Hey everyone! My husband, daughter and I are officially in our second month as full vegans. :) We went vegetarian about 8 months ago :) I am getting a lot of flack primarily from my mother regarding the vegan choices for our 15 month old. She constantly drills me over phone conversations asking is this fair, is she getting everything she needs, and my favorite, "I hope you know what your doing and this doesn't bite you in the ass later." I am trying to stay strong, but I still let her comments get to me and then I begin to completely over analyze everything and question myself. Our daughter eats better than most toddlers her age. She gets home cooked meals everyday. She's right on track for her weight and we supplement her with B12. I would say my only concern is she has dark circles under her eyes, but we She's intelligent and full of mischief. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with un-supportive family? We have her 15 month old appointment coming up and I am really dreading our pediatricians reaction. She already drew our daughter's blood to test for anemia when she found out we were vegetarian. Of course she wasn't anemic at all. I really have no one to talk to aside from my husband. I only have one vegan acquaintance, so anyone I try to talk to gives me that oh so familiar "your a vegan" look. It really gets old. Anyway thanks for everyone listening! It's nice to get support from other vegans!
What I found always made me feel better about my choices was always to research the heck out of everything! Although you may never change your mom's mind completely, at least YOU will know that you're doing the right thing. People are always going to disagree with some aspect of how we raise our kids. It's just a fact. Being confident that I was being as careful and thoughtful as I possibly could was very comforting to me! When we went vegetarian, my kids were newborn and 3. I read every book I could get my hands on - Vegetarian Beginner's Guide and Vegetarian Baby are two I remember the titles of. I looked up things on the internet and poured over all those little charts with how much of what nutrient you need at what ages.
I also found that preparing and being "armed" with a few handy facts really helps, particularly with the pediatrician ("The soy milk we use actually has X amount of calcium in it, and a cup of cow's milk only has Y, so yes, I'm pretty sure she's getting enough, thanks!" or "Did you know that a cup of bok choy actually has more calcium than a cup of cow's milk?")
My kids are 14 and 11 now, and doing fine. We are vegan at home now but I do let them have cheese when at friend's houses and stuff, just to make it easier on them/their friends/etc. As they get older they are getting away from even doing that, though. I do give them vegan multivitamins and B-12 daily. They are totally healthy and happy and never have had any health issues!
Good luck with everything!
Nutritional aspects aside,it seems like they are like most people. They want to be able to tell you what to do with your child and also want to chastise you for anything. "They" all seem to fall behind the "I just want what's best for my grandchild" schtick but in all honesty anyone who berates you for your choices and then adds something like they hope it doesn't come back to bite you in the ass DOES NOT seem to be looking out for the child's welfare. If they really were, they would be proactive, consult with physicians and read up on things to actually help IF you needed it or asked for it. They just seem to be typical North Americans feeling the right to put in their two cents whether it is appropriate or not.
Starflower made some very sensible points. Good luck with those relatives, but more importantly love your children.
Hi Haley! First of all congratulations on your families second month of being full vegans. Its such a wonderful journey.
This upcoming february will be three years for my 9 year old daughter, husband and myself. My 12 year old son is vegetarian, but that is ok with me. I wanted to say that I am sure your mom means well when she questions your choice to be vegan. I think it is hard for people to understand and accept something that they are not use to themselves. My mother is in her 70's, and her idea of a healthy dinner was pot roast, a veg and a potato. She was very against my decision and I got the same response when we started our vegan life. "Oh I don't think it is helathy" "I hope you know what you are doing" "you need certain vitamins and minterals that vegans don't get" and she would print me out articles that say kids should not be vegan. So I did what Starflower said, I would do tons of research and print it out for her. I also let hear read The Kind Diet and Veganist which kinda opened her eyes to the real facts. I would make her recipes from the Kind Diet and she loved them! Her close friend read The Kind Diet and begame vegan and still is. Today she is not vegan but mostly vegetarian and gives recipes to her friends. So I suggest to give your family time and let them see how wonderful your life is. And they will. Gook luck and let us know in the future how things go!
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