You may be tired of hearing that the biggest challenge parents do have with their vegan kids is the exterior influence, the unexpected and the social pressure. Maintaining the routine and lifestyle outside the house is not going to be easy as all kinds of situations may interfere, posing big challenges that only patient parents will be able to beat.
One of those social situations is parties, just like birthday parties that are so frequent in childhood. The well-known format is one that you may have experienced yourself in your youth, even if you are vegan now. A gathering full of kids playing around and eating sweet treats and drinking sugar-packed juices and sodas.
A dreading situation for any vegan parent indeed.
But for the sake of your vegan child's happiness and confidence, you need to be clever about these situations. You need to talk it through, especially with the parent who is hosting the party. He or she is your best ally here and we’ll tell you why.
First and Foremost: Know the Party
Before doing anything, the first thing you need to do is to get in contact with the host and understand what kind of party is going to be and who are the other guests. If you know your kids’ friends, it’s going to be simple to guess the food preferences and what are your potential options.
Also, by talking with the host you will also know if taking your own food is going to be a real possibility. Some parents may prefer to keep the food offering according to their preferences only and will not like someone trying to fit anything else on the table. Needless to say, parents who do this may be quite rude but they exist.
Research the Food that Will Be Served
Get to know if the party is taking place at the host’s house or somewhere else with food catering. In order to provide a good experience to your vegan kids, you need to know beforehand the menu. Maybe something in the party’s food offering is vegan-friendly, maybe not. The important thing is to know it.
In case the party is going to take place in a restaurant or someplace similar, the food offering may be adjusted in order to satisfy your child’s vegan preferences. This is a key point to chat with the birthday boy’s parents. If they are understanding, they probably will contact the place and ask for the available options.
Consider Bring Vegan Food for Everyone
Let’s imagine that the host is going to serve non-vegan foods and treats and he or she has no opportunity to change the offering. In this hypothesis also consider that the party is going to take place in a restaurant with food catering and the offer is also limited, having no vegan food to provide to your kids.
What could you do know? First, you cannot expect your kids to attend a party where everyone is eating and tell them not to eat. This is not an option. The last resource here is to bring vegan food to the party, either for your kids only or for the entire party.
Now, what are the implications here? Taking a vegan treat with you and for your kids during the party takes some work. First, it must be a party-friendly recipe. Vegan cupcakes are fantastic options that are very popular among parents who host vegan birthday parties for their kids. However, it should be anything compatible with the occasion, not a hot, full dish.
Also, are you taking vegan food only for your kids or for the entire party? Maybe this birthday party is a great opportunity to get your kids’ friends closer to them through the vegan lifestyle. Of course, this must be discussed with the host parent. Doing so without consulting first would be rude and even disrespectful. We all want the best for our kids but it isn’t our party after all.
The Bottom Line: Patience, Because It’s Going to Be Tough
Here's some uncomfortable truth for you: having vegan kids is going to be a tough yet rewarding experience. Some of the most difficult moments when choosing this path are going to be social gatherings where others are going to impose social pressure on your kids. It’s almost unavoidable for them to question the way they eat from time to time, mainly when comparing their lifestyle with the ones of their friends.
That’s why transforming a party invitation in a good news above all things is the very best thing to do, even if it’s difficult and stressful. Sharing with other kids at birthday parties are remarkable experiences and memories that our kids deserve to have, regardless of how they eat.
The solutions are there for vegan parents: talk it through with the host parent, understand the food offering (if there is any), explore the option that catering provides (if there is any), and consider the possibility of taking the best of vegan cuisine to the party yourself.
Yes, is going to be tough indeed, but your kids worth the effort. Keep going.