3 Ways to Encourage Your Vegetarian Children to Eat Healthier
It is difficult to get child to eat healthy sometimes. Many children, especially young children, are picky eaters. If you and your children are vegetarian, then you might worry that your child is not getting enough nutrients. There’s no reason this needs to be the case in a vegetarian household but there might be some extra steps you need to take to get your kids eating healthy as they should.
Here are three ways you can encourage your vegetarian children to eat healthier:
- Set a good example – It sounds obvious but it’s an often overlooked point. If you want your children to eat healthier, you need to show them how it’s done. Even when you don’t think your children are watching, they’re looking at you, learning from you, and modeling their own habits and behaviors around the things that you do.
- Teach them about healthy foods – You can’t expect your children to automatically know what foods are healthy or why it’s important to eat them. You should have open, honest discussions regularly about food. Let your kids go shopping with you and discuss why you’re buying certain things. Allow them to help you prepare food so they can understand what goes into it. Getting your kids involved will help them get excited about eating healthier.
- Find and offer good meat substitutes – If your child is not getting meat in their diet, you need to provide a healthy alternative method of getting the same nutrients. Tofu is a great substitute and can also be used in place of meats for many recipes. You can also consider lentils, mushrooms, jackfruit, seitan, vegan meat substitute products and more. There are now more vegetarian/vegan brands out there than any before so this makes it easier to find substitutes for foods that children typically like, even if they are on a no-meat diet.
When encouraging a vegetarian child to eat healthier, make sure the options you’re giving appear “normal”, like the foods their friends eat. If it seems odd or different, some children might resist it, especially if they are at an age where fitting in is important.
Now that you have these tips to help you, it’s time to start planning those family meals. Vegetarian children might sometimes face different challenges when it comes to eating than non-vegetarians but this doesn’t mean their diet has to affect them in a negative way.