Sometimes we often make assumptions without any facts – assuming, of course, that we’re right! Back in 2014, Registrar General of India (RGI) conducted a survey in the country, which reported nearly 70% of the population above 15 years of age as non vegetarians. This was surprising to say the least, especially when the western world and Indians themselves perceive India to be a country of Vegans. So much for assumptions!
What’s encouraging though, especially for the Vegan community, is the declining rate of Non vegans over the last decade. In 2004, it was around 75%. Though it isn’t a sharp dip but certainly says a lot about the modern day population. The number is further expected to go down in the years to come.
I think more than the debate of whether a vegan diet is nutritional enough for children and younger population, it attributes to rising awareness of environmental issues and social responsibility. One can safely conclude that 30% of the households still prefer a plant based diet over meats. Unfortunately, I have chosen a wrong topic for myself. Wondering why? Because I am a non vegan myself! But not to worry, my roots hail from a vegan family and I am confident I can do justice to the topic!
Here I elaborate a few tips that a vegan household can follow to raise its kids healthily.
5 Tips to Raise Healthy Kids in a Vegan Home
1. Focus on Healthy Patterns first
As much as it is important to eat foods and superfoods, it is vital to have your meals, small and major, all ON TIME. Ensure your kids sleep on time so they can wake up on time too. Even on weekends when they don’t have to rush for the school bus, they should be up early morning. This would ensure they are not erratic with their lunch and dinner timings. Not being able to have a routine can invite problems like poor metabolism, irregular weight and lack of sustained energy?
2. Know what’s Healthy and what’s Not
Not all vegan foods are high on nutrition. You should always go for healthier options. Foods that are energy-rich should be included more. As a matter of fact, kids usually burn more calories than an adult. Sports, outdoor activities and dance classes keep them physically occupied all day long. Having a balance of all nutrients hence, is must. Ample amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals are important for their growth. Milk and dairy products shouldn’t be ignored either, unless of course you are a strict vegan and restrain from animal derivatives too.
3. Ensure Variety
Most kids want a different snack all seven days of the week. The moment you repeat your dishes, expect them not to turn up for breakfast the next day! A vegan kitchen is usually flooded with options – spices, herbs and garnishing agents galore. It’s time to think of a unique dish from Monday to Sunday. You can replace the regular glass of milk with a refreshing smoothie. Pick alternate options using milk, water and fresh fruits. For e.g. – Tofu is a rich source of protein and can be used to make delicious smoothies for kids.
4. Reserve Treats for the Weekend
It’s difficult to keep your kids away from chocolates or wafers. While it’s true that candy is loaded with sugar and additives, good quality chocolate is healthier than we think. It offers loads of benefits when taken in moderation. Kids should not be deprived of these foods completely; let them have it on weekends, at least. Take them out or prepare a dish at home of their choice.
5. Keep Healthy Stuff in Sight
Kids are fond of eating. They keep on munching and gorging through the day. For them, all that matters is taste. As long as it is yummy, it is good. Generally, we keep our refrigerators stuffed with ready to eat, packaged items. Candies and choco bars are common in side shelves. How about replacing them with healthier options? Almonds, walnuts and raisins aren’t just healthier but good on flavor and energy too. Amla candies or honey cookies are great options too.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the approach you adopt. Try not to say NO to what they like, even if it is not the healthiest food around. Just limit the quantity instead. Remember – to stay healthy, it’s important to stay happy!
Jenny Travens 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 often writes for – True Corset & Remedy.