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#1 Old 02-17-2008, 12:55 AM
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Hi everyone, I'm new here.

I have 2 kids, DD 7.5 and DS almost 5

I decided to become vegetarian only a few months ago and it was an easy transition for me.

1 week ago my DD woke up and said she doesn't want to eat animals anymore either, and I really wanted to help her make this work!!

It has not been an easy week for my family because my DH and DS both eat meat, so the temptation has been here for her. I'm having a hard time making meals that she likes. I've bought various meatless "meat" products for her and she doesn't like any. She says things like "I wish I could eat my favorite foods (containing meat) but I don't want to"... "being a vegetarian is so hard"

She has been eating pasta, soup, cereal and fruit and veggies. Does she need more protein? Should I have encouraged her to do it gradually instead of one day to the next? Is this a bad age to make this transition? I really want her to follow her heart that is telling her not to hurt animals, but I feel so stressed because she seems like she's going hungry. I've been searching the net like a mad woman tonight looking for ideas and recipes LOL but I think I just need support in supporting her.
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#2 Old 02-17-2008, 06:25 AM
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Hi Vee,

Meat anologs aren't necessary. (and usually quite expensive) There is plently of protein in a "well rounded" vegetarian diet. A good place to go for details is the nutrition thread. I've been a veggie so long, I don't even think about it anymore, so I can't help with the details)

In terms of variety, take a look at the recipe thread.

Whether it's gradual or "cold turkey" depends on the person. However, gradual change is usually lasting change.

I think 7.5 is a good age to start. At this age, DD will not encounter peer presure (at least in terms of diet)

Good luck and welcome!

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#3 Old 02-17-2008, 09:06 AM
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Marilu Henner has a great book called "Healthy Kids" that I suggest you check out along with "The Jumbo Vegetarian Cookbook" by Kids Can Press. Both have wonderful kid friendly recipes.
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#4 Old 02-17-2008, 11:04 AM
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Thank you.

I feel she ate well this morning.

scrambled egg whites on toast, potatoes and an apple.

I'm going to see which books I can find.
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#5 Old 02-17-2008, 11:40 AM
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Check out your library, they may have some recipe books that are kid friendly. You can write down ones she likes/wants to try without having to buy the books.
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#6 Old 02-17-2008, 02:34 PM
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Posts: 554 has a large section of kid-friendly recipes, and many others you both might enjoy.

And if she likes breakfast - which is often vegetarian anyways - breakfast for dinner is always a good option, and may make her feel like she's getting a special treat, not being deprived.
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#7 Old 02-17-2008, 02:41 PM
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Maybe she can choose some of the ingredients and help prepare some of the meals? If you're preparing pasta, maybe she can take out all the things she wants to have in it and throw them in the pot? IME, when kids have a hand in the meal, they tend to get excited about eating it. That's really admirable of your daughter.

"Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity." Â George Carlin
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#8 Old 02-17-2008, 04:12 PM
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Have you tried Boca chicken nuggets? My kids love them. Whole foods sells a soy pasta that my kids also like. Nut butters, mixxed nuts, smoothies with extra soy or rice protein added in. Since becoming vegan I have put so much more thought into making sure my kids get enough of everything they need. I'm sure their diets are much more balanced and nutricious now.
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#9 Old 02-17-2008, 04:34 PM
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I recently found this book at the library and borrowed it. It was a good read and lots of kid friendly meals. It talks about protein issues, etc. Worth a read, I highly recommend it
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#10 Old 02-17-2008, 11:00 PM
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I appreciate all the advice!!

Veggily, you're right, both my kids eat better when they participate in the prep of the food. Today she made her own pizza, without cheese and she gobbled it up.

Kelly, I have never paid so much attention to what my children consume. I feel a million times better since becoming veg, so I hope she does too, once she has gotten used to it.
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#11 Old 02-23-2008, 10:14 AM
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Im a teen so i dont know anything about parenting but in the way of the right age of switching to be a vegetarian, this is a good age. I became a vegetarian when I was a little older than your daughter(9) and I think it was a lot easier do it in elementary school than wating later when there is a lot more pressure and influence from your peers.People definately ask me more questions and oppose me more now, so it was nice to have adjusting period to get used to living this way instead of being flung head first into a pit of uneducated ominivore high school and junior high students right when I was adjusting.

In the way of books, I recommend Vegetables Rock: a complete guide for teenage vegetarians by Stephanie Pierson. Its meant for teenages obviously, but it has a lot of good nutrition information and great recipes.
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