How to introducing my 8year old to vegetarian r/o - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-17-2005, 10:20 AM
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Hi! I have a question. Im transition to vegetarian, and i have children one 8 and the other is 5 months. Well Im going to grow my 5month old up vegetarian from birth.But im orginally from the south and all they eat is meat. Anyway my question is how do i go about transition an 8year old. He had to grow up with my family and there ideas rubbed off on him.He thinks he wont like being vegetarian and that the food is gross.Also the only veggies he will eat is corn,potatoes, beans.Which is not that many.He also thinks that if he is vegetarian he wont have any friends What can i do to introduce him and get him started on the right track to good health and also let him know that eating animals are wrong, because my family has basicly taught him that its alright to eat an animal and have it has a pet. Which we all know this is wrong. My husband and i have alot of de programming to do.

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#2 Old 09-17-2005, 11:47 AM
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I would begin with foods he alreay likes and may not associate with being vegetarian:

mac & cheese

cheese pizza

pizza with and veggie topping such as: pineapple, green peppers, etc.

peanut butter & jelly

peanut butter and Banana sandwich

ants on a log -celerey sticks topped with peanut butter & raisins

baby carrots with peanut butter dip

tacos with veggie refried beans

black bean chili

spicy black or red beans & rice

peas & dumplins'

Speghetti w/marinara sauce

Veg Lasangna

Then begin introducing more food choices, go shopping with him and let him select some of the yummy fruits he likes.

Trade reg burgers for veggie burgers, grill with BBQ sauce

get veggie chickn' nuggets

Veggie riblets

Veggie Corn Dogs

These type of things are great for transitioning.
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#3 Old 09-17-2005, 03:30 PM
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Usually (for girls anyway) the most effective way is to introduce children to animal rights concepts (those suitable for a child)

Another way is to bring him to a vegetarian event that has other children. He'll see first hand that we're not all weirdos, and if he has fun, he may be more inclined to go veggie.

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#4 Old 09-17-2005, 07:03 PM
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Another thing you might do is not introduce food or meals as being "vegetarian". It sounds like he has the idea that vegetarian food is going to be icky, so I suspect any time he's fed something identified as vegetarian, he'll insist that he doesn't like it (8 year old logic).

I would just feed him what he normally eats, but without meat. An example: you can make a hamburger casserole without the hamburger. Use the same spices, etc., but put in beans (or corn or extra noodles, etc) instead of hamburger. You can use fake bacon on BLTs instead of regular bacon. I think you get the idea.

Unless he's used to eating big slabs of steak, chicken, etc., then he shouldn't notice that the meat is missing. After you've found several meals he likes, you might start calling them vegetarian. I think there's a thread on the parents board where people list what they feed their children every day. That can give you a lot of idea.

Another thing you might try is to not insist he be vegetarian outside of the house. Let him choose to eat meat if he has dinner at a friend's house. He might feel less threatened by eating meatless if he knows that he can "escape" it every once in a while. Once the weirdness wears off, he might even surprise you by choosing to be a vegetarian all the time.
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#5 Old 09-27-2005, 03:57 PM
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Hi, I am so glad i found this post. I have an 8 year old also that i would really like to see start eating veggie. If you have any progress let me know. I'm thinking about having a talk with him about animals, and where exactly meat comes from. Does anyone think this is too much? He adores animals and we live in the country so he sees them all the time. I think that will hit home with him but too much maybe? I don't know. At any rate, he's also an extremely picky eater. So nutrition is definatly an issue with me. Anyone at all with any adivce please please let me know. Thanks so much and good luck Vegetarian_Girl. Keep posting how its coming along so i can get some tips!!!! haha
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#6 Old 10-22-2005, 10:39 PM
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Also try the meatless alternatives. Some of them (no kidding) taste exactly like chicken nuggets and fish sticks. (Quorn brand in particular. I dislike processed foods, so I don't eat these unless I have to in my omni house, but I bet an 8-year-old would love them).
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#7 Old 10-22-2005, 10:55 PM
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Check out:

It's the blog of a woman who packs awesome, tasty lunches for her young son. The featured lunches are fun and kid friendly if a little labor intensive at times.

Good luck to you and bravo to you for broadening your children's food horizons!
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#8 Old 10-24-2005, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by VeggieBiker View Post

Check out:

It's the blog of a woman who packs awesome, tasty lunches for her young son. The featured lunches are fun and kid friendly if a little labor intensive at times.

Good luck to you and bravo to you for broadening your children's food horizons!

I wish that with all the trouble she obviously goes to, to make this blog, that she also included recipes!! :-)
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#9 Old 10-24-2005, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

I wish that with all the trouble she obviously goes to, to make this blog, that she also included recipes!! :-)

I think she's making a cookbook, so she doesn't want to give her recipes away. I think that she does post a recipe every once in a while for a limited period of time.
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