New to this board - need guidance from experienced vegans that are parents
Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I am new here and have been looking at the great recipes here on the site.
I need help transitioning my kids to vegan. If it were just me, I could eat vegan no problem. However, I am running out of kid friendly ideas. My kids eat limited veggies with dipping sauce. We eat homemade refried beans, salads, spaghetti and ravioli. I am starting slowly by changing their diet - trying to find the same non-vegan products they were used to eating in vegan form.
Can anyone offer advice, recipes or both to help me make this adjustment. We tried the Quorn chicken nuggets - they did not like them or the vegan hot dogs - eww. I have braved tofurkey despite the interesting smell.
I have borrowed Healthy Vegan Family Recipes (looks a bit dated) and Vegimicon (I don't think that is spelled right) and was just hoping someone could help! Thanks so much!
I'll be upfront here - I'm neither vegan nor a parent - but maybe it's an idea to look through the recipes on this site with your kids? There are loads to choose from, amazing photos from people who've tried it before and lots of vegan variations on non-vegan classics. Always good for some inspiration :)
P.S. I love how explanatory your username is. It's brilliant. ;)b
When you feed your kiddos veg products are you telling them that they are veg? I suggest that you try a different brand and not mention the meat free part of it. They may decide they don't like it in their heads before they even try it. There weren't nearly as many meat subs when I first went veg as there are now so I use to make a lot of tofu things but once they tried the chickn' nuggets theyhave always loved them. My kids never had a problem with eating meat free products although they are omni. My hubby eats meat so they do too but they grew up eating only one or two meals a week...still way healthier than the average american. Now they are all grown up and eat meat often. :'( I think it is a rebellion sort of thing...hopefully they will return to their roots.
how old are they? maybe they could help you with some easy food prep stuff to get them excited about trying new stuff?
Not that I'm a parent or have any experience with vegan kids but I've read many articles that say to get kids eating more vegetables you should get them in the kitchen helping to prepare the meals. Helping to cut up the vegetables and cooking the meal might make them want to try it more.
Also, try boca Chik patties and nuggets. We didn't tell them that they weren't really chicken and they could tell the difference.
As far as meat substitutes, we like Health Valley chicken nuggets, Boca Burgers, Riblets. My dad can't tell the difference, so I third the idea of just not telling them. Maybe, though, it would be good to find new recipes that happen to be vegan. Most kids like pasta and sauce, maybe with some Nate's meatballs thrown in. Or possibly introduce them to some new ethnic food. Chinese take-out with tofu instead of pork or whatever, or Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Northern African. Sometimes trying new food is fun for kids, and they won't care that it's meat-free, or whatever. Pre-made seitan might also be a good choice. It's meaty, quick, and lends itself to any sauce. Lots of omnis will eat it without comment...
I do have a child, but she was raised vegan. I can imagine it is hard trying to transition with three. Good luck. Let us know how it's going, what they are liking, etc.
Ok, everyone knows i'm going to say it. Garden Burger Riblets. They're amazing, can get to be pricey but its always a good frozen back up to have, i'm sure any kid would love them.
And i agree with Catski, look up recipes with them, theres a whole kid friendly section in recipes by category!
My friends daughter used to stay with me starting when she was 2.
As she got older I had her help me prepare dinner. I noticed when you help someone cook you are more excited to eat it.
At least that is the way I was when I was a kid.
She has always ate veggie food with me. No complaints.
Guess it helps how your children are taught and if they have acquired the bad habits of being picky.
My only suggestion or ?
would be just make what you normally make. If they ask what it is tell them.
I never say it is vegetarian or vegan.
Also I do have a 16 yo daughter no problems with her either.
How old are you kiddies?
this is a really fun blog. heres the description:
"THE GREAT BIG VEGETABLE CHALLENGE
Welcome to the World's First Great Big Vegetable Challenge! Take one seven year old boy named Freddie and his mother as they face the challenge of turning him from a Vegetable-Phobic into a boy who will eat and even enjoy some of life's leafier pleasures. Join us as we work through the A to Z of vegetables!"
eta: the family is not vegan, but most dishes are veggie based and can easily be made vegan, like subbing soy milk, margarine and egg replacer or tofu