Transitioning to a plant based diet as a family is something that is happening more and more. I often get asked questions about tips to transition to a plant based diet as a family. In this blogpost I will share my 10 easy steps for transitioning to a plant-based diet as a family.
10 Steps to Transition to a Plant-based Diet as a family:
1. Start with one vegan meal a day or each week.
Starting slowly as a family is often the best way to transition to a plant-based diet. Start with one meal per day or per week or as much as you can to start with. Breakfasts are generally quite easy to make plant-based by switching to soy or oat milk. Having peanut butter on wholemeal bread or making smoothies.
2. Switch to calcium-fortified plant milks.
Making the switch to oat, soy or almond calcium-fortified is an important step to transitioning to a plant-based diet as a family. As long as you buy a calcium-fortified plant milk (with calcium levels of around 300mg per 250ml) you can choose the one that is most enjoyed by your family. You can even make a fun taste test to find the one you like best. Use them in smoothies, in porridge, coffee and as a drink for children.
3. Start with replacing meat by lentils, beans or tofu in your usual dinner recipes.
If this change is too big for your family start by adding them in. Add canned lentils or beans to your mince. Also adding tofu to a chicken stir fry. Add beans when serving Mexican dishes. Even adding a side of chickpeas or other legumes to start exposure and introducing them to your children.
4. Fill half your plates with vegetables.
Eating plant-based also starts by adding more plant foods into your day. Adding more vegetables to your existing meals is a good step in the direction of transitioning to a plant-based diet as a family. Aim for adding more salads, cooked vegetables to your plates. Serve them in the middle of the table for everyone in the family to serve themselves. Again if your child is fussy and doesn’t eat many vegetables, keep up the constant exposure. Serve them daily regardless of your child eating them.
5. Get your go-to’s.
Having 3-4 weekly easy simple vegan dinners and lunches your family will eat can really make it easier for the long-term to transition to a plant-based diet. Experiment in the kitchen making a few different recipes until you find your new family go-tos! Each family is quite unique but my family loves a tofu stir-fry, lentil dhal and my red lentil bolognese.
6. Find your why.
Remembering why you are choosing to transition your family to a plant-based diet. Remembering your why. Whether to avoid animal cruelty, improve your health and that of your family, for the environment to follow a diet with a more gentle footprint on the earth or for all 3 reasons combined. Having a strong why and motivation will help you make the transition to a plant-based diet more long-term.
7. Get creative in the kitchen and use cookbooks/ blogs and pinterest for inspiration!
I would say my blog and my cookbook are great sources of recipe inspirations for a family wanting to transition to plant-based eating. Especially my cookbook Healthy Little Tummies! My red lentil bolognese recipe, my cashew mac and cheese, my leek quiche will be great to try as a family to transition to plant-based eating.
By the way if you love Pinterest please do follow me on there!
8. Consult with a plant-based nutritionist – like myself!
Making sure your family doesn’t have nutrient deficiencies and understanding plant based nutrition is something I can help you with. Transitioning to a plant-based diet means especially for children they need to have a diverse and balanced diet including 1-2 supplements. I can help you make sure they are eating enough of the right foods and won’t miss out on essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, omega-3 and iodine. Send me an email [email protected] to enquire about my nutrition coaching services for families transitioning to a plant-based diet.
9. Have fun creating vegan desserts!
Order a plant-based meal at a restaurant. Go visit a raw cafe. Make vegan ice-creams with frozen bananas, create the best vegan brownies. Creating fun delicious vegan desserts such as my marbled banana bread, Twix bites or my blueberry crumble recipes are great way to convince husbands and children alike that vegan food can be very delicious!
10. Take your time- follow your own family rhythm!
Do what is best for your family. If your family is transitioning to a plant-based diet quite well but can’t quite let go of cheese or some other animal products. Do it slowly. It can take time for tastebuds to adjust to vegan cheeses and other plant-based meals. And maybe eating plant-based 98% of the time is what will be best for your family. you don’t have to be perfect.