Tips for Introducing Kids to Plant-Based Eating

Switching to a plant-based diet has been coined as one of the biggest wellness trends of 2020. Looking at the continual rise in interest over the years, it seems that vegan living is going mainstream which makes the thought of approaching this lifestyle a lot less daunting.

Helpful resources are plentiful, from vegan cookbooks like oh she glows by Angela Liddon to a plethora of plant-based Influencers on Instagram from Deliciously Ella to local favorite Erin Ireland. Also, new plant-based meat alternatives and packaged foods are sprouting up offering high protein, healthy, and delicious vegan options like Vancouver’s Modern Meat.

For parents with young children who want to make the switch, it can be a challenge but know eating habits for the kiddos are set in early childhood. You have the opportunity to introduce your child to a way of life that can be satisfying, delicious, and normal.

A few tips to make the transition easier for them and you!

1. Do not make separate meals
Try to avoid cooking separate meals for your kids. Doing so can easily turn into a nightmare and cause you to throw in the towel. If you and your partner prefer more spice, add seasonings once the kids have their portions. The same applies to combining foods.

2. Seek Plant-Based Meat and Dairy Alternatives
Most kids love the comfort and taste of a burger, lasagna, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs. These days look no further than your local grocery to find nutritious plant-based burgers, meatballs and ground to substitute for the real deal. With the same texture and a satisfying taste, the kids will not miss a thing. The Modern Meat Burger has a simple list of whole food ingredients that are high in protein and other nutrients to fuel the body. Be sure to check the ingredients and nutritional labels to ensure the quality meets your health standards!

3. Prepare plenty of fruits and veggies
Storing bowls of washed berries, precut cucumbers, and carrots in the fridge make it easy for kids (and adults) to grab a healthy vegan snack. Make sure they are set on a low, accessible shelf so there are no excuses. Chips and salsa, crackers, and hummus are some other go-to snacks that will keep the kids satisfied.

4. Keep it simple
There is no need to complicate things or think that you need to make elaborate, unique meals every day. Start with what’s familiar such as mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, beans, quinoa, veggie stir-fries and soups. Make sure you give roasted broccoli (drizzled with olive oil and balsamic) and mashed potatoes a try. Throw another vegetable on the plate or a cup of homemade soup for a filling meal. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to get inspired once you get comfortable.

5. Eat out
Many Vancouver based restaurants and food establishments offer vegan options. This is a wonderful way for kids to expand their palate by exploring different flavours and cuisine. It also demonstrates that it is ‘normal’ to eat plant-based.

6. Smoothies for the Win
These blended beauties can provide everything your body needs. The combination of frozen fruits will disguise any additions such as spinach, kale, avocado, chia, or Vega vanilla protein powder. Smoothies are easy to drink and super quick to make when the kids are on the verge of hangry…

Plant-based eating does not need to be restrictive and should be viewed as a lifestyle choice rather than a ‘diet’. Involve your kids early in planning meals for the week and exploring new foods to try.



		
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