Chef Bola is the one-half of the dynamic husband and wife duo and founders of VeggieVictory – Nigeria’s First Vegan Company & Restaurant. During one of our many conversations, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only were they plant-based, they were also raising their children plant-based too. This interview was prompted by this curiosity.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself
A. My name is Mrs Bola Adeyanju a.k.a Chef Bola. Co-founder of Veggie Victory, a vegan restaurant based in Lagos Nigeria.
Q How many children do you have?
Q What made you decide to raise your them plant-based?
A. I have this philosophy that whatever you believe in, you should introduce your
kids to it as well.
Q. How do you ensure that they are getting all they need to grow healthy?
A. For their Protein, there are many plant-based sources of protein, almost all
green have components of protein in them, there are other high protein food like Tofu,
Beans, Lentil, Nuts and whole grains and for B12, we have fortified cereals and
nutritional yeast, for Iron, which is important because it helps the blood cells and
vessels to transport oxygen through the body and it can be gotten from Spinach, Ugwu,
Kidney beans and so on, for Calcium which is mineral for bones and teeth can be gotten
from orange juice, soymilk.
Q What do you think stops people from raising their kids plant-based?
A. The people around them which are family, friends, sometimes spouse especially if
they aren’t plant-based lifestylists. Also, Not sure about the meals to give them, would they get all the
nutrients they need from a plant-based diet.
Q. How do you cope with judgment from family and friends regarding how you chose
to raise your children?
A. Very simple. I tell them that we believe strongly in veganism and would love for our children to believe in that too.
Q. How do your children cope with socializing with other children?
A. That was my first worry when they started socializing with other children,
thinking they might feel inferior to other kids because they might be the only ones with
different meals, but surprisingly they didn’t care or get bothered even at parties they
always ask if the meals contain meat or any animal products.
Q. What advice would you give anyone who is looking to raise their children plant-
A. My advice would be to do your research first, know all the nutrients that
children need for their growth some of which are Protein, B12, Zinc, Iron, Calcium and
so on, then look for the plant sources of these nutrients.