Meet Nyja, the vegan millennial mom that is effortlessly raising a child that eats tofu, lo mein, and all his vegetables
I've been giving some thought on healthy food choices and more fearful of my dreaded transition has been that of my sons. Will he want to eat the food? How can we afford to eat healthy? Do I want to eat the same two things for the rest of my life? I grew up in a time where McDonald's and Burger King were considered a treat. & typical to the Spanish culture I was eating pork, pork chops, steak, etc. for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My curiosity led me to chat with fellow mom blogger, business woman, content creator, and vegan.... Nyja. Nyja is a millennial mom that not only changed her eating habits but facilitated a healthy vegan lifestyle for her son as well. Check out her interview below where she talks about why she changed her eating habits, recipes, the benefits, and how to make tasty meals for your child.
- What made you want to become a vegan? After taking a Food Politics course while in college and being enlightened about how the food the government provides us is strategic and solely for monetary gain, I became more careful about what I consume. Also, once I found out that I was pregnant I definitely wanted to change my eating habits.
- You became knowledgeable about the science behind food in a food politics class. Any recommendations on where mothers can read up on what they're eating? I love watching documentaries because Nolyn can watch them with me. Netflix has so many great documentaries that talk about health and diet choices, like Vegucated, Super Size Me, and What the Health is my favorite.
- A vegan child... not really the "normal". This is as impressive as it is surprising. Why did you decide to start your child off as a vegan? Any benefits that you've noticed? Once I received the knowledge about what we put into our bodies and how food has a direct link to diseases, I made the decision that I will not raise my son on dairy or meat. If he gets older and decides to eat that will be his choice. However, I knew it was only right to raise him in a vegan diet it was like knowing cigarettes are bad but still smoking. Nolyn rarely gets sick and so far only has been really sick once. He doesn’t have eczema or any allergies.
- Was it difficult making vegan meals that are kid approved? Not at all, my son eats what I eat. From the beginning he has always had an adventurous palette because I would introduce him to a variety of foods other than chicken fingers and fries. I truly believe any food can be kid-approved its all about giving them the experience to try and learn about new foods.
- Some of the foods you make for your son look just like meat. Any advice on where moms can find similar recipes? Minimalist Baker is great for recipes and pinterest is my sous chef, there are so many great vegan recipes.
- Is it easy to eat out with a vegan diet? I try not to eat out much as it can become expensive but when I do I like to go to By Chloe, Chipotle is our go to or eat internationally- Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern.
- What are some of your favorite vegan snacks? Your sons? We love fruit so usually when we snack it consists of watermelon, strawberries and other fruits. However my guilty pleasure is Oreos, they are a good vegan treat.
- It's no secret, eating healthy is expensive... or is it? Any tips on being a budget friendly healthy eater? I don’t like to look at eating healthy as expensive because in the long run I am not spending that money on doctor visits or medicine. Eating healthy is expensive because the government is strategic (please watch “What the Health”). I like to shop at my local farmers market and only going to places like Whole Foods/Trader Joes for specialty items since these places can be quite expensive.
- Do you have to take vitamins or supplemental being a vegan? Does your son, if so which ones do you recommend? I am still taking my prenatal vitamins because they are packed with so many essential vitamins; in fact I was taking prenatals well before I even became pregnant. My son just recently started taking Iron gummies, but he also is still breastfeeding and gets his nutrients from my milk. I recommend that all parents take their kids to a nutrionalist before transitioning into veganism. Depending on your child they may need more protein, more calcium, etc.
- Any favorite seasonings you recommend moms stocking up on to give meals a tasty kick? Tofu tastes like whatever you marinate in it, it is reminds me of mushrooms. We love tofu marinated in teriyaki!
Here are a few of Nolyn's favorite meals:
- Chana Masala with Rice & spinach
- Tofu, Garlic Broccoli & lo mein
- Shepards Pie- vegan meat crumbles, mashed potatoes, corn, peas