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What Should I Do If My Kids Don't Like Vegetables? | Q&A

I answered this question on my YouTube channel the other day, but wanted to share it here because I know so many people struggle with getting their kids to eat vegetables.

Q: It seems like you are the only vegan African American woman on YouTube with older children that can relate to me. I am new to eating a plant-based diet and I want to transition my two children whom is 9 and 8 years old. I'm having a hard time with my youngest because he only like corn, carrots, green beans, peas and lettuce. Any advice?

A: I can relate! My son Elijah didn't like any vegetables when we started this lifestyle.

Here are some tips....

  • Make sure you keep putting vegetables he doesn't like on his plate (even if it's just a tablespoon) because exposure is so important. 
  • Just say no to bland and mushy veggies! Be sure to season your vegetables and don't overcook them - A little salt, pepper and garlic powder goes a long way -- Roasted, lightly steamed and sautéed vegetables are much more appealing.
  • Let your son explore the produce department once a month.  Encourage him to pick out something to try, then go home and cook it together. It's hard for most kids to turn down food they cooked. lol.
  • Add about a cup of fresh spinach (spinach is a good start because you can't taste it) and other greens to smoothies you make at home. This is a delicious and sneaky way for him to get more greens.  Check out Green Simple Smoothies' Instagram page for recipes.
  • Have fun, be gentle with him and I promise it get better.

The fact that your son likes green beans and peas is amazing! Most people don't even like those vegetables. lol

Good luck! :-)

 

Check out these previous posts for more tips...

Video tips from my son Elijah on how to get kids eat better

How to deal with picky eaters

I hope this question helped you with your own family. I promise it will get better with consistency. My son, Elijah eats a lot more vegetables these days and is really open-minded about food overall. :-)

If you need more strategies on how to get your family to embrace a vegan lifestyle with you, get vegan family starter guide here.


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Chatting About Vegan Life with "Inspiration For A Lifetime"

I was a guest on Inspiration For A Lifetime last night and had a lot of fun talking to Desiree about vegan life with my family.

Listen here.....

Check Out Vegetarian Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with mslildesi on BlogTalkRadio

We discussed:

  • How and why I started a vegan lifestyle
  • The ups and downs of going vegan with a family 
  • How to eat out as a vegan
  • Why my kids aren't 100% vegan 
  • How to stop eating cheese (the devil! *tears*)
  • How to buy organic produce on a budget
  • How to save money on your grocery bill

Here are the links for products mentioned:

Skinny Bitch

Vegan macaroni and cheese

So Delicious ice cream

Field Roast vegan cheese

Heidi Ho cheese

Daiya cheese

Mikoyo cheese

Just Mayo

Vegenaise

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

 

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Why Do You Eat Meat & Cheese Substitutes If You're A Vegan? | Q&A

 

Question I received on Facebook: "I've just always wondered why eat the meat and cheese substitutes if you're vegan to take those foods out of your diet..."

Answer: I guess it depends on why you decide to go vegan. I became vegan for ethical reasons.

I don't dislike the taste of conventional meat and cheese, but I think the killing of animals for food is terrible and unnecessary (Diet for a New America is a good book to read for more on that).
I honestly don’t think our family would’ve gotten to this point (5 years in) without them.

These meat alternatives saved me during those times when my family refused to eat stir-fry with “just vegetables” and when Elijah (my reformed picky eater lol) wanted regular chicken nuggets with his fries.

Yeah, most mock meat is processed, but hell everything that isn’t from the produce department usually is.

You shouldn’t eat these products every day, but I do think they come in handy
for:

  • food cravings
  • to add variety
  • for simple convenient meals when you get busy (and cooking is the last thing you want to do)

It’s better than hitting a Burger King drive-thru on the way home from work. 
I am picky about my meat and cheese alternatives though...

Off the top of my head, I love:

 
Meat alternatives really can help you start a vegan journey that is simple, delicious and most importantly long-term

Do what works best for YOU and don't feel like you have to completely dismiss processed vegan food just because someone said you should. Aim for balance, not perfection!

I just watched an awesome video from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau that captured exactly how I feel about processed foods and vegan alternatives overall.

Check it out here....

 

Mock Meat or nah? Leave me a comment below

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Q&A: Where Can I Buy Vegan Speciality Ingredients?

Q: Hi, just found you today and have enjoyed your site. I just went vegan about 3 months ago, so everything is new and I have lots to learn. I would love to know where you bought your vegan roast from. It looked amazing and delicious. Thank you for your kindness!

A: Welcome to the vegan life! Are you referring to the roast in this blog post?
I got it from Wegmans but you can find it at Whole Foods. The brand is Field Roast and here's their store locator

Fortunately, you don't have to live near Whole Foods and other health food stores to get vegan speciality ingredients these days.

With companies like Amazon & Vegan Essentials, you can get everything from vitamins, agave nectar, nutritional yeast and boxed vegan macaroni & cheese shipped to you without the hassle.

I love testing out all the new vegan products, but you can definitely enjoy vegan life without a lot of specialty products.

Try to eat mostly whole ingredients like kale, tomatoes, rice, bananas, beans and seeds and you'll be good to go. 

I hope this helps! 

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