Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vegan parents feature: #4

This week were have Rachael With a school aged vegan child.

1: Name and age of your little person(s) and your family.

our family consists of me Rachael (vegan 12yrs), Matt (vegan 8yrs) and ocean aged 7yrs who has been vegan since conception.

2: Was your pregnancy vegan?

when Matt and I found out I was pregnant we moved our housebus up to bangalow near Byron bay and picked macadamia nuts until I was 8mnths pregnant. I didn't have any doubts about staying vegan whilst pregnant, my body was telling me that it really appreciated what I was putting into it so I saw no reason to change that. It also helped having a doctor who was open minded when it came to diet.
My iron levels only fell lower than average once and they were still well within the healthy range but my doctor suggested I freeze pineapple chunks and blend them with parsley to make a kind of sorbet and this worked wonderfully.

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.

whilst both our families may not 'get' our reasons for being vegan they do try and cater for us and don't give us a hard time for being vegan. They have never questioned our right to bring ocean up on a vegan diet and I think they can see that he is a normal healthy 7yr old who gets sick alot less often than most of his cousins.
We haven't met any other vegan families since having ocean but there are families at oceans steiner school who are vegetarian.

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?

I don't know what the hardest thing is about being a vegan parent is. I think the hardest thing about being a conscious parent is interacting with families and people who are less conscious and trying to counteract any negative influence this interaction causes. Even at a Steiner school we have had times when peoples thoughtlessness has caused a bit of a kerfuffle. Oceans teacher decided to reward the kids with some 'natural' lollies from the healthfood shop which contained milk and gelatine. Ocean asked me if we could eat them (which he always does if he is unsure) and was very upset when I told him what was in them. I sat him down and said I totally understood if he would like to eat them and that it was his choice as he was old enough to know what he was choosing to do but he shook his head and made it very clear that wasn't an option so we took him to the healthfood shop and bought him a vegan treat and he was very content.

5: What do you consider to be the best thing about been a vegan parent?

the best thing about being a vegan parent is watching my healthy happy 7yr old be conscious of what he is eating, where it came from, how it was grown and why it is good for him. It is also great to see other kids being brought into awareness of these things through interacting with ocean.

6: Please add any tips and favourite shopping and eating places that are child and vegan friendly?
where we live at present pretty much has zilch opportunities for eating away from home so we have alot of picnics instead. When we travel we try and find places before we leave where we can stop and enjoy some great vegan food. Ocean always wants to stop in Newcastle when we head south so he can have either a funky chunky pie or what he calls a pumpkin pie which is a vegani pie made by Byron bay gourmet pies I think.

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.

oceans favourite meal is vegan lasagne, closely followed by nutmeat w/ gnocchi both with lashings of nutritional yeast flakes. He also loves any type of nut butter with a vengeance! He has a great appetite and is always willing to try new foods. If he says he doesn't like something after trying it then I respect that and do not make him eat it, Although I will try and introduce it later on as I have found his tastebuds go through phases.

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'm not sure Matt and I have adjusted to being parents yet!!!!! I guess we have always tried to respect ocean as a person with his own ideas and feelings rather than just as a child to be steered this way and that. At times when I am exhausted and fed up I wish I didn't care so much and could just give in to the mindless crap that surrounds us but there is always an instinctual part of me that won't let that happen. I think the main thing Matt and I have tried to do is to make sure each decision has been thought about and made consciously instead of out of fear or pressure from other people

If you would like to be apart of vegan parents please email me: stuff-about-stuff@ hotmail dot com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this series on vegan parents. One thing I have also loved is when given the choice, my eight year old girl makes the conscious decision to not eat things containing gelatin etc.