Let’s be specific. Some time ago, prompted by health concerns, you switched to a plant-based diet and now thoroughly enjoy the health benefits, boundless energy, and clean way of living. You also relish the fact that your new lifestyle is backed by science. Little did you know at the time, but, when you embraced this lifestyle, you started following what is known as God’s Diet. This concept is brought to us by the teachings of the Rev. George Malkmus, the founder of the Hallelujah Diet. He quite simply reminds us to follow the advice found in Genesis 1:29 of the Bible, which means eating a “pure, raw, 100% plant-based, vegan diet, free of all animal source foods.” No wonder you have all this energy and excellent health! No wonder it is backed by science!
Starting a Family
With your health now in a better place, you begin thinking about starting a family. Before long, you realize that nourishing and raising a child in a plant-based way could be very different compared to the way your neighbors are doing it. Not only will their nutrition need special attention, as explained by Ester Entin, M.D., but the way they adapt and fit into society will also need some special care. Should any doubts enter your mind about your decision, be sure to read Anna Pippus’ thoughts “that not only is veganism healthy for kids, but a plant-based diet of whole foods is likely healthier than the diet I (and many others) grew up on.”
Telling others you are raising your child vegan or vegetarian is to put your credibility as a parent under scrutiny immediately. However, you are backed by some very credible allies. Restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman in New York reports that “plant-based” will be the food trend of 2018 and beyond. Even Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, predicts that plant-based foods will continue to grow and … this trend is “here to stay.”
Even the numbers are in your favor. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, there has been a significant increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S in the last three years. The numbers equate to a 600% increase! The rise in veganism means your child will probably not be alone when it comes to lunchtime at school. Not only will new friendships form, but the sharing of lunch items between friends could take on a new meaning!
However, despite the new friends, global trends, and expert opinion, you still know there are going to be challenges. You also know that tackling these head-on year –after year with your child will not only bring them the best health but will also develop in them the strength of character that comes with committing to something in which they believe.
The psychological aspects of raising children vegetarian are addressed by Emily Sohn of the LA Times. She points out that "school-age children, in particular, can become anxious when anything about them is different from their peers.” Any anxiety could be seen as an opportunity for educating your child about differences—after all, children are always going to stand out in some way. By starting with teaching them to stand up for what's in their lunchboxes, they may be better at standing up for what's in their heads and the causes about which they are passionate.
Being different for children on a plant-based diet isn’t simply that their food only comes only from plants. As Anna Pippus shares, “Your children will grow up to love animals in the purest sense of the word—we’re not asking their innocent minds to reconcile loving animals on the one hand while eating their bodies on the other.”
Let’s Talk Nutrition
Emily Kane, an Alaska-based naturopathic doctor, writes in Better Nutrition magazine that today's children "bear a higher chemical burden than they would have 100 years ago," so toxicity symptoms—such as headaches, constipation, rashes, bleeding gums, body odor, and difficulty breathing or concentrating—are increasing in children. Sound familiar? If so, read on…
Unlike the way you perhaps ate when you were young, your children could grow up eating nutrient-dense foods and never experience the toxic effects of the Standard American Diet (SAD) that so many others do. Raising your children to follow God’s Diet, as endorsed by the Hallelujah Diet, brings out the very best in their health and ongoing development.
In her article, “Is a vegan diet healthy for kids?”, Dietitian Emer Delaney states that the biggest concern with vegan diets in early childhood is nutritional inadequacy. Parents, therefore, should become very well-informed; otherwise, there's a risk of vitamin D, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Voyage of Discovery
The journey you are on with your family is like a voyage of discovery. It started before each child was born and will continue with them as they develop and flourish and perhaps even start families of their own. Share this Kid's Guide to Vegan Nutrition with your child and, together, you’ll discover and uncover all the healthy nutrients they will ever need. May the teaching, learning, and sharing never end!