Welcome to the second vegan parents feature.
The first one proved very popular with over 260 views! That is a lot for my little blog.
This week we will hear from Sarah and her little miss.
1: Name and age of your little person(s) and your family: I have an almost 2 yr old daughter (approx 20 months), her name is Alison Constable-Kerr, my name is Sarah and Ali's dad's name is Owen. We also have 2 cats (Jack & Pepper), 3 guinea pigs & 1 dog (Toby).
2: Was your pregnancy vegan?, My pregnancy wasn't vegan, not because of any health reasons, but because, I only just went vegan not long before I fell pregnant and didnt know much about it, wasn't familiar with all the foods yet and hadn't gotten myself used to the diet yet, so when I fell pregnant, the cravings got the better of me and the main things i craved were cows milk, cheese and milo, but as i said, i didnt know much about the vegan substitutes back then like I do now.
I became vegan when my daughter was about 3 months old. Mainly because I was breastfeeding and didn't know much about the nutrients I needed, etc, at the time, I was doing my research, so when I knew I could do it, I went vegan.
3: Do you have support from family/friends? If you have made new friends since becoming a vegan parent please add how you met and how helpful it’s been to have like minded friends.
I didn't have any support from friends at the time, and the only people in my family I had support from was my dad (he is vegetarian) and my twin sister (vegan), and my partner who eats meat. Since then I have new friends and they are vegan,vegetarian or just love animals alot and respect who I am.
My mum absolutely HATED the fact that I was bringing Ali up vegan and told me I was cruel and not giving her a choice, but i always told her-"Mum, forcing a child to eat meat is exactly the same-its not giving them a choice." I have told her that I hate the fact that she brought me up eating meat, I wish I was vegan since birth, so bringing Ali up as a vegan is actually giving her more choice and she wont have any regrets about eating the animals she loves!
My partners family (Ali's grandparents and cousins, uncles,etc) were the same and it took me ages to be able to trust them alone with Ali because alot of them would make stupid jokes about giving her steak,cheese, etc. But I trust the grandmother now because she has done her research and knows the benefits of a vegan diet and knows it isnt bad at all!
It is so much easier having like-minded friends, it feels great to let out everything you have inside about veganism, why you're vegan,etc that you can't talk about to someone who eats meat. I met these vegan friends when I started attending Animal Liberation meetings.
4: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being a vegan parent and how do you handle moments when you might doubt yourself?
The hardest thing about being a vegan parent is the fact that we have SO many negative people out there that will be happy to tell us that what we're doing is wrong,some people think a vegan diet will actually kill a baby. (I've been reminded many times of the 2 babies that died from malnutrition which they called a vegan diet)
I panic sometimes because I know its up to me and me only to make sure Ali gets the right amount of nutrients she needs every day, I know I am giving her enough but being a worrying parent, I worry about things like that a lot. But a lot of the reason I get worried about what to cook her, is because I can't cook and don't have imagination when it comes to cooking haha!
5: What do you consider to be the best thing about been a vegan parent?
Knowing that I'm feeding my daughter healthy food! knowing that I'm not putting something in her body that had been slaughtered for her. I feel good when I see Ali pat an animal and know that she doesn't eat them!
I hate seeing parents feeding their children animals that they love to hug and pat, and the fact that these children have NO idea where the food came from is wrong!
I also love the fact that she is on a totally different diet than most kids around her, I love talking about it, I am proud of it and love telling people WHY i chose her to be vegan.
I love when people say how beautiful and healthy looking she is and when I tell them she is vegan their mouths drop to the floor, they do not expect it at all!
6: Please add any tips and favourite shopping and eating places that are child and vegan friendly?
I don't really know which places are child friendly but I know of a few vegan restaurants in newtown including green gourmet. There is a shop in penrith called croc foods that sell vegan food (frozen), and an organic shop on the same street that sells vegan and organic food!
A VERY important thing to remember is-just because your child can't eat animal products it doesnt mean they have less of a choice when it comes to meals-A vegan can make ANY meal that anyone else can have and they arent restricted at all! You can still make cakes, spaghetti, nachos,casseroles,ice cream,anything!
I have actually had ppl that have never liked any cake before-taste one of my vegan cakes and they are shocked and say they love it! they have more and even take some home to let their family try it!
7: Do you have any no fail foods for your fussy eater? Or please name some of your child's favourite meals/snacks, if possible please include recipes for other parents to try.
Ali LOVES avocado, if she doesnt like a meal I have made her, I put some avocado in it and she eats it! one of her fave meals are meals made with cous cous, and her fave snacks are the corn flavoured cruskits spread with avocado. She also loves steamed carrots. I take them out with me for a snack and she eats them all! I usually make up a months worth of food and keep it in containers in the freezer so when its dinner time and we're in a hurry to get things done at that time, i can just take out an already made meal and defrost it, it has made life so much easier for me at dinner time which is always a rush around!
8: How have you have adjusted to having children? feel free to describe your style of parenting. because we know it’s not always just about veganism, being a parent is a whole new world.
I LOVE being a parent, obviously it is very time consuming and I wish I had more times to do a lot more things but no matter what the cons are, its worth it. I don't know how to describe our style of parenting, we are not strict but we still tell her whats wrong and whats right and what she can and cant do and touch, etc. I don't breast feed anymore, I only did the first 4 months since birth and I got mastitis so I stopped, it was way too painful.
If you would like to be apart of the vegan parents feature please email me: stuff-about-stuff@hotmail dot com