Ho everyone....my family and I made a decision to start eating healthier, well with that we are slowly (or maybe not so slowly) starting to take meat out of out diet. We started this for multiple reasons but its now getting to the point that when we eat meat our bodies let us know about in a not so good way.....Although we have slipped up (more out of convienance) we are truly trying to get away from all meat, dairy etc.
I am a little nervous (want to make sure it taste good and is filling) but also because we have 2 little ones (6 year old and an 8 month old) from what I understand vitamin D diffencey is a concern among vegans (can anyone shed any light) as well as B12, and calcium. My husband and I currently use almond milk with out protien shakes so I know we're getting some of what we need from there.
Can anyone give me any advise on my little ones and how to ensure they are getting what they need
Vitamin D is a problem for a lot of people, not just vegans, who don't live in a terribly sunny environment, and B12 isn't available at all in a fully vegan diet. A lot of foods are supplemented with these vitamins, and with calcium as well, but to be on the safe side, especially for the little ones. I take the VEG1 multivitamin, which has B12, D, and a few other vitamins and minerals that may not be as readily available in a vegan diet. However, it says it's half a tablet a day for children aged 2-12, I'm not sure what you should be giving your 8-month-old. The vegan society does have a page on infants and children: http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/infants-and-children.aspx
Another great resource is http://veganhealth.org/ - it can be very technical, but it does give a very balanced picture and has a lot of useful information. Based on their page on Omega 3 fatty acids, I also take an algae-based Omega 3 DHA and EPA supplement, which you might also want to look into for your family.
Aside from those things, I would say just go with a diet of varied, preferably whole foods, lots of fresh fruit and veg, pulses, grains, nuts, seeds (quinoa is great!) etc. and you'll be just fine!!!
ooh, and check out http://www.healthyeatingstartshere.com/ - the girl who runs it, Heather, has loads of really useful videos with information on nutrition and recipes.