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How To Get Your Husband (or Wife) On Board With Raising Your Child Vegan
In this article you will find tips and ideas to help you get your child’s other parent to agree on a vegan diet for your child.
If you are following along The Ultimate Guide for Raising Vegan Kids and you’re raising your child alone- feel free to skip ahead to Raise Your Kids Vegan Whether ‘They’ Like It Or Not: Ignore Non-Vegans.
If your child is the one who chose to be vegan, both you and your spouse should respect their decision; you don’t need to get the other parent on board with feeding your child a vegan diet.
However, the tips below will be helpful in case they wonder if raising a vegan child is the best for them!
Now, I’m not going to pretend to be a relationship guru or some expert on how to talk to your significant other here. Even though my college degree is in psychology.
The dynamics in relationships can differ couple to couple and how each person was brought up. I’m not gonna dig into that!
Instead, I want you to know what has actually worked for me and other parents of vegan kids to help the other parent understand and agree.
Maybe you’re already both vegan!
If you and your partner are already vegan, then raising a vegan child, and agreeing on that decision, is probably already done!
Sure, maybe you need to discuss it slightly.
Figure out how you want to start them with food; baby led weaning or purees.
Some processed foods or as close to 100% whole foods as possible.
How you’re going to deal with your child eating on play dates, at birthday parties, or when you’re out.
Along with the split in responsibility for feeding your child; something that all parents have to deal with, vegan or not, having discussed it or not.
But, you don’t have to convince them that your child should be raised vegan. They already agree!
One of you is vegan…the other isn’t
When one parent is vegan and wants to raise vegan, and the other isn’t. Things get a bit trickier.
This is where I started, and so have many other parents!
Generally (but not always) it’s the husbands who are still consuming animal products.
Men tend to think they are supposed to be seen as strong and apparently some men think they can’t be strong unless they eat meat. Which is completely wrong! One of the strongest men in the world doesn’t eat meat!
But, most of us weren’t raised vegan.
And it can be hard to look back and remember how we were told that we needed meat for protein and dairy for calcium. It’s what our moms told us, it’s what our schools taught.
It can make you question a lot in life, and sometimes people don’t want to accept the fact that we’ve been lied to for years (or decades) by the food industry.
You can’t force your partner to become vegan, they’ll have to come to the conclusion on their own, in their own time, unfortunately.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t raise vegan kids!
How To Get Your Spouse to Agree To Raising Vegan Kids Together
Just because your partner doesn’t eat a vegan diet doesn’t mean raising vegan kids is off the table, especially if you’re the one making the food to put on the table!
The emotionally healthy way to raise vegan kids together is to actually talk about it with your spouse,
- let them know how much it means to you
- How much healthier it is (don’t forget to gather your proof)
- How it will help you raise kinder children who treat others as equals
- Discuss the environmental impact of a non-vegan diet
However, since they are not vegan, you’ll have to be careful how you word these things to not make them seem like they are a horrible person for not being vegan.
What someone eats can be a real touchy subject, trust me!
Preparing For An Open Discussion About Raising Vegan Kids
One of the best things you can do to help your spouse understand why raising kids is so important to you, is by preparing yourself before discussing it.
First, there are the health benefits of eating a vegan diet, or omitting animal products from your child’s diet, such as decreasing the chance of your child developing:
- Childhood obesity
- Pre-diabetes (or diabetes)
- And so much more!
Being vegan doesn’t prevent all of those things 100%, but it does help to decrease the likelihood of developing them. Were you ever told when you were younger and were constipated to stop eating so much cheese?
You can find more info on the above here¹ which also goes on to explain how vegan and even vegetarian kids are smarter than kids who consume meat. And how those who consume animal products are more likely to start puberty sooner, whereas kids who consume soy at a young age are more likely to start puberty later.
I don’t know about you and your partner, but we’re not particularly looking forward to our kids going through puberty, we have all girls, especially sooner than they should!
But, let’s stop looking at this in a negative light, and lets look at the positives of raising vegan kids.
Show them the benefits of raising kids vegan
There are so many wonderful things about raising vegan kids.
There’s the fact that you’ll be setting them up to live and eat healthy later in life. Something that most kids don’t learn.
You’ll teach them to live kindly, to show respect towards all living beings, and to treat others as equals or the golden rule ‘treat others how you would like to be treated’.
Feeding them more variety in foods. There are so many healthy plant foods out there that a lot of children don’t even know about, because their diets are so full of, well basically, junk.
They can’t fit a salad full of fresh veggies, or even a fresh smoothie full of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, and other healthy things into their diet; because they don’t have room after they’ve filled up on all of the animal products and processed junk.
Improve their future. By omitting animal products and upping the plant foods your child eats, you’ll be exponentially increasing the amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more that your child will be consuming.
This is a good thing!
This means that the only vitamins you’ll need to supplement for will be B12 and D, whereas other kids should really be taking a mult-vitamin for various vitamins and minerals that they aren’t getting enough of in the Standard American Diet.
Antioxidants, have you heard of these? I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to nutrition, so I don’t know if it’s normal to know about these or not.
So, real quick; there are these things called free radicals in us- they’re produced from many different things (stress, pollution, cooked meats, and a lot more). They are the things that can cause damage to cells and increase the chance of someone getting cancer.
Antioxidants get rid of free radicals.
Free radicals are always multiplying, which is why we always need to be eating foods rich in antioxidants. Luckily, this is super easy to do when your diet is full of plants!
And then there’s the environmental aspect of our diets. Eating plants contributes to the sustainability of our planet, fresh air, and reducing climate change.
Yep, I just went there!
Raising a vegan is almost the same as saving the planet!
Hey, we can only do so much to reduce greenhouse gases, and going/raising vegan is one of the biggest ways we can have an impact.
Did you know that it takes almost 1,800 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef?
It only takes a little over 200 gallons of water to make a pound of soybeans…
Did you know that animal agriculture accounts for as much of the world’s greenhouse gases as ALL transportation, if not more!?
This isn’t the stuff they teach you in school!
Do you want to know why?
It’s because the food industry has very deep pockets and ties with the government.
Which department of government determines what goes into the Dietary guidelines?
That stands for the United States Department of AGRICULTURE. The SAME department that was formed to help farmers sell their animal products!
No wonder our teachers and doctors generally tell us to make sure we drink milk for strong bones…
Which by the way is very ironic, because cows milk actually contributes to osteoporosis and weaker bones!
Sure, it has calcium and is usually fortified with Vitamin D; both things to help with strong bones, but it also has animal fat and animal protein in it. Those are not good for either, it’s also no good for trying to prevent cancer. As the protein from animal products is directly correlated with cancer cell production.
But we don’t need to get into that right now!
The other points should be quite sufficient for an open minded discussion with your spouse about raising a vegan child.
If they are not open to discussing it, don’t lose hope!
Educate Yourself to Educate Them
First, if you are not familiar with the health benefits of being vegan, or the environmental impact of not being vegan (and want more facts than mentioned above), turn on your favorite streaming service and get learning!
I would say grab some books and get reading, but you’re busy- you have kids.
Plus, watching health documentaries on the TV, in front of everyone else in your home, is a great way to teach them about the benefits of a whole food plant based (and vegan) diet!
Seriously, this works!
After watching enough health documentaries, your spouse may even give the healthier diet a try!
I’ve seen this happen in vegan facebook groups, where other women are so happy that their husbands are going to try to join them in eating vegan after watching a documentary like The Game Changers or What the Health.
Even my own husband has decreased his consumption of animal products after watching these documentaries! (Though, I also refuse to cook with animal products, so that may have something to do with it, too, lol.)
If you’re not sure what to even look for when you open up your streaming service (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, doesn’t matter, they all have them!), find some of the best ones here: Life Changing Documentaries That Will Make You Healthier!
If your partner is more into reading, then I’d recommend the book How Not to Die by Michael Greger MD, FACLM. It’s a bit long, but it is an amazing book!
You know what, maybe just find some easy to read articles on how a vegan diet is better than the Standard American Diet and send those to their phone to read in bite sized pieces!
I’ll provide more websites in the Resources section of this guide, but for now NutritionFacts.org would be a good place to start. It’s run by Michael Greger, who is a doctor, and thousands upon thousands of research is read to put together that site, just like it was for his book!
If providing them with facts doesn’t help with them agreeing with you about raising your kids vegan…
Just Start Feeding Your Kids All Vegan Food
If you’re the one who makes all the food for your family, and your husband (or wife) knows you are vegan, feeding your kids what you eat shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s not like they’re the ones who will be cooking it or having to make the food in a way to get your kids to eat it (hello the picky eating phase!).
And, take note here, feeding them a diet full of healthy plants WILL provide them with enough protein to grow and thrive!
So many people don’t understand that, that they use the protein card whenever they can against vegans.
However, knowledge is power, and we can squash that protein card many times over with learning about the different plant proteins out there!
We’ll go over the ‘where will they get their protein?’ question later this guide, don’t worry, I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of leaving that out!
For now though, just know that a proper vegan diet full of plants will provide your child with all the nutrients they need! Well, besides Vitamin B12 & D, and we’ll go over these vitamins later on in this guide.
Then, if your spouse questions your ability to make food choices for your children, use some of the discussion points at the beginning of this article to inform them why a vegan diet is the best one for growing kids.
Let them know that feeding children animal products (or the Standard American Diet) is the biggest contributing factor for the increase in childhood obesity, diabetes, getting cancer later in life, and having other chronic health issues later in life.
Let them know that you simply want what’s best for them and what is healthiest for the whole family.
If they still need proof; go back to watching health documentaries while they’re in the same room as you!
It works wonders!
Didn’t start from the beginning? Start Here!
Need some inspiration for being or raising vegan? Check out the vegan quotes in Vegan Quotes: For Health, the Planet, & the Animals!
¹https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/children/ Michael Greger, MD, FACLM