Becoming a vegan is not as hard as you think it might be, but going vegan as a family can be a bit tricky! I’ve quickly discovered that going vegan is easy when you make an abundance of delicious vegan meals – crowding out whatever meat and dairy may have been in your diet before with an abundance of veggies, whole grains, and plant-based proteins.
Yes, going vegan can be easy. But throw in an 11 year old that won’t eat onions or peppers, and a 5 year old whose dream diet consists of pizza and cheeseburgers, and suddenly going vegan as a family becomes a little more difficult. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned this past week on how to go vegan as a family without losing your mind!
How to Go Vegan As A Family? Make Sure Everyone’s On Board!
Making sure everyone in the family is on board with switching to a vegan lifestyle makes the transition much smoother. Our daughter is 11 and is totally loving this vegan diet! Our 5 year old? He can’t quite grasp the concept of veganism, although he is coming around to the idea that we don’t eat animals anymore.
But how did I get my meat-loving husband to go vegan? We watched What The Health on Netflix one day. That was enough to get him to want to try going vegan to see how it might make a difference in our lives. Because really, what’s the worst that could happen? Ask yourself. Ask your family.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if we go vegan for a month?
Get Rid of Non-Vegan Temptation
You know when you go on a diet and you clean your fridge and pantry out of any temptations? This is the same thing, you’re just clearing your house out of anything made from animal and dairy products. Now, I admit, if something might have a “trace of milk”, I know it means that it’s made in the same facility as something made with milk ingredients, and I don’t mind if we eat that.
But it’s important to remove temptation, clear your house of non-vegan items, and go grocery shopping for vegan items. Don’t go all crazy buying vegan cheese and faux meat substitutes or vegan desserts – yes, all of those exist, but that’s not why you’re going vegan. A plant-based diet should be based on healthy, nutritious, seasonal foods, with those extra things as a once-in-a-while thing!
Make Family Favourite Recipes with a Vegan Spin
One of the biggest fears people have is missing out on cheese and meat – and not getting enough protein! Don’t fret – there are a ton of delicious vegan recipes out there! Lentil loaf instead of meat loaf, vegan burritos and tacos made with squash and black beans, and there’s so many vegan burger recipes – you just have to find one you like!
If you’re looking for quick vegan dishes, you can make a yummy pasta, grill veggies, and make large buddha bowls with quinoa or brown rice as a base, and just add a ton of veg that are roasted and fresh for variety, add some hummus and light dressing and you’re done! Find some smoothie recipes the kids will love, and try to discover new favourites!
Eating Out as a Vegan Family
We’ve gone out to a couple of restaurants as a ‘vegan family’, and each time we learned new things and discovered delicious food that we would have never tried if we weren’t vegan. Our family loves having sushi once every few weeks – and we were happy to discover that it’s totally possible, but it’s a little different, obviously! Luckily our server was super knowledgeable and quickly let us know what we could eat and what wasn’t vegan (no miso soup or tempura batter!).
I would research restaurants in your area before going, to take a look at their menu and see what vegan or vegetarian options they have available. FYI many vegetarian options can become vegan if you take off the cheese or mayo. There are so many restaurants that have veggie burgers, delicious pastas, flatbreads, salads, and other vegan options that you probably don’t even realize because you’re not eating like a vegan!
Involve Your Family in Vegan Grocery Shopping
I purchased a few vegan cookbooks so the whole family can take a look at different recipes and we make our meal plan together. While our 5-year old points at pictures of vegan burgers and vegan nachos, my daughter picks out interesting meals we would never have tried before – like vegan bahn mi sandwiches or vegan paella.
Going Vegan as a Family is Not as Hard as You Think!
I was really expecting this vegan diet to be a lot more difficult that it is! I admit my 5-year old has me stumped sometimes, but one look in our pantry and I realize there’s so many things he can eat, even if it’s covered in vegan cheese or ketchup. (Quesadilla, Pizza Flatbreads, Pastas, Vegan Burgers, French Fries, and Cucumbers – this is his diet.)
Check out the cookbooks above for some awesome vegan recipe ideas for your whole family – we are loving these options so far, and I’m slowly cooking my way through these books.
How do we feel?
Honestly, we feel amazing.
We’ve noticed that we have more energy. We’re not as tired at the end of the day. We don’t feel bloated or weighed down by the food we’re eating.
Have you ever thought of starting a plant-based diet with your family? Would you try a vegan diet as a family?