Life is filled with surprises and unexpected turns. Sometimes when I look back over my life, I cannot help but smile and thank God. Would you believe I disliked most vegetables as a child and in my early twenties? I pretty much amazed many people with my new lifestyle, haha. As the saying says, “Wah nuh ded nuh dash weh.” Another way of telling where there is life, there is hope. There is always hope; look at me now, fully plantbased and loving every moment.
I am that mom who takes her children along on almost every journey I am on. When I went utterly plantbased, I knew I wanted to bring my children up the same way. After all, the more, the merrier, right? I do not believe in leaving my children for long periods unless in situations where I have to work or attend school. I plan my life around my children and rarely take time away from them. I may be paranoid, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So when I embarked upon a plant-based journey approximately ten years ago, the numerous options today were not around. However, so much has changed, and now it is easier to make this lifestyle change. At that time, I had only one child, and since it was new to her, I exercised a lot of care and patience in ensuring that the changes were not too drastic. She is now eighteen years old, and while she eats plant-based at home, she decided a few weeks ago to eat a regular diet occasionally.
My two youngest children are fully plantbased. I remember how much of a struggle it was as several persons were not in agreement with my decision to my son plant-based. However, we have beaten the odds, and my children are doing awesomely. What can I say? I have proven that it can be done, yippee!!!!
Of course, you have to think about how and what they eat to ensure that they get the proper nutrition, one that is balanced. But if we should think about it, it is the same for children on a regular diet. I was meticulous with my children because I never wanted to hear that they were undernourished, especially when they went for their wellness check.
I must admit that the journey has been tremendous. But, of course, it is less challenging when the kids are born into the lifestyle; eating plant-based is all they know, and over time, they have developed a natural taste that we carnivores do not have. However, let me stop to tell you that while it may be a bit challenging to transition your children and by extension your family, it is possible, so do not give up.
You have to be on top of things.
I have to be on top of things regarding my children. And I am especially aware of who I allow to be around them. For example, I have had instances where people have tried to give my son, who is now five years old animal-based food to eat. I was appalled by how blatant others can be, but I respectfully clarified how I wish to raise my children. As a caution, I conditioned my son into saying no to anyone who offers him food at church, school, etc. Also, he knows that if something is unfamiliar to him, he should ask mommy or daddy first.
My son struggled with eating as healthy as he is used to when he started hanging around other children more at school and church. While he was home and homeschooled, everything went smoothly. However, after starting school and attending church again after the pandemic, he said he did not want to eat as many fruits and vegetables. He was perplexed about snack time as the other children had actual snacks instead of fruits or veggies. He told me a few times that what I gave him were not snacks. During this time, I had to remind him how important it was for him to eat healthily. Soon he was back to his old self. I am not overly zealous about this, so I allow him to have it when he is given candy for good behavior on the bus. I informed them that it has to be vegan and rest assured that he will not eat it until he gets home and mommy approves.
It would be simpler if he had many plant-based kids around, but unfortunately, this is not so. We are coping and that’s all that matters.
What do I do when my plant-based son gets invited to birthday parties?
My son is allowed to attend his friend’s parties. The food around him does not phase him; he wants a good time. He understands that they eat differently and enjoys giving away his portion to others. I also bring him a slice of vegan cake, ice cream, and pizza so he can sit and enjoy a meal with friends.
All our friends and family have accepted that we are a plant-based family and have even started to include plantbased/vegan foods at their events to facilitate us, which is a big step. Before, we would be at functions and unable to eat much.
Now that I have five-plus years of experience as a plant-based mama (my son will turn six in July), I am more equipped to raise my six-month-old daughter healthily. I am excited about the opportunity to do it all over again and will most definitely fill you in along the way.
Going plant-based is not as complicated as it seemed in the past. Recently, numerous people have been switching to a healthier lifestyle as a plant-based/vegan lifestyle is getting the recognition it deserves. It is the best way to go. I am excited about the increased awareness and cannot wait for my son to have more friends in his circle that are leading a similar lifestyle.
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