Transitioning kids to a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle, tips and tricks.
This seems to be a question that comes up quite a bit for us as we have five daughters under the age of 12.
Our girls have always eaten fairly healthy along with my wife. Unfortunately it was me that was going back to the office after supper late at night and then grabbing some gut bomb cheeseburgers 🍔 on the way home scarfing them down and then going to sleep (ridiculous, I know)
Anyways, back to the original topic here.
We always had whole grains and vegetables at almost every meal, we just ditched the meat, diary, processed foods (90% for the kids) and any added oils in the last 8 months.
Here are a few of the tips and tricks that we have found work for us.
- Get your kids involved. This can be as simple as washing produce to making the whole family meal depending how old they are. When they are involved in the kitchen it truly changes everything! Trust me here, this is huge!
- Have them pick a recipe or compliant food they want each week. This gives them the feeling of power they need but gives you the upper hand as you can help remind them that they “picked” the meal and makes the nights that they cannot help in the kitchen go smoother once it’s time to eat.
- They 100% MUST try everything without exception. If I find that there is something they absolutely detest, I try my best to make small changes the next time I make a similar recipe but for that night it may take some creative convincing. Some nights take longer than others at the table and that’s ok by me, especially if it’s something I know they need to eat. Again it can take some convincing but eventually they will learn that if you suggest they eat the items they aren’t crazy about first and then if they eat the items they like after, it seems to help the process.
- Talk about what each food item and what it is doing for your body. This is a big one! I am so proud and I beam when my 4 year old crushes a plate of broccoli 🥦, stands up, flexes 💪🏻and says “dad, check out my pipes, I even have the cut”.
- I know I said it at the start but I believe that the most important things is to get them involved in the kitchen at ANY age. Have them help with grocery shopping, putting things away etc. Can/will this happen all the time? Absolutely not (in our house anyways) BUT when it is possible we take the time to make it work. Let them get messy and learn with you. This is a tool they will use for life. We all take the time to ensure they do homework and maybe if we look at life skills the same way and ensure we put in the effort for each kid weekly it will start going the direction you hope.
- DONT set your expectations too high. It takes time and that’s ok. Always ask yourself if you are heading in the direction you ultimately want and keep making steps in that direction.
❤️🌱 Hope there is at least one idea here that helps.