Sticking to a vegan diet for yourself is difficult, but it can definitely be done with a fair amount of self-discipline and willpower. What’s far more difficult is maintaining a vegan diet for not just you, but your entire family. Helping your kids stick to a vegan diet while at the same time making sure they’re getting the nutrients they need to grow can be a difficult path to navigate. Here are a few vegan nutrition tips to help you in making sure that your kids get enough nutrition.
If kids don’t get enough protein and calcium, it’ll be difficult for them to develop strength and keep their energy up. Particularly if you have kids who are active and are actively participating in sports, you need to take extra steps to ensure that they’re getting the right nutrients they need in order to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Vegan Nutrition Tips For Families With Kids
While avoiding animal products certainly has its health benefits, there is some risk involved if the diet is not managed and maintained correctly. To ensure your children’s health and wellness as a vegan family, consider the following vegan nutrition tips for a healthy, balanced vegan lifestyle.
1. Nuts and Beans
Protein is one of the most difficult topics for vegans to deal with, since it is almost exclusively provided by animal-based products; thus, your protein options are quite few outside of non-vegan food choices.
Nuts and beans are then pretty much the main method of obtaining protein as a vegan, in addition to soy-based products and tofu. One of the most important vegan nutrition tips is to make sure that you have a generous amount of high-protein foods worked into your daily meal plan.
2. Plant-based fats
Avocado, almonds, chia seeds, peanuts and walnuts all have a high-concentration of fat that’s good for us in reasonable doses.
Furthermore, kids actually need a certain amount of healthy fat to grow, especially when they’re younger. As a vegan family, these foods will be your primary source of fat on a regular basis.
3. Pick a good multivitamin:
There are plenty of resources for picking a good multivitamin that doesn’t use animal products. In general, multivitamins are usually recommended regardless of what kind of diet you have, but for those with more food restrictions, it becomes that much more important to get the nutrients you need to keep performing at your best, both mentally and physically.
In particular, vitamin B helps your body absorb nutrients from food and convert it to energy, so if your kids are deficient in this area, they may become fatigued more easily. Traditionally, you get most of your vitamin B from meat and other animal products, but soy products and sea vegetables can also provide it. This is a very important but often overlooked vegan nutrition tip– so make sure you are eating foods high in vitamin B and taking a vitamin B supplement.
4. Enough calories
As a good general rule to follow, just make sure your kids get their recommended calorie intake a daily basis. The more food they consume, the more energy they’ll have to burn. On a vegan diet, you don’t need to skimp as much on portion sizes, since the fat content in meals is generally much lower.
5. Avoiding the Risks
There’s definitely some risk involved with a vegan diet, but most of that risk can be avoided by getting enough calories, plant-based fats and protein. Make sure you have a plan in place to get these nutrients to your kids if and when they decide to adhere to a vegan diet. If you are making the decision to go vegan, you should consult with your pediatrician or a certified nutritionist to help you develop a diet plan that is perfect for your family.
You may also enjoy a few new vegan recipes:
Southwest Black Bean Quinoa Recipe
Small Footprints says
Thank you for these useful tips. I’ve actually found protein quite easy to get from a vegan diet … legumes and nuts certainly provide them but so do many other vegetables like mushrooms and peas. Even some grains contain protein, like quinoa. I find that the only thing that is hard to get is vitamin B-12 since it’s basically a bi-product of the digestion process in animals. To make sure that we get enough, I incorporate nutritional yeast into our diet and take a B-12 supplement. Getting a good variety of foods helps to ensure that we get all the nutrition that we need … that’s true in any diet plan. Thanks, again!
Here at VegThisWay, we agree that it can be difficult to get kids the proper nutrition they need on a daily basis, especially specific nutrients. These are great tips and suggestions for those who choose to eat a vegan diet. Check out Rawr Bars, an all natural dried fruit and vegetable strip that contains 1/2 serving of vegetables, no sugar added, no preservatives, and are gluten free and vegan! Great way to kids more nutrients while eating healthy at the same time.