7 Yr Old Sugar Addict Won’t Go Vegan with Dad
Dad goes vegan, wants son to give up sugar & eat healthy
First of all, thanks for creating the Savvy Vegetarian web site!
A little story about myself: I have struggled with weight issues most of my adult life. Recently I decided (educated myself) that there are tremendous flaws in the western diet.
When I first met my wife in college she was nearly a vegetarian, and used to have many militant vegan friends. These militants really turned me off about this style of eating. Their closed minded anger fueled rants about people and food had a tremendous negative effect on me.
Now I’m staring 40 in the face and have never been in worse shape and very overweight, bordering on obese. I have watched a couple of independent documentaries “Food Inc” and “Forks over Knives” as well as reading a few books on nutrition by doctors and scientists. They all come to the same conclusion; a whole foods plant based diet is the healthiest way for human beings to live.
So, I decided about a month ago to live as near a vegan diet as possible. No sugars, no white flour, no processed foods, no soda pop, no caffeine, no alcohol, no meat, and no dairy, no artificial dyes and flavorings. More whole grains and plant based foods minus all the bad stuff has already helped me to lose 10 pounds in the last month and a half. Internally I am feeling so much better.
I have already cooked several recipes from your web site and have enjoyed them very much. I am quickly winning my wife over, and even my 12- year old son, but am having a difficult time weaning my 7-year old son off of the sugar, and still have battles with him when it comes to eating my cooking.
Anyway thanks for making your vegetarian & vegan recipes available to those who want to make lifestyle changes in their eating habits. – Michael H.
Savvy Vegetarian Advice:
Hi Michael. You’re welcome. Thanks for your inspiring story! Three cheers for you!
I have a few comments about your sugar-addicted 7 year old reluctant vegan son.
Remember, a short while ago, before your conversion, that reluctant 7 year old was you! You didn’t want to know the truth until you were ready to figure it out for yourself. And he probably isn’t ready either.
Plus, it’s a lot to ask kids that age to make such major dietary changes, because their brains haven’t matured enough to follow the logic. Lecturing and forbidding just seems to make them dig in their heels.
So I suggest using the carrot instead of the stick approach, and weaning him gradually. First offer homemade treats that aren’t so full of sugar and other bad things, in exchange for his usual treats. If he’ll agree to that, check out Savvy Veg dessert recipes with him, or get a copy of the healthy dessert cookbook, Sweet Freedom. Get him involved in making the treats.
The only problem I can see with that idea is that you might be tempted to eat them! Or he might want to eat them all! So give some of the goodies to disgustingly skinny people you know. It’s the best revenge! Or a homeless shelter or something like that.
Then offer him rewards. E.G. My grandkids get a lot of candy given out to them at school (I know, it’s criminal!). My daughter has them put their candy in a quart jar, then when the jar is full, they get $5. Great motivator!
Give him a small glass of unsweetened fruit juice a day instead of pop. Real fruit juice in flavors he likes. Offer it as a reward for abstaining outside the home. It’s still sugary, but will satisfy his sweet tooth without all the horrible effects of all the bad things in pop. And it’s something special just for him. And of course, don’t buy pop or let him buy it. You have some control there.
Once he’s moved over that far from his present intractible position, it’ll be easier to nudge him along further toward eating your cooking. Try to make more kid friendly foods for him, and give him some healthy choices. Try my daughter’s weekly menu plan for kid friendly meals, and tips for getting your kids to eat more veggies.
All the best, Judith Kingsbury