There are a lot of people out there who want to switch to a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPB) but are concerned for their children. Will they eat it? Will they become nutrient deficient? How can I transition my kids?
Transitioning your family is most successful when done over a long period of time. Personally, it took me about 15 months to transition my family. At first my kids hated everything WFPB that I made. They complained about the switch to almond milk. They fought me on the idea of making my own ketchup for (god forbid!) veggie burgers!
It was a struggle to say the least, but I kept reassuring them (and myself lol) that “your taste buds will change in time, it’ll get better” lol. Sure enough within a few months they began to really enjoy WFPB eating. And now? They prefer WFPB eating over the Standard American Diet (SAD).
When you are trying to transition your family from SAD, especially children – understand that taste buds DO change. It may take weeks or even months, but stick with it. If your children are old enough to understand, explain to them the reasons why you are making this switch. If they are pre-teens or older, make them watch a couple of documentaries (like ‘What The Health’) to really make them understand. This isn’t a punishment (as my son jokingly put it) – it’s to ensure a long, healthy life for you and your children.
Researching will become a new hobby of yours lol. If you don’t have time to research, you can have someone do all the work for you! The programs I offer cater to families as well as individuals. I understand what it’s like to transition an entire family and it’s tough. But with the proper mindset, guidance and support. It can be done.
When it comes to sweets, get creative and get your children involved! Fresh fruit tarts, granola bars, lemon cake bars, even chocolate! All healthy and all homemade. This will teach them that eating WFPB is not only about eating veggies and beans. There is so much more to it than that! Once children discover the yummy side to it, they will likely be on board a lot quicker than you think!
Make prep time family time! A lot of WFPB is prepping. You can’t just slap something into the oven and 30 minutes later dinner is ready. WFPB eating requires quite a bit of prep. Whether you choose to do this on the weekends or every single night, make sure you get the entire family involved. Why is this important? Well for one, it’s quality time with the fam-jam. Secondly, it teaches your children how to prepare the foods they eat. Questions and curiosity will bloom. It creates a habitual mindset that with food comes meal prep. So as they get older this habit stays with them and it will become their new normal. The progression is beautiful to watch as a parent.
So what about becoming nutrient deficient, should you worry? Absolutely not. You will get all the micro and macro nutrients you need from eating a proper WFPB diet. With the exception of B12 – simply because plants and grains do not produce B12 and neither does the human body – A simple B12 supplement is an easy fix for this. You and your children can take a simple B12 vitamin (chewables for kids are available).
Stay determined and remain understanding – it’s NOT easy and you WILL struggle. But you owe it to yourself and your children to instill good eating habits that will stay with them for their entire lives as it will help keep them healthier and happier than those who are not eating WFPB.
If you’d like to transition your family and you don’t know where to begin – contact me! I’d be happy to talk with you.
Until Next Time!