How to Raise Kids on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

**Disclosure: We were provided with a complimentary copy of the book.  No monetary compensation was received.  

FORKS OVER KNIVES FAMILY is simply for today’s families who want their kids to eat healthier. My family has struggled with gravitating to what we know and grew up with.  We have tried a plant based way of living a couple times, and while we could definitely see the change, it was hard to adjust and keep it up.  I loved the first book Forks over Knives and was excited to learn they had a family edition coming out.  We will be making our first dish from the book this week and I will be posting pictures on our social media accounts to let you all know how it went and what the family thought!  This is Every Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy Kids on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet by the husband and wife doctor team Matthew Lederman, M.D. and Alona Pulde, M.D. They also appeared in theForks Over Knives documentary and are authors of the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan (Touchstone). 

FORKS OVER KNIVES FAMILY is simply for today’s families who want their kids to eat healthier.

The book shares relatable insights into the Drs. Pulde and Lederman’s own journey of raising two young daughters on a whole-food, plant-based diet and covers topics such as:

  • Can we transition to plant-based living if we already have a houseful of kids?

Yes—and the key is gradual change. Be patient and transition at a comfortable pace for the entire family. For instance, split the week’s dinners evenly—three nights whole-food, plant based, three nights omnivore, and one toss-up. Be flexible! Allow your kids to opt out completely if they resist what you’re serving. (Cereal or a peanut butter sandwich are good alternatives to end a fight.)

  • What about social gatherings?
Plan ahead! Preparation is the best way to ensure that your kids can fully enjoy social gatherings. If there’s a buffet table at a party, check the food options before your child does. Ask the host for guidance about which dishes are appropriate. Then you can gently steer your child towards what he can have, rather than focusing on what he can’t.

  • What happens if my kids rebel?
Compromise! Denying your child cake at a friend’s birthday party may seem like a win in the short-term, but it can lead to rebellion. If your child is absolutely determined to eat the same cake that everyone else is eating, don’t push back. When your teenager wants to grab fast food because “all her friends” are going, remind her she can get food that is at least vegan—but don’t fret if she eats the non-vegan options her friends eat.

  • What are some popular kid-friendly snacks and meals?

Many parents fear they must sacrifice delicious for healthy. This is not the case! Some of the (many) delicious kid-approved dishes include chocolate chip coconut pancakes, black-eyed pea burgers, chickpea and spinach pizzas, and mac ‘n cheese. And don’t forget snacks and desert: herbed popcorn, fudgy brownies and peanut butter “ice cream” are some of the tastiest.  

  • Can I transition to a plant-based, whole food diet while pregnant?
Of course! The Forks Over Knives guidelines for pregnant women are no different than for anyone else. Eat whole, plant-based food—fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes—until you are comfortably satiated. And when you are pregnant, eat as often as you need to in order to feel satisfied.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the release of the Forks Over Knives film which made the convincing case that modern diseases can be prevented and often reversed by removing meat, dairy, and highly refined foods from one’s diet. The documentary sparked a medical and nutritional revolution, leading more and more people to adopt a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle—including celebrities like Ariana Grande, Dr. Oz, and Katy Perry