As parents, we are constantly feeling the pressure of “Are we doing it right?” and certain we are doing it wrong! It's hard work molding those little life-suckers into functioning, well-adjusted adults! (Obviously, a lot of people have NEVER figured it out.) We continually put onto them: say please and thank you, be kind, be compassionate, be respectful, brush your teeth, go outside, work hard, do the right thing, eat your fruits and vegetables…….and then, we get a wrench thrown into our parenting when we learn about the plant-based lifestyle! GAWD! Like we don't have enough to worry about! But, if we get to the core of it, instilling the values of eating healthy...not just healthy...the optimal diet for human health, is one of the most important things we should be teaching our children! We are giving them the tools they need to lead a healthy life. Not only does it teach them the best way to be eating, but it instills in them the importance of good health, the ability of self control, compassion for our environment, respect for one's self, among other things. Teaching a plant-based diet could be one of the best tools for teaching many of the important values we try to instill in our children.
If you are starting with a toddler, I believe, you may have it a little easier than those starting later. They are getting their needs met, so, they care a little less about what's going in their bellies. As they get older, they have probably become accustomed to sweet treats, the addiction of cheese (which we were all taught was healthy!), the pressure to drink milk (indoctrinated into all of us as children), and the regular routine of meat. It gets harder to make the adjustment.
I have always spoken openly and honestly with my son; rarely giving him the “kid-version” (only when sexually or violently inappropriate). My experience it that this empowers him to make better decisions and understand the full scope of situations. They are much smarter than for which we give them credit. One of our goals, as parents, is to give our children the ability to be good decision makers. In order for them or anyone to make a good decision, we need to be well-educated on the topic. I think it is absolutely crucial to teach our children the details of the how's and why's of a plant-based lifestyle. Empower them with knowledge. Once my son learned the scariness of animal products it was much easier for him to make better choices. Skip ahead if you don't want to hear me brag...my son has amazing willpower when it comes to food! After a few years of constant stomach issues, he has learned what not to eat to make him feel good and he has no problems sticking to them! He rarely has a piece of candy and if he does it's plant-based and organic! Ok, bragging over, you may resume reading. Let's get to the tips:
I hope you can take something away from these tips even if you haven't adopted a plant-based lifestyle...yet;) This is a MOVEMENT; it's shaking up our world...for the better. It is so awesome to see the changes happening in such a short period of time. It is getting so much easier to adopt this lifestyle...grocery stores are conforming to the needs of the plant-based eaters, restaurants are learning of the growing trends, and even doctors are FINALLY succumbing to the evidence of the healing powers of plant foods! You will always have to face the nay-sayers, all around you, but take comfort in knowing you are doing the BEST thing for you and your family AND you have a whole COMMUNITY of supporters!! If you are from our area (or not!) follow “Cameron County Plant Based Support Group” on Facebook where we share tons of information and support. Also, if there's any questions or support I can help you with, please, comment below or send me an email!!
Peace, Love, Plants,
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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