You’ve made the great choice to take the positive vegan leap into a compassionate lifestyle, but raising your kids as vegan is not so easy. Be prepared as the usual questions will appear and many people will become instant nutritionists. Where will they get their protein? Isn’t dairy a requirement for children’s’ long term calcium needs? What about iron, B12, and Omega 3’s? Don’t we need to eat animal products to live and thrive? The answers are simple, healthy, and easily attainable. PROTEIN Protein, an important component of every cell in the body is found in many nutritious NON animal foods. Beans, seeds, and nuts are common selections, but your choices are endless. Mushrooms, potatoes, quinoa, and tofu are just a few of the many protein opportunities to build and repair tissue, enzymes, and hormones. You absolutely don’t need protein from animals to thrive. CALCIUM Dairy? Milk really doesn’t do a body good! Yes, calcium is necessary for building bones, helping our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat, but the dairy industry is horrific to the animals and a strain on people’s health causing inflammation throughout our bodies. Almond, cashew, coconut, soy, and oat milks are excellent plant-based drinks to satisfy even the pickiest children. Vegan ice creams, cheeses, and butters can be found in most grocery stores. Add calcium options like broccoli, kale, and almonds that prove no one needs dairy to survive or thrive. IRON Iron is needed for healthy red blood cells and is an important component of hemoglobin. The myth is that the best sources of iron are from animal meat. Nope! Spinach, potatoes, lentils, dark chocolate, avocados, and fortified cereals are superb for healthy iron levels for everyone. B12 The reason people get Vitamin B12 from eating animals is that the animal’s food is supplemented with this vitamin. Vegans can easily meet their daily requirements with fortified cereals, nutritional yeast, and/or supplements. There is NO need to go through an animal to get your B12! OMEGA 3 Omega 3 fatty acids are essential components in your daily diet as your body can’t make them. Minimizing inflammation and keeping the body healthy are their main objectives. There are three types of Omega 3’s and some excellent sources are walnuts, hemp seeds and kidney beans. More recently, algae supplements have come on the market which make a great Omega 3 for kids as they contain Omega 3 DHA to help the brain development of children. People (adults and children) do NOT need to eat animal products for their health or growth. Once you “destroy” the myths of eating meat, eggs, and dairy, the choice to go vegan for you and your children becomes a no brainer.