Fun fact: my mom absolutely loved giving me giant bags of fruit as school lunches. I hated being the weirdo kid who ate a ton of fruit, while my friends ate their junk food. My solution? I’d switch with my friends! (secretly, of course. I’d never tell my mom). They actually really enjoyed my fruit, and I got to eat some delicious junk food.
If this is totally scaring you as a parent, then take a look around here. Soul in the Raw is a perfect reflection of all the food values my mom instilled in me when I was a child. While these values didn’t stick when I was younger, they do now. And this chia pudding recipe is also a great reflection of that!
Chia Pudding for School Lunch? Raising Vegan Kids
You all often ask me about what you should feed your children, and whether eating vegan is suitable for them.
While I don’t have children of my own, I can state with absolute certainty that veganism is appropriate, and even wonderful, for children.
In a 2009 position paper, The American Dietetic Association stated that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets … may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes”.
This means that eating plant-based is wonderful for your children, and while many of them may be combative and opposed to it at first, remember that just like adults, transitioning to a new lifestyle can be really difficult and stressful for children, too.
I really loved this article about transitioning kids to veganism by Raise Vegan.
From my experience (with my own self, and from seeing other people’s kids…), here are some great tips on encouraging your children to eat more plant-based:
Give them agency.
When my family decided to change our diet (to healthier, not entirely vegan, but very different from what we were eating), they made sure to ask me if I wanted to join the ride. This made a huge difference because I never felt forced! Of course, this depends on your child’s age, but try to get their consent as much as possible, and educate them about the reasons you want the family to eat this way. It will make a huge difference in their response and sense of pride in being vegan!
Get them involved.
Cook with your children! Make food fun for them. Preparing meals together and getting them involved in the process will make them feel like they are part of it, and they will be even more excited to eat plant-based. Never underestimate how wise children are – if you get them involved and talk to them about the value of this lifestyle, their attitude will be much more positive.
Set an example.
The idea of setting an example is often forgotten when discussing a transition to any new lifestyle. Just like with the adults around you, children will get attracted to the idea of veganism if they see an example before their eyes. Children tend to copy their parents. If they don’t feel forced into it, they may get attracted into it by watching you eat this way and love it. Never underestimate the power of being a beacon of light for your children!
Make delicious meals.
You love yummy meals – and so do they! There are so many options for simple, delicious, and quick meals out there that your children will love and get nourished by. This chia pudding recipe is a perfect one – it’s super quick to make, really nourishing, and very filling.
Download the FREE Whole Food Plant-Based Meal Plan
For more delicious recipes, check out the FREE, 2-week, whole food, plant-based meal plan, with a weekly grocery list! All recipes are extremely easy and simple to make, and your whole family will love them!
Cherry Peanut Chia Pudding Recipe for Back to School
Chia pudding is a pudding made by soaking the gorgeous and adorable, omega-3 rich chia seeds in a nut milk of choice. I have several chia pudding recipes on the blog, including this almond-milk chia pudding, and these two delicious variations.
There are endless variations of chia pudding you can make! It’s a great meal for back to school because it’s a bit more exciting than just fruit, and very filling, too! Make it ahead of time, place it in your fridge overnight, and give it to your child in a small jar, with a spoon attached. It’s almost like dessert! Even though it’s a little unique (not strange, unique…) I bet all the other kids will be jealous (just like they were of my bags of fruit)!
Cherry Peanut Chia Pudding
For the milk:
- 1 tablespoon nut butter of choice (I used Dastony Brazil nut butter, but you can use almond, hazelnut, cashew, or even pumpkin seed butter)
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 Medjoul dates, pitted
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder optional, for anti-inflammatory benefits
- 1 pinch black pepper optional, for anti-inflammatory benefits
For the milk:
For the pudding:
- Place milk in a bowl, and whisk in the chia seeds. Allow this mixture to thicken, preferably overnight, but you can also enjoy after an hour. The chia seeds will soak up the milk and the pudding will form.
- Top with peanut butter, cherries, and cacao nibs.