It definitely requires preparation if you want to stick with eating a healthy plant based diet inside and outside the home. If you do not plan ahead, do not expect good results. It's just that simple.
Here are some tips for eating outside the home in different scenarios:
Eating at Non Vegan Friendly Restaurants
- If you can't pick the restaurant, call ahead and let the chef know that you will require a dish free of animal foods and oil.
- If you forget to call ahead, let the waiter know as soon as you sit down and find out if the chef can put together a platter of vegetable side dishes and a salad with oil free dressing.
- I have found that even steak houses in the area will accomidate us with a really nice veggie platter and there is one that even does a homemade oat/veggie burger near our home.
- Don't order the Kid's Meal for your kids! Kid's Meals have some of the most unhealthy choices on the menu. Instead, split an adult size vegetarian dinner between smaller kids and have them munch on raw veggies in the car on the way to dinner so they aren't "starving" when the meal arrives.
- Let them know upon being invited that you are eating vegetarian fare and offer to bring a dish to share.
- If they insist on cooking, offer to send them some recipe ideas that are easy to make and don't require special ingredients. I always point people to my favorite easy to make recipes on my blog and others like the Fat Free Vegan Blog and VegWeb.
- If the party is at a Bounce House or other party facility where pizza is served, call ahead to the managers and let them know that your child will require a pizza without cheese and at least one veggie topping.
- When it comes to birthday cake, we've been lucky to have a vegan cake at the majority of parties thanks to my wonderful circle of friends. But of course there are some parties where the cake is not vegan and that is when I let them choose, so long as the cake was home made. If it's store bought and the icing is loaded with food dyes I will let them eat the cake but not the icing.
- Soda, Commercially prepared juices, Sports Beverages and Slurpee type drinks are off limits for my kids always.