Veganism is not just a trend but a lifestyle. Here are 7 Vegan Substitutes for Common Kid Foods that ensure proper nutrition along with taste.
When the word Vegan started appearing in popular media, it was little more than just a buzzword. However, as the number of vegans grew, awareness of veganism also increased, and today, it is a movement that is seeing a drastic increase in all countries across the world. The world is waking up to the realization that it is an important lifestyle practice for a healthy, sustainable and ecologically-conscious future. In India, where 350 million people identify as vegetarian, making the transition to pure veganism—with no dairy or eggs—is actually fairly easy, as most vegan substitutes are easily available. Here is a look at 7 vegan substitutes for common kid foods.
7 Vegan Substitutes for Common Kid Foods
1. Soy and Almond Milk Over Dairy Milk
An increasing number of Indians are looking for alternatives to cow’s milk. Researchers at Sanjay Gandhi Medical Institute studies in Lucknow found that 74% of Indian adults are lactose intolerant and unaware of it. Yet, we continue to insist that children drink cow’s milk, even if they may not be able to digest it. Fortunately, with the rise of veganism, more gut-friendly options, like soy and almond milk have emerged.
Besides providing proteins, Vitamins A and D, and strengthening your child’s immunity, nut-based milk also contains healthy monounsaturated fats instead of the saturated fat found in cow’s milk. You can use soy and almond in shakes, for baking and even add it to your child’s cereal bowl!
2. Almond/Peanut Butter Over Regular Cheese/Butter
Most children are very fond of having cheese and butter in their food. Yummy as these foods are, most parents shy away from using them because processed butter and cheese has little nutrition value. Fortunately, with a vegan diet, you can make your kid’s favourite foods and maintain good health.
Unlike regular butter, which contains 60% unhealthy saturated fats, nut-based butter like almond and peanut butter have monounsaturated fats, which are good for skin, hair, and digestion. As an added plus, they are full of vitamins, micro nutrients, iron, and antioxidants, and taste delicious!
3. Mushroom and Tofu Over Meat
Like in the west, Indian kids are equally fond of fast food, which contains high cholesterol from meat and poultry. Continuous consumption of junk over long periods can result in overweight and obesity. As kids grow in age, they have to deal with numerous health issues. Excess weight requires them to resort to lower back exercises, workouts to reduce belly size, calcium supplements to help strengthen bones and other things of caution. Vegan options are healthier. Instead of ordering unhealthy meat-based burgers, pizzas, cook healthier and tasty plant-based alternatives at home.
A tofu filling, for example, can result in delicious burgers. Made from soya beans, tofu contains high amounts of protein and healthy fat. Texture-wise, it is very similar to meat—your child won’t even be able to tell the difference! You can also use mushrooms in spaghetti. Mushrooms have a rich texture and are packed with selenium, potassium, and protein, making it a great addition to your food!
4. Veg Mayonnaise Over Egg Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise adds a zing to your salads and sandwiches, which is why kids love it. Even as it is becoming a common household item in India, many of us do not realize that it is made from egg and oil. Even vegetarian mayo from companies like Fun Foods contains milk in its ingredients. Fortunately, a vegan diet does not mean that you have to skip using mayo.
In fact, you can make a healthy and cost-effective mayo right at home. Simply beat sunflower oil, soy milk, salt and apple cider vinegar together, until all the ingredient meld. You can store this by deep freezing it and use it for topping sandwiches for children.
5. Jackfruit & Cauliflower Over Chicken & Pizza Crusts
One of the yummiest foods for children, pizza, is chock full of unhealthy cholesterol and empty carbohydrates. Besides being unhealthy, a lot of pizza crust is egg-based, meaning that even your veg pizza is not vegan.To make a vegan and a super healthy pizza, you can use two very versatile vegetables: jackfruit and cauliflower.By grating baked cauliflower and squeezing out its water content, you will be left will a malleable powder that you can roll into a pizza dough. While this a time-consuming process, it is gluten-free and packed with vitamins.
Top your pizza with jackfruit, pulled and dipped in BBQ sauce, as a replacement for chicken.Not only is this a great vegan alternative, it is an easy way of feeding veggies to your kid!
6. Organic Sugar Over Crystalline Sugar
One surprising ambit that is non-vegan is your sugar. To be a vegan means abstaining from animal and animal products completely. This means besides your diet, one also has to abstain from leather, silk and other animal-based products. Most companies manufacturing regular crystalline sugar use bone char from cows to whiten the sugar. This is a fact which is generally not known to most but the practice has gone quite rampant in the recent times.
Before you despair, thanks to international vegan movements worldwide, a number of options have opened up for your child’s sweet tooth. Check out brands like ‘In the Raw’ and ‘Rapunzel’, which produce vegan, unprocessed cane sugar. With this, you can make all your favourite desserts without the guilt. You can even opt for natural substitutes for sugar which are any day healthful over synthetic market brands.
7. Nut/Soy Vegan Ice Creams Over Regular Ice Creams
While on the subject of dessert and children’s meals, it is impossible to go without mentioning ice cream.Regular ice cream is made with full-fat milk and sugar, meaning that this dessert is a huge no-no for vegans. Besides, its high-fat content relegates it to an occasional treat for children.
However, if your child is a huge fan of ice creams, you can indulge their love through healthier, vegan alternatives like ice creams made of soy milk or almond milk. There are a number of vegan ice creams offered by companies like Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs which are easily available in India too. These can be tried. Kids often play in dirt and perspiration. Soy contains isoflavones, a plant compound which promotes clear skin. Problems like hives, cystic acne, impetigo are kept at bay.
As parents, it is important that we teach our children to lead cruelty-free lives. By introducing a vegan diet, we can forge a healthy world for them, where they are conscious of their meal choices and how it impacts the world.
You may also like to check out these vegan recipes for kids:
- Vegan Banana Coconut French Toast
- Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- Vegan Soya and Chana Dal Cutlets
- Vegan Whole Wheat Banana Cake
Jenny is a creative blog writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She currently writes for Health of Back and Otr-reviews.