Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Especially when you picture your child standing right there, looking at the tempting sweet being offered. Agh!
The truth is, I never know when I am going to run into a situation where something will be offered to my child that is not on our diet. This happens at the bank, post office and even in stores. What can a vegan parent do? If you want to keep the peace in your family and demonstrate that you care about your child’s feelings, you need to have an EST with you at all times.
What is an EST?
It is an Emergency Special Treat. In order for a food to fall under this category it must be exactly that: available for emergencies, special in that it is only eaten on unique occasions and a treat that your children find particularly delectable.
What kinds of foods make a good EST?
Anything that is your family’s idea of a sweet that is not eaten often and can be stashed in a purse, backpack or trunk of the car. This includes things like organic lollipops, chocolate soy milk boxes, vegan cookies, all natural gum, vitamin water or anything else that holds up well when stashed. If you pull out something that the kids eat on a regular basis they are likely to feel disappointed. I cannot emphasize the importance of this if you are planning on raising a child that will not feel deprived regarding your family’s diet.
Another benefit of carrying EST’s is the educational opportunity it offers to people who follow the standard diet of eating animal products. Modeling healthy behavior is extremely powerful for changing hearts and minds.
If you are lacking a support system and find yourself feeling isolated about your family’s diet, keep in mind that there are many children who are unable to eat ice cream yet are not vegan: they have allergies and intolerances. You are not as far off the mainstream as you may feel.
© Jill Powers and The Feel Good Vegan 2010.
Photo courtesy of Microsoft