By Kylee Harris
There are approximately 79 million vegans in the world. For parents considering raising their children as vegan, the decision can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the idea and/or haven’t gone vegan yourself. However, for parents considering introducing a vegan lifestyle from birth, learning about the positive impacts the lifestyle can have on children will make the decision easier to navigate.
There are a number of advantages when it comes to raising a vegan child. For starters, a vegan diet can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle, and one that may very well prompt healthier food choices later on in life.
Vegan children are more likely to choose fruit, vegetables and salads over unhealthy fast food options, for example.
Your child’s health may still be a concern, however, especially if you’re new to the idea of veganism. Rest assured that, in addition to a healthy vegan diet leading to a lower risk of developing health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes, a number of experts agree that a well thought out vegan diet is safe for all stages of life.
A healthy, well planned out vegan diet means you’ll need to learn how you can best cater to your child’s dietary needs in order to ensure they’re getting all the necessary nutrients to live a healthy life. This can be achieved by talking to your child’s doctor so that you’re prepared for their changing needs as they grow.
This includes learning about alternatives for important dietary elements such as protein, preferably before your child even starts eating solids.
However, it’s crucial to realise that a healthy vegan diet involves much more than simply finding the appropriate alternatives, as other important aspects of a child’s diet – like DHA omega 3 fatty acids – can be particularly difficult to manage. Beans, nuts and seeds are good sources of omega 3, but if your child has any issues with these, you may need to consider supplementation.