No two parents cook the same meals at dinner time, and every family has different food philosophies and contents in their fridge. There are some who believe a balanced eating plan consists of enough protein (in the form of meat), carbohydrates and vegetables, and then there are others who feel it’s best to eliminate animal products altogether and focus on a plant-based way of eating.
Raising a family as vegan or vegetarian has become increasingly popular in recent years, and according to Mother & Baby, a U.K. study indicated that 1 in 12 parents, out of those who were surveyed, were raising their children as vegans. Celebrities have also made this decision. Take Alicia Silverstone as an example, who has chosen to raise her son with the same food philosophies she has, and he loves being vegan (even referring to meat as “yucky"). Or Jenna Dewan, whose daughter is so proud to be a vegetarian that she actually wants to tell others about her food choices.
The decisions to become vegan or vegetarian vary, and while some feel it benefits the environment, others do it for health reasons and feel they have so much more energy. Keeping this in mind, below are 20 celebs who have made the change and adopted a plant-based focus on food, for themselves and their kids.
Alicia Silverstone is an environmentalist and a proud vegan, and she intends to raise her son, Bear Blu, to follow the same principles as she does. Keeping Silverstone’s lifestyle in mind, it did seem unlikely that she would feed her son animal products when she is so against that, and her son shares her philosophies. Self noted that when asked what his favorite thing about being a vegan was, Bear replied by saying it was that he doesn’t have to eat “yucky meat.”
Silverstone has also spoken about how “easy” it is to feed her son vegan food, and she is able to make plant-based versions of tacos and stir-fries.
Ellen Pompeo is another celebrity parent who has decided to forgo animal products to focus on eating greener. She is also raising her children as vegans, and it was a health concern that prompted the change.
“[Dr. Funk] told me she turned her three kids completely vegan and I came home from my appointment with her where she basically gave me [the information] … and I said, ‘That’s it, we’re all vegan,’” Pompeo told People, after going for an annual appointment with her doctor.
And if you think her children put up a lot of resistance to the change in their meals, apparently that’s not the case. Pompeo told the publication how veganism wasn’t “tricky," it was “fun.”
Natalie Portman is a multi-talented woman and a mother -- a particularly health-conscious one at that. In an interview with Us Weekly, she spoke about her decision to eliminate dairy and meat products from not only her own eating, but also that of her two children.
“I became vegan after reading the book [Eating Animals], and you know, [I have] been able to find over the years really great products,” she said. She went on to list the many alternatives available, ensuring that she never craves for anything.
When feeding her family, Portman tends to make one meal that “everyone eats for dinner,” adding, “We tend to eat vegan and vegetarian food in the house.”
From when Bethenny Frankel’s daughter, Bryn, was just a baby, she chose to raise her on a vegetarian meal plan, and she discussed her decision in a post on her website (via Us Weekly). "As far as raising Bryn as a vegetarian, that was a personal choice," she wrote. She has chosen not to raise her as a vegan because Frankel feels her daughter needs the lipids and protein from milk.
But Frankel also made an important comment about how she would not push her own choices onto her daughter later in life. "If Bryn is older and wants something at a party that isn't vegetarian, I don't want her to feel ostracized," she explained. "She’ll find her way."
Some parents have a really tough time trying to convince their children to eat vegetables, but Jenna Dewan is not one of those parents. Her daughter is so proud to be eating a mostly plant-based foods that she even chooses to proudly announce this fact to the world.
Dewan spoke about this in an interview with Health, saying, “I eat mostly vegan, but I’m very accommodating, maybe because I’ve lived with a man [now ex-husband, Channing Tatum] for 11 years who’s not vegetarian. Evie is a vegetarian, mostly because I cook for her and it’s what I feel to be healthy for her and easiest. She loves it and wears it like a badge..."
Madonna is a mother to a large brood of children, and according to Ecorazzi, she ensures that they eat healthily. Her kids are believed to stick to a “macrobiotic, vegetarian and organic” eating tendency the publication notes.
The Telegraph notes that Madonna herself eats mostly “vegan” food and that her choices typically include organic veg (she seems very big on the organic), nuts, and soy products, but she has also admitted to eating fish, and she really loves a good dessert. “Sticky toffee pudding with the sauce, obviously, is my weakness,” she said.
Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker is a father to two children, a daughter, Alabama, and a son, Landon. According to Perez Hilton, he raised his children as vegans. He is also a vegan himself, and has been for over a decade (although he was vegetarian from the age of 15).
“Honestly, ever since I found this way of eating I have endless amounts of energy,” Barker told Men’s Journal of making the change. “I can go all day, and after it all I never find myself getting tired. No matter what kind of shows I have done, or workouts I do on top of it, I still have to force myself to sleep at night.”
Sadie Frost has four children; her eldest, a son named Finlay, who she shares with ex-husband Gary Kemp, and then three children, Rudy, Iris, and Rafferty, who she shares with ex-husband Jude Law.
Feeding this brood seems to be a big task, because Frost has commented on how they all eat different things, and she has given them that freedom, despite being a vegetarian herself. “I didn't want them to have any complexes about it, so I've allowed them to have their own views,” she said, according to Vegetarian Living.
As a mother, she wants to give them the “right” to choose what they eat but notes that her son, Finlay, had recently tried chicken, and wanted to continue eating it. Her other son, Rafferty is a vegetarian, as is her daughter, Iris, but her youngest son, Rudy, likes to eat chicken when he’s at his dad’s house.
Mayim Bialik is an actress, a mother to two sons, oh, and a real-life neuroscientist. She also has such strong beliefs when it comes to being vegan, that she decided to make a video about it on YouTube. In the video, she spoke about her vegan lifestyle, and how she did not grow up as a vegan because it was not a “viable option.” But she also spoke about the food industry, and went on to explain how most people don’t realize where their food comes from.
According to Live Kindly, she also has a vegan cookbook titled, Mayim’s Vegan Table, filled with “family-friendly recipes.”
Jennifer Lopez is vegan, and she spoke about her food choices in an interview with a New York radio station back in 2014, The Telegraph reports. “Being vegan, it’s basically no dairy, no meat, everything is plant based and from the ground,” she said. “Butter is the one thing I miss!”
But it seems cheese is the one thing her son, Maximilian misses. According to Mama Mia, Lopez has chosen to raise her twins (Maximilian and daughter Emme) as vegans, and sometimes she gets a bit of a push back, as she explained, “Sometimes he says, ‘I don’t like vegan cheese. I want [processed] cheese!'”
Actor Forest Whitaker follows a vegetarian lifestyle, and he has urged others to consider to do the same. According to PETA, the actor and his daughter, True, recorded a testimonial about being vegetarian, in which he explained, “Life is full of choices, and many years ago I chose to become a vegetarian, and it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.”
Whitaker then spoke about why he wanted to become a vegetarian, listing animal rights and various health benefits. He explained that his daughter became a vegetarian because he is, but she commented on her own decision, saying, “I love animals.”
Emily Deschanel has two sons, who she shares with husband, David Hornsby. The couple has decided to raise their sons as “mostly vegan,” and Deschanel spoke about her decision after giving birth to their first son, Henry.
"We are raising Henry vegetarian; he will be mostly vegan and always have a choice in the matter, but we will educate him about why we make the choices we do with our food,” she said, according to Ecorazzi.
She touched on the subject of raising her kids vegan again with Garden Of Life, after giving birth to her second son. "They are not 100 percent vegan, and neither is my husband," she said. "The kids are about 99 percent vegan, and that’s because I let them eat eggs occasionally with their dad."
Kate Winslet spoke about what you can find in her fridge during an interview with InStyle, and let’s just say the answer to that question is a lot of vegetables. “Our fridge is always full of spinach, kale, cucumbers,” she explained. “I’m vegetarian and my husband [Ned Rocknroll] is vegan, so there’s a lot of plant-based focus in our home. My husband turning vegan is relatively recent, so that’s been a really fun education because you have to learn to be a little more inventive with foods.”
Although she didn’t specifically mention their children, she did refer to the plant-based focus being in their “home,” so it would seem her lifestyle choices affect them, too.
Paul McCartney has partnered up with PETA multiple times to encourage others to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle like his. The Telegraph notes that McCartney has been vegetarian for more than 30 years, and it seems his choices have influenced his two daughters, Stella and Mary, who have campaigned with him to try to get others to live a meat-free life.
Stella McCartney is a fashion designer, and she does not use any leather, fur, skin or feathers when creating her products. The luxury eponymous brand is considered to be a “vegetarian brand” and is better for the environment.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are parents to two children, who they are raising to love healthy food, and avoid sugars. Bell strives to feed her family in a well-rounded fashion with whole foods, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, she does not eat meat -- she was once vegan but changed to vegetarian after her first pregnancy, Today reports.
Bell’s children are not allowed sugar, and for treats, they are given smoothies with coconut milk. Another healthy eating habit she has for the whole family is protein-packed mung beans (with rice for the kids), which Bell admitted she was “really into” cooking with, The Hollywood Reporter notes.
Model Christie Brinkley made the decision to become a vegetarian when she was just 13, and she never looked back. So, when it came time for her to have children later in life, she decided to raise them with the same food philosophies. She spoke about this in an interview with Women’s Health, and got really animated on the topic, explaining that she decided to ditch meat after reading a book that moved her.
“I gave my kids the gift of being vegetarians as well,” she explained. “It’s the way to go!” Her choice of wording certainly seems to suggest that this is something Brinkley feels strongly about.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin share two children, and Paltrow chose to raise them as vegetarians (she is very health-conscious and has even written a cookbook). After their split, Martin admitted in an interview on Radio 2 (via Daily Mail) that he had started eating meat again.
“I am not really vegetarian. I eat meat,” he said. “I was vegetarian for a long time but for various reasons I changed.” He did speak about his daughter’s food choices though, saying, “My daughter has been a vegetarian since she was born. I keep getting tempted to go back but I don’t eat too much meat.”
Gisele Bündchen is raising her family with a focus on eating plants, a change that has been in the making for years. Together with husband, Tom Brady, Bündchen made the decision to raise their children eating a whole lot of veggies.
“We all love it. It’s not only good for our health and makes us feel good, but it is also good for the planet!” she told People. As for how the change first came about? “My friend Paul Hawken taught me that eating [plant-rich foods] will have a hugely positive impact on global warming as well,” she explained.
Zoe Saldana and her husband Marco Perego have three children, who they are raising to be vegetarian. Food is important to Saldana, and in an ideal world, she told Shape she would like to live more “naturally” and eat more sustainably. But, the couple does shop in supermarkets, and make an important decision to buy food that is fresh.
“I don’t go for things that come in can — and I’m losing trust in things that come in plastic,” she said. “And we’re starting to move in the direction of becoming a vegetarian family.”
Pamela Anderson is well-known for her collaborations with PETA, and she is more than willing to use her stardom to raise awareness for issues that she believes in. She is an animal activist, but she is also a vegan, although she told The Guardian she’s not “strict.”
“It’s a radical choice to be vegan, so I’m not so strict,” she explained. But she definitely has a plant-based focus, and she also won’t wear fur. Neither will her sons, Dylan and Brandon Lee (who she shares with ex-husband, Tommy Lee), and she told the publication that in their modeling contracts it states “no fur.” But have her food choices also passed onto her sons? It seems the answer to that question is yes, as Anderson said, “They’re both vegan, too, but I never forced it on them.”