Friday, May 27, 2011

Vegan parents feature #5

     This week hear from Caroline and her big vegan family.

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

 We have 5 children, our eldest son Bj is 18, DJ our eldest daughter is 14, AJ is turning 10, Megan is 4 and Elijah is turning 2 this year.

2: Was your pregnancy vegan?,

no but  we were Vegetarian at that stage. I wish i had been vegan though, as i think i would have been healthier.

 We have been on and off Vegan since we were married but made a total commitment to being vegan for our health and our children's health 2 years ago. We have encountered so much evidence about how a meat eating and dairy eating diet is so bad for your health. The crunch for us becoming totally vegan was listening to Dr T Colin Cambell the guy who wrote The China Study.  We just couldn't give our children dairy  or animal protein laced foods knowing what we knew. Funnily enough the children have never asked for any of those things that we used to have.

 My eldest daughter and i love to shop at organic markets and try new vegetables and fruits. We have just moved down from sunny NSW to Vic, so we are missing the awesome markets up there but are excited about growing our own. 
  We are pretty eco minded and our next project is to be self sufficient. 
  Buying organic and locally is important to me but not always something we can afford or do.  
  Its an attitude you have about life,vegan is more than just eating the right foods and treating animals right. Its how you feel about life and what you value, if you value others and this world we live in it will show and come out in all that you do.
 There is a lot that makes us different from the normal, we homeschool, use cloth nappies, don't immunize and i make and sell cloth pads.  This can be very confronting for other people but don't ever be afraid to stand up for what you believe is right for you and your children.

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.

My family is accepting of us becoming vegan as my youngest sister has been vegan for quite sometime. She pathed the way for us. They have seen the positive health change it has had on her. They also see that our children are healthy, happy and in a normal weight range. Friends have also been good about it, some take time to prepare vegan meals for us. But we do get a bit of negative reactions, my husband is the one who stands up and gives them the information when they start having a go at us. He is awesome with the facts and because people dont research they have nothing to say to us. I think because our choices are made on firm decisions with lots of facts that when we meet opposition they back down. I find it crazy that people just accept what the media tells them.

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 just asked my husband this question and he things there is nothing hard about being vegan! LOL!  I think its making sure they have enough protein, calcium, iron etc etc. If i feel we haven't had enough of these things i go to the books. I also keep a suppliment handy. I do believe though that if you low in something, say vitamin C then you should just go and eat an orange.

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

That you are giving them the best!  All the food choices that are available are amazing, There is just so much variety. I feel sorry for the people caught up in the "meat and 3 veg" syndrome. Its crazy that they "worry" about vegan children's diets when they are having more variety than 90% of the population.

6: Please add any tips and favourite shopping and eating places that are child and vegan friendly?

We love going to The Vegie Bar in Brunswick st. We mainly eat at home as eating out is expensive with 7 to feed. :) I definately like organic stores, the atmosphere is so different to regular stores, I think growing what you can at home makes a difference, a few herbs etc, there is great satisfaction in growing your own. We also love going to Eastfields an organic shop in Croydon, it always smells so good in there.

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.

Aj doesnt like nuts at all, so i hide them grounded up in food. but apart from that we make our children eat a good range of things as we believe that they will eventually start liking them. letting them be apart of what you are buying, cooking helps. The eldest three regularly cook the main meal.
Aj just told me that she loves my carob cake.  Its hard to name a favourite we really enjoy food at this house. A quick and easy recipe we like to make is pancakes with vegies in them.

  Vegie pancakes
  Make a basic pancake mix with SR flour and oat or soy milk, blend up vegies such as broccoli, carrot, zuchini, tomato, pumpkin, etc mix it together with pancake batter, salt, massel stock (we use chicken for this one) yeast flakes, onion powder and fry. 
  We stack them on our plate with a little BBQ sauce and vegan mayo. Yummo!
  Carob shakes are always a winner at our house. 
  carob powder, soy milk, banana, dash of flax seed oil. we also sometimes throw in a few blueberries.

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. 

Having happy adjusted children i believe involves parents being selfless, giving and giving till it hurts, Loving their children always, loving discipline, good principles that are demonstrated by the parents. we cant seriously expect our children to not do what we are doing ourselves. This is hard when you are grounded in bad habits.

For us having children has made us better people, better communicator with each other and more fun. I totally advocate big families! :)

stuff-about-stuff@hotmail dot com


  1. Awesome! I love reading about other healthy vegan families. Maybe I missed it, do you homeschool? If not, how have you dealt with school issues with older children? I have a son in kinder, and am just starting to scratch my head on pizza/milkshake days.

  2. yes we do homeschool. so that makes things easier.