Your NYC Neighbor – is a way of introducing New Yorkers to a rich community of savvy parents. New York is a diverse City bustling with all kinds of families and personalities. We also love to grab tips and recommendations from moms and dads in certain neighborhoods and throughout the 5 Boroughs, and especially people who have created a product, service or site that helps new parents or appeals to children. Meet Janet Kearney founder of the largest vegan parenting site in the world: Raise Vegan.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a thirty-ish wife and mom of two silly vegan kiddos, I have a British husband and I’m a lover of bees. When I’m not working at my day job, I take part in the community i founded ‘Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting’, initially an online meeting place of plant-based parents. We have now grown to a monthly magazine named Raise Vegan Magazine, and to 100K plus parents who check in with us daily for advice on raising vegan kids.
Where do you live?
Midtown West (Manhattan)
Tell us what you do in your spare time?
On the weekends, I have a hobby of beekeeping, so I look after some honeybees, and take various classes on them. Visiting museums with the kids, and generally try and explore the city as much as possible while they’re still small and want to be seen with mom.
Why do you love what you do?
A lot of the parents we come across on a daily basis are a little lost, they don’t have a support system that agrees with their values. So we try and introduce them to environmentally conscious business around the city like Natures Premier Diapers, and guidance from registered dietitians that they have access to within moments such as ‘Ask A Plant Based Dietitian’. Small changes to their life makes such a big difference, espeically if they’re worried about their impact on the world.
How can new parents get involved?
Join the community, check out the website, and follow us on Instagram. We send out weekly emails if you are signed up with nutritional charts, information for new parents and support. (see resources for links at the bottom of this article)
What would you tell a newly pregnant first-time mom about veganism and her growing baby’s nutritional needs?
I would tell her to absolutely sign up to our subscription based program of ‘Ask A Plant Based Dietitian’, regardless if someone is vegan or not. It is always a good idea to have professional help, if they are breastfeeding and trying to lose weight, want to be healthy, or just ensuring their health overall is in prime condition. Babies don’t need any table food for the first six months, so it’s mom that needs to take care of herself during that time.
Do breast-feeding vegan mothers need to eat differently?
Breastfeeding requires a lot of calories, and that is something that vegetables are not dense in. A vegan mother would need to look at her overall diet, make sure she’s including legumes, beans, nuts and other calorie dense food.
Is a vegan diet good for a developing infant?
The World Health Organization has stated that a vegan diet is healthy for any age, including other world leading organizations, such as The British Dietetic Association, The American Dietetic Association,
Any tips on vegan weaning foods?
We have a lot of great advice on the website for any parent weaning their babies, from traditional spoon fed, to baby led weaning.