"Just make sure you know what you're doing. Make sure you do your homework." A friend spoke these words to me after I told them that my wife and I would be raising our baby vegan (vegetarian without the eggs and cheese). At the time, I didn't think much about it, but it stayed with me and the words kept repeating in my mind. I eventually figured out why it was bothering me. How many people give their kids fast food dinners, doughnuts, blue jello, sugar-saturated yogurt, and the like, yet we're the ones who need to "do our homework"? For God's sake, I've seen kids have a can of pop and fruit snacks for lunch, but no one assumes that the child won't meet their nutritional needs. No one would dare tell the parents, "You need to make sure your kid's getting everything they need. Your diet may not be adequate." Yet, I've had people say as much to me several times, as if raising a healthy, vegan child is akin to sailing around the world, requiring massive amounts of research and preparation. Why is it so unthinkable that you can eat like you give a damn about the world around you (and your own health) and still get everything your body needs? It's not hard! It's really, really not, and it's so wonderful, to sit down to three meals a day, knowing you're doing something positive in such a simple way, and we want our child to share in that. Yes, there are certain needs to be aware of, but how many non-vegans do you know who have health problems that could be improved if they just ate better? These people are told what their bodies need, and what do they do? They shrug their shoulders and say, "But I could never give up _________ (insert scary, tasty food item here). Does anyone say, "Oh my God, you're so irresponsible."? No. It's accepted, but we're the crazy parents. "Make sure you do your homework." I have and I will, but shouldn't every parent - vegan and non-vegan - do their homework when it comes to what their kids eat?
99 days until baby.
FYI - What the Mayo Clinic has to say: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596