Friday, June 24, 2011

Vegan parents feature: #8

This week we nearly didn't have a feature post but luckily we do now!
We hear from Chloe, who blogs over at The Crabby Crafter 

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

Beetroot turns 3 at the end of the month and Raygold just turned 1.  

2: Was your pregnancy vegan?,

Yes!  (I've been vegan for a long time.)

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 best friend from college is a physician (and a vegan) and she is very supportive.  My husband is a vegetarian (mostly vegan, except for the odd bit of cheese) and is very supportive.  That said, I live in rural Scotland and have yet to meet any other vegetarians or vegans here and a few people at our local health centre have not only been very unsupportive, but have actually been quite rude.

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?

For me, the hardest thing about being a vegan parent is all the criticism.  There is the personal criticism, like from our health centre and from a few relatives, but there is also a general criticism of the vegan diet in the media.  That is probably the worst -- if something happens to a child who is vegan, it is all over the media and the vegan diet is stressed as much as whatever happened to the child, even when it is usually totally unrelated -- and then lots of people just assume that's what all vegans do!  It's frustrating because there are lots of children fed poor diets here (this is only really highlighted on those programmes where Jamie Oliver tries to encourage people to eat better), but when a child gets morbidly obese or type-II diabetes from their diet, it never makes the headlines.  There was a vegan child in Glasgow with rickets that made the headlines a few years ago, but rickets has made a huge comeback there ( and none of the other individual cases have made the headlines.

5: What do you consider to be the best thing about been a vegan parent?
 My children won't grow up with a cheese addiction!  ;p  Actually, while that is true, I think having an unconventional diet kind of makes you challenge other social norms, too, and gets you thinking outside the box.  

6: Please add any tips and favourite shopping and eating places that are child and vegan friendly?
 Well, here in the UK, you can almost always get beans and chips, but I've found Wetherspoons (a pub chain) is very child-friendly and always has a vegan option or two.

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.

 I'm lucky that my kids aren't usually too fussy.  My toddler would love to live on apples, oranges, and broccoli if he could, although toast, waffles, pasta, tofu with soy sauce, any kind of bean dip (especially variations of hummous), and soy yoghurt are always winners. 

I don't really have any fancy recipes, but I often serve pasta & a veg (we usually do broccoli or cauliflower) stirred into
- smooshed haricot beans (+ a dash of margarine or olive oil, a few tablespoonfuls of the starchy pasta water, lemon juice, thyme, and a dash of cayenne)
- marmite (+ a dash of margarine or olive oil and a few tablespoonfuls of the starchy pasta water)
- tahini (+ a dash of margarine or olive oil, a few tablespoonfuls of the starchy pasta water, lemon juice, and a dash of cayenne)
- smooshed butternut squash (+ a dash of margarine or olive oil and a few tablespoonfuls of the starchy pasta water)
etc.  You get the idea.

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 think I'm a much happier person now that I have children -- I love being a mom.  My parenting style sort of falls under the 'crunchy' label (breastfeeding on demand -- I've been breastfeeding for over 3 years straight! -- co-sleeping, baby carriers, etc.), although that's just sort of how it happened, I didn't even know that parenting style had a name until I was already doing it!

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