I have a question for all mothers and fathers. I don't have any children yet but I'm thinking ahead.<br><br><br><br>
What do you do when your child is invited to a birthday party and your child is vege*n?<br><br><br><br>
My kids are vegetarian - not vegan and this is one of the reasons why. They can eat the cake, ice cream, cheese pizza etc.<br><br><br><br>
I usually just mention it to the parents and they always seem fine with it.<br><br><br><br>
I guess if they were vegan, I would offer to bring another cake and some soy delicious. I would make it all fancy, so other kids would want it too.<br><br><br><br>
I think it is much easier to go vegan when you are an adult and that is what I am hoping that they will do...
I don't have children, but like you think about this, too.<br><br>
If I have a partner with the same diet, we will buy and prepare only what we agree with, and with age appropriateness, I would like to explain veg*nism, and where meat comes from, etc.<br><br><br><br>
While the child was still young, I would not let other adults feed them macroscopic meat, eggs, or possibly dairy (I wouldn't worry about microscopic amounts of these things). But once the child was old enough to understand veg*nism and where animal products come from (maybe around 7), I'd let their opinion guide how I dealt with these situations.<br><br><br><br>
Health wise, one birthday party isn't going to be a problem. So if my child doesn't have feelings against eating those things for ideological reasons, I wouldn't feel comfortable enforcing my views on them outside of the house. My example while they are growing up would have a far stronger impression on them than anything else.<br><br><br><br>
But I agree with Mushroom about making it special. I remember kids who had something different, like Jehovah's Witnesses who did non-holiday art projects or cookies, kids with dietary problems, etc. When kids are young (like through 2nd or 3rd grade), they don't even know why these kids get something special, they just marvel that it's different and fascinating. They focus on the what rather than the why.
There is a book called Vegetarian Children by Sharon Yntema that deals with this issue. I suggest reading it if you are going to raise your children vegetarian or vegan.<br><br><br><br>
I am lucky because I live in an area that is very vegetarian/ whole foods friendly. There was a funny article in the paper about how snacks for preschool are now a gormet meal because the preschool snacks consist of all organic, no bad fat, no milk, meat or eggs, no refined sugar and must have some protein and some carbs and some fruits or vegetables! LOL!
wow, kids are more accepting of differences than adults?? in my entire life, i've only experinced the extreme opposite. in addition, they can be especially vicious since we only acquire the cognitive capacity to feel empathy in the later childhood years.<br><br>
as a kid, my veg parents always told me i could eat whatever i wanted, so the responsibility was always on me to choose. 70% of birthday parties were bbqs then, and i didn't go to any. as a consequence, all kids hated me and thought i was a snob, and a sick freak.<br><br>
so my suggestion is, find a vegetarian community so that your kid can hang out with other vegetarian kids. then they won't feel as bad or ever wish they ate meat so that they could have friends.
My vegan son is 3 and we haven't had any problems with social gatherings. Whenever we go to a party or someone's house, I always bring him special treats ( I'll make cupcakes, so he has something when there's non-vegan cake ect. ). He's almost always too busy to care about food anyway. We eat before going out too, that helps. Most of our friends are veg, so there's not too much problem going of their houses. No one has challenged me regarding his vegan diet, everyone so far has been respectful of our lifestyle. I've been trying to organize veggie playdates for my son too, so he knows other kids who share his love for animals ( his best friend is my friend's vegan daughter <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=""> ).<br><br><br><br>
He's never asked to try meat or dairy and always asks if something is vegan before he eats. My husband and I have both been very honest with him about where animal foods come from and why we choose to be vegan. He's a pretty smart and understanding kid!
How neat regarding your comment including Jehovah's Witnesses, Thalia. I am a JW and I am raising my daughter that way, too. For us, birthday celebrations are politely turned down. However, I have always tried to have some form of party or gathering so that my child does not feel left out or neglected. Just as most parents have expressed their desire to have their children choose to be vegan, my daughter has begun to openly express her desire to be a JW. While my husband is not a JW, he has always taught our daughter that if you believe in something deeply enough, then it's okay to be different. He has always taught her that it's better to stand out as being different than to compromise your beliefs. Besides...he tells her that the world would be boring if everyone was exactly the same. Being unique is a good thing. This has always encouraged our child to hold firm in her convictions. As Thalia and mushroom pointed out...perhaps offering to bring something to the party that all the children would enjoy, but is not compromising your convictions, would be a nice way to handle the situation. I wish you the best, Aurora
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