Hello! I'm Sandra. This is a blog about me and my vegan family. Each day, I post a little something about my family. I'll share vegan recipes and meal ideas, stories about my silly twin daughters, and things I've learned.
Sandra is a winner of Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013
What's your favorite vegan or vegetarian friendly product?
This is a tough question, because there are so many great vegan products out there these days. If I had to pick just one, it would have to be Dandies marshmallows from Chicago Vegan Foods. If I could pick two more, I'd also say Chicago Vegan Foods Teese (vegan cheese) and Galaxy Nutritional Foods vegan cheese shreds.
What's the biggest misconception people have about being a vegan or vegetarian?
I'd say the biggest assumption is that vegans don't have many food options. I often hear the question, "so what do you eat?" My answer is always, "I eat everything, as long as it doesn't come from an animal." My family eats a diverse, satisfying diet, with everything from light salads to rich, decadent desserts. We eat traditional comfort foods (think mac and cheese, lasagne, and shepherd's pie) and we eat less familiar veg foods (lots of tofu and uncommon grains).
Other common misconceptions include:
1. All vegan food is healthy.
2. It is unsafe or unhealthy to raise children on a vegan diet.
3. That it is difficult to get sufficient protein, calcium, and B vitamins.
4. All vegans are judgmental, angry, hippy freaks.
5. That it is hard and expensive to maintain a vegan diet.
None of these things are necessarily true. If you want evidence, just take a look at the rest of the top 25 bloggers, and runners up!
What's your best tip for families who want to start living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle?
Don't be afraid, and if it takes a while to transition from omnivore to veg, don't beat yourself up about it. Get some friendly vegan cookbooks (look for the authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Sarah Kramer). Check out veg blogs for recipe ideas. And ask lots of questions. I've never met a veg blogger or author who isn't happy to field questions about being vegan. Want to know how to make your favorite meal vegan? Ask. Looking for a vegan product to replace one made with animal products? Ask. Unsure about subbing ingredients in a recipe? Ask. The internet is a wonderful tool for making the transition from omni to veg. Don't be afraid to try!
My two year old, vegan twins love a huge variety of foods. One of their faves is dates. I buy them whole and slice them into rings. The girls put them on the tips of their fingers and then eat them. However, I don't let them get too attached to any one kind of food. I try to give them at least three kinds of cut up fruits and veggies at each meal and not have too much repetition from one day to the next. Since they are always expecting something new and different, they aren't picky!
If you wouldn't give your kids the candy, then they shouldn't go trick-or-treating. What's the point of having your small toddler (or baby) go to strangers to collect candy that you, as the parent, are going to eat? I think it's great to dress the child up and maybe take a walk around the neighborhood on Halloween, talk to neighbors and see other kids' costumes, but I say the actual trick-or-treating is a no-go, until the child is old enough to understand what to do, and old enough to eat the candy.
As for an upper limit, as long as the kid is dressed in an actual costume, I don't think there is a specific age to stop. I do not care for teenagers, with no costume, showing up at my door, though.