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Two years ago my family and I began working our way into a vegan diet. My husband is 100% on board but our kids NOT so much. My girls are 9 and 6 and it's been just awful trying to get them on board. They cry and fuss, flat out refuse to eat most meals and act like animals when they go to someone Else's home and they are offered ice cream or hot dogs. My mom always cooks a prim rib for Christmas and my Dad gave some to my girls. They ate it like they were starving and made a big show of telling my neighbor they LOVE to go to Nana's because they get to eat real food.
I feel as as if every word my kids say is being judged and my family is digging to find reason to prove I'm depriving my kids. Today I was told they found it alarming the way the kids dug into the fruit basket like they were starving! Fruit for crying out loud! Now I'm being judged because they ate too much fruit. It was late and they were starving because we hadn't had dinner yet...
I feel like the pressure to conform is getting to me and I could really use some support from people who understand my food choices.
 

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Give peas a chance
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Welcome!
Sorry to hear about that. It sounds very challenging.
 

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Welcome.

I imagine that ages 6 and 9 must be difficult ages to transition unless the kids are on board. May I offer some suggestions?

For starters, I would arrange a way for you and your husband to eat vegan without worrying about whether the kids eat vegan or not. That would be mainly so that both of you can have the comfort and confidence of being truly vegan without having to worry about being judged as bad parents or any of that. Transitioning yourself is hard enough.

If you've already done that, then perhaps make a deal with the kids that they can eat nonvegan at this and that time but that you expect them to follow your food rules when at home etc. And then I would make sure they get to eat plenty of vegan ice cream and cake and whatnot so they don't feel like being vegan is being deprived of anything, just different. Later you can wean them off the junk and get them eating better.

And lastly, I would plan a visit to a farmed animal sanctuary where they can meet real farmed animals and learn their stories. At the ages of your children this activity is perfect for helping them understand why it's a good idea to be vegan. You might be surprised at how quickly they change their tune after that experience. (Be sure not to do the talking about veganism though, let the tour guides do it and let your kiddos think and learn for themselves.) Here is a list: http://www.farmanimalshelters.org/links.htm
 

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TravelingTartar
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Welcome.
I'm vegan. My wife eats up to fish. Oldest daughter up to fish but less and less of it. My youngest daughter omni until recently when she saw Food Inc. at school and decided that it might be time to do like daddy!
I've been vegetarian for 34 years and vegan for 13. I've talked to thousands of people about their diets. I tried to influence many of them. I stopped doing so about ten years ago because, ultimately, and this applies to children as well, changing ones diet durably comes from within.
My advice to you is to leave your children on their current diet and, yes, that might mean cooking meat and the like for them. Meanwhile, slowly provide all the triggers for them to acquire a taste for a more wholesome diet. Your arguments might come, as one poster said, with vegan ice cream and the like. There are some awesome vegan treats out there now. It might also come, as they grow older, from a climate change argument perspective. It can also come from more aggressive messages such as Food Inc. and other documentaries that point a finger at the meat industry. On the positive side, try getting them to manage their own vegetable garden.
You can also try a 'vegan night' when you make an awesome vegan dish like lasagna or chile sense carne. Something that they associate with meat and then realize that the vegan alternative can be just as good. Same goes for cakes, cookies and other dishes you can bake with them.
Hope this helps and have a great vegan journey.
 

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Not such a Beginner ;)
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Hi Mighty.
I'm a mom too, and I am guessing your girls like the attention of people clucking over them while they tuck into the food.


My only thoughts are to have something else to distract everyone from wanting to feed or discuss the diets of your kids 24/7. At Grandmas, you could whip out the art creations, or have them show her their latest soccer moves or dance steps. Anything they like that will get them positive attention will take the focus off the food. And bring huge vegan cookies and vanilla almond milk!


I just thought, they are the perfect ages to cook! They can bake some delicious vegan treats and eat the egg-free dough freely!
And on a daily basis, anything they help make, they'll be more likely to eat.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIGHTY4 View Post

I feel like the pressure to conform is getting to me and I could really use some support from people who understand my food choices.
I'm currently reading Raising Vegetarian Children. It's got sections on how to deal with veg kids when you're omni and how to deal with omni kids when you're veg.

It's difficult once you've set precedent with food choices to come back and unilaterally decide to change them. My 3 yo has been resistant to every.single.milk.alternative I can find... even when I chocolate them up. She just likes cow milk. I made the switch for health reasons, but the ethics of animal treatment reinforced my decision. I'm struggling with telling her WHY I'm not buying more cow milk. I don't know at 3 she needs to hear that.

I'd be careful. The developmental years are fertile ground for eating disorders. It's a fine line between instituting healthy eating policies and "ZOMG mom never let me have meat PASS THE MCRIB!!!!!"
 
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