Considering changing to a more plant-based lifestyle? Whether motivated by ethical, environmental or health concerns, we’re here to help make the transition easier for you and your family.
While making changes in your own life can seem challenging, pivoting your whole family’s diet is another story altogether!
Thankfully, there are ways to introduce more goodness than what you’re removing when going plant-based.
But how to get started?
Give Them the ‘Why’
Did you know that the average four-year-old asks around 200 questions a day? Give those inquisitive little minds something to ponder! Informing your kids of the benefits of a more plant-based diet and lifestyle on them and their surroundings is a great way to make them more amenable to the change. Don’t worry about it being too complicated for them to understand - even the most complex of concepts can be made ‘child-friendly’. Find simple, fun ways to explain how eating a diet richer in plants may help their health, as well as that of the animals and nature they love.
Start with Small Steps
Change is never easy - especially when it involves something as pervasive as your diet. Starting with one small step at a time can make it that much easier. Try to allocate a day of the week to completely eliminate meat, such as Meat-free Mondays. Alternatively, introduce one plant-based meal a day - breakfast is usually the easiest! Just whip up some toast with avocado or hummus. You could then move on to allocating an entire day to a purely plant-powered diet or including two vegan or vegetarian meals two to three times a week. You’ll figure out what works best for your family over time.
Familiarise the Foreign
Start with what they know. If they love homemade milkshakes or smoothies, just swap out the dairy for a nut or oat milk substitute. Sweetened almond milk will probably have the best success rate if they’ve got a sweet tooth. Have you got a burger-loving bunch at home? Simply swap out your beef patties for a delicious chickpea-based variation - easy peasy! Once you’ve nailed these changes, you can start swapping out your cheese, mayo, yoghurt, etc. for plant-based alternatives. There are so many great options on the market these days.
Bring some fun into it! It doesn’t have to be a stressful and strict process. Hold a competition in which each child creates their own plant-based dish, and judge them on their creativity. Or quiz them on their knowledge of which fruit and vegetables are rich in certain vitamins, minerals and proteins.
There are bound to be some challenges along the way, as there are with any transition. But with a little patience and understanding, you’re sure to be on your way to living a healthier, happier life that’s better for you, your family, the environment and all beings. What are you waiting for?
By Juliet Almendro