Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2015

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24 Hudson Valley Parent ■ August 2015 create a paradigm. Together they communicate to our children what we value most, what we stand for, what we believe in our hearts." Di cult to bend beliefs "It's hard for parents," admits Roni Shapiro, a long-time vegan and owner of Healthy Gourmet to Go, a vegan gluten-free meal home delivery service based in Saugerties. "I know a few vegan parents who feed their children vegan diets at home but when the kids go to birthday parties they let them eat what their friends are eating." Courtney Skeen of Red Hook agrees. "At fi rst I restricted anything from my son's diet that wasn't vegan. Now that he's older I try to be more laid back and let him have cake at social events." According to Roberta Schiff, co- ordinator of the Mid-Hudson Veg- etarian Society and Hudson Valley Vegans, people choose to become vegan for three main reasons: health, environment and animal cruelty. Vegetarians do not consume animals. Vegans take it further—including animal byproducts such as eggs or dairy. Many embrace a complete vegan lifestyle and won't wear or use anything made from animals, such as leather. Most are doing this as a stand against animal cruelty rampant in food industry practices. For those vegans it's hard to bend even a little. Empowering kids to make their own choice Schiff advises, "Let your children know why you're choosing a veg- an lifestyle and why it's important. Communicate it to them at age-ap- propriate levels. Just do the best you can. No parent can control everything a child eats when not at home. But if you've educated them on why then they can make their own choices." Violet Batycki of Poughkeepsie was raised a vegetarian and became a vegan 25 years ago. She is raising her son, Warren, now 14, vegan. She is clear that being vegan is an ethical choice she shares with her family. "Warren has volunteered at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary and is attending a week-long camp for teens this summer at the Woodstock Ani- mal Sanctuary," she explains. "When Warren was in kindergarten, his dad even brought his rescued farm animal friends Franklin the piglet and Pee- wee the goat to visit him in his class!" Trying not to feel left out This idea of educating children so they can understand and feel em- powered to make their own choice is key to successfully raising a vegan or vegetarian child. "I felt like I was the only vegetarian in the world," Batycki says, recalling her childhood in the 1970s and 80s. "I would be eating natural peanut butter and apple cider Top vegan-friendly family restaurants in the Hudson Valley • Karma Road, New Paltz • Gomen-Kudasai, New Paltz • Lagusta's Luscious (vegan chocolates), New Paltz • Main Street Bistro, New Paltz • Rosendale Café, Rosendale • Yum Yum Noodle Bar, Kingston • Mother Earth's Storehouse, Poughkeepsie and Kingston • Garden Café on the Green, Woodstock • Pure City, Pine Bush • Aroma Thyme Bistro, Ellenville • Two Boots Hudson Valley, Red Hook • Pizzeria Bacio, Poughkeepsie • Twisted Soul, Poughkeepsie • Seoul Kitchen, Beacon • Conscious Fork, Warwick • Ca e Machiatto, Newburgh • Bliss Kitchen, Newburgh For more restaurants, visit RAISING VEGANS (Continued from Page 22) (Continued on Page 26) Brooklyn and Jaiden Melye make a vegan meal at the Miso Happy Cooking Club at Benedic- tine Hospital in Kingston. The club meets the third Tuesday of every month.

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