Tag Archives: vegetarian kids

Kids Can Cook: Guest Post by Jacqueline Bodnar

As most parents know, it is important to get vegetarian kids in the kitchen. The more they cook, the more they learn how to prepare healthy and tasty vegetarian food, which are skills that can last a lifetime. Those kids that have their own cookbook like the idea of getting in the kitchen and cooking even more.

Kids Can Cook is a vegetarian cookbook that is specifically for kids. The recipes are designed to be easy to follow, with manageable tasks. Most recipes will require the help of an adult if kids are not yet ready to use a sharp knife or use the stove.

Some recipes call for honey, eggs or milk. However, it is simple to make substitutions in order to have vegan recipes. There are a limited number of black and white photos included, which makes being able to imagine the prepared dishes a little more necessary.

The recipes are tasty and the kids will likely enjoy them, especially such dishes as the BBQ tofu, apple walnut salad, and banana pudding. This book is a great way to get vegetarian kids more interested in cooking — especially if given the opportunity to choose what recipes to prepare.

Ages 9-12.

About Jacqueline: Jacqueline Bodnar is a professional writer who blogs about vegetarian issues at VegBlogger.com. She and her husband have been ethical vegetarians since 1995 and are raising two vegetarian children. She is also a nature lover, environmentalist, and avid reader. Jacqueline is a Michigan native, who now resides in Florida, after spending almost a decade in Las Vegas.

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Wolfsnail: Backyard Predator

It’s hard not to be amazed by this book by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell.  First there’s the surprise of a carnivorous snail.  To see one up close, complete with lip extensions that look like a mustache, and to read its story* is a genuine treat, at least from an adult’s perspective.

Unfortunately, kiddo doesn’t share my view.  Reading about a snail who eats meat, and hearing about how it devoured another snail, made her incredibly sad.  When I asked her why, she said that she doesn’t like it when anyone eats meat and that she felt bad for the smaller snail.

I used this book as an opportunity to talk about herbivores and carnivores, using our family cat Cassie as an example of how some animals need to eat meat to survive.  You could even use it as a launching point to discuss how your vegetarian child relates to friends and family who eat meat.

As much as I like Wolfsnail, I’m planning to return our borrowed copy and hold off a while before I consider buying it for kiddo.  For now, we’ll stick to books that make her happy.

Ages 4-10.

* In case you’re wondering, a wolfsnail actually is an “it.”  Like most land snails, Ms. Campbell explains, wolfsnails are hermaphrodites.

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: Guest Post by Carolyn M. Mullin

Newcomer to the publishing world, illustrator and now author Ruby Roth is making waves with That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things. Her stunning artwork mesmerizes readers with visits to the Amazon Rainforest and the marvels of the big blue ocean, all while portraying the sentient nature of animals, or “earthlings,” and how they suffer when deprived of the basics (family, friends and a sound living environment) or placed in factory farm settings.

Touching upon many important issues such as hunting, over fishing, global warming, food choices, and others, this book is sure to be a wonderful conversation starter between children and their adult counterparts for many story times to come.

After reading the book, kids can visit the Farm Sanctuary’s Kidz Club for interactive activities, games, “how-to-help” ideas, and other resources pertinent to the factory farming issues learned about in the book. Teachers, parents and educators are also encouraged to contact Farm Sanctuary for humane education materials or assistance, some of which is available for download.

Appropriate for ages 4-10.

About Carolyn: Carolyn M. Mullin is Farm Sanctuary’s Kidz Club Coordinator and has worked extensively with youth as an AmeriCorps reading tutor for K-3, humane educator for Northern California students and a camp counselor at a nature preserve for too many summers to count. A native of Miami, she enjoys working on the sanctuary and watching the pigs take mud baths from her office window.

The Magic Finger

Ever get so mad at someone that you see red?  When that happens to the narrator of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake‘s book The Magic Finger, she points her magic finger and well … things happen.

Veg kids will probably relate when the narrator gets angry at her friends and neighbors, the Greggs, for hunting deer and ducks, and they’ll be delighted to find out that the result of her finger-pointing is that the Greggs and the ducks change places for a night.  When the ducks take up arms and confront the Greggs about the slaughter of their family, the lesson is brought home.  The Greggs promise never to hunt again; instead, they destroy their guns and put flowers on the graves of the dead ducks.

Ages 8-12.  For more reviews, visit Goodreads.

Alice in Paris

This old movie, available on DVD, uses the character of Alice in Wonderland to present a variety of classic children’s stories including one featuring the French orphan Madeline.

Veg parents should know that while this film depicts a child freeing captive animals from cages, the liberated animals ultimately decide to return to the supposed safety of the circus.  (Kiddo seems to think the animals were people in costumes; I must admit that I didn’t watch closely enough to be sure.)  Similarly, while the film makes a reference to vegetarianism, it also shows people eating chicken and cheese.

Rated G.  Ages 4-8.

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving - smDav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants, wrote and illustrated a decidedly pro-vegetarian children’s book for publishing behemoth Scholastic.

In a playful parody on the classic Christmas poem, Pilkey brings a busload of children to a turkey farm where they befriend birds Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Groucho.  The drama begins when the children question the farmer about an ax they have found, and his answer — that he plans to slaughter their friends — brings them to tears.

Happily for the children (and the turkeys), the farmer and teacher rush away to get cups of water to calm the crying children, which gives them time to become “calmer” and “mysteriously fatter.”  After they waddle onto their school bus, many with feathers busting out of their jackets, the farmer discovers his turkeys have disappeared!

The end of this book so particularly sweet I’ve got to quote it to you:

“The very next evening, /Eight families were blessed/ With eight fluffy Thanksgiving turkeys/ As guests./ They feasted on veggies/ With jelly and toast,/ And everyone was thankful/ (The turkeys were most!).”

It’s hard to believe that Dav Pilkey was not a vegetarian when he wrote this book, but it’s not surprising to learn he’s now a vegan.

Ages 4-8.  For activities and lesson plans to accompany the book, click here or here.