Raising Vegan Kids in Chicago

Raising Vegan Kids in Chicago

I am not a vegan and I am not raising my kids as vegans. But the whole concept intrigues me. On the one hand, we definitely are limiting animal protein in our diet and eating more vegetable and grain based meals. On the other hand, I am not sure that I want to live a life without cheese.

Even though we are definitely bacon-eaters at our house,  I was interested in the idea of raising vegan kids and all of the issues that may arise (mostly in social settings). For example, what does a vegan kid do when the baseball team goes out for pizza or at a classmate's birthday party when everyone is digging into a conventional cake and ice cream?I interviewed two vegan families about their motivations and diets and what I learned is that having a kid who follows a vegan diet isn't really all that different from having a kid who has food allergies (like my little guy) or a gluten intolerance. So many people have dietary restrictions these days that kids (and increasingly) their parents are just learning to take each person's food choices/limitations in stride.

Based on my interviews and research, it seems like raising vegan kids in the Chicago area is actually not all that challenging at all because of the many local resources (including vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants, great shopping options and family-oriented social networks for vegans).

If this topic interests you too, have a look at my story in the April issue of Chicago Parent Magazine. 

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    It's quite easy raising vegan kids anywhere now days Caitlin. Most people just need the motivation to make the change. Here are a couple of uplifting videos to help you understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE and http://www.veganvideo.org

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