In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.
‘You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I’ll buy you a new car.’ – Harvey Diamond
I have to start with a disclaimer here. I’m not a parent, nor do I claim to have any idea what it is like to raise a child. However, I do know that we, as adults, have a habit of telling children what they will and will not do before they’ve had the chance to make their own decision. I used to work with children, and I have been guilty of this myself many times.
Although I eat plant-based, I spend quite a lot of time with my godchildren who do not. At first, I made an effort to make sure that there were always meat options available to them, especially when we went camping. I soon learnt, though, not to bother. Apart from the odd burger off the barbeque, out of everything they had offered to them, both my godchildren chose to eat my vegan food instead. (Mental note: pack more vegan food for the next camping trip!)
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and go plant-based, don’t get disheartened if it takes a while for your children to come around. Children become addicted to the ‘drug’ of convenience and processed foods as easily as adults do. Give them a chance to discover things for themselves, though, and you’ll be amazed at how they can adapt.
One of the best ways to get children into plant-based food is to allow them to grow their own. My nephew proudly sends me regular photo updates of what he’s growing in his garden, and previous birthday presents for my godson have included plant seeds and fruit trees. Not having your own garden is no excuse, either. I volunteer in my local community garden, and every Saturday in the summer it is full of local kids who want to learn more about growing food and have a go.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out Vedged Out. Somer is a mum who converted her whole family to a plant-based diet, the dog included. Not only is she inspirational and full of lots of great information and product recommendations, she also posts the most delicious vegan recipes.