Raising Vegan Children: Easy as ABCs

Written by Jaya Bhumitra

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les' kidsAccording to ABC News, today many compassionate parents are raising their children vegan. These conscientious moms and dads recognize that choosing animal-free foods is a wonderful way to keep their children healthy. It’s also a great opportunity to impart important values to the next generation, and best of all, bond in the kitchen!

Here, three amazing vegan moms and COK volunteers share some of their best tips for raising compassionate kids:

According to Lesley Parker-Rollins, COK’s Baltimore Volunteer Outreach Coordinator and mom to Tyler (10), Will (8), and Maya (4):

On talking to teachers, doctors, and parents…

“I always inform teachers, doctors, and other parents of our vegan preferences, and make sure they know that I’m happy to answer any questions they may have, as this is an excellent chance to educate. It also helps to be knowledgeable about the latest research on the health benefits of vegan foods. Vegan for Life is a valuable resource, as well as the American Dietetic Association’s position paper on raising vegan children, and the websites NutritionMD.org and VeganHealth.org.”

On social events…

“The kids have a shelf at school with vegan snacks, and when it is their birthday I send in vegan cupcakes for the whole class. When other children celebrate their birthdays at school or at home, I send in a vegan cupcake with my child so they can join their classmates indulging in a sweet treat. Tyler especially loves my vegan chocolate cake!”

erica annAccording to Erica Ann Romero-Arámbula, mom to Joseph (14)  and Trinity (8):

On cooking…

“Exposing children to a variety of animal-friendly foods will expand their interest and show them that plant-based foods are plentiful. The kids and I have fun converting their former favorite recipes to the vegan versions, and try to get creative with the cooking.”

On family bonding…

“Getting involved in animal advocacy as a family is a great way to spend quality time together. It actually brings everyone closer together. Joseph frequently tables and leaflets with me–we compete to see who hands out the most brochures!”

Cindy.JPGAccording to Cindy Bauman, mom to Beau, who, at 4-years-old, is COK’s youngest volunteer:

On vitamins…

“I make sure Beau gets enough B-12 which is important for child cognitive development—and doubles as a great mosquito repellant! He gets a lot of the vitamin through fortified nutritional yeast, which he loves on popcorn.”

On leading by example…

“The best way to teach children anything is to lead by example. That means that we, as parents, must be compassionate and consistent. Children have a natural inclination to be compassionate—they relate to animals and understand that they don’t want to be harmed but loved. As long as that instinct is encouraged, children will remain connected to animals emotionally and realize that there is simply no justification to eat these beautiful beings.”


Photo Captions:

  • Top: Maya, Will, and Tyler distribute our Vegetarian Starter Guide and Compassionate Choices along with lemonade.
  • Middle: Joseph (far left) and mom Erica Ann (far right) table at the popular Abbot Kinney Festival in Los Angeles.
  • Bottom: Beau joins mom Cindy at a holiday feed-in showcasing So Delicious’ seasonal nog flavor.