How To Go Vegan In 3 Easy Steps
Has your teen declared that they're "going vegan?" If you're concerned, you'll be relieved to know that there has been a major shift in how America is eating. This trend is especially common among America’s younger generation. One only has to scour Instagram to see the variety of delectable, colorful and healthful meals created from fruits and vegetables, and it's improving our children's health.
Becoming vegan is a very common trend today, whether it be for ethical or health reasons, or simply for weight loss. And while this trend toward health is perhaps one of the best moves our younger generation can make, it does cause some concern among parents who all of a sudden notice their child has suddenly decided to eat nothing but fruit and salad.
The big reaction after the initial sticker shock of the organic food cost and subsequent weight loss is worry that your child is getting all the nutrients they need. You can rest assured they are, since their new foods choices are significantly better than the processed food and cooked food they’ve been having in their diet.
While it’s ok to just begin eating more fruits and vegetables and drop the meat, sugar and processed foods in your diet, eating only fruit, or eating only vegetables could affect how you feel on the diet and whether or not you continue on it. This is why it’s always safer to take an educated approach when considering going vegan. This can be done in 3 easy steps:
1. Watch the new documentary “What The Health?”
If you’re a parent worried about your child becoming vegan you can get the backstory here. This new profound and shocking documentary available for free on Netflix is instantly converting meat eaters to vegans but more importantly gives the ‘how’s and why’s” to the trend, as well as strong scientific evidence of the benefits of eating a more plant based diet.
2. Eat More Fruit
You can never ever go wrong eating more fruit. The adolescent body requires a very high amount of glucose. This is likely why you see so much binging on processed junk and sugary foods. The growing brain runs on glucose, so does the nervous system and the muscles. When your child feeds their body junk, the end result is often acne, anxiety, hyperactivity, greasy hair and even depression. This is simply the result of a body not getting what it needs. Eating more fruit is what your teen’s body needs to correct and reverse these symptoms of deficiency and get the body’s systems working calmly and smoothly. It is important to eat organic whenever you can.
A 2015 State of The Plate study done on America’s fruit and vegetables consumption has shown that “After a brief rise thru 2009, per capita fruit and vegetable consumption has declined 7% over the past 5 years, this has been driven primarily by decreased consumption of vegetables (-7%) and fruit juice (-14%). If fruit juice is excluded from the overall fruit total, however, there is only a 2% decrease in fruit consumption over the past 5 years. Fruit has seen growth among certain subsets of the population, specifically children of all ages and adults ages 18-44.”
3. Make Your Side Dishes Your Main Dishes
According to the study “Overall the fruit and vegetable consumption losses are tied to two big behaviors: a decline in the dinner side dish for vegetables, and reduced consumption of fruit juice at breakfast. Staples such as orange juice, lettuce/salad, corn, and green beans have led the declines. Fewer side dish salads also reduces the use of other salad related vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers.”
A simplest way to begin going vegan is to make your side dishes your main dishes. That means eating you salad as the main meal, along with vegetables and potatoes. Thinking along these lines will help you to cut out the main portion of the meal, which is usually meat, and take the side dishes center stage.
Parents Who Worry About Their Teen Going Vegan Don't Eat Enough Fruits And Vegetables Themselves
“While the trend for younger generations eating more fruits and vegetables is rising, the numbers show a decline in those foods being eaten by adults. “The overall losses seen in fruit and vegetable consumption have been driven by double digit declines among adults ages 45 and older, and particularly those ages 65 and older, who are the highest fruit and vegetable consumers.”
Parent’s Who Fear Fruit Isn’t Enough For Breakfast Are Wrong
According to the 2015 study, “Fruit is particularly beneficial for breakfast. Fruit has enjoyed gains in consumption at breakfast. This is likely because breakfast is a more health related meal and fruit is versatile. For example, berries and bananas have gained favor throughout the day, probably due to their versatility for consumption “as is” and as a topping for cereal or yogurt, or as an ingredient to a smoothie or hot cereal. Fruit also is one of the top two snacks consumed and is growing, especially at the morning snack occasion due in part to American’s greater acceptance of snacking.”
Where The Vegan Trend Is Heading
Researchers from the State Of The Plate study predict that “a 4% GROWTH EXPECTED, COULD BE HIGHER Consumption of total fruit and total vegetables are expected to grow roughly 4% respectively in the next 5 years, or roughly the same rate as population growth, resulting in relatively flat per capita consumption.”
What is more, a report of Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017 prepared by research company GlobalData shows the explosion in veganism over the last three years. It cites a growing awareness of the impact of meat consumption amongst consumers who are increasingly looking for more ethically produced and environmentally sustainable foods.
Supplementing Is Important
While the vegan diet packs a big nutritional punch, there are two supplements that are particularly important when giving up meat. On essential addition to the vegan diet is B12 with methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, since adenosylcobalamin is one of the most absorbable forms of vitamin B12,which is then converted to methylcobalamin.
Plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids are another important supplement for your teen to take daily if they're going vegan. Stay clear of fish oil since omega-3 fish oil supplements contain highly concentrated mercury and this is counterproductive to improving your health.
More: The Top 3 Vegan Foods That Are Incredibly Healing to Crohn’s Sufferers
Still Concerned About Your Teen Going Vegan?
If you are still concerned about your child’s diet or the state of their health because of going vegan, work closely with your practitioner or Naturopath to monitor health improvements and supplementation. It is also beneficial to consult with a competent Holistic Nutrition Practitioner to gain a better understanding of the nutritional benefits a vegan lifestyle can bring.