Alicia Silverstone on Kind Living, Picky Kids, and Seed Food & Wine Festival

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New Times: Can you explain the concept of living a kind life?

Alicia Silverstone: A kind life is about living your healthiest and happiest life while taking care of Mama Earth at the same time! Eating "kind" is about being really, really good to yourself via the foods you put into your body. A plant-based diet filled with delicious whole foods (Mother Nature's little miracles) will give you tons of energy, mental clarity, gorgeous skin, and a zest for life. The bonus? This kindness also extends to animals and the Earth itself; a plant-based diet is much lighter on the planet.

As a vegan mom, what's the biggest misconception you hear about children and plant-based eating?

I think it's usually about whether you and your child can get all the nutrients you need from this way of eating. The reality is, not only will you be getting all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you need from kind foods, but you'll most likely even get higher doses than your animal-eating friends. In my book The Kind Mama, I include a handy chart that details exactly how these kind foods provide you with all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you need.

How have you seen a plant-based diet affect Bear as he grows? Has he ever asked to eat dairy or meat?

My son loves to eat. When he was younger and only spoke a few words, he would say "mochi" or "daikon"! How many kids get excited about daikon?

He has never asked for meat or dairy. He is proud of being vegan. In fact, the other day I called him "my butterball" and he said, "Mommy, I don't eat butter; I eat Earth Balance. I don't want to eat cows." So many parents say, "How on Earth do you get your kids to eat greens?" And I say, "Well, it's because I eat them!" He is eating the same foods I was eating while he was in my belly, while I breastfed him, and that he ate as his first foods. He has only known the healthiest foods, which makes it normal to him. These foods keep him happier and healthier.

I think the diet's influence is pretty evident in that he is full of vibrant energy; he's so smart, creative, and insanely sweet -- like a magical little elf! It's so important to me that his body be as healthy as possible so he can enjoy every minute of his life and not be bogged down by ailments. I'm so proud to say this is how his life is now, and I've made it my job to keep it that way.

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac