Transitioning A Family To A Plant-Based Diet – 6 Actionable Top Tips
Great to see that you are interested in a plant-based diet. Maybe it is just for yourself or you are thinking about how to start transitioning a family to a plant-based diet. Everyone has to start somewhere so take it easy and I hope this blog post will help you on your way.
The first thing to remember is that this is a transition process and you know yourself and your family best and can adapt the below process to your needs. Good luck and congratulations on choosing this step to a healthier and more wholesome lifestyle. Find some ideas on how to start transitioning a family to a plant-based diet.
Transitioning A Family To A Plant-Based Diet
If you are considering switching to a plant-based diet and it is just yourself it is easy. However, if there are other family members involved – how do you approach this? This will be easier if your partner is on board with the idea and your children are younger. If this is not the case you first will need the buy-in from other family members. My recommendation is to take it easy and take small steps in the transition phase. Some family members may not understand why you want to transition so my first tip is to educate them gently on the topic.
Educate Your Family On The Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet
When transitioning a family to a plant-based diet consider educating your family on the benefits of this new diet and find some documentaries that explain why a plant-based diet is not only healthier for us but also better for the planet we live on. Ensure the resources you have shown are relevant and suitable for your family and the age of the children.
Involve your family in this process and ask them about what ressources they have read or what documentaries they have heard of. You could also ask them what questions they have and find ressources that are relevant to the topic. This way you are ensuring that you involve your family from the start and it feels more like something the family is achieving and doing together. The last thing you want is for your family to feel like they have no say on this topic.
Make A List Of Plant-Based Basic Foods
One of the struggles that people may have when transitioning a family to a plant-based diet is that they don’t know what to eat. Make a list of the plant-based basic items your family likes and come up with a list of recipes. Again, I recommend involving your family in coming up with recipe ideas. This way they feel heard and it will be easier to have their support when you start having plant-based meals.
Don’t fall into the trap of replacing meat with plant-based items for every meal. Embrace this step and see what new options of meals are opening up for you. Transitioning a family to a plant-based diet is an opportunity to find new meals as well as adapting family favourites.
Plant-Based Meal Transition
The speed of the transition depends on yourself and your family. Most people find it difficult switching from one day to another and start craving specific foods and it is easy to fall of the wagon and start feeling bad about oneself. Personally, I found a more gradual transition more favourably. I’ve started by switching individual meals. First I started with breakfast and found several options that are plant-based. I wanted to make sure I have options so I don’t get bored. And slowly I adapt more recipes to be plant-based. My favourites at the moment are my homemade granola and English breakfast muffins.
Here are few ideas for breakfast options when transitioning a family to a plant-based diet and I will expand this list when I add more recipes on my blog: fruits, smoothies, granola, oat milk, oat bars, pancakes, English breakfast muffins, palmiers.
Kid-friendly lunch/dinner ideas which they may enjoy helping with: pizza, pasta, tomato soup.
Some snack options that you may want to have ready: sourdough crackers, kale chips, vegan spreads.
Of course, all of these options may be found in good supermarkets but I enjoy preparing these food options and meals from scratch as it helps me on the journey to being vegan/plant-based. This way I can tweak the recipe to suit me and my tastebuds rather than having to eat pre-cooked meals.
Be Prepared For Set Backs
This is normal. No one is 100% perfect all the time. Allow yourself and your family enough time for the transition. But even once you have fully transitioned there may be times when someone is tempted and goes for the easy option. Maybe you go out with friends and get offered something that is not plant-based and you want to try. It’s ok. Slowly over time you will learn how to gently refuse this temptations.
But even then you may find that sometimes you are being offered food and you did not know if the food was fully plant-based. People may not understand and just offer you meatless food. This has happened to me before on travels but I’ve embraced it and when possible used it for an opportunity to educate the other party. Just be prepared that sometimes this may be longer discussions.
Eating Out And Being Plant-Based
Transitioning a family to a plant-based diet is, of course, an opportunity for everyone to get involved and cook more meals from scratch but it is always good to have options.
And eating out and finding plant-based options is getting easier. More and more restaurants have noticed the growing trend in plant-based food and have more options on their menu. Sometimes you may be able to ask for a specific meal but if you can support restaurants that cater for a plant-based diet.
Be prepared that sometimes you may have to explain what food you avoid. I know my family had this before, especially when travelling outside of the UK – however, it has also happened at home. Not everyone has all the information and sometimes people are confused about what is ok and what is not. Take it easy and use it as an opportunity to educate more people on the topic.
Quick Steps For The Transition Period
I hope this has been helpful for you. Congratulations on your resolve to transition to a plant-based diet. To summarize these are my top tips:
- Get the family on-board with the plan and involve them as much as possible in the transition. Make sure this is a decision each of them can take and listen to their questions.
- Educate your family on the benefits of a plant-based diet for themselves and for the planet.
- Make a list of plant-based essential items and see what you and your family like. Also, good idea to check for items family members may be allergic to or simply do not like.
- Transition at your own speed. Find meals that you can introduce slowly. Ideally, you want suggestions from your family so they feel involved. Maybe they are supportive enough and start cooking and preparing their own plant-based meals.
- Be prepared for education opportunities with friends, other family members or in restaurants.
- Forgive yourself and other family members if they slip up. It happens. 🙂
Hope these tips are helpful for you while you are transitioning a family to a plant-based diet. If you are looking for plant-based meal ideas head over to my recipe section and join my Facebook Group which focuses on homemade vegan recipes that are affordable and healthy.