New research has revealed the diets that UK parents are choosing to give to their children, with 8% admitting to bringing up their youngsters as vegans. Half of these parents confessed that their children had expressed a desire to eat meat or animal products before, with the majority stating that ‘health benefits’ associated with the vegan diet was the driving force behind their decision.
According to the study of 2,177 parents of children aged 0-12 in the UK, 13% of parents have vegetarian children; with the majority of these being raised vegetarian, rather than eating a meat-free diet through personal choice.
The team behind www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk carried out the study for Veganuary and in light of an increase in the number of searches on-site for discounts relating to vegan and vegetarian products. Respondents were asked questions relating to their children and specifically what type of diet and nutrition they provided for their youngsters.
When asked to state what type of diet their children were being raised eating, 8% said ‘vegan’ and 13% said ‘vegetarian’, whilst the remaining 79% said their child ate meat. 22% of the total respondents said that their child was on a particular diet due to allergies, such as gluten-free (coeliac) and dairy or lactose-free.
Any respondents who said that their children were being raised on a vegan diet were asked if it had been their own personal choice, or their child’s. The overwhelming majority (97%) confessed that they had made the decision feed their children a vegan diet. When asked why, 61% said that it was due to what they felt were the ‘health benefits’ of a diet that was free from any animal produce such as meat and dairy. A further 36% said it was due to their opinion on animal welfare/cruelty.
More than half, 52%, of the parents who said their children were being raised vegan admitted that, whilst on that particular diet, their youngsters had expressed a desire to eat meat and animal products. Only 38% of the parents whose children were being raised as vegetarian said the same; however, 52% of the parents of vegetarian children said that it had been their child’s decision to not eat meat, rather than their own choice enforced upon them.
100% of the parents who were raising their children on a vegan diet said that they themselves were vegan; compared to 87% of the parents of vegetarian children being vegetarian too.
George Charles, spokesperson for VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, said the following about the findings:
“With Veganuary in full swing and so many people searching for vegan and vegetarian-related discounts on our site, we wanted to find out if any parents were raising their children on these meat free and vegan diets. The figures were higher than we expected and I personally was shocked to find that, for the most part, it’s the parent’s decision rather than the child’s.
“Before considering changing your child’s diet, you should ensure that you’re aware of the foods they need to eat to get the nutrition that they need; because eliminating meat and animal produce from their diet will mean you need to give them their protein and such like in a different way.”