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Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony Paperback – September 25, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0658021559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0658021558
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Responsible, compassionate guidance and sound nutritional advice for parents of vegetarian kids

"A must-have for anyone who understands that how we feed our children says a lot about who they will become."
--John Robbins, author of the bestsellers Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution

"Ultimate guide for fit, healthy families . . . required reading for every parent--whether vegetarian or not!"
--Jay Gordon, M.D., FAAP, pediatrician and author of Good Food Today, Great Kids Tomorrow

Vegetarianism is more than just a dietary decision; it's a lifestyle choice. But establishing that lifestyle within the bounds of ever-changing family dynamics can be a challenge. Perhaps you're a new parent concerned about imposing your vegetarian lifestyle on your baby, or you may be the head of a meat-eating family confused by your child's recent decision to become a vegetarian. With the compassionate, authoritative advice in Raising Vegetarian Children, every parent--regardless of his or her dietary preference--will discover how to achieve healthy harmony in a vegetarian household.

With nutrient-rich recipes for everything from breads to spreads, enticing entrées to delectable desserts, you'll meet and even exceed your child's dietary requirements. These veggie meals will smooth an infant's transition to solid foods or soothe the most finicky teen palate. In addition to nutritional needs, you'll learn to address the social and emotional aspects of vegetarianism, including:

  • Helping your child cope with pressure to conform to a standard diet
  • Ensuring that school officials, caregivers, and relatives abide by your child's dietary wishes
  • Dining out in nonvegetarian restaurants and celebrating traditional, meat-eating holidays

About the Author

Joanne Stepaniak, M.S. Ed., is the author of The Vegan Sourcebook, Being Vegan, and nine other vegetarian cookbooks.

Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D., is a registered dietitian and the coauthor of Becoming Vegetarian, Cooking Vegetarian, and Becoming Vegan.


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Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book to any vegetarian parent.
Vegan Mom
The recipes are great- I hadn't expected so many recipes to be included with this book and I am grateful that they have been.
Long Time Vegetarian, Shorter Time Mom
Both mothers were delighted and said I always give wonderful gifts.
patricia m walsh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on May 26, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joanne Stepaniak and Vesanto Melina have created a much needed resource to serve parents and families, caregivers, and medical practitioners alike. After a thorough introduction discussing all aspects of vegetarian food and life choices (emotional, community, and psychological), the authors give a sound nutritional introduction. They then offer advice chronologically, beginning with nutrition for breastfeeding moms and continuing through introducing solids and feeding picky teens. The authors take a very down-to-earth approach, offering advice for parents of kids who are feeling alienated, or who want to eat meat away from home.

Each stage of life has different nutritional concerns. Stepaniak and Melina address the stages with age-specific menu plans using recipes from Part 3 of the book. The authors begin Part 3 by giving some helpful cooking recommendations for new or aspiring "healthy" cooks. There are many easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly recipes, replicating non-vegetarian favorites. Not all recipes have a 100% whole foods approach, and some include ingredients like "veggie dogs" or "veggie meats." The recipes range from beverages and breakfasts to snacks and entrees. All of the recipes include nutritional information, even the desserts. The book also has a very well organized index that makes it easy to pick up and find a piece of useful information. Raising Vegetarian Children ends with a large resource guide and bibliography, so those who want to dig deeper also know where to go.-- Reviewed by Amy O'Neill Houck
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Mimi G. Clark on February 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Raising Vegetarian Children, A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony, by Joanne Stepaniak and Vesanto Melina, is a comprehensive guidebook that provides a practical plan for making sure your child's diet is nutritionally adequate. The first two hundred pages are devoted to the basics: ethics, family and relatives, being different, eating out; Vegetarian Nutrition 101 addresses the Total Vegetarian Food Guide, which is a vegetarian's answer to the tired meat and dairy-laden food pyramid. Nutritional needs for all age groups from birth to teens are addressed in precise detail, from nursing moms, supplements, picky eaters, and finger foods, to "the unique needs of teens," including nutrition for athletes, healthy skin, body image and eating disorders. Over one hundred pages are devoted to kid-friendly recipes such as Fabulous French Toast, Cheez-A-Roni, Crispy Tofu Fingers, French Bread Pizza, Fajitas, Tacos, Oven Fries, German Chocolate Cake, Fruit Popsoycles, over 20 sandwich spreads/fillings, and my 13-year old vegan daughter's favorite, The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. The vegetarian community has long awaited this primer, and like all other books by Stepaniak and Melina, this one does not disappoint.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Fred's Mom on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a vegan, and a mom, it's important to me to pay careful attention to my children's nutritional needs. This book is FULL of great information and meal ideas. I have learned TONS from reading it, and it has earned a place on my kitchen counter! :c)
A must-have for all vegetarian parents or parents of vegetarian kiddos.
P.S. You MUST try the FlaxJacks- they are to *die* for! :c)
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Format: Paperback
I am really impressed with the thoughtful ways that the authors have addressed raising vegetarian children in our culture. I am familiar with other books by both authors and so I surmised that the book would be about a pure vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, though those who include dairy and eggs in their diet will absolutely benefit from reading this book (nor is there any preachy tone about different choices). The authors have done a great job of helping find ways (some creative, some straightforward) to deal with family concern/conflict over diet and there is extensive nutritional information which is laid out in a readily comprehensible manner. The recipes are great- I hadn't expected so many recipes to be included with this book and I am grateful that they have been. My son and partner have loved everything we've prepared from this book! (Try the Tri-Color Quinoa Corn Salad!!) Growth charts...advice for ages infant to teen...comprehensive information on every page-- all written in a friendly and intelligent way. I highly recommend this book as an excellent resource for families raising vegetarian or vegan children of any age.
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75 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Julia Anderson on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was very disappointed in this book b/c it really is written for vegan children, not ovo-lacto vegetarians. So to me, this book was pretty useless. The concentration was on how to get the needed nutrition without meat or dairy. It is much easier to get what you need on an ovo-lacto diet, but there was really almost NO info on this in the book. I feel that the book description and reviews have been very misleading.

In any case, if you are vegan, this book would be great for you.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jbp on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am not a parent, and I am not raising children, let alone vegetarian or vegan children. But I am a vegan. And I have 5 nieces and nephews, all under the age of 5 who are open, curious, love animals dearly, and foster an innocent and inherent sense of compassion and empathy. They are all being raised to love the dog and cat, to sing old mcdonald had a farm, and to consume meat and dairy daily. When the oldest nephew was at a farm with me, visiting with the animals he asked me what a one of the animals was - when I told him it was a chicken, his face got all puckered and confused, and he said in a rather tortured dismayed confusion, "chicken nuggets." That's when I knew I needed help! Kids have an inherent kindness and compassion within them, whether they are being raised in a veg lifestyle or not. And kids are curious and smart... smarter than we give them credit for. Whether you have children or not, you need to be prepared to deal gently with their innocence without lying or turning a conveniently blind eye to the truth, (and without getting into deep trouble with their parents)! This book lends perspective that can be useful in dealing with those types of situations. As the vegan auntie of 5 smart, inquisitive, animal loving, carnivorous children, I needed perspective!
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