3) about the benefits of a plant-strong diet. I would like to be able to prepare them for awkward social situations… give them the tools to make good decisions about food even when I’m not present. Also, ideas for lunches to take to school would be very helpful. Please, please move forward with this idea and share your knowledge with us!!

  7. Naomi says:

    Hi Dreena! I am seven months pregnant, so this topic, and the timing, is amazing! Thank you!

    I would love your perspective on how to deal with unsupportive caregivers and anti-vegan attitudes. I worry that some of our family members might try sneaking meat or dairy into my child’s diet when my husband and I are not there. I’ve also considered compromising some of my values to make things easier, for example, having my child eat a vegetarian diet outside of our home, but worry that: a) it’s not healthy, and b) it would be confusing or even “glamourize” diary.

    I am currently toying with the idea of starting a home daycare next year, but wonder how I would approach feeding other people’s children on a daily basis. I fear that offering a vegan menu would scare people away. Do you ever offer non-vegan options for guests or if, say, you were in charge of a meal for a group of non-vegans at someone else’s cottage?

    This topic is definitely a gold mine…or maybe a land mine, depending on how you look at it! : )

    Thank you for tackling it and I very much look forward to reading your future posts!

  8. Diedhre says:

    “Is it recipes? Day to day tips? Meal planning and preparation ideas? Social situation advice? Help with ingredient groups (ex: nuts or beans)? Lunch strategies? Snack ideas?”

    All of the above! :) Recipes without a lot of ingredients is another. It’s hard when I’m strapped for time with a 6 year old & 4 year old twins to cook recipes that require many ingredients or even worse, when they are hard to find ingredients.

    Maybe even meal planning where I can do some prep stuff on Sundays for lunches during the week? I pack 4 to 5 lunches a day and that gets hard by Friday – everyone is just eating a nut butter sandwich by then. :)

  9. Marie says:

    As I have been blogging daily about what our vegan family eats (we have a two-year old and another one due any day now!) people seem most interested in
    a) How we get our son to eat all these different foods (since we eat such a variety, I guess)
    b) what the recipes actually are!
    It has really been fantastic to see the positive responses from friends, family and general readers. People really just seem to want practical advice and suggestions they can implement!

    As a vegan parent, I still need help with the social situations, especially the ones that are with acquaintances who don’t know we are vegan initially (such as people who share snacks at the park) or who don’t know what it means to be vegan (“but their isn’t any cheese in these crackers” – but they have whey)

  10. Sandy says:

    I’ve recently become a vegan. Half the meals I make are vegan, the other half have the option of meat. My husband doesn’t want to give up meat completely. My kids are flexitarians. I would like to gently explain to my son, 11, why I’ve decided not to eat animals or their secretions. Don’t know where to begin. My daughter, 19, already knows, but seems hung up on the protein thing. Any ideas??? Help!

  11. Lauren M says:

    School lunches!!!!!!! They are the worst. During the school year we get really busy and I am a teacher, so I work the same hours as my kids are in school (give or take–generally have some after school planning time). It’s great because I can make dinner pretty much every night and they can help. But then I’ve enlisted the help of my husband with packing lunches and it ends up falling into a routine of repetition. I want to give them enough food that they are satisfied and not “starving” when I pick them up at 4 to go home. The lunches also need to be easily consumed in a short amount of time. Lunch is 30 min. but with travel time it’s really more like 20.

  12. Danielle says:

    I need help with everything! I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my adult life and had to give up dairy when I was BF my youngest daughter (she has an allergy). After watching enough documentaries, I think I’ve finally gotten my husband on board to make a switch to a whole food/plant-based diet. This makes it alot easier for me to feed our children a better diet also, but how do I make the switch when my kids range in age from 9 to 1? The things I want to know most about is how to handle social situations where food is involved, school lunch ideas, and kid-friendly dinners. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! Looking forward to this series!

  13. Becky says:

    I’m so excited about this series! My two year-old has been vegan since birth. She’s healthy and very big for her age, but she doesn’t eat huge quantities of food. I’d love recipes for really nutrient dense food because she often eats just a bite or two of something. The simpler the recipe, the better!

  14. Dreena, it’s fantastic you’re offering this advice! Reading through the comments has been instructive to me, even though I’ve had a vegan kid for 6 years now and I’ve been a vegan for half my life. A lot of these themes come up on the Vegetarian Resource Group’s wonderful listserv for veg parents (found on Yahoo Groups), and I’ve heard some of the questions in my life, but some are new to me.

    If I were to make one suggestion, it would be that you put the birthday party question to bed for good! I remember agonizing when pregnant about what my vegan child would do at birthday parties, and I am still asked about it all the time, but in my experience, it’s the least challenging part of being a vegan family in an omni world. Birthday parties are ubiquitous and they’re not nearly as precious as most expectant parents think they will be, and in our family, we simply take each party as it comes. For some, we’ve found that the host will offer vegan food. Others, we bring our own to share. And occasionally, if we’re caught offguard, we forgo the non-vegan offering and simply indulge in a vegan version when we get home — totally ok with my kiddo who is much more concerned about people than food!

    How do you handle birthday parties with your kids? (And do the dynamics change as they grow older?)

  15. Susan says:

    Love your books- I own all of them!
    I need some lunch ideas for school. Nut-free of course. Oh what I would give to be able to make PB&J for my kid’s lunch…..

    • Lauren M says:

      Just have to suggest Sunflower seed butter (Sunbutter) found at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and probably other local natural food stores. It’s the closest to peanut butter, in my opinion. I have had to mark the sandwich container that it is Sunbutter and is nut-free and peanut-free so teachers wouldn’t freak out. I’ve substituted it for peanutbutter in many baking recipies and on toast or sandwiches is great.

  16. LH says:

    My kids aren’t vegan, but one is a dye-free, preservative-free vegetarian (also low-processed, low dairy) and the other is a nut allergy omni who can be picky about veggies & hates some things like hummus, mushrooms, anything spicy, etc. My husband & I eat a vegan diet though, so my kids are fed mostly vegan meals. My big concerns are finding nut-free vegan dishes (it’s so hard to go out to vegan restaurants since the kids’ menu is nut-laden), decreasing the amount of processed products, dealing with potlucks & school functions and parties, packing interesting lunches that aren’t the same 1 or 2 things, and making sure they get enough calcium, B12 and omega-3.

  17. SaraMM says:

    Tonya-is your child able to eat nuts? We didn’t have a history of nut allergies so we were allowed to start at 1 year of age. We make walnut/pecan cookies sweetened with dates and cacao powder. Our daughter has never had an anemia problem thanks to the nuts and chocolate (which also provides zinc-especially if you add some pumpkin seeds in).

    Dreena-I love you. My vegan 3 year old is incredibly picky. She hates grains and veggies. She will avoid anything new no matter how many times I introduce it.

    Our daughter hates all alternative milks so she is on a calcium vitamin chew now to supplement since she also hates chickpeas, quinoa, kale, etc (she only drinks water). Luckily she does love Ezekiel bread and raw nut cookies to get protein and finally started eating sweet potato fries a bit for an orange veggie but honestly her diet mostly consists of grilled daiya cheese sandwiches which is all she has wanted for the past few months.

    My kooky kid even hates pasta, pancakes and baked goods (even cookies and mini-muffins)!

    I would love to know if you have suffered through any of this and tricks you used to get by and add some variety.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I love this idea, too, and would also appreciate any vegan pregnancy tips!

  19. Bethany says:

    Hi Dreena,
    I really love your idea! I have a two-year-old and a four-month-old and they both have been little vegans since birth. We spent a lot of our daughter’s first year figuring out what to say to people when she turned one and we didn’t hand her a bottle of cow’s milk, but it ended up alright with only a few awkward moments. Now I feel we’re facing a bigger challenge. What to tell our daughter. She already tells people, “we don’t eat chickens, we kiss them” and other silly things like that. But she doesn’t really get it. And it’s starting to be hard when we’re around other people and food is involved. Last week we were at a get-together and all the other kids were eating mac n’cheese. I brought a vegan version that she loves, but the SAD cupcakes were hard to pull her away from. I guess my question is, how did you help your little ones figure all of this out? Did you ever cave and let them have a darn (ubiquitous) goldfish?

    Thanks so much!

  20. Susan Jeune says:

    Great idea!

    Although not vegan, my husband and I are 80-90% plant strong and enjoy the loads of veggies/ww pasta, grains/legumes I serve at dinner and whole grains and fruits at breakfast—but I am at a loss when it comes to school lunches for my soon-to-be second grader. My son loves our plant-strong/whole foods diet but when it comes to school lunch variety with enough protein in it, I’m stumped. Please help! (I’ve recently noticed horizontal ridges/lines on my son’s toenails and am suspecting he may be protein deficient—hence the protein strong school lunches mention above). Thanks!!

  21. Jodie says:

    Fabulous idea, Dreena! And such perfect timing … I am pregnant with my first, and vegan with a partner who is “almost vegan” – our definition of that is that he eats vegan happily when I make meals, however he incorporates some organic free-range chicken and freshly caught fish 1-3 x per week into his diet. Major areas of assistance:

    - sample meal plan for what your kids eat (I don’t want to feed my kids separate kid foods, my hope is that they’ll eat what we eat (which is so often made from your cookbooks, thank you!)
    - nutrition facts on things like calcium, protein, can a kid be an athlete as a vegan?, etc.
    - social situations (birthday parties, BBQ’s, etc.) and how to deal (if dairy is the only thing there, is there a chance I should let them have it on those rare occasions?)
    - hybrid vegan families advice – this may not be your experience as your whole immediate family is vegan, but from comments above, it seems like there are many families where the male partner is not a vegan, so tips in this area would be helpful (we are considering letting our kids choose to try “Dad’s free-range chicken” on the special occasion he eats it, to avoid rebellion later, although I’m hoping our kids choose vegan eventually).
    - tips for reasons why we eat the way we do – beyond we don’t eat animals, since my partner does occasionally – green plant-food makes you stronger like Popeye, perhaps? :)

    Looking forward to seeing the series! Best of luck!

  22. Tonya says:

    This is a great idea! Please please please run with it! Ever since I started breastfeeding my son I stopped consuming all dairy myself. The thought of consuming an animal’s breast milk just grosses me out now. This has also made me question all animal products, so I have jumped in with both feed and started researching food, which I how I found you and your cookbook LTEV. I make all of my son’s food, so he has not had any animal’s products. However, my husband isn’t sold on this “no animal products” thing. He says he doesn’t think that we can meet our son’s needs without giving him meat/dairy. So having nutritional facts on the food I prepare would be helpful. The other things I struggle with is the time it takes preparing (throwing meat on the grill is SO easy so unless I have things prepared, my husband will just throw meat on the grill for a fast dinner). Also, I need help with food variety so we just aren’t eating salads/beans/rice every meal. And finally I need help preparing foods that are soft enough for my son to eat and use his fingers (he refuses to eat from a spoon right now). I just discovered that if I make a chunkier puree and freeze it and then cut it into finger size pieces he will eat the puree frozen. : ) He is also teething! Thank you for all that you have taught me so far. I’m really looking forward to your specialized help in raising my son vegan!

    • Tonya says:

      P.S. My son’s blood work is showing him to be anemic. This has given my husband even more reason to say we need to give him meat/dairy. So right now I really need guidance on 11 month old age appropriate foods rich in iron, that can be eaten as a finger food.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Tonya,
      I am just another reader but felt compelled to respond to your comment. I have two toddlers and we eat vegan about 90% of the time. I totally connected with your post and sense how much you want to do what is best for your son and feel confident in your choices. It’s hard when our husbands or other family members bring up concerns. I want to strongly recommend Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, Disease Proof Your Child. http://www.amazon.com/Disease-Proof-Your-Child-Feeding-Right/dp/0312338082 . You may already have it but just in case you don’t I thought I’d put it out there. It gave me a lot of confidence and really gave my husband some peace of mind. Lastly, around 11 months, one of my kids favorites was Ezekiel bread toasted with a generous amount of hummus spread on it and cut into bite sized pieces. My son loved hummus so much he ate it by the handful. :) Hummus is a staple we have on hand often. I have even found vegan eating to be faster and easier than cooking with meat. I can throw together hummus a whole lot faster than dealing with meat. And keeping cans of chickpeas in the pantry much easier than having fresh meat. Best wishes!

  23. Jessica says:

    I recently discovered your blog and I am over-the-moon excited about this post (and of course your answers!). I have an 18 month old and a 3 year old. W e eat 90/10 vegan. Some cheese and eggs here and there and freedom when we eat outside of home. I have plenty of ideas for healthy cookies, muffins, breakfast, etc. By far, my biggest struggle is with greens. My kids are tired of green smoothies. The novelty of smoothies has worn off long ago and they last about 2-3 sips and move on. (I’m a decent smoothie maker with a Blendtec). :) Kale chips are good too but I’m wondering what else I can do with greens. My 3 year old son is a somewhat picky eater and really only likes carrots and sweet potatoes. He picks even zucchini (so bland and mild!) out of soups etc. Any ideas? So, here is my list of areas I’d love some help in:
    1. Greens
    2. Other vegetables
    3. Easy main dishes

    Thank you!!!

  24. Heather says:

    My problem is LUNCH! My kids are tired of PB&J. They take their lunch to school (I know it is summer now, but school approaches). There is no fridge at school. So it has to be able to hold up in Texas. I put ice packs in their boxes, but even that doesn’t always help. Even strawberries melt sometimes. I need sometime to do besides PB&J. Oh, and did I mention they are a little picky and won’t eat hummus. :) I tried that one. Dinner has been a breeze. Breakfast is done with ease. It is lunch that is the trial for me and those little babies. My kids are 13, 10 and 6. The 13 year old is not a problem it is the other ones.

  25. Jenni says:

    I love this idea! Because I live in the Midwest, in a non-urban area, we are the only vegans we know. My husband and I have been vegetarian for 16 years and have raised our 7 year old sons as vegetarian. Recently we’ve decided to become vegan. Any advice on transitioning to a vegan diet and the additional social challenges it brings would be greatly appreciated. I would also love some advice on making sure that extremely active children are getting all of the nutrition they need. Both of my boys are in multiple sports and activities. Thank you!

  26. Tammy Phillips says:

    Very interested! Not vegan, or even vegetarian. Plant-based. Most definitely conflicted. Raising an almost 5 yr old boy who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and sunflower (as well as dairy, fish and shellfish).

  27. audy m says:

    I think its a great idea! Its hard trying to change my family’s eating habits, especially because my husband still likes to eat the standard American diet. My kids are in love with milk and cheese and its frustrating to cook healthy food and have no one eat it! Like most, I want to know how to meet their nutritional needs with a well balanced diet. My kids are grazers so they prefer small meals throughout the day. Also the social aspect, holidays, birthday parties, school,etc.. thats always tough..A lot of people either poke fun or are critical of the decision to have a vegan lifestyle. So I want to be as well informed and prepared as I can be so I can feel empowered knowing that I’m doing the right decision. We need all the help we ca get!

  28. melissa says:

    Our little person has been vegan since birth, I have been vegan for almost 10 years and her dad has been vegan for about 13. Luckily we have had a very supportive preschool environment, where although she is the only vegan, they talk often about diversity and lifestyles, and she is very proud/empowered of/by her veganism. Moving into kindergarten soon, however, seems like a new adventure in planning and advocacy. We are strategizing best methods for starting a dialogue not only with her teacher but the principal, etc. and just coming up with a method for open and honest communication and our expectations of her learning environment and potential impacts of being perceived in a negative connotation of being “different” than other children. As she gets older and faces more social situations we feel there is more need to foster pride in resisting mainstream ideation about our food system, while maintaining her compassion for others no matter where they are in the journey.

  29. Christine says:

    Hi Dreena, I think this is a great idea. My question/ issue is that I am vegan and my husband is not. I have a 9 year old step daughter and am frustrated because I cannot “change” her eating habits but want to give her options when she’s here. She HATES vegetables and it is a battle when we have dinner to get her to eat anything green but peas. Luckily I have been able to ban hotdogs from the house though! The other issue I have is that if we have our own kids I want to raise them (at least initially) to be vegan. It is causing a little tension so I’m wondering how to address it or if there are any good resources out there for that. Thanks so much!

  30. Kate says:

    I would LOVE a feature like this! I am lucky that my children love just about any food I give them. My biggest anxiety with a vegetarian/vegan diet for my kids is being confident my children are getting the calcium, iron & other nutrients and fats they need for their brains and bodies to grow optimally! I live in Switzerland & we don’t have the calcium fortified juices and other products that seem prevalent in the US. I definitely don’t want to rely on pills as supplements for them, but I also don’t have time to figure out how many milligrams of these I’m getting in their food. Thanks so much!

  31. Hi Dreena,
    Well I’m not vegan but more of a whole food eater that would like to eat more vegan and eventually be vegetarian/beegan. I struggle with getting in enough vegetables. You would think with all I know ( I have a company that makes raw desserts & chocolates of all things!) I would be able to eat more of what I know are the healthiest food on the planet-veggies. Its scary admitting this as people look up to me as being this health freak. Ok, well we do eat differently than most (my husband and 3 kids still at home are on board with eating better by the way) but its not up to my own standards. Make sense? How can I be better at what I already have believed in for years?

    We are snackers. Always on the go. This leads us to pick up more boxed items out of the pantry like crackers, nuts, seeds, chips etc… If veggies are made we eat them. If not, forget it. Also, we get tired of the same old veggies-carrots, bell peppers, celery-made in the same old way. I just ordered your new cookbook so I bet that will give me lots of new ideas.

    I dont think its just a ‘time’ issue. Its more of an organizational issue and possibly an ADD issue (that would be me). Strangely my ADD would be helped by the very thing (veggies) that I am having a hard time eating more of.

    So thats it: Organization in our (mostly) plant powered lifestyle for ADD moms.

  32. Josee says:

    Great idea! I have been looking for info and help on how to raised vegan children and have not been too sucessfull. My son is 18 month and we are trying for another one. We are not completly vegan yet but have slowly been making the transition in the last year. The hardest has been for my son. I don’t feel our family understand our life choices nor is my doctor, she wasn’t happy about us not giving my son dairy and made a comment about it. I am happy to see a blog like this. It makes me feel like I’m not alone.I want to make sure my son nutritional needs are met and if I don’t give him dairy, what to replace with? And how to deal with the social life, friends and family?

    • Josee says:

      Another thing with my son is he seems to wake up in the middle of the night crying with belly cramp and gas when we eat beans and lentils even if I make them myself by soaking over night.My family says he’s too young and its too mucch fiber for him. I keep asking myself what do vegetarian and vegan family do? Any suggestion?

  33. Molly L. says:

    I would love for you to do this series! I need advice with all aspects of this issue–particularly recipes and meal planning and preparation. For example, I would love a sample daily menu just to give me a guideline of what my 9-month-old should be getting in a day…portion sizes and all. I am vegan and know how to feed myself, but I have not a clue on what to feed a baby, other than breastmilk! Of course, I am feeding him other things but I don’t know if I’m giving him enough, or the right things or the right balance of things. I will just soak up any information you give!!
    Thank you,
    Molly

  34. Melanie says:

    This is a fantastic idea! My 5 year old daughter is the pickiest eater in the world and it seems like she hates everything I make. If I’d let her she would eat nothing but french fries and vegan cheese pizza. So ideas on how to please picky eaters would be awesome! Also, I’m in need of easy and quick recipes that require very few ingredients and very little time to prepare. Looking forward to the series!

    • Melanie says:

      Oh and I forgot to add both my children have nut allergies and are on a total nut free diet, so recipes that require no nuts would be great too! Thanks

  35. Kat says:

    I’ve been a vegan step mom of two boys 8 and 9 for the last three years. They are with my husband and I every other week. Unfortunately they had bad eating habits prior to my arrival, the typical kid foods…hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, chicken nuggets. They know I’m vegan and will try some things that I make or sneak in to their food. I have been able to increase the veggies and fruit they eat but they are growing boys with big appetites. I’d love to know how to make vegan kid friendly food to satisfy two raging carnivores. As of today I end of making two meals, one for them and one for my husband (who has gladly adopted a vegan diet) and I. They don’t like a lot of veggies and each one like something different. Their mom does little cooking but the weeks they are with her they are not exposed to a vegan diet. I’d love to see you expand on this subject and offer advice, ideas and recipes. My boys are open and curious and I feel I’m letting them down.

    • Christine says:

      My comment echos yours Kat, I am suffering from the same step-mom issues with a 9 year old girl. Luckily your husband is vegan – I haven’t been able to convert him though he eats vegetables now :)

  36. Jennilyn Nichols says:

    I need to know everything! I am a first time mom of a 10 month old son. I am transitioning to a vegan diet, and plan to raise my little guy vegan. It’s so overwhelming! Portable finger foods would be great. Easy weeknight meals would be awesome, since I have a full time job. Lunchbox ideas since I’ll be packing him one for daycare very soon. Nutrition information on vegan foods like nutritional yeast, maple syrup, coconut sugar etc. So many things that I need to know…

  37. I think you’re on the right path with this topic! For me, since we aren’t 100% vegan (I am but my hubby and boys are not completely vegan) I agree with one of the other commenters that requested ideas to substitute (or maybe that’s not the way I should look at it) current favorites. Suchas anything with cheese, quesadillas especially…they don’t want beans and veggies on there, just cheese. :( In fact, cheese is their favorite non-vegan food. And I am aware that there are properties (or ingredients?) in cheese that make it addicting. So maybe we just have to go through the withdrawal phase? In that case, I would need ideas for substituting cheese. I could maybe use Daiya, right? And substitute favorite veggies and fruits for snacking. Hmmmm, I’m feeling better about this…it can be done! Only my middle boy refuses most veggies. sigh… I look forward to future posts. :)

  38. Tiffany says:

    Yes I would love to know now to get my children to vegan and love it. All I hear now is I hope it’s not vegan as I switched to a vegan diet for lent and keeped it up after because I felt so much better.

  39. Summer says:

    My husband and I have been vegan for 3 months and have three young daughtes (5, 5, and 6). We have been somewhat successful switching most of their meals…but would love suggestions for cutting out the staples they dont seem willing to let go of…cheese quesadillas and cheesy hot dogs (gag). Also…how do you handle talking about the switch? The six year old has been asking lots of thoughtful questions and I want to be honest (for us its health….my husband is a surgeon and operates on overweight people daily) but not terrify her into something she’s not emotionally ready for. BTW…just discoverd your site and cant WAIT to buy your books!

  40. Wendy says:

    I was vegetarian for two years & now been vegan for 6 months. Best decision I ever made. My 1 year old is a shocking eater, being that he just doesn’t care to eat solids at all. Fruit out of packet maybe. I offer vegie sticks but he has a strong gag reflex so nothing actually makes it down. I’m sure one day he’ll eat a sandwich. He’s dad isn’t vegan but as I prepare all meals we eat 99% vegan anyways. I’ve decided he can eat what ever we eat. If dad eats meat and he wants to try he can. When he’s old enough I’m hoping he’ll choose to be vegan… Well, that’s the plan. I guess my current concerns are around weaning. Because he is a ‘bad’ eater, breast milk is what he lives on. He’s 12 months now but I’m hoping to wean soon. He won’t take a bottle. I’m thinking some dehydrated vegies ground up and sprinkle over what ever I can get him to eat might be a good way but what else can I do. Even when he starts to eat better, how best can I get good stuff in, in a small meal? The other question would be b12. Other than the enriched vegan sausages etc that are high in sodium, where can the whole family get daily b12 from? Thanks, Wendy.

  41. Blake says:

    This is great! I would love to get some insight as far as nutrition goes for both my 2-year-old son as well as my pregnant self. I am consisten with sprinkling nutritional yeast flakes on popcorn or meals daily for vitamin B-12, some protein and fiber, as well as getting in as many veggies into my son’s belly as I can, which is not always as easy as fruit. I occasionally mix Vega powder into our smoothies for added to our smoothies. My concern would be that he is close to the lower end in percentile, which is absurd that I look at (!), in both weight and height, however, I am 5’3″ and petite and my husband is 5’10″ so we are not tall or big parents. Any thoughts would be appreciated :-)

  42. Jill says:

    I also just wanted to say that I think it is great how you are selective about what you post for pictures with your kids. The Internet can be a scary place and I am cautious about what I post and who can see it. Your explanation is perfect and your kids have a wonderful mom!

  43. Jill says:

    I was a vegetarian for almost 4 years before becoming vegan over the last 5 months. I have learned a lot through my daughter’s sensitivities to dairy amongst other things (wheat and soy). Through nursing her I quickly realized from process of elimination what the foods were that bothered her. Since she was 2 weeks old I eliminated dairy from my diet and eventually eliminated all animal products such as eggs. She is now 17 months and does not know any different. Over time she will hopefully outgrow her food sensitivities, but I would like her to remain meat and dairy free. We went to a birthday party last weekend and I brought my own food for her. She was not able to participate in the cookie decorating or have a cupcake. I feel she is too young to eat those things anyways, but as she gets older I am not sure how to handle the situation. I do not want her to get picked on by others or feel left out. I have parents who already judge because of our healthy lifestyle and think that my daughter is not getting the nutrients she needs. She gets all her vitamins, minerals, proteins, and more! Others are just so uneducated on the topic. I find social situations to be hard because not only is my daughter judged, but I am as well.

  44. Sandy Pluss says:

    I would totally LOVE to see a kids series here!
    I am a mother to my gorgeous (bias mother syndrome) 7 yr old who is in grade 2 at school and is ‘teased’ for being vegan & bringing vegan food to school. She’s finding it quite hard at the moment but i’m doing my best to encourage her to stay plant-strong.
    I would love to be able to show her a series like this to help her feel less alone and to be able to give her ideas too because ultimately I want her to choose a plant-based diet/lifestyle for herself not just because mum does lol!

  45. Kathy says:

    Not fully Vegan yet (but heading in that direction), and am desperate to learn more so that I can switch our whole family’s way of eating to this way. Especially creative lunches – beyond nut butter sandwiches. I am already seeing the health benefits as I’ve changed our diet over to plant based (mostly) but I have raised my family thus far on a VERY Southern Fried diet (all the while believing that I fed them healthy – bah). After being on 3 high blood pressure meds (me) and countless trips to the pediatrician for every illness that even peeked its head at my kids school – well, I started looking at our diet, watched Hungry For Change and Forks Over Knives and here we are – but the knowledge is not helpful when I don’t have the tools to make good food happen. This is a mUCh needed series – thanks for doing this!!!!! BTW (I’m off all my blood pressure meds and have lost over 60lbs and without dieting – didn’t ever count a single calorie – just ate only nutritious REAL food and no meat.

  46. Debbie says:

    I have a 14 month old grandson who eats dinner at my house at least once a week. I would like ideas for toddler friendly dinners that can be frozen in individual portions. He is really hungry when he gets home from daycare and wants to eat right away – no waiting around while someone cooks a meal.

    • Robi says:

      Why not have some fresh cut fruits and veggies for him when he gets home to eat as an appetizer while you heat up his meal? Yellow peppers are very sweet, and so are snap peas. Kids usually like that stuff. Then make him some pasta or something.

  47. Nicole says:

    Hi dreena! I have been vegan for 6+ yrs now; ds has been vegetarian for 4, and dd and dh are both omnivores. You can imagine how long it takes to prepare meals around here! The kids are 12 & 8, and although I’d like them to eat vegan, I don’t want a rebellion from imposing it on them if it’s not something they choose to do. I respect that dh and I have been together a lot longer than I’ve been vegan, and our dietary choices don’t need to be a thorn in our relationship… I know a lot of people have questions about handling social situations, and I’d have to agree…

    Recipes for snacks we’d be appreciated… The kids don’t like hummus or soy/tofu but love beans, lentils, rice, veggies…

    Thanks!

  48. Natalie says:

    Yay! Please write this series. My biggest thing is social situations. We do not know veg families. At play group/preschool my 2.5 year has a hard time because others have meat and he is curious. I bring food but he doesn’t want it. He is little so I see he doesn’t really understand. How do I explain why we don’t eat meat to a two year old? Now he knows hot dogs are meat and “bad”, but how do I explain a veg hot dog is ok when they look the same?? It must be so confusing for a two year old.

    And how to deal with people’s comments that we are depriving our kids. My neighbor and friends actually say to my hubby “come to our house so you can have some meat”!!

  49. Heather Mora says:

    what did your children drink after weaning (my daughter is 13 months and I am just making a switch to vegan – not sure if I should change her routine of drinking whole milk yet) ? lunch box ideas! how do your kids handle eating at friends homes? thanks!

    • Jill says:

      This is something I stressed about! I started my daughter on coconut and almond milk when weaning from breast milk.

  50. elana says:

    What a great idea. I am especially interested in what are the best foods i can feed my kids so i know they are nutritionally covered and don’t have any deficiencies. Also would love recipes for maid dishes. And possibly great healthy breakfast as well. any thing you write about,i’m sure will be great info for all of us. Thank you!

  51. Lisa says:

    I am a new vegan thanks to my 1 yr old daughter. Since learning so much about what foods I want to put in her body I realized that I was not doing myself a favour by eating meat & dairy. I am making my way through LTEV and am loving it! I would love to see more recipes for when babies transition from eating just pureed food to more mainstream meals that mom & dad can eat. I would also like to hear your thoughts on the social situations of raising a vegan family. Most of my friends look at me like I am nuts. But I can’t honestly say my body has ever felt this amazing. I love plants!

    • Heather Mora says:

      me too! my daughter is 13 months old. my husband and I are on our first week of no dairy and meat… but so far we haven’t changed anything for our little one – but my goal is to wean her off dairy soon!

  52. I love this idea, Dreena! While I understand you wanting to have anonymity for your children, it’s reassuring to concerned parents to see a vegan family that is thriving. My kids eat really well and I can’t complain, but I would love some suggestions on how to live in a non-vegan world – especially when kids are involved in social situations. I’d also love to know your tips on instilling vegan values in your children – and any thoughts on how not to draw too much attention to diet in efforts to avoid any eating issues in the future. Hope that all makes sense. Thanks for this series!

  53. kate s says:

    this is a great idea. i want ideas for super fast (and cheap!) but delicious and nutritious dinners for my starting-to-be-picky toddler please! that are also interesting enough for me and my husband as well if possible.

  54. Jennifer Halabi says:

    Fantastic idea. I’d love meal-planning ideas, especially the protein component.

  55. Courtney says:

    Yes! Great idea. Recipes would be SOOOOOO helpful. Kid friendly recipes are hard to find, and then once you find them, you often get stuck in a rut of serving the same handful of things over and over just because you know they are “safe”. It would be great to get some new recipes!

  56. Leigh says:

    Ahh! Would love this! I have a very picky 21month old that refuses all fruits and veggies (in their natural form) so I have to hide them all. Also, would love some high calorie/nutrition meals or snacks…we love your nut butter dip for these reasons!

  57. Sara says:

    I hope you do this series! I went vegan last August and slowly transitioned my kids into it. They now eat 100% vegan at home but we still have to deal with birthday parties, daycare centers and play dates. I’d love to hear more about how you deal with similar social situations. My kids are picky eaters so I tend to cook them a separate kid-friendly vegan version of some of their favorite meals for dinner most nights (vegan nuggets, green smoothies, tofu hot dogs, Daiya nachos, mac & cheeze, etc.) but would love to find a middle ground so that we can eat the same thing (I’m the opposite of my kids and could eat brown rice and lentils with a vegan sauce or gravy of sorts and veggies every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it). I hope you get a lot of feedback on this!

  58. Sarah says:

    Yay!!!! This is so needed. Help with picky eaters!!!!! Beans are a big issue for one of my four.

    Also how to deal with doctors? My doctor is pretty live and let live most of the time but my older two children were always at the upper end of growth charts (we were vegetartians when they were little) but my two younger children have always been near the bottom (since we became vegan) which led to pediatrician referels, suggestions of formula and meat and cow’s milk and many blood tests which showed that nothing was wrong, B12 and Iron were all good they just were/ are growing slower than the average SAD baby. I figure my breast milk just has less fat since becoming vegan. Otherwise all my children are ridiculously healthy since becoming vegan….th issue is we never get sick and spend all winter waiting for our non-vegan friends to be well for playdates:)
    Thanks!

    • Heather Mora says:

      I would love to know more about breastfeeding while eating vegan – I am sure simular things could come up for me when/if #2 comes along!

  59. Robi says:

    I am not a parent, but I am a nanny of 2 non-vegan girls, aged 2 and 5. When I cook for them, I often make things with hidden veggies. Like when i make chili (they love beans!) I chop the onions and celer tiny, and leave big chunks of carrot and pepper, since they like those. For pasta sauce, I throw in any and all leftover veg (from peas to brocoli to baked beans) and puree it with a can of tomatoes and some onion and garlic. Another good one is a greens soup. Cook and puree veggies and kale/spinach/broc/etc in stock, then add a can of white beans.

    They also like to snack on cashews and pistachios, so sometimes I’ll put those into a quinoa/bean salad with some brocoli or tomatoes. They love bell pepper slices, with or without hummus.

  60. Shelley says:

    I would love to read a series like this! Although my daughter is great about eating veggies, beans, etc. at home, I struggle with lunchbox ideas to send with her to day care (she’s 3…and I have a 7 month-old boy who will be going to daycare in a few months). We usually send leftovers with her (i.e., rice, beans, pasta, broccoli, etc) because they have a microwave to heat up. However, they occasionally go on field trips and need a picnic lunch. She loves peanut butter sandwiches, but the day care is nut-free and she won’t go near sunflower seed butter! I know I’ll need a ton more lunchbox ideas for when she gets to school without a microwave! I have a thermos for her, but she’s still too little to open it herself! I also have an issue with how many cupcakes/treats people bring in for birthdays. I’m not told when the birthdays are, so I’m not prepared to send her vegan cupcakes every day! My husband thinks she should just eat them to fit in, then just eat healthy at home, which is what I’ve been doing so far.

    Also, when we go to large family events, she will go right for the cheese and cold cuts (we’ve only been eating a whole-food plant based diet for 5 months, so she still remembers eating yummy choose)! I don’t really want to give her food issues by telling her “No,” so I try to intercept her with healthier fare, but I’d love some tips to deal with this!

    Some of my friends back in my hometown are scared to have us over for a play-date over lunch because they don’t know what to feed us.

    Any posts on this topic would be very interesting to me!!

  61. Jamie says:

    We’re very new to eating vegan and are also raising 3 kids. My 3 1/2 and 5 year olds have made the switch to almond milk (sweetened, vanilla – I still question whether it’s healthier than cow’s milk), but I’m wondering what to give my 9 month old to drink when he gets a bit older. Are nuts a no-no until after 2 years old? We love so much of the food from Let Them Eat Vegan, but I’m really making an effort to limit soy consumption and it seems as though our meals are really nut heavy (which is great for the rest of us – I just don’t want to have to cook separate meals for our baby much longer).

    Also, when we go out to eat, my son (who is now reading), always wants a hamburger. We haven’t made a big deal about what we eat and why aside from fruits, veggies, beans/nuts and whole grains being healthier than candy and sweets. Should we explain to them where the hamburgers come from and why we don’t eat them? Is it really possible for kids to eat vegan in a “conventional” restaurant aside from white-flour pasta and sauce?

  62. Rebekah says:

    I can always use more lunchbox ideas!

    And on the social front: birthday party foods for the kids’ friends. I can make an awesome vegan birthday cake (or cupcakes), but many of my kids’ friends will serve a meal as a part of the party (usually pizza delivery). I’m trying to figure out a kid-friendly, easy meal that I could serve on paper plates in the backyard, that wouldn’t be too messy. Also, that would avoid nuts as there are so many nut allergies to worry about!

  63. Rebecca says:

    I will be very interested to hear anything you have to share on this topic. I have a 3 year old and a 9 month old. As others have shared, packed lunches can be a challenge for when my little guy is at preschool. It’s hard to get the veggies in – I send carrots or broccoli with hummus or dip, but they often come back in the lunch box. Social situations is a big one too – trying to send vegan versions of party treats etc. And we’re in a bit of a rut with family dinners, as he doesn’t like anything “spicy” and I really want us all to share the same meal (or as close to it as possible). Sometimes it’s all in the name – power burrito, yes; tofu and bean scramble wrap, no thank you. Thanks for all the tips in your new book – I’m loving it, and the food introduction schedule in Vive has been helpful with both kiddies!

  64. Shira says:

    I’d love some tips to get my two picky young kids to eat more veggies (and a bigger variety)! My 18-month old will only eat pureed veggies (but refuses all other “baby” food), and my 3.5 year old will only eat certain kinds of veggies (i.e., crunchy carrots, brussels sprouts) and will refuse all others. Neither child will eat anything too heavily spiced or where they can see things like herbs. I love the tips you give in your cookbooks and I’m working through making dishes from them that I think they’ll eat, but I’d love more ideas especially for veggies. Thanks!

  65. CJL says:

    I look forward to any and all you can put together on this. My biggest issue at this point is getting my 9 year old to try anything – let alone getting to the point that he likes it….

  66. Becky says:

    I don’t have any children, but do have a meat-eating husband to feed, so I would be interested in seeing hearty recipes that could please omnivores and vegetarians/vegans.

  67. Lainey says:

    I look forward to reading your series! I find social situations the most challenging, especially if I’m not there, birthday parties, school, play-dates. I usually try to make other arrangements for my kids or if I know what the food is being served bring some kind of a substitute but it’s so challenging! I need a 2 servings cupcake recipe:) I could use some tiny recipes like 6 cookies, 6 granola bars, 6 buns ect… I know I should be able to figure this out but I never seem to do it:/ Also lunch boxes and snack foods that are balanced, my kids are picky too and if fruit or veggies are not at their optimum temperature and peak freshness my kids won’t eat them! I’m ashamed to admit I send a lot of prepackages vegan organic snacks… not exactly health food:( I need more food that is portable and that resembles non vegan food:) I’ll give it more thought too!
    Thanks!

  68. lauren says:

    I think parenting and veganism is always something that needs more space. The social aspects are super important, and if there are specific nutritional things that are needed at certain ages or should be watched out for that is always good to hear lots of times.

    I don’t have children yet, but would like to. and when I do I would love to raise them in a vegan home. I don’t have any examples of that in my day to day life, so It would be good to see other people succeeding at it.

  69. Kelly L. says:

    It’s easy to get my small kids (2&5) to eat whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds. Where I struggle is trying to get dark leafies and other high nutrient veggies into them, other than in a smoothie!

    Also, my husband and I like stir fries, but the kids either want the vegetables mushier than we’d like or they want way less flavor than we want. How can we avoid making 2 different meals and still satisfy everyone? What meals did your kids eat when they were small? Did you have a short list of family favorites you rotated through?

    Thanks for offering up this series!

  70. Holly A. says:

    Hi There! I am not yet a Mom but I am very interested in your tips of social situations and/or household mixes. In a home where my husband may be a meat eater one week, vegetarian the next and never vegan, I often wonder how we will cross the bridge when we consider children. Thank you!

  71. Kate says:

    I’m relatively new to eating vegan, and have still not entirely figured out what to do about my kids (11 months and 3 years) as my husband is not vegan. I’d love some good snack and lunch ideas for kids. Also what do you do in social situations. I’m already having a hard time keeping my older son away from the junk “kid” food that all his little friends eat. Great idea!

  72. Christy says:

    I don’t have kids and don’t really care about any more tips for feeding vegan than you have given me in your cookbook. Not all of your readers will bother to tell you this, but I don’t mind.

    If you are going to do this, please consider a separate blog or else very prominent headers that tell me I can skip the post.

  73. michelle s. says:

    I would love to hear more ideas about feeding plant powered food to kids/ family. I have all your cookbooks and my kids are eating well, but i always like reading new ideas. I still haven’t tried many of your recipes, esp from the newest cookbook, and i think stories and photos of your own family’s enjoyment of them would inspire me. Although you don’t share a lot of personal info about them, or photos of the kids, i know lots of readers would be interested if you felt comfortable sharing more about the meals you have at home. I would also be very interested in nutritional info, like how much iron or B12 growing kids actually need.

  74. Chris says:

    I would love to see some discussion on social situations with vegan kids. Ours is 4 and we haven’t had too many issues yet but I know we will have more and more challenges with school, parties, etc. as he gets older. In his first year of preschool it seemed every other week there was a birthday celebration where parents would bring in non-vegan treats. We tried to anticipate this and bring in something special for our son on those occasions but it’s a challenge. As is going to a birthday party and bringing a vegan cupcake for him but then all the other kids are eating cake. He’s been pretty understanding in these situations so far so maybe we’re stressing about it more than him but still, we would appreciate advice from other parents who have been there.

  75. michelle says:

    awesome idea. for the first time in almost 11 years, i’m having to deal with fussy eaters!! what’s up with that?! my kiddos have always been excellent eaters, not very picky at all. now, all of a sudden, the fussy monster has reared it’s ugly head! i wonder if it’s because they see how their friends eat at school and on play dates, and they realise that we eat “weird” compared to most (which is unfortunate). i’m really hoping that this is just a phase.

    ps. that really is a lovely quilt in your pic :P

    • Johanna says:

      Ugh! This is my problem also. My kids were great until they got to middle school and they wanted to be like their friends. I could have tolerated this if their friends at least ate healthy but it was pre-packaged junk, nuggets, etc. Now my girls are 14 and 16 and they do not eat well outside the house and are kind of picky when they are home.

      I would love to see strategies to get over this. Recipes are great, especially with beans and greens!! I’m a beanie girl and anything that gets them to eat whole beans (they already eat hummus, etc.) would be great.

      Thanks!

  76. michelle says:

    awesome idea. for the first time in almost 11 years, i’m having to deal with fussy eaters!! what’s up with that?! my kiddos have always been excellent eaters, not very picky at all. now, all of a sudden, the fussy monster has reared it’s ugly head! i wonder if it’s because they see how their friends eat at school and on play dates, and they realise that we eat “weird” compared to most (which is unfortunate). i’m really hoping that this is just a phase.

  77. Marsha says:

    This series will be great! As you know I’m new to vegan world but my little one, at 15 months, has been vegan since birth. She doesn’t know any different and has taken to the varieties of food I feed her very well. I know she’s getting the nutrients she needs. What I don’t know because I haven’t been faced with but have been asked is how she will do with her school aged friends? When they go to a fast food chain for parties or after sports practices? How will she manage? Dreena, I think this series will help so many! With possible guest bloggers there would be a wealth of knowledge to be shared.

  78. Andrea says:

    Hi Dreena. I am vegan, my 5 year old son is vegetarian, and he loves to eat these horrible cupcakes at birthdays parties. I let him eat, but I know he is eating bad things like white sugar, artificial colors etc..What can I do in these situations? I have another concern, he wants to eat tofu every meal, and I don´t know if it´s safe and healthy to eat it often.
    Thanks
    Andrea

  79. Molly says:

    Unlike the above comments, I don’t have a hard time figuring out things to feed the kids, but I do worry that they get enough fat for growing brains. I’m having a hard time convincing my vegan self that it is ok for my 4 yo and 18 mo not to drink milk! So, I guess nutritional info would be helpful!

    • TransformingAFatGirl says:

      If you haven’t watched the movie Forks over Knives I highly suggest you do. That was all it took for me to be convinced they DON’T need cows milk now or at any other times in their lives. There are MANY other choices of milk as I sure you know they don’t contain cancer causing casein. That’s just my two cents.

      • Heather Mora says:

        totally a concern I have also, I have one daughter (13 months) and it has been DRILLED into my head that she needs a lot of fat. I don’t really care where the fat comes from, so I have tried avacado (she has never really been a fan) and I know nuts would do it but I worry about giving them to her (even though I am almost positive she isn’t allergic because she stole a bite of my pb&j one day and was fine) so yes – I also would like to know if fat an important thing to consider for little ones?

  80. Lisa says:

    I am a vegan but have 2 meat-loving men in my life. My 16yr old son is 7ft tall and eats non stop. He eats salads, etc. but I need foods that will fill him up longer than 30 min. My husband is over 300 lbs. They will both eat what I make for myself but I need more variety and menu options. Thanks so much for all you do.

  81. ~Kris says:

    like a couple of the comments mentioned above… fast meals (week nights are so busy, esp during the school year, but even in the summer too), as well as lunchbox meals that are not weird that my kids classmates will be making fun of them at lunch.

    • ~Kris says:

      oh, and ideas for easy sleep away stuff.
      between girl scout camp this past weekend, the lock-ins we have during the year – ideas for items that could be brought should what is offered not be suitable

  82. Susan says:

    What would help me the most are ideas for meal planning with children (one 17 months and one 4 years old) and ideas for helping my 4 year old get into food outside of nuggets and mac n cheese.

    Ha! I just read the above comment… yes. That’s us trying to wean off of junk food. The cow milk battle was long and there were some casualties along the road, but we’re finally to a place where the 4 year old accepts and asks for almond milk. So I know it CAN be done, I just have to get there.

    I REALLY appreciate your help in this. It’s a challenge, but the more healthy vegans we can raise up the better chance we have of seeing our children’s generation live happy healthy LONG lives. I really want that for my girls.

    • Susan says:

      Fast meals… we need fast meals on occasion. Things I can keep on hand to whip up something to feed them on a late night.

      Thanks again!

  83. Kimberly says:

    I’m always on the lookout for lunchbox-friendly foods that aren’t too “weird”, for lack of a better word. After a year of sending lunch with my six-year-old, I feel like we’ve exhausted most of the go-to lunch ideas and he’s become pretty picky (it probably has something to do with what he sees his friends eating). The school is nut-free which makes things particularly difficult since many of our favourite things to eat are full of nuts (and he’s completely gone off sunflower seed butter).
    He’s currently eating a container full of strawberries and grapes, a single serving of apple sauce and his drinking box of chocolate soy milk every day for lunch — I’m thrilled he’s eating so much fruit but the meal doesn’t seem particularly balanced. I try to make sure that over the course of the day he’s getting enough to eat but it’s challenging.

    • Natalie says:

      This is a good point too – my 2.5 year old is a grazer. He doesn’t really meals and he sure doesn’t eat a balance of things some days. One week he ate hummus and cereal. Another day he may gorge on broccoli at supper. Does it matter if every meal is balanced?

  84. You’re on to something here! I get lots of emails too, about this, & haven’t gotten around to doing anything substantial. Funny thing is, maybe because all my kids have eaten vegan since birth (except oldest who was only 12 months when we went vegan), they don’t know any different, so I don’t really have any problems or issues with vegan food & my kids. We’ve had our challenges with picky eaters (but what kid doesn’t go through that stage at one point or another) but again, I don’t have the struggles that some parents do, where they’re trying to wean their kids off mac & cheese & chicken nuggets.

    I’d say the most popular question I get is: What do you feed your kids? I think many people just have a big ? in their brains when they think of vegan “kid” food. Personally, I think what we feed our kids shouldn’t be all that different from what we’re feeding ourselves, but I totally understand how kids can be picky & harder to cook for & have slightly different nutritional needs since they’re growing like weeds!

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Wildside Jar for green smoothies, thick and nut-based sauces and dessert purees. I use mine 1-2x/day.

Twister Jar is the BEST for healthy, homemade salad dressings and sauces




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