Travis Barker, trim rocker from the band Blink 182 does more than pound on the drums and jump around on stage to stay fit. He also relies on a vegan diet and recently told paparazzi, his children do too. He’s not the only one. Many celebrities including Alicia Silverstone, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna have made the decision to make their personal vegan lifestyle, a family choice.
Actress Alicia Silverstone is a long-time proponent of a vegetarian diet, which excludes meat, fish and poultry, as well as animal byproducts including eggs, dairy products and honey. Alicia, who wrote a book about the vegan lifestyle, The Kind Diet and has a vegan website, The Kind Life, once said about her child, Bear Blu, “Bear was grown on vegan food and we’ll continue nourishing him with a healthy diet. . . he’ll be eating an organic plant-based diet.”
Madonna is pretty serious about the food her children are eating too. It’s been reported when she divorced Guy Ritchie, she gave him a strict list about the types of vegan, organic, macrobiotic foods that son, Rocco could have while visiting his father.
We’re used to celebrities touting and promoting every healthy living/fitness trend from Atkins to Zumba but is it okay to insist on this type of diet for their children, any diet, for that matter? On the Vegetarian Resource Group website, Reed Mangels, PhD., R.D. weighs in saying, “vegan children can be healthy, grow normally, be extremely active and (we think) smarter than average.” Mangels does admit it takes time and thought to feed a vegan child but then reminds us, “shouldn’t feeding of any child require time and thought?”
Though protein is drastically removed from a vegan diet due to the absence of meat, it can be easily replaced with meatless soy options (now more readily available than ever at grocery stores). Oatmeal, peanut butter, beans, nuts, tofu, brown rice, soy milk and broccoli are also good sources.
While some celebrity parents are steadfast in their vegan lifestyle choice, others, including author, entrepreneur and natural food chef, Bethenny Frankel, says she knows her daughter, Bryn Hoppy, may want to stray as she gets older, adding, “As far as raising Bryn as a vegetarian, that was a personal choice. If Bryn is older and wants something at a party that isn’t vegetarian, I don’t want her to feel ostracized. She’ll find her way.”