Parents

Raising Vegetarian Children

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I would never presume to replace the original, but there’s a book that’s basically become my baby bible. It’s called Raising Vegetarian Children by Joanne Stepaniak and Vesanto Melina, and if you are a vegetarian parent or a parent who’s thinking about going vegetarian or you have a friend with kids who’s vegetarian, you should purchase it immediately!

The book is packed with solid nutritional information for vegetarian parents, from infancy (including specific dietary guidelines and menu suggestions for nursing moms) through the teen years. It’s a resource that you (or your friend or your friend’s friend) will use for years.

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  • Vianca commented on January 8, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I was wondering if there is also a parenting guide anyone can recommend for raising vegan children, or is this book suitable?

  • Sarah King commented on January 18, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Hi Vianca, the book “Raising Vegetarian Children” is totally suitable for vegan parents and children.

  • Matt commented on January 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    It is my professional opinion that you do not allow your children to be strict vegetarians until they are fully developed. There are may things that are only provided in meat that can not be found in plants such as Omega fatty acids, which are important to males for reproductive development and joint maintenance. OFA’s can be found mostly in fish. It is understandable why a vegan path is brighter, but in the end the your kids can suffer down the line.

    Matt
    CLS

  • Alicia A. commented on January 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Does this also help if your trying to become Vegetarian?

  • Tiffany commented on January 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I am actually looking from the opposite point-of view. I’m fifteen years old and I’m also the only vegetarian in my family. I find it very difficult to prepare meals and go grocery shopping when everyone else in my family eats meat and other animal products. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sarah King commented on January 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Tiffany: check out peta2’s page (http://www.peta2.com/STUFF/s-recipe.asp) with tons of suggestions for veg food, and e-mail them with your questions – they’d love to hear from you!

    Alicia A: congrats on your decision to go vegetarian — this page has great tips on making the transition: http://www.vegcooking.com/makingthetransition.asp.

    Matt: I respectfully, but firmly, disagree with you. I know many healthy, hearty vegan kids whose parents have fed them a plant-based diet since birth. If you choose to formula-feed an infant, there are great soy-based formulas that have all the nutrients that babies need to develop, including plant-based sources of OFA’s. Vegetarian mothers who breastfeed can get all the nutrients they need, including omega fatty acids, from a variety of dietary sources, including flax and supplements. For a more thorough run-down of optimal vegan nutrition, check out this page: http://www.goveg.com/essential_nutrients.asp.