Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Feeding Kids in a Vegan Family

It is amazing how concerned people are for your health and well being when you tell them you are vegetarian or vegan. The look on their faces sometimes is priceless! It's almost like you just told them you don't eat anything at all and that you are starving yourself and your family. Close your mouth, a bug might fly in. 

It gets better when you tell them your whole family eats that way, including the 2 toddlers you see running a muck. They immediately ask one of these questions: "Where do you get your protein? Where do you get your calcium? Where do you get your B6 or B12?" Followed by, "What about the kids? Don't they need milk for their growing bones?" Sometimes its asked in a condescending way, almost like they think we are backwoods hippies (is there such a thing?) who don't know any better and have not done our research. That is when I want to hid them over the head with my large juicer and ask them "How to you get your daily vitamins in? A large hamburger doesn't count you know?!?" of course I maintain my self control.

We recently went to a friend's house who has a older teenager who is picky still to this day. So when our boys are fighting over who gets the last apple for a snack the dad was shaking his head in amazement, "That is not normal" he said. Its not??? Should they be fighting over candy? Is that "normal"? Or when we made dinner and our oldest, who loves his broccoli, was upset because it was all gone! The friends we were visiting thought that was just crazy too! What 4yr old is visibly upset because he ate all his broccoli and there is no more to be had? Ours!  

I like our version of normal, it makes me happy our kids are getting a good start and being educated from day one about normal foods that happen to be healthy and good for you. I like that they fight over apples, broccoli, apples, carrots, tofu and any other fruit and vegetable. Is it weird? Is it not the 'normal'? YES! But who cares! Be different! Tell people you are vegan! Tell people you don't eat fast food! Shock! Educate! Carry on....

So we get asked "What do you feed the kids?" "How do you make sure they get their protein?" Etc... So glad you asked! We had a policy with our kids that they eat what we eat, no special meals unless there was an allergy to something. But so far so good and no food allergies! Here is an example of the day:

Breakfast: Blueberry waffles and protein shake with bananas blended in

Lunch: (Leftovers from the night before) Brown rice with Black beans 

Snack: Banana and peanut butter

2nd Snack (you know it happens): fresh veggies picked from the garden green beans, broccoli, sugar snap peas

Dinner: Spaghetti and Lentil 'meat' balls

That is only one day mind you but its filled with vitamins, protein, fiber, fruits and all the other good a kid might need. We also make sure they have their multivitamins along with everything else.

Hope this helps give you an idea! If you have a picky kid there are so many creative ways to make the food look cute and make them want to eat it. But that is a post for another day...