Do you want your kids to eat more plants (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts/seeds)? If your answer is yes, you are in the right place! Here you will find how to raise plant-based kids!
So, here goes! A list of 10 tips for feeding kids a healthier and whole food plant-based diet.
10 Tips for raising plant-based kids
1. Kids usually love fruit. So, give your kids lots of it, even if they don’t love vegetables (yet). The list of fruits is big: apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, watermelon, mango, pears and so on.
2. Find out what healthy plant-based foods they already enjoy, and give them those often. Make a list of their favorite plant-based meals and keep the list somewhere you can refer to it often. This list will be very helpful when you’re not sure what to make for your picky kiddo.
3. Some kids like smoothies, so make smoothies more often if they like them. There are so many combination and variations. Fill the cup with 50% of the following leafy greens: Collard Greens, Kale, Romaine, Spinach Spring Greens or Swiss Chard. Combine with the same amount of their favorite fruit and add nuts or seeds. Find the combination they like a most and give them more.
4. Don’t buy processed, snacks for your kids! Their snacks should be simple: fruit, nuts, toast with peanut butter, hummus and veggies or pita bread. Just give them a real food if they need in between meals. You can also just give them leftovers if they are very hungry! It doesn’t have to be traditional “snack” kind food.
5. Some kids like things (foods) not touching. So, keep foods separate sometimes. For example, If you make Buddha bowl, let the kids choose whether to have the ingredients separate or together. If your kids don’t want food touching, give them tofu, rice, vegetables, and beans separated on a plate. If it’s a meal where you can easily do that, it can really help out.
6. Make healthy desserts for fun: avocado chocolate pudding, banana cacao chia pudding, vegan cheesecake, date nut balls, black bean brownies, blondies made with chickpeas, banana oat cookies, banana ice cream, chocolate cherry ice cream.
7. Let them help you with a meal plan, this way you will find which meals they really like. If you growing a garden as them to help you. Ask them to visit the farmer’s market with you and to tell you what plant they want.
8. Don’t cook separate meals for your kids, but keep them in mind while you making a meal plan for the next week. Just make sure that they will be excited about at least a couple of the meals you will cook. It could be different Pasta sauces, Mac and Cheese or Pizza.
9. Don’t stress your kids about food! Whole foods taste amazing! Maybe the biggest mistake is pushing our kids with “have to eat this” because “it’s healthy”. Kids usually resist parents. Whole foods plant-based tastes amazing and helps nourish and energize us during all day. There is more satisfaction with a whole foods plant-based diet than a Standard American diet. So, don’t make them feel like they are missing out on something because they’re not!
10. Let your kids make their own decisions outside the home. If your kids are older they will usually eat birthday cake or cheese pizza at a birthday party. You should be fine with it. As they get older and older they should make their own food decisions. After all, it is their life and you can’t do it for them forever. When they get a tad older you should introduce them some documentaries like Forks Over Knives or What the Health. I am sure they will get the point.
I hope this tips will help you to raise plant-based kids!