Plant-based eating not only provides health benefits, it’s good for the environment too. Having a diet rich in plant-based sources is becoming increasingly common, especially with kids and younger generations driving the conversation around sustainability.
Relying on plant-based foods as a primary food source can have a massive effect, and if we all choose plant-based options even a few times a week, we can change the world. The greatest journey starts with the smallest step.
Showcasing the surge in plant-based eating, all products from Huel, the world’s best-selling complete nutrition brand, with a variety of powders and Ready-to-drink beverages, are plant-based. Co-Founder and Head of Nutrition at Huel, James Collier has put together a list of the Top Five Ways Parents Can Get Kids to Eat More Plant-based Foods.
Eat the rainbow
As different color foods usually contain different levels of nutrients, it’s important to eat a variety. For example, the phytonutrient, lycopene which is an antioxidant that protects against cell damage and gives tomatoes its red color. While carotenoids, another group of antioxidants, give fruits and vegetables orange and yellow colors, such as carrots.
Get enough Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, which plays a vital role in helping the body produce red blood cells can usually be perceived as tricky to get enough of with a plant-based diet. The good news is, it’s really not. As a start, try incorporating plant-based milks that are that are fortified with B12, and calcium and vitamin D. Cereals, meat alternatives and some soy products are often fortified with B12 too. Taking a B12 supplement also rids any concerns.
Ensure adequate omega-3 consumption
If oily fish is not part of your eating plan, then foods such as walnuts, soy and flaxseed are ways to ensure adequate omega 3 consumption. Omega-3 fats are generally low in a Western diet and adequate omega-3 consumption is important to support cardiovascular health.
Keep your iron up
Iron is not just found in meat food sources. Dark leafy greens, nuts and dried fruits are great sources of iron. Iron is crucial for oxygen transport, cognitive function and the immune system. Iron from plant sources can be harder to absorb, but again, there’s no need to worry. Iron absorption can also be increased by the presence of vitamin C which is found in lots of fruits and vegetables such as oranges and peppers. It’s where the idea of having orange juice with breakfast comes from – to increase the iron that is added to cereals.
Make small changes over time and change your mindet
Start by eating one plant-based meal a day. This will be easier to stick with rather than making large, unsustainable changes overnight.
Instead of thinking, “I can’t eat meat,” think about all the wonderful things you can eat and how beneficial these are for your health (and the planet). Stop focusing on meat as the hero on your plate and rather, build your plate with new and nutritious food choices.