It’s easy enough to switch over from an unhealthy diet to a plant-based whole foods lifestyle, you just have to be committed to your health. The bigger problem however is getting your kids to switch too. After all, they’re not immune to the same problems that unhealthy food causes you. But how do you explain that to a kid without them tuning their noses up at “yucky vegetables?”
Well, there are a few tactics you can employ. The key here is to ease them into it. They probably won’t go along with simple reasoning, instead you’re going to have to find a way to make them like the healthy food you want to eat.
1. Dessert comes first
Instead of a healthy snack or meal, try introducing your kids to a healthy dessert first. For instance, it’s possible to make some great cupcakes with almond milk or almond flour, whole wheat flour, and fresh fruit. You can even try your hand at chocolate cupcakes using non-dairy chocolate and a fudge topping made from dates. Or maybe instead explore non-dairy ice creams made from frozen fruits? The opportunities are endless.
2. Slowly replace ingredients
Even with meals, don’t replace whole dishes with their green versions. Instead, try simply increasing the ratio of plant to meat and dairy first. For example, you can start slowly by mixing your kids’ regular milk with plant-based milk, and slowly ease into replacing it entirely. Gradually substitute minced meat in your dishes with baked beans.
3. Stick to the flavours
Try not to go overboard with your experimentation. If your kid likes a certain dish you want to replace, try to adhere to plant-based ingredients with similar flavour profiles, to avoid an immediate negative reaction. Because once kids decide they don’t like something, it’s nearly impossible to give it a second chance.
4. Transition snacks
No matter what part of the world you live in, there are likely at least some unhealthy snacks in your kitchen. Start swapping those out with versions your happier with. Fresh fruits, roasted nuts, soaked almonds, plant-based yoghurt, they all make for great snacks when the kids are feeling peckish.
5. Explore Online
There are plenty of communities for parents sticking to plant-based diets on social networks, local forums, and even here! The point is, you’re not alone in this. A support group doesn’t just give you advice when the transition is hard, but can also provide for great tips to make the whole process easier for you.