Nutrition | Books for Kids | Books & Magazines for Parents | On the Web
We believe that one day raising kids with a plant-powered lifestyle will be fully mainstream, given the resource efficiency, the health benefits, and the fact that we are constantly expanding our circle of compassion to include more beings, including farmed animals. But until then, vegan parents are pioneering their own way. Luckily, every year there are more and more resources to help us on our journey. Here are some of them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says on their website that “Eating a plant-based diet can be a beneficial choice for your family” and a vegan diet can be “healthy and complete if sources of B12, calcium, zinc, vitamin D and iron are maximized.” In our book, we highlight all these nutrients and how to source them easily from plants.
Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, who wrote our nutrition chapter, is the country’s foremost expert on plant-based nutrition for kids. Not only has she lectured as a nutrition professor at the University of Massachusetts and authored The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, but she worked with the largest organization of nutrition professionals in the U.S., the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, reviewing all the science on vegetarian diets and co-writing two of the position papers on these diets for the Academy. The latest one states:
“It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.”
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116:1970-1980
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has two helpful articles on their website about veg kids:
Dr. Mangels also is a nutrition advisor for the Vegetarian Resource Group and has written these Tips for Parents of Young Vegans.
Books can help veg kids feel proud and connected to a conscientious community. Below is just a sampling of books we recommend. There are many more to be discovered on vegbooks.org, which also includes lists of movies with a message of animal compassion or caring about the environment.
Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, and Caprice Crane
Liora Raphael and Glenn Saks
Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Eric C. Lindstrom
Rich Roll and Julie Piatt
Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting group on Facebook
What Vegan Children Eat group on Facebook
How Vegan Children Thrive group on Facebook
Plant-Based Pediatrician website
Veggie Fit Kids website and Veggie Doctor Radio by Dr. Yami
Wellness Pediatrician website
Nutritious Vida website
Plant Based Juniors website
Leafy Vibe website
Generation Veggie website
Mothers Against Dairy website
UK Vegan Family YouTube channel
Shine with Plants YouTube channel
Plant Power Dad Hour podcast
The Everyday Vegan Mum podcast
Wicked Healthy Kids cooking classes
PETA Kids website
Podcast: Vegan Fam in Cow Town
Website: Genesis for Animals
Website: Vocal Vegan
Website: Veggies Don’t Bite
Website: Devoted Mamas
Website: Rockin Raw
Instagram: @rockinraw and @jamcakerynyc
Website: My Source Life
Website: Black Mama Vegan
Website: Pacific Roots Magazine
Website: Plant Tucker
Coalition for Healthy School Food
Lean and Green Kids
Institute for Humane Education
Farm Animal Sanctuaries to Visit in the U.S. – a great vegan family activity!