According to a survey completed by the Guardian in the UK, close to half of all vegans are aged 15-34. That means it’s safe to assume that there are a growing number of children going vegan as whole families make changes to their lifestyles. Whether that is the choice to go fully vegan or just to be more planet-conscious and give up dairy or fish, it’s true that more and more families are changing their habits and lifestyle to become more plant-based. In fact one in three of us use a plant-based milk over dairy for a start.
So why are more families turning to a vegan lifestyle?
The Benefits of Plant-Based Family Life
Well, the first thing to say is that the benefits are numerous. We are now living in a society where vegan living is mainstream and so it has never been easier to cook and prepare plant-based meals for the whole family. So what are the benefits of choosing a vegan lifestyle for your family?
It can be a really healthy choice
It’s important to say first of all that any diet can be healthy or not. Being a vegan doesn’t automatically mean you are eating healthily - there are lots of vegan junk food options too! But what a plant-based lifestyle does offer is a focus on vegetables and fruit, rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. A balanced vegan diet can be a really healthy choice at any age and can help children to grow up understanding the benefits of eating well.
It can save you money
A lot of people have a misconception that choosing a plant-based lifestyle for your family will actually cost you more money. But the truth is, when you cook at home and prepare your meals as a family, you can actually save money on the weekly food shop. That's because plant-based ingredients on average cost less than meat. It has also never been a cheaper time to buy plant-based milk and vegan snacks.
You can grow your own vegetables
A great way to start your vegan family life is to invest in a vegetable patch. Whether that is a section of the garden or just some plant pots on the balcony or in the yard, this is a great way to get children excited about plant-based meals. What is more rewarding than seeing your food grow and being a part of that process? There are lots of websites that give helpful tips about growing your own fruit and vegetables to help you get started.
You can support local farms with veg boxes
Home-grown vegetables might not be the ideal choice for every family. Another simple way that you can get the family excited about vegan mealtimes, and also support the local farms around you, is by ordering a weekly vegetable box. Some farms even offer the chance for children to go and see where the vegetables are grown as well.
It involves the children
Plant-based meals can be really fun to prepare as a whole family. There are tons of vegan recipes online for everything from breakfast ideas to after dinner treats. A benefit of going vegan as a family is being able to learn to create new and exciting plant-based meals together.
Does plant-based life give the family all the nutrients it needs?
Before we get into this it’s important to say that most of us, plant-based or not, don’t get everything we need from our daily diet. Whether that is because some vitamins and minerals are not present in the foods we eat or that we simply can’t eat enough of those food sources to get enough of the nutrients we need, the fact is a lot of us need to turn to other sources - such as supplements - to make sure we are plugging a nutritional gaps.
So does a plant-based diet give all of the family everything they need? Well, yes and no. There are some nutritional gaps that are important to be aware of and where supplements can help with vegan family life.
How can vegan supplements help with plant-based family life?
Choosing to supplement is a great way to ensure the whole family gets the right balance of vitamins and minerals they need on a daily basis. Depending on the vitamin, supplements can help to boost the immune system with fighting common bacteria and everyday illness, they can even help with energy levels and concentration span. What supplements should you family be considering?
The first to mention is Vitamin B12. Children in the family can get Vitamin B12 through fortified cereals and other fortified products, like children’s multivitamins. For adults, a Vitamin B12 supplement is recommended for anyone following a plant-based lifestyle Vitamin B12 works to speed up the reactions in the body - it is linked to your metabolism and also healthy immune and nervous systems. B12 isn’t found in plants so it’s important to make sure you are getting enough of this vital vitamin. At Vegetology we offer a Vitamin B12 Sustained Release formula - this is a formula designed for adults with a higher dose of B12 that is slowly released throughout the day as the tablet breaks down.
For mums-to-be and breastfeeding mums:
Public Health England recommends all mums to take a folic acid supplement. Here at Vegetology we have combined that with twenty other nutrients that are vital for mum and Baby both during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, to create Pregnancy Care - a vegan pregnancy supplement.
For mums and dads
A common issue we hear from busy parents is struggling with tiredness and fatigue. Whilst ongoing or severe tiredness or fatigue could be a sign of a more serious health issue and should mean a visit to the GP or Doctor, daily fatigue brought on by long days at work and looking after the family is fairly common. That’s why we have created Active Energy - a plant-based energy supplement that combines the vitamins and nutrients from Western chemistry that are known for boosting energy and boosting performance in metabolism, with two herbs from traditional Chinese medicine, known as adaptogens. Taking this supplement in the morning, your body knows it needs to be awake and be aware, so adaptogens will work with your body to help fight fatigue. But if you take it in the evening, they will help your body to relax.
Another common issue from mums and dads is aching joints and bones. We have created a plant-based Joint supplement for adults of any age that is vegan friendly. It contains Phytodroitin, a vegan alternative to Chondroitin, commonly found in joint supplements and derived from shark cartilage. Phytodroitin works with Glucosamine in the same way that Chondroitin does but without being animal sourced, offering a supplement for healthy joints and bones that is plant-sourced.
For those following a plant-based diet a great way to make sure you are getting the nutrients and vitamins you need is to take a vegan multivitamin. At Vegetology we created MultiVit - a formula of 26 vitamins and minerals and a superfood complex. The problem with some multivitamins is that not all of the nutrients are able to be absorbed, meaning that some pass through as waste. MultiVit is specifically formulated to ensure that your body can make the most of all of the ingredients contained in the multivitamin.
For Children and the whole family:
Vegetology’s Vit D3 is the world's first vegan Vitamin D3.Government guidance tells us that most of us, adults and children, should consider taking Vitamin D supplements. This is because of the way that Vitamin D is commonly produced - in our skin - through a chemical reaction when we come into contact with the sun’s rays. The problem being - that we don’t come into contact with the sun’s rays sufficiently to make the Vitamin D your body needs for bone, teeth, immune and general health.
Vit D3 is available in various forms, making it suitable for the whole family. For children, even babies, we have a liquid oral Vit D3 spray. One dose is 200 iu or 5 mcg, so 5 doses per day would be 1000 iu, or 25 mcg. It’s designed so you can vary the dose depending on if you give it to mum, dad, baby or child. Our Vit D3 spray can be sprayed directly onto the mouth, onto food or into baby formula making it ideal for the whole family.
For adults and older children we also offer Vit D3 in 1000iu and 2500iu tablets that are designed to be chewed.
Omega-3 are also known as ‘essential fatty acids’ and they are essential for healthy joints, brain and heart. The problem when following a plant-based lifestyle is that not all Omega-3s are equally effective. Omega-3 ALA, which is found in flax and chia, is a lesser form of Omega-3 that needs to be converted by the body to be able to be used. This conversion rate is really low. Omega-3 DHA and EPA, the forms your body needs, are commonly found in fish oils.
That’s why we created our vegan Omega-3, EPA and DHA source. We went straight to the source and cut out the middle fish, deriving our Omega-3 from algae, grown in a controlled environment. That makes our Omega-3 not only vegan but also planet-conscious as it doesn’t mess with the delicate ecosystem in the sea.
Vegetology’s Omega-3 comes in both capsule and liquid form. The liquid form comes in a mild orange flavour and also flavourless. This can be taken off a spoon or added to food. It’s perfect for the whole family.
Becoming a vegan family can be a really great way to focus on eating healthily and making mealtimes fun, as you learn to cook and discover new plant-based meals together. It’s important to make sure you are aware of any nutritional gaps as a family and consider supplementing with vegan vitamins.
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