We started out the first month of a new year by doing a vegan challenge as a family, after deciding this was something we all wanted to try (okay, so my thirteen-year-old may not have been totally on board, but he gave it a go). We began our week-long-challenge not knowing (at least consciously) that apparently this is a current trend! The website 7DAY VEGAN has some good information (though I found it after the week was done). Also, after watching the movie Okja together none of us wanted anything to do with animal products!
Overall, it went well. I’d say the biggest challenge was attending a potluck at the kids’ school where pizza was the one and only main dish. We ate lots of salad (or my husband and I did, the kids ate the vegan banana muffins I had baked, and some fruit). Other challenges for my kids: A pizza sale at the school, and Goldfish crackers at snack time. Restaurants were tough, and we cooked at home for the most part, but it was easy to get a good vegan burrito at Chipotle. Noodles and Company also had quite a few options, though they were too “spicy” for my eight-year-old. My husband has been vegan in the past, so he found the week fairly easy.
- My son actually prefers soy milk to cow’s milk on his cereal
- Vegan “cream cheese” can actually taste good (we tried Kite Hill brand, made of almond milk)
- “Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda” vegan “cheez” slices were acceptable to my kids (and they melt fairly well)
- We apparently eat a lot of cheese sandwiches! Coming up with alternatives was key
- Tacos are easy to make vegan
- Vegan ice cream tastes good too (we liked the Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy line)
- When purchasing dark chocolate or chocolate chips, be sure to check the label for dairy
- Another challenge was finding lunch ideas for the kids (other than pb&j!) My daughter likes Amy’s “Vegetable Pie” pockets (we heat it and put it in a small thermos)
- Planning ahead for meals and snacks made things much easier
We may not all stay vegan, but it gave us more ideas for replacing animal products in our diet with plant foods.
If you’ve ever followed or been curious about following a vegan diet, what questions or concerns have you had?