A comprehensive resource for
parents on how to bring up
A Review by Susan Wright
Joanne Stepaniak, M.S.Ed. and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D. have teamed up to
pool their diverse knowledge of family relationships and vegetarianism and
write Raising Vegetarian Children. This book is perfect for someone who is
exploring becoming vegetarian, who has just become vegetarian or whose child
is (or is not) vegetarian in a vegetarian or nonvegetarian household. It
offers real-life solutions and step-by-step instructions for transitioning
your family to vegetarianism.
Raising Vegetarian Children is a reference book in three parts. Part One,
"Approaches to Vegetarian Living," deals with Ethics and Ideology, Principle
to Practice and Family Unity - the kinds of issues that may arise for a
vegetarian child or family ready to "step out."
Part Two, "Nourishing Our Children," addresses vegetarian nutrition from
infancy through the teen years and is complimented by Part Three: delicious,
yet nutritious recipes, like "Sneaky Dad's Pudding."
The authors provide some interesting statistics (did you know 0.9 percent of
the American population is vegan?) and debunk some myths on vegetarianism
(food combining to complete a protein is no longer necessary). The chapter
on proper food handling and foodborne illnesses is also interesting,
although a bit lengthy.
As a long-term vegetarian, I had to keep reminding myself that this book is
written for people who only are becoming vegetarian now. I often thought of
my friend who is just now approaching a vegetarian lifestyle with her
children who are not all accepting of the change. Stepaniak and Melina's
book reaffirmed that I am providing my children with the healthiest of diets
and brought forth a lot of compassion in myself for those who may not have
the support from family and friends that I have had.
The amount of information in Raising Vegetarian Children may overwhelm some
people making the change from an animal-based diet. But the simplicity of
the writers' style and the careful, step-by-step attention to detail should
allow someone to open the book when that goal has already been attained and
the next step needed.
As with anything I read, I gained insight from some chapters and couldn't
quite embrace others; but I believe anyone looking for a guide to becoming
vegetarian, not just raising his or her children as such, should read this
Have you read Raising Vegetarian Children? Please send comments
to Jo. Your comments may appear on this web site
in the future.
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