As the mother of four healthy vegan children I get asked a lot of questions. The questions are often specific to what my children eat. If you are a vegan and want your children to be too, its actually quite simple. I will let you in on a little secret. Make good food. I have an 11 and 9 year old who will eat almost anything I make. The reason for this is a)they have no choice b)they have been eating this way since infancy.
In my pantry post, I highlighted what I generally have in my pantry on a regular basis. The list is long and varied. The staples are tofu (only buy Organic soy products), Basmati rice, lentils, soy and nut milk (organic), oatmeal, grits (polenta), brown rice (for waffles), coconut and soy yogurt, rice cakes, and agave. Keep a rotating stock of in season fruits and vegetables and you’re good to go.
As a rule, I breastfeed. My children get introduced to food at about six months. I start with liquids. See the sesame seed milk post. I introduce a small bottle with water and a couple tablespoons of molasses. I make fenugreek cereal. It’s a mush that my 4 year old loved as a baby and my daughter refused to have any part of it. Babies know what they like, even at that age. I would also grind up whole oats (organic, bought in bulk from whole foods) and then make a slurry with the oats and liquid (the liquid can be your breast milk, water, apple juice or the sesame seed milk). I also begin to incorporate fruit, mashed bananas mixed with cereal or alone, apple sauce, stewed prunes, rice with coconut milk (my daughter loved it), also so delicious coconut milk yogurt. It’s not necessary to buy baby food. It is so easy to make baby food. Get a coffee grinder. This cheap one has lasted me about 8 years or so. I use the coffee grinder for grinding up oatmeal, fenugreek, and even rice for baby cereal. When their teeth come in or they are screaming with angst every time you lift a fork to your mouth. Expand their repertoire. Cut up fruit into bite size pieces, apples, grapes, strawberries, bananas, peaches, melons, it’s all good for the baby. Don’t forget about grits. All of my children love grits (polenta).
My daughter will be two in February. She is probably the pickiest of all my children. However, my daughter still eats a large variety of food. I make sesame seed milk for her, every other day. She loves coconut milk yogurt, she will eat rice and lentils,whole grain waffles, strawberries (fresh and dried), sliced apples, pineapple, bananas, mango, raisins and cereal.
My 4 year old would live off of our macaroni and cheese if it was possible to do so. However, he too loves grits, rice and beans, yogurt, all fruit (especially blueberries), soup, cornbread, waffles (without the syrup), nuts, pasta and oatmeal.
This is just a sample of what the toddlers eat.
The Big Kids
My older children are 11 and 9 year old boys. They have never been picky and eat what my husband and I eat. I don’t get requests for fast foods because we rarely if ever go to fast food places. We may have an Asian inspired meal one night and then pizza the next night. We may do soup and cornbread and then do raw the next night. They like to eat and almost every meal they eat is homemade. My 11 year old likes to help out in the kitchen too. Some of his favorites are spaghetti, pizza, rice and beans, lasagna, greens simmered in coconut milk. He absolutely loves tomatoes and raw vegetables. My 9 year old loves pretty much the same foods, he just doesn’t share his brother’s same fondness for vegetables.
Do you guys have any specific questions you want to ask me? I will be talking about supplements and recipes next.