If you are thinking about transitioning your family to a plant-based diet there are many things to consider. The layout of your daily routine, your everyday lifestyle, and your budget are just a few. As you get started towards a plant-based diet for your family, I want you to go in feeling confident with all the tools you need. If you are not yet sure if a plant-based diet is right for you and your family, check out my post about the awesome benefits of a plant-based diet.
In this post I want to share with you 5 tools for getting started in the most simple way possible. These are tips and tools that worked for us in the beginning and continue to work even many years later.
The most important part of transitioning your family to a plant-based diet is that everyone feels full and satisfied because there is nothing worse than hungry and angry kids, right? #hangry I’m absolutely guilty of this and I can tell when my family is experiencing it as well.
Throughout this post I encourage you to jump around my website to posts that help answer your questions. If this is your first time looking into a plant-based diet for you and your family, I highly recommend reading this post about the six foods to help you transition to a plant-based diet.
Alright. Now that we had a chance to cover all that, let’s jump into my favorite tips and tools!
5 tips and TOOLS FOR TRANSITIONING YOUR FAMILY TO A PLANT-BASED DIET
1. HAVE YOUR FAMILY’S FAVORITES ON HAND
Like I mentioned before, it is so important that everyone enjoys the plant-based diet and for that to happen everyone needs to have things they love. If your family enjoys rice and broccoli, make sure that is something you always have on hand. For those who LOVE fresh fruit, keep those options stocked when possible, and if not, buy the frozen alternative for emergency cravings.
With kids especially, things can get a little crazy if you don’t have the items that they truly enjoy. And I’m not talking about processed snacks or treats. Fresh foods they love, like cantaloupe, strawberries, or even potatoes, can feel like a treat to many kids. (and adults too!)
I share a post on my blog all about staples in a plant-based diet and I believe that this is a great place to start in order to build your “ideal list” of items. By doing this, you will find foods that can always be a crowd-pleaser in the family and avoid buying foods that end up rotting away in the fridge or nobody touches.
Favorite protein bars or protein powders are also a GREAT thing to keep on hand. As you are learning more about a plant-based diet, protein can be more challenging to get enough of especially if you’re not totally familiar with plant-based protein sources.
We personally love Orgain products which you can get on Amazon, in many stores, or from Orgain.com. (If you want 30% off, use the code RealisticPlantBasedMama at checkout on Orgain.com)
2. PINTEREST, PINTEREST, PINTEREST
This may feel like a total “duh” tool but if you are not using Pinterest, you are doing yourself a disservice. Pinterest is FULL of amazing and delicious SIMPLE recipes that can satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
One of my favorite features of Pinterest is the predictive text or suggestions. This makes it so easy to find exactly what you are looking for (or didn’t know you were looking for) especially in the world of nutrition!
When you look at the image above you can see how after I typed in my keywords, Pinterest gave me a handful of additional frequently searched options related to the same topic. Thank you Pinterest! This makes Pinterest a must-use tool if you are looking for nutrition or lifestyle tips if you ask me.
For those new to Pinterest or looking for plant-based tips, tricks, recipes, etc, I’ve tried to make it super easy for you or anyone else who just started to follow an animal-free way of eating by creating boards that cover everything from Vegan Pasta Recipes to Vegan Tips or Quinoa Recipes!
If you are new to Pinterest, I encourage you to start here and start pinning recipes, tips, and ideas you find interesting. It’s the easiest way to keep ideas cataloged and accessible for you whenever you need them.
3. UTILIZE A THIRD PARTY MEAL COMPANY
This may not be something every family can work into their budget but if you can, it’s a great way to have delicious plant-based meals on hand with very little work on your end. (you’re welcome, mama!)
There are many options out there; some that deliver all the ingredients for you to create the meal (We’ve had a great experience with Green Chef as a plant-based option), some that deliver the meals fresh in the fridge, and others that provide freshly frozen options.
If you are someone who doesn’t have the time to make a meal from scratch even if the ingredients are delivered to you, I highly recommend a frozen meal service!
We were recently sent a box from Splendid Spoon and I was very impressed!
In the past I had done the delivery services where they send you the ingredients but never the frozen meal options. I thought “Psh, I can make meals myself, why would I buy them frozen?”
Oh my goodness did they come in handy and honestly made my week SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL.
When we tried Splendid Spoon we were at the beginning of our Stay Home Stay Safe journey in Spring 2019 and I was regularly making 3 meals a day for me, my husband, and kids, while also working full time from home. (sigh. That sure gets exhausting.) Having these meals on hand was so incredibly helpful and everyone in the house enjoyed them. They took me way less time than making a meal from scratch and allowed me to feed my family with nourishing food quickly vs. the frozen store-bought alternative.
A little more about the foods Splendid Spoon offers:
- Splendid Spoon grain bowls each contain 14-18 grams of protein
- Splendid Spoon soups contain 2-4g of iron per bowl
- Smoothies, bowls, and soups, from Splendid Spoon all contain between 2 to 6 grams of fiber
- The Splendid Spoon bowls also contain between 400 to 800 grams of potassium
What we got were smoothies, a wellness shot, and bowls that are super fresh, not filled with junk, and that contained more than one serving each. To be honest, I thought these bowls would not be enough but at the end of the day, I ended up feeling full after half and gave my other half to my kids!
We also really enjoyed the opportunity of trying new flavors. We are definitely a family of habitual eating. Certain meals and flavors become “the norm” and sometimes we forget that there are thousands of other things to try!
Splendid Spoon allowed us to adventure out, explore new flavors, AND introduce more ethnic foods to our kids…which they ended up loving!
If you think that freshly frozen meals like this would make your life a little easier, you can try Splendid Spoon for $10 off with this link. Like I said before, it may not fit into everyone’s budget all the time but for a week of high stress or that is busier than normal, it could be a lifesaver.
4. HAVE CONFIDENCE TO ASK QUESTIONS when transitioning to plant-based diet
Sometimes it is hard to ask questions but we all know that when you do, you open up the door for learning something new. Having the confidence to ask questions is an important tip AND tool because, without it, the journey of transitioning your family to a plant-based diet can be extra challenging and stressful.
According to vegansociety.com, in 2019 there were 600,000 people in the world who followed a plant-based vegan diet and many have likely been doing it for a very long time. Even if they haven’t been plant-based long, they may have already experienced something that you are also experiencing, allowing you to get the feedback you need right away.
When you are learning this new way of living, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you feel confused. Doing this will both allow you to learn and grow in this way of living but also help you to be more comfortable with talking about this lifestyle.
People will ask YOU questions about being plant-based, I can guarantee it. By taking the lead and asking others questions, you will grow to feel more comfortable when the questions are directed to you.
What is the #1 question you would ask someone about a plant-based diet? My biggest question was “what are the benefits of a plant-based diet?” If that is a question you have too, check out my post about the awesome benefits of a plant-based diet! You might learn something new.
Another question we have gotten and I’m sure you will to is “Where do you get your protein from?” Worry no more, friends, I’ve got you covered! Check out this non-meat protein source post and you will be prepared to respond with confidence and reassurance.
5. PHONE APPS
The final thing I want to talk about are the apps that you can add on your phone to help you to transition your family to a plant-based lifestyle.
There are dozens of apps that you may find useful but I want to share a few that we have tried, used, and loved. Please note that we have used these apps for our iPhones. I am not sure of their availability on Android.
- Vegan Pocket
- Vegan Recipes
- Happy Cow
All these apps have a different purpose but all can be very useful especially on-the-go.
I want to talk quick about one in particular. When our family first began transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, we found Chronometer to be incredibly helpful. Chronometer calculates the nutritional value of foods covering everything from protein, different vitamins, minerals, and calories. Using this app helps us to understand the benefits or perhaps where a food lacks on the nutrient scale.
Chronometer is also great when learning more about the vitamin and mineral makeup of our favorite plant-based foods. I used it a TON when trying to find what foods are the best sources of protein or iron, but it also covers things like iodine intake, b12, and more. I truly encourage you to download it (it’s free) and play around with it.
PS: Chronometer is great for those with ANY eating style; keto, vegetarian, paleo, standard american diet, and more. It’s simply an awesome nutrition tracking tool.
What I hope you learn from this post
There are likely dozens more tips and tools we could talk about in this post. These are ones that our family uses and has found useful since transitioning our family to a plant-based diet. What I want you to take away from this post is that you don’t need to do this alone. You are NOT the first family to transition to a plant-based lifestyle even though it may feel like it. I say this as encouragement and to give you hope and peace.
Here’s a quick reminder of the 5 tips and tools we talked about:
- Have your families favorite foods on hand
- Use Pinterest
- Consider a third party meal company
- Have confidence to ask questions
- Try phone apps like Chronometer, Happy Cow, etc.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Don’t isolate yourself and your family. There are TONS of people out there who share a proper plant-based diet that you can follow for inspiration. (Here’s 5 bloggers I recommend following)
Find a professional that you trust around nutrition. Ask for their support until you feel like you have a good understanding.
And no matter what, use the tools and resources that are already out there for you because it can make transitioning your family to a plant-based diet so much easier.
What is (or was) the most challenging part about going plant-based to you? Share in the comments!
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