Raising children on a plant-based diet can be challenging! Sometimes it might seem like everyone is against you and it can be difficult to find reliable, evidence-based information. Social media is full of misinformation and even your doctor and paediatrician probably know very little about plant-based nutrition. How can you be sure that your little one is getting enough of all the essential nutrients they need for normal growth and development?
The science of plant-based diets for children is still evolving, and nutrition in early years (even at conception) is crucial. For this reason, PB Nutrition strongly recommends that you seek professional advice from a paediatric plant-based dietitian if you are planning to raise your children on a plant-based diet.
Dr Amanda Benham has decades of experience as a paediatric plant-based dietitian and also raised her own children on a vegan diet. In a consultation your child’s growth, development, health, feeding skills and dietary intake will be reviewed and you will be advised not only on how to help ensure your child gets all the nutrients they need for optimal growth and development, but also to help them to develop a happy and healthy approach to eating.
The times we recommend you have a consultation are as follows:
- improve fertility
- optimise nutrient intake
- prepare body for pregnancy
- reduce risk of birth defects
- optimise foetal health
- maintain maternal health
- recovery from pregnancy
- improve breastmilk quality
- maintain healthy eating habits
- assess readiness for “solids”
- how to safely introduce “solids”
- meeting critical nutrient needs
- increasing food variety
- progress towards family meals
- increasing feeding skills
- meeting changing nutrient needs
- meeting increased energy needs
- consolidating healthy habits
- preventing fussy eating
- dealing with food neophobia
- avoiding mealtime tantrums
- ensure nutrient needs are met
- packing meals and snacks
- maintaining healthy habits
It is also important to have a nutrition consultation if there are any concerns about your child’s growth or development, if they have a suspected or confirmed food allergy or intolerance, if they are fussy eaters or if you are transitioning your child (of any age) onto a plant-based diet.
Click here to book in for a consultation with Dr Amanda Benham.
How do children feel about being raised on a plant-based diet?
Here are some words from lifelong vegan Kamina (Amanda Benham’s daughter) about being raised on a vegan diet:
“I’m not just “glad” that I was brought up vegan. Glad isn’t the word for it. I am relieved, overjoyed, deeply thankful and fiercely proud. I can’t believe my luck at being brought up with a lifestyle that honours my planet, optimises my health and relieves me from the burden of contributing to animal suffering . I am more than glad, I am grateful.”
“,,, don’t let anybody make you feel like you don’t have a right to bring your kids up vegan. That is like saying you don’t have a right to teach your children the spiritual or religious beliefs you hold, or to expect them to conform to your ideas about what’s morally right or wrong. I was excluded by the “cool” kids at school because my parents taught me not to smoke or go shoplifting; that didn’t make them wrong for teaching me values that put me on the outer with some groups. If you are vegan because you believe it enhances your life, the lives of others or the health of our planet in some way, then there is no reason to bring your kids up eating differently to yourself. Your lack of integrity will only confuse them.”
You can hear more about what Kamina has to say about being raised vegan on this You tube interview.