Take the Leap: How to Transition Into Being a Vegan Family
Over the last few years, there has been a whopping 600 percent increase in the number of people who say they’re vegan.
There are many reasons to become a vegan family. There are more plant-based food options than ever before. There are health benefits to adopting a vegan lifestyle from lower blood pressure to weight loss.
You’ll also do your part to curb climate change by reducing the demand for meat. It’s a small part, but it can have a big impact over the long run.
It can be overwhelming to convince your family to change to a vegan diet and make a smooth transition. Keep reading to find out how you can get your family to make the switch to a vegan diet.
1. Start Slowly
You don’t need to go from meat and potatoes seven days a week to strict vegan right away. That is unlikely to work. You’ll want to start slowly in adopting a vegan diet.
You may decide to start with Meatless Mondays and then add on another meal during the week. When you start slowly, you can make a transition that isn’t as alarming to everyone.
2. Avoid Bad Vegan Foods
You may be so anxious to get everyone to like vegan food that you’ll buy anything that’s vegan, even if it’s junk food.
Yes, there are products that qualify as vegan junk food. That’s one of the traps that many families make. They assume that something is vegan so it must be healthy.
One of the reasons to be a vegan family is to be a healthier family. Don’t fall into the trap of getting vegan junk food. Focus on healthy foods that are plant-based.
3. Have a Family Meeting
Are you leading the effort to get your family to be a vegan family? You’ll want to get buy-in from everyone in your family. It’s common to have pushback from those closest to you.
Don’t let the pushback discourage you. They just don’t understand what vegan is. For many people, they may have tried a vegan meal many years ago and it was awful.
Tofurkey no longer sets the standard of a vegan diet.
Thanks to advances in food science, there are companies that are making vegan food taste great. The demand for these foods has never been higher, so they’re here to stay for a long time.
There will be questions from your family. Be prepared to address them and make decisions together as a family.
4. Define What Vegan Means to You
Being vegan means different things to different families. For some, that means no animal-based products at all. That includes clothes and food.
For other families, they’ll cut out chicken, meat, and eggs, but they’ll continue to eat fish.
This is an opportunity for you and your family to create a plan that works for everyone. It’s important to discuss and decide how far you want to go.
It may take some experimentation, but you’ll find a healthy eating style that works for everyone in your family.
5. Don’t Prepare Two Separate Meals
There may be one person in your family that refuses to go along with the plan to be vegan. Even if it’s just one meal a week, they may have an idea in their head that it’s a bad thing.
You may be tempted to concede and decide that you’ll cook separate meals. Don’t do it. Hold your ground and convince them to try a vegan diet for a couple of weeks.
Cooking separate meals is a pain for you. If they insist on eating meat-based food, then cook your meal as you normally would. They can prepare their meat and add it to the meal.
6. Understand Nutritional Needs
There are a lot of assumptions and misinformation about a vegan diet and nutrition. The first question is whether or not everyone will get enough protein.
Protein is made up of amino acids. There are essential amino acids, which you get from food. Nonessential amino acids are made in your body.
Meat-based proteins carry both essential and nonessential amino acids. That’s why it’s called a complete protein. There isn’t one type of plant-based food that has all of the amino acids.
However, you can get all amino acids from different sources of protein throughout the day. You’ll have all of the amino acids you’ll need.
There are some nutrients that vegans typically don’t get a lot of, such as Vitamin B12. You should look into women’s vegan vitamins to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
7. Keep It Simple
You don’t need to make a vegan diet complicated. You also don’t need to try to make a vegan barbecue meal to make your family more comfortable. That could actually have the opposite effect.
Keep meals simple. Scan sites like Pinterest for vegan meal ideas that have few ingredients. You can take cookbooks out of the library as well to get more ideas and inspiration.
You can include your spouse and your kids involved in meal planning, prepping, and grocery shopping. They can better understand what a vegan lifestyle is all about.
It’s Easy to Become a Vegan Family
Being a vegan family has its benefits. When your family transitions to a plant-based diet, you can become a healthier family and do your part to curb climate change.
To make the transition easy, you have to be on the same page and start slowly. Keep things simple and remember that there are unhealthy vegan foods. You’ll want to study vegan nutrition to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need throughout the day.
For more food tips and recipes, check out the Healthy Life Tips tab at the top of this page.