Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Raising two plant-based kids wasn’t easy, but it was worth it! The story starts with Zara, my first born, who started off being asthmatic and suffering from milk protein allergies and eczema. She would rash around her mouth after breastfeeding and had traces of blood in her diaper. The first ER visit for her asthma was a scary one, but that got us on the path we are now. I quickly started making the association between cow’s milk, dairy products and her symptoms, since they coincided perfectly. Then Kassi is born in 2014, and has the same issues. Again my wife cuts out all dairy from her diet to be able to pursue breastfeeding, something she held close to her heart for multiple reasons.
Simultaneously, I was also going through medical issues myself. I detail those in my second blog post. Put all of that together, and my last episode of facial swelling was the final draw. I then discovered the whole food plant-based diet and all its amazing benefits.
When I started transitioning, Zara had been eating animal products for 2-3 years, but Kassi was still breastfed. Zara was a little bit tougher to convince, but Kassi took on the diet change like a champ. She ate anything and everything we put on her plate, without fuss. Zara was more picky, and we had to figure out how to add more plants and hide them in the meals she already knew. We started slow with more fruit smoothies. Then we added seeds to them, then soy milk, then almond milk, then vegetables. None of them batted an eye. Before they knew it, they were consuming nutrient power houses everyday in the form of smoothies, banana nice cream and frozen smoothie popsicles. So far so good.
Lentils were our next challenge. We added them to ground beef, then slowly increased the lentils while decreasing the beef. Before they knew it (just joking, this transition took at least a year), their shepherd’s pie was vegan. Since this was their favourite meal, we then started blending riced cauliflower in with the potatoes. At first, they asked if something changed in their favorite recipe, but believed us when we said no. Now their shepherd’s pie is half