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Raising a Vegan Family

Raising a Vegan Family
Holly KalynBy Holly Kalyn, Editorial Intern for Compassionate Cuisine


camp kindness kids
Camp Kindness teaches children that animals are unique individuals

If you’re a parent, going vegan is a lifestyle choice that extends beyond just what you eat and how you live as an individual—it involves your whole family, especially when you want what’s best for you, the animals, our planet and  your loved ones. Luckily, if you’re deciding to go vegan, there’s no better time for your family to start the journey than when they can do it along with you. In fact, experts assert that turning kids onto a diet full of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and grains will actually propel children to prefer these healthy foods throughout their lives! Even if your kids are accustomed to eating meat, chicken, fish and dairy, with some small shifts in routine and attitude, your whole family can be on a nutritious, plant-based diet in no time.

Anyone can adopt a vegan diet, including kids. And becoming vegan as a child can pave the way for a whole future of good choices and health benefits. Veganism instills smart eating habits from a young age, lessens the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and helps to sustain a healthy body weight. It also exposes children to critical thinking about compassionate choices early on in life. On average, vegans typically consume more whole fruits and vegetables containing important nutrients like fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C, all which impart the energy that kids need to be active.

Kids making vegan tacos
Vegan Tacos are easy to make!

In addition, a plant-based diet can easily provide all the nutrients necessary for growing children. Many plant-based foods are fortified with the essential vitamins and minerals that promote healthy growth and sturdy bones such as calcium, B12, and vitamin D. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, kids can easily reach 100 percent of their daily requirements with a multivitamin, fortified foods (check the labels), and a nutritious diet. PCRM recommends buying products that contain 20 percent or higher of the daily value per serving.

One of the best ways to ease your kids into eating differently is to identify the dishes you already make that happen to be vegan and that you know everyone likes. For example, if your family enjoys your meatless chili, pasta with marinara sauce, or lentil soup, keep these recipes on hand and add a few more vegan recipes to your dinner lineup to get things started. Other possibilities could be lentil meatballs, black bean tacos, or a chunky vegetable stew. If your kids eat cereal for breakfast, just look for vegan brands (some are even accidentally vegan so check the ingredients of the cereal your kids already eat) and simply swap out the dairy milk for almond milk or vanilla soymilk.

camp kindness kids and pigs
When kids connect with real animals, they stop seeing them as food

Fill the house with snack options that are kid-approved and familiar. For example, you might buy some crackers and peanut butter, vegan waffles, hummus, veggie sticks, granola, mixed nuts, and fruit flavored soy yogurt. Your kids don’t have to completely give up guilty pleasures either. There are plenty of store-bought vegan alternatives of old favorites like hotdogs, pizza, chicken nuggets, and ice cream. And many classic comfort foods like meatloaf, stroganoff, potpies, casseroles, and even cupcakes have been made over as vegan recipes.

camp kindness kids cooking
Involving kids in meal preparation makes it easier to get them to try new things

Preparing bagged lunches for your kids to take to school is a great way to ensure that they’re eating a healthy vegan diet while not at home. When they go off to sleepovers or birthday parties, just have a conversation with the parent and explain your child’s diet. If there aren’t any vegan options available where your child is going, you could also send along some snacks or frozen food to prepare during the play-date or sleepover.

Talking to your own kids about going vegan will help them to understand the reasons behind the choice to stop eating animals and their by-products, and may help them to build their own values around the lifestyle. Remember, when healthy foods are introduced at a young age, the child will grow to favor these foods. But beyond this, if they also develop their own convictions, they will be more likely to make more compassionate choices on their own. So give veganism a try as a family. Starting a vegan diet early can help kids make a connection to the world around them, ignite an interest in animal welfare, and teach them how to lead compassionate lives. And let’s be honest, the world can be a wonderful place when our kids are compassionate people.

We’ve rounded up some kid-friendly recipes from our blog and beyond. Give them a try!


Nut Milk

Easy Waffles

Perfect Pancakes

Morning Glory Granola

Best Banana Bread

Tofu Scramble

Vegan Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast Tacos

Blueberry Praline Baked French Toast


Vegan Meatball Subs

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

Greek Lentil Soup

Easy Vegan Bean Burritos

Quick Veggie and Hummus Sandwich

Peanut Sesame Slaw with Soba Noodles

Quick and Easy Tofu Sandwich

Vegan Caesar Salad

Vegan Pizza Bagels

Vegan Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Speedy 3-Bean Salad


Easiest Eggplant Parm

Meatless Meatloaf

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Macaroni and Cheeze

Mexican Lasagna

Super Quick Tomtato Basil Cream Pasta

Best Enchilada Casserole

Vegan Homemade Sausage and Cheese Calzones

Vegan Pot Pies

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Snacks & Treats


Crispy Baked Onion Rings

Raw Corn and Avocado Tacos

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Healthy French Onion Dip

Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcake

Rice Crispy Treats

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

5 Minute Hot Chocolate



Add Love + Stir, Compassionate Cuisine, Vegan Lifestyle



One reply on “Raising a Vegan Family”

  1. I would love to have the recipe for your best banana bread. The link above does not take me to it. I have made it so often I should have it memorized but my brain is really fried lately and cannot remember amounts .
    Thank you!

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