Whether you’re fully vegan, looking to go vegan or you simply want to bring more plant-based foods into your household, finding creative ways to incorporate a few more plant-based options into your home is never a bad idea. From saving money to helping the environment, and of course, helping your family get even healthier than you already are, plant-based foods are often crucial to your diet and wellness—even if you don’t realize it at first. So many healthy foods are already plant-based, and even more, can be easily vegan-ized to your liking.
Even so, it can be difficult to get people on board sometimes—both kids and adults alike. People can be stuck in their ways and unwilling to try new things, but that doesn’t mean vegan-izing things is a completely lost cause. In fact, providing vegan options and feeding your family a few more plant-based meals can actually be easier than you realize. All you need to do is find what works for you and your family and take things one step at a time.
1. Stick to the Basics
One thing many people don’t realize is that there are so many foods that are already vegan or “accidentally” vegan. From pasta recipes to salads, there are so many foods that are already vegan, and leaning into those options can give you a bit of an easier time, both for yourself and the rest of your family.
2. Vegan-ize Old Favorites
If your family has a few non-vegan staples, another option you can try is making plant-based versions of them and seeing how they do. If there’s one thing that many people have learned in recent years, it’s that anything can be vegan-ized. Whether it’s chicken nuggets, decadent mac and cheese or chocolate chip cookies. You may not even want to mention that it’s vegan until after the family has tried it. That way, they can get used to it and see if they like it without any judgment.
3. Make a Vegan Base
Another great way to ease in more plant-based foods is to start with a base dish that you can add different proteins, toppings, and condiments to based on everyone’s taste. You can start by making a list of plant foods that everyone enjoys, so you know you’re starting off with a crowd-pleaser.
4. Promote General Health
Another way to get older kids and partners in particular on board is to simply discuss the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle openly and honestly. Talk about how healthy plant foods are and how it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables regularly. While it might not feel like the first way you’d get your family on board, you might surprise yourself, especially if they tend to notice feeling better after eating plant-based. Even if it isn’t all gung-ho at first, it might just get people part of the way there.
5. “I Do the Cooking”
This one might be a bit controversial. While many parents subscribe to the idea that you should ask your kids what they want for dinner and that what you make is a family discussion, there is a time and a place to lay down the law. Simply put, stating that when you do the cooking, they can eat what you make or find somewhere else to get their food might be what it takes to start everyone off on the plant-based bandwagon.
6. Don’t Forget Snacks
While meals are the main event, snacks also play an important role in the way we eat. When you bring plant-based snacks into your home like fruits, trail mixes, hummus, and much more, your family may naturally discover vegan foods that they like, making meals easier to prep for. Try to go for a wide variety of snack foods, perhaps changing things up every few weeks to introduce new flavors and foods.
7. Try Out New Recipes
Going to the opposite end of the spectrum from some of the earlier tips, if your family tends to be the kind of people who love to experiment with different kinds of foods and dishes from all around the world, bringing a bit of plant-based adventure into your house could capture some interest. Experiment with different recipes—bring in some Thai, Mexican, Indian or Italian food and see what your family falls in love with. You might just encounter a new staple that your family will associate with plant-based food.
Feeding Your Family More Plant-Based Meals
Getting your family to eat more plant-based foods might seem difficult, but it’s absolutely possible and worth it. All it takes is a bit of creativity and resourcefulness. Whether you vegan-ize old family favorites or you try out brand new cuisines together, there is so much that plant-based foods have to offer. What’s your favorite plant-based dish?