The Transition to a Vegan Diet
Although today more and more children are vegan from
birth, many older children also become vegan. There are many ways to make the transition from a non-vegan to a
vegan diet. Some families gradually eliminate dairy products and eggs while others make a more definite change.
Regardless of which approach you choose, be sure to explain what is going on and why in a way that the child
can understand. Offer foods that look familiar at first. Peanut butter sandwiches seem to be universally
popular and many children like pasta or baked beans. Gradually introduce new foods. Watch your child's weight
closely. Weight loss is likely at first, but if it continues or the child seems to be growing less rapidly, add
more concentrated calories and reduce the amount of fibre in the diet.
What Foods are Popular with Vegan
Many vegan children like:
• Bagels with nut butter or hummous
• Bean burritos or tacos
• Fresh or dried fruit
• Mashed potatoes
• Oven-cooked chips
• Pancakes and waffles
• Pasta with tomato sauce
• Peanut butter and yeast extract sandwiches
• Pizza without cheese, topped with vegetables and pulses, tofu, or fake
• Raw vegetables with dips
• Shakes made with soya milk and fruit
• Spaghetti with tomato sauce
• Tofu/vegetarian dogs
• Veggie burgers
Vegan diets planned in accord with current dietary recommendations can meet the
nutritional needs of infants and children, give children a better start in life and help to establish lifelong
healthy eating patterns.
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