We believe a vegucated world is a better world. The sooner people understand the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, the better, and the sooner people have the resources to go plantward, the better. We made our documentary, Vegucated, to inspire people to give plant-based living a try. Now we’re empowering parents who are considering raising plant-powered kids with sound nutritional advice, tips, and tried-and-true vegan family favorite recipes from my kitchen and from the kitchens of vegan parents in my community.
The world has changed so much since we shot Vegucated, but there have still been no family cookbooks aimed at the super young vegan set. When I was pregnant nutrition expert Reed Mangels’ The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book was my nutritional bible, but once it came to feeding my babies, I had to cobble together advice and recipe ideas from various blogs, non-vegan books, and friends. Right before I had my second child, I hired vegan childcare provider, personal chef, and greenie Laura Delhauer, and we turned my kitchen into a test kitchen for baby/toddler/little kid food. We solicited some friends’ go-to family favorites to add to ours (no two vegan families eat the same!) and enlisted Reed Mangels to write the nutrition chapter and boom! We had a book.
To make sure that these recipes were truly beloved, I worked with 50 volunteer recipe testers, who gave honest and sometimes hilarious feedback. We edited and tweaked and retested, and what we have now is a collection of practical, whole foods-based recipes that have been thoroughly kid-tested and parent-approved.
As of this writing, in 2020, we are grappling with the fallout of a global pandemic and systemic racism, and it’s time to envision a new future, where we repair our broken relationship with nature and with animals we have commodified, where we value and protect those who are most affected by climate change, disease, and an inequitable healthcare system that also grossly undervalues prevention. Can we make it all the way there with White Bean Wonder Waffles and Chickpeas and Stars soup? Uh, no. But we can raise conscious kids whose family memories center around a table filled with health-protective fruits, veggies, grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds that all make for a much smaller impact on the planet and underprivileged communities as well as animals, whom kids care deeply about.
We hope you’ll join us in creating a more vegucated world one meal at a time.
Photo Credit: Anthony Two Moons
Marisa Miller Wolfson is the writer-director of Vegucated, an award-winning documentary that has screened at more than a dozen film festivals worldwide and won several awards, including best documentary at its worldwide premiere at the Toronto Independent Film Festival before becoming a digital bestseller and running on Netflix. As a vegan activist since 2003, she has led workshops, given talks and organized film screenings of vegan documentaries at universities, churches and conferences all over North America. She is an honored recipient of the Farm Animal Friend Award by Farm Sanctuary and the Reel Change Award by the Coalition for Healthy School Food. When she isn’t chasing her kids around Central Park, she enjoys baking and decorating cakes and pies for friends and family. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, two children, and two rescued goldfish.
Demetrius Bagley is one of the award-winning movie producers of the documentary Vegucated. He also produced public tv cooking show Vegan Mashup featuring the vegan queen of cheese Miyoko Schinner. Demetrius is a nationally recognized events producer, partly for organizing one of the world’s largest vegan Meetups, NYC Vegan EatUP. He’s godfathered many vegan events including Vegan Street Fair, Vegan Travel Club, a few VegFests, and NYC’s Veggie Conquest amateur cooking competition. Demetrius went vegan in 1994 and reflects on the first 20 years as vegan in the book anthology Letters to a New Vegan. As of late, he produces astrology events and media including Queer Astrology Conference, Astrology Brooklyn, Black Podcasting Awards, and Stars on Fire podcast.
Photo Credit: Jessica Mahady
Laura Delhauer is a theatre maker and plant-based culinary artist. She writes, performs and produces theatre specifically centered around topics like climate change. In 2015, Laura was hired by Vegucated writer/director Marisa Miller Wolfson and soon after they began recipe development for The Vegucated Family Table, a resource for parents and child care providers wanting to nourish children with more plant based foods. Laura created the HI MOM! theatre project (or HI MOM! Monologues from the Characters of Climate Change), an ongoing and ever evolving series of monologues from the perspectives of different people and animals affected by the climate catastrophe. This and other related projects continue to evolve through Laura’s company, Naked Light.
Reed Mangels, PhD, RD is a nutrition adviser for the national, non-profit Vegetarian Resource Group and the nutrition editor and columnist for Vegetarian Journal. She is the co-author of Simply Vegan (with Debra Wasserman), The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets (with Ginny Messina), and the Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book. She is also the co-author of two position papers on vegetarian diets for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has a doctoral degree in nutrition, is a registered dietitian, and has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals and universities. She stays busy volunteering with VeganHealth.org and Santa Cruz VegFest, exploring tidepools, hiking, cooking vegan meals, reading, and making quilts.