Vegan Children, their choice, not ours.

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Vegan Children, their choice, not ours.

River is an 8 year old model/actor and just over two years ago, shortly after his sixth birthday, he told me that he didn’t want to eat meat any more. When I asked him why, he said ‘my tummy told me not to eat it.’

“When I tell people I’m a vegan they naturally assume it’s because my mummy is, but that’s not the case as we started this journey together just over 2 years ago after I explained to my mummy that I didn’t want to eat meat anymore and she supported me by giving up meat too. I’ve learned a great deal about food, energy and how animals are treated and as I feel healthy and happy I want to share this with other children too.” – River Chandler

When River was three years of age he took part in an experiment with UCH and every couple of weeks the researchers would come to the house and give him raw vegetables to try and he’d use a happy face for what he liked and an unhappy face for the ones he didn’t like and would rate the vegetables against each other. For example, how much he liked carrots compared to peppers or sugar snaps… At the beginning his least favourite vegetable was sugar snaps and it became his control food and each time the researchers came to the house they’d give him sugar snaps and weighed how much he consumed during that particular visit. By the end of the study, sugar snaps had become his favourite vegetable, supporting the study that if you keep exposing children to foods they don’t like, they’ll eventually come around and like them. 5 years later he still loves sugar snaps and will eat them as a snack out of choice.

The Coca Cola Experiment that River and I did


Coca Cola Experiment

A few weeks ago I took River to a school disco and some of his friends were drinking coca cola. He’s never been interested in drinking fizzy drinks because I explained to him they contain nothing good, just synthetic chemicals with lots of sugar and is part of the reason we have obesity issues, tooth decay and sugar addiction around the World. He couldn’t understand why his friends parents let his friends drink it if it was so bad and I could see this might become an issue as he gets older with peer pressure if he didn’t fully understand what was in coca cola and other fizzy drinks, so he and I did an experiment and boiled coca cola to find out what is left after the water evaporates. What River and I discovered is a tar like substance which smelled terrible and became solid and stuck to the spoon, very similar to the tar on the road. Because we did this experiment I know 100% he will never drink fizzy drinks because he has seen the results for himself. He was so moved by what he discovered that he wanted to show his friends to encourage them not to drink it anymore and took the contents to school.

I think a lot of children probably reach the same conclusion like River did at a young age, however, most parents tell them ‘they need meat to live, protein etc…’ and tell them to eat what they are given, so of course, children continue eating meat, processed foods, drinking coca cola… even though they feel it doesn’t agree with their body and eventually, they become conditioned to eat what they are given. Children are so much more in tune with their bodies than adults are, but it’s about educating parents to support their children to make changes to their diet when they express that their body doesn’t work with a particular food, i.e. meat, pasta etc.. We hear what our children say, but we don’t always listen. It’s also important that we understand why they say they don’t want to eat something, texture, flavour or something deeper.

                                                 Living on a plant based diet improves focus


Living on plants improves focus

As you can see River is very healthy living on a plant based diet, and participates in sport everyday and especially loves tennis, gymnastics and street dancing and is never lacking in energy! He’s also more focused compared to when he was eating processed foods and enjoys reading and playing the piano and violin. He used to jump about with excess energy when I gave him refined foods like crisps, biscuits…, and now only has Nakd bars, apples, bananas, grapes, carrots, nuts, sesame… for snacks and what a difference it has made.

He asked me if he could be involved in my Save Me Documentary Film. I asked him why and his response was ‘because I want to encourage other children to think for themselves and learn about their health, understand how animals are treated and show them how much better they will feel if they choose to be a vegan just like me.’

It’s not easy being a parent and knowing the best way to bring up children, but my advice, listen to what your children say and support them when they approach you with changes they want for themselves. Like I said above, they are so much more in tune with their bodies and know what works for them and what doesn’t, but they can’t do it alone as they rely on us to buy groceries, provide meals and buy clothing for them.

If you have any questions or comments about your children becoming vegan, feel free to get in touch. I’m happy to help in anyway I can.

If you are personally lacking in energy, feel tired all the time or know deep down you need to improve your eating habits and your health, please check out my new book of recipes that includes tips and advice to help you on your journey.



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