A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat animal products, including meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs. Vegans tend to also stay clear of using fur, leather, and wool, as these products usually result from certain levels of harm or injury inflicted on an animal.
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat or fish, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons. Be it Vegan or Vegetarian, we choose to become one because we can’t stand the thought of a living animal suffering or being harmed in order for their meat or body parts to be consumed or used, and also because they wish to live healthier and/or are concerned about the environment. 🙂
Encouraging Our Children
Children are gifts from God. Ensuring that they receive a proper education, a healthy home environment, and have healthy eating habits is the fundamental to raising kids. Many who have opted to choose the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle want their children to pursue it as well. But such decision requires lots of conviction and faith.
I remember back then when I was young, mum took massive effort and energy to encourage my sisters and I to pursue vegetarian lifestyle. It was really tough… As a parent who wants their kids to pursue a vegan lifestyle, what are some ways you can encourage them? The following pointers are what my mum have used and you may find them of some help to you too:
1. You must first follow a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle: As the saying goes, ‘as we see, we do.’ This is especially true for children. If we want our children to do something, we have to set examples first and then expect them to follow. If they see us eating unhealthy diets and consequently are being asked to eat healthy, they will simply think of us as hypocrites.
2. Cook delicious vegan meals for them: To encourage your child to follow your diet, first learn to cook delicious vegetarian meals for them. With the advent of the internet, not only on our computers and laptops, but on our phones and tabs as well, we can easily type in ‘vegan recipes’ on any search engine and be given a whole list of recipes to try out. Jadeite Vegetarian will be launching recipes on their website too, so make sure you opt-in to our newsletter and don’t miss out the goodies! 🙂
3. Involve your kids in kitchen: When you get into that kitchen to cook up vegan meals, make sure you involve your children. This is a great way to spend quality time together, communicate and share vegetarian philosophy in addition to making something delicious to eat 🙂
4. Educate yourself and your children: It is important to understand why leading a vegan lifestyle is important for you or for your child. Do not just command them to follow a certain lifestyle without giving them a chance to understand why. It would really help if you sit with them and read through articles or even watch videos that are easily available on YouTube on the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
5. Involve your children’s school: This is a great way of encouraging your child. As your child is at school for ¼ of their day, they are spending a large amount of their time at school. To have the teacher’s support and understanding in this can be a big deal! Make sure you build good relationship with your child’s form teacher before school commence. Check if there’s any vegetarian stall set up in the school canteen. If no, feedback to the school and request for one. Additionally, you can also offer to give a small talk or presentation on the topic of vegetarianism during meet the parents session.
Encouraging your child to pursue vegetarian lifestyle requires huge conviction and faith, as a parent, we have to be strong and believe in our path and reasons. Mindset places an important part in this journey so hang in there when times are tough and when your child choose not to listen! I’m sure your love for them will be your infinite motivation and one day they will truly understand your noble intention…