My advice is always do what is best for you and your family and what’s possible and close to your heart. Surround yourself with information, support, friendship, more support and more information. We are just a bunch of ordinary parents raising vegan children. We believe in a world filled with respect, compassion and love and that can’t be wrong.
When I was pregnant, back in 2011, the decision to raise my child vegan was obvious. My ex-husband and I had been vegan for almost two decades and although we had many questions on how to do it, the decision that our baby would be vegan was clear.
Prior to our son Enrico being born, we started reading around vegan parenting and discovered countless other families raising their children vegan in the last decades. I believed that we always have something to learn, no matter how long you’ve being vegan. And we did learn a lot.
The second thing was to surround ourselves with professionals who would support our decision. We found a nutritionist in Brazil who helped me with Enrico’s diet since he was a baby. It’s important to highlight that nutritionists in Brazil have different qualifications to UK professionals. To qualify, they must go to university and study four years to become one. Enrico also had doctors and/or pediatrics who supported the way we were raising him.
And finally I decided to dedicate a space in my website: All About Vegan Food as I’ve noticed in our social network that many families are still new to veganism and/or don’t get the support they need to be sure about their decisions regarding their children. And that’s how All About Vegan Families was born. It’s a platform to share information, experience, recipes, tips and support on raising vegan children. This page is a very welcoming and an open space to anyone who wants to join us.
Four years later I can tell you that I have a very healthy and thriving kid, who loves his vegetables and his fruits – and hummus! I breastfed him for 2 years, he was introduced to solids at 6 months of age. He has a vegan meal for him in the creche and I cook dinner for us every day. He understands that he doesn’t eat meat (“I don’t want to eat the animals; they’re friends, not food”) and he knows he doesn’t drink cow’s milk. Recently he started to be more curious towards food in general and when he asks for something that’s not vegan, I explain him what’s on it and give him the choice to eat or not, and so far the answer has been always “no”.
I believe in education. I will keep explaining him our choices and why we don’t give him non-vegan meals until the day he is able to make his own decision. I don’t know the answer to all questions people ask me on raising a vegan child. I believe that we are doing the best we can with and for him, as any other normal parent.
This year All About Vegan Families turned 4 years and I’m looking to engage with more and more families – and professionals – around the world to have more content on it. I’ll be also speaking in numerous festivals in Ireland (Irish Vegan Festival and Dublin VegFest) and the UK (Vegan Festival UK, The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival and VegFestUK Bristol) about the topic.