Hands down, one of the most asked questions I’ve received since I announced my pregnancy last March is whether we will raise our daughter a vegan. It’s something that Eric and I discussed long before getting pregnant, but we revisited the topic again when I did get pregnant. I’ve been clear in the past that our household is not a vegan household – Eric doesn’t follow a vegan diet, although a lot of his meals are vegan because he loves the food that I make (yup, tooting my own horn! hah). He now enjoys hundreds of foods he wouldn’t even touch when we first started dating and it’s been incredible to see his diet transform over the years from deep fried fast food to vibrant veggie-filled home-cooked meals. From eating a huge bowl of frosted flakes cereal to a huge green smoothie every morning, the change has been huge. So even though he’s become more conscious about selecting organic meat from local farms whenever possible and eschewing a large amount of dairy from his diet, he has no plans of going vegan. I support him completely; after all, he was never vegan before we met and he is happy and healthy which is what matters.
Many people have assumed that we would raise Adriana on a vegan diet, but we’ve actually decided not to label her diet in any shape or form. This is for a couple reasons. First, I want her to be able to try any food that she wants to, including the food her dad and family members eat in front of her. Second, I want her to decide for herself when she is older whether she will attach any sort of label to her diet. I have personally experienced benefits and drawbacks to labeling my own diet, and I don’t want to put my beliefs on her or assume that my diet is the best diet for her. That being said, we eat so many plant-based meals in this house I have no doubt that her diet will be filled with vegetables, fruit, legumes, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats! We are very grateful for the food we have access to and above all, I’d like to instill this sense of gratitude in her and also an excitement for healthy food, understanding its impact on our energy, etc. We are incredibly lucky that we even have the privilege of discussing this topic. But would we stop her from enjoying some of her dad’s chicken or a birthday cake at a friend’s party or a home-cooked meal at Mimi’s or Babcia’s house? No we won’t (assuming she doesn’t have an allergy down the road, of course).
I know that deciding what to feed one’s family is a very personal topic, but I want to be open about it as I have with my own dietary changes in the past. Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Vegan households can work really well if that is the goal (and I know many friends who are currently rocking it!), but this is what we’ve decided is right for us.
I’d love to hear from you about this topic. Have you ever struggled with the decision as to whether to label your child’s diet? Do you live in a household with different diets or allergies? How do you find a balance?
PS – Adriana turned 6 months on Saturday! We celebrated by giving her her first solid food – avocado. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time. It was seriously awesome. I also re-read her birth story and cried a little. More on this feeding thing later.
Comments are now closed – May 20/15