My kids have only eaten vegan since they were born, so I'm lucky. My kid's have no idea what McDonald's is....thank God. My suggestion would be to substitute some vegetarian things that look like what they are used to eating. That usually means some processed. Fake chicken nuggets or soy nuggets are a great start. When my daughter's friend's come over, I make them for all the kids and they like it. They don't seem to know the difference. I also make them either handcut fries or buy organic Cascadian Farms fries. Try different kinds of soy cheeses. Usually if you melt them it tastes better. My daughter eats soy yogurt and loves it. Wholesoy is a nice vegan brand. Maybe try that for you kids. Maybe use soy burger in your pasta's and lasagnas and ofcourse some finely chopped veggies that just happen to get on their spoon and into their mouth. My kids love hummus and my daughter likes to dip anything in tamari sauce. Hope this helps a little. -Temple
Temple--I was reading this discussion and it intrigued me, but I don't have kids of my own so I don't have much advice for all the mothers! However, I definitely want to have kids some day but have wondered about the safety of raising them vegan from birth. I'm excited to hear that your kids are vegans! Was it difficult? Do you have to watch out for certain nutrient defincencies? Or is it easy to do? I would love to raise my kids vegan (definitely vegetarian!) some day, so your post definitely caught my eye.
Thanks for the ideas, unfortunately me and my daughter are both celiacs, and I have found alot of vegetarian fake replacements usually contain gluten, wheat starches or wheat proteins. We also have a terrible range of vegetarian options, I need to keep searching.
I always wondered about children growing up on vegetarian diets. Due to us both having celiac disease our GP and dietition will not agree as we have such a restricted diet and not much grains already so I am going to have to find a new dietition.
My son has been vegetarian (he does eat some organic dairy but I am trying to cut back on it) since conception so he has never eaten chicken nuggets etc. He loves hummus and black beans. Mary's crackers are a big hit. He likes all nut/seed butters- almond, sunflower seed, tahini Some days he eats wonderfully balanced meals and other days he eats veggie junk (he loves newman's os). I do the best I can and try not to stress about it. We Can't Say It's Cheese is great too and has a reasonably good ingredient list for a "fake" product.
My kids are 10 and 8 and they love veggies but it's the beans i'm concerned about.I guess all i have to do is try it with them..My son is becoming quite picky..won't even eat the kidney beans in Chili.
I also have a concern with soy.How much of a good thing is too much?
My daughter is extremely picky. She's 8 years old going on 18...I swear! I thought the attitude wasn't going to kick in for a few more years. I was definitely wrong. Anyway...my daughter and I use Rice Dream rice milk original flavor for our cereals in the morning. I never had whole milk in my house because of being lactose intolerant when I was younger. Was skim milk all the way...so my daughter only had to switch from skim to rice milk. It's pretty simple if you just do the adjustment in incriments, or when they are too young to really notice all that much. Drinking it alone...I wouldn't suggest. But, we drink water or juices when we are drinking something.
She thinks whole milk at restaurants is a "treat" and she always comments that it tastes kind of like a watery milkshake. Something to be said for the fat content! Personally, I wouldn't worry about not giving your child cow's milk at all...the American diet has plenty of sources of fat for healthy brain development that doesn't have to come from an animal. Careful of the FDA... Something I learned quickly in history class in college...
However, if anyone has any suggestions for recipies for finiky kids, please let me know. She is pretty much set on rameon noodles (OMG the sodium content alone...any suggestions for alternatives?!?), steamed veggies (thankfully!) and stir fried tofu blocks with soy sauce.
And..................she is so anti-bean it is scary....please help!
Would she eat refried beans in tacos? They don't even look like beans, and they taste great. Ezekiel makes brown rice tortillas which are milder and less chewy then the whole grain ones. A kid friendly taco could be refried beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped greens (pea shoots are sweet!), tofutti sour cream, and if they would like, some melted "Follow Your Heart" vegan cheddar. I know it has some processed ingredients, but it has lots of protein, and she could be eating a lot of worse things. I don't know about ramen noodles...have you tried her on soba noodles? Fried in a but of olive oil with some veggies, those are amazing. Udon noodles have a very mild flavor as well. Will she eat hummus? Also, sunflower seed butter is sooo good, and I like to dip veggie sticks in it. Green smoothies are another idea because you don't taste the greens. I put spirulina powder in mine! Lastly, here is a recipe called "sneaky dad's pudding" from the book, "Becoming Vegan." You need: 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, 1 banana, cut into 4 pieces, 1-2 tsp carob or cocoa powder, 2 tsp flaxseed oil, 3-5 TBSP nut butter, 2-3 TBSP orange or carrot juice, 2 TBS soymilk, any flavor, 1/8-1/4 avocado, peeled, cut into a wedge, OPTIONAL: 1/4 tsp spirulina, 1/8 tsp multidophilus, or 2 TBSP cooked carrots. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Add more milk or juice if needed. Blend til smooth. Makes 2 servings.