Becoming vegan has had some up turns in my life and definitely some struggles I’ve had to deal with. One being I have a 5-year old daughter, and when I became vegan I didn’t realize how I deeply felt about it, until I tried to get her to eat the same way.
I have had such an angel for a child since the day she was born. She didn’t cry during the night which allowed me to sleep a great deal more than any of the other new parents. She rarely ever got sick, maybe the first time was when she was 3 years old. And she eats nothing but fruits and vegetables, she would rather ask for some blueberries before she would ask for some candy. It has been super nice to have such a wonderful child. When my boyfriend and I became vegan, I didn’t realize that I was deep down feeling the same way most people react when you tell them you are a vegan. Most people freak out and ask, “where do you get your protein from” or “did you ask your doctor before starting such a crazy diet?!” They think that it is so un-ordinary to eat plant-based that you’re going to make yourself sick from restricting your body from dairy, meat, and seafood. So I realized that I may deep down feel the same way, because when I’m trying to get my daughter to eat dinner with my boyfriend and I, I always say “I don’t know if you’re going to like this” and serve her a plate. In her head she is probably already shutting down the idea of eating the food, so she will say she doesn’t want any. Then in turn I end up feeding her really bad food like hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, and it’s a lose lose situation. If I would just be normal about eating plant-based food she may actually turn out to like what we are eating. She already loves fruits and vegetables so it should help just to find out what is her favorite plant-based foods to eat.
Another concern that I have is if it takes her a while to get used to eating this way, what happens if she just shuts down and doesn’t eat anything for a few days. I have seen in the past where she would not touch any food for a few days, and it freaked me out so bad I don’t want it to happen again. But my boyfriend calms me down and says she will eat when she is ready to eat, and if we only give her one option then she will have to start eating the way that we eat.
Even though I am struggling now with the thought of having her eat a different way than we are used to, I know in the long term it will be better for her. Eating vegan has so many positives that go along with eating this way. Feeling more energized, not being bloated ever, and just being happy because you know your health will improve dramatically from eating better. So why can’t I get it through my head that it will not harm my child if all she ate every day was fruits and vegetables?
If anyone out there has been vegan for quite some time and has some advice to give me for getting my child to eat vegan also, please feel free to share a comment. I would love to hear some different ways to get this to work. Until then I just got to keep trying!