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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, my wise veggie mommies and mommies to be, I again come to the alter of thy vast knowledge!! (I love this board, you guys are the best!!!!)

Today at work I got my first question about raising my kids vegetarian (surely not the last.)

My husband and I are very confident about raising our kids vegetarian. I have other friends who were raised vegetarian from birth, and they are totally healthy and fine, and I have read a lot about nutrition and consider myself pretty healthy, so I know I can do it too. I've read a lot about veggie kids nutrition and understand their needs are different from mine, etc. So I'm all ready to go!!!

But the questions have now begun. I plan to raise my kids vegetarian, but obviously once they are old enough, they will have the right to make their own choice. Some people are claiming that the kids won't be able to eat meat ever if I don't introduce it to them at a young age. I just don't believe that is true. I know of a few examples of veggie adults who "rebelled" and ate meat. But for every one I give, they tell me a story of some indian guy who came over here and ate a hot dog and got sick. (big surprise, hot dogs are vile!! lol.) So could you guys give me some insight as to how you deal with this, any references to how this is untrue, etc, so I can get them off my back? Thanks again!!!
 

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Well, right now, off the top of my head, I think "....and the problem with that would be.....?" I don't really know if that is true or not - although it doesn't make much sense. By that standard, we would have to expose our child to EVERY food in the world, or they'll never like it.

Also, if it were true, wouldn't there be something wrong with having to accustom a child to something he doesn't naturally want? For what purpose? In all of my reading about feeding babies, I read in numerous places that babies often don't like meat, and won't eat it. hmmmm...

But even if it IS true - so what? Would that really be that much of a problem in the long run? "Kid raised veg stays veg" oh no!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Obviously its something I would prefer...I hope they would be lifelong veggies! But I don't want my choices to limit my child, if they were to eventually choose another lifestyle.
 

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It probably is true that if you are raised veggie, then you will have a bad reaction to eating animals and animal products. I'm guessing the digestive system just wouldn't be used to it. Besides, it takes 6-12 hours to digest fruits and veggies, and up to days to digest all the other crap. (At least that's what I've read.)

If your children choose to eat 'meat' as you say you will allow them to when they're older and they get sick from it, they'll just have to deal with it at the time as adults. It shows there's something wrong with our bodies ingesting that stuff. (This isn't intended to be in a mean tone. I'm just stating a realistic fact you could share with the adults that are questioning you.)

Who cares what other people say about your children? All that matters is that you and your husband you know that you're raising your children how you want to, not how others want you to.
 

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Oh, of course if they did want to eat meat, they would have to let their dijestive systems get used to it like Janie said, I posted before I saw hers.
 

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Who cares what other people say about your children? All that matters is that you and your husband you know that you're raising your children how you want to, not how others want you to.



Agree, don't worry about what other people say,

and if you want some good info to throw out at them about kids and their diets, check out

"Disease Proof you Child"

it has great info for keeping animal products of all kinds out of our kids diets, including dairy.
 

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I understand you not wanting to limit them. The thing is, you are not really limiting them. You are giving them the upper hand. Even if they have to let their digestive systems adjust, it'll STILL be easier, in our world, to START eating meat, then to STOP eating meat.

Also, think of it like this. Your job as a parent is to be a guide to help the sprouts make their way through this crazy thing we call life. To do this well, we must impart the wisdom that we've garnered thus far. Never to force them to do it our way, but to give them the advantage, should they choose it, of our wisdom. Kind of like they get to start of at better than zero. To choose NOT to share, or encourage the use of these things learned because of the possibility them choosing another route would be more limiting, I think.

And as far as other parents/people go, you will ALWAYS get unsolicited advice. I'm sure you've already gotten some lovely nuggets of wisdom about the dangers of being veg and pregnant! Seriously, there is nothing you can do. I don't live in the same area as my family or my in-laws, and already, I've garnered much advice. Blech - smile and nod. No one will ever take our parenting ideas seriously because we're new at it. Whereas THEY have infinite wisdom, and are OBVIOUSLY right, as they have raised kids before. FUN!
 

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I have a friend who was raised veggie and decided to eat meat during high school. She went veggie again, but I don't think she had any problems eating meat. Surprisingly, I haven't gotten too much concern about my kids diets, except one sermon from my mom when I was pregnant with my first. The dr. has never said anything negative about it. They've just always suggested that I give them vitamins. One time we saw a dietician, because my daughter was falling of the charts for height. She was trying to convince me to give her some fish and maybe giving her whole milk as opposed to soy milk. I was giving her soy because the cow's milk was constipating her, not because we're vegan. But, even the dietician wasn't too harsh or judgemental. So, I really haven't had many problems. I feel like once she is around more kids, the issue of her height is going to come up more. Then I figure people's concerns about her diet might arise.
 

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Just tell them that you'll still love your child no matter what decision s/he makes when s/he grows up on this subject. And that you wish you'd been raised as a vegetarian yourself!

Some veg*ns do get sick and others won't if they start eating meat again, from what I've heard, but perhaps part of that is psychological?
 

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I know people who were longtime (not lifelong) vegetarians who decided on a whim to start eating meat again, and when they did really ate a LOT of meat at once, and they had no ill effects. I think a lot of it is psychological. (Of course I also know of a vegetarian who accidentaly ate meat and got a bowel obstruction, but I've heard 'no ill effects' more often!)

Look at it this way... if meat etc.. is SO HARD to digest, why in the world would you want to put a little baby body through having to adapt to it?? And the assault on their body with the hormones and antibiotics and saturated fat? I'm sure if they wanted to later in life they could adapt to the omni lifestyle. Omnis just don't get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just got the nth degree from two of my friends on the phone tonight!! About how if I don't give the baby meat (as if BABIES eat meat normally anyway!!!) that I'm limiting the baby's choices later in life! That the baby wont be healthy, that THEY have vegetarian friends who have been vegetarian for years but who decided to eat meat during pregnancy "just in case" and plan to give their baby chicken once in a while. People don't do this to my indian friends, WHY are they doing it to me?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggielove View Post

I just got the nth degree from two of my friends on the phone tonight!! About how if I don't give the baby meat (as if BABIES eat meat normally anyway!!!) that I'm limiting the baby's choices later in life! That the baby wont be healthy, that THEY have vegetarian friends who have been vegetarian for years but who decided to eat meat during pregnancy "just in case" and plan to give their baby chicken once in a while. People don't do this to my indian friends, WHY are they doing it to me?
Because when you are pregnant everyone, and i mean everyone, has an opinion , unsolicited advice, they all know what you should and shouldnt do. even complete strangers have advice for pregnant women! LOL

just put the ignore on them, you know best for your baby, dont listen to unwanted advice.

and honestly read "Disease proof your child" by Joel Fuhrman. it is very eye opening.
 

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and i mean to read the book so you have good information to throw back at them which comes with scientific studies to back it up.
 

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I'll admit, I ate some meat when I was pregnant with my first child. I was under the impression that I had to. It wasn't until after she was born that I realized I could never eat meat again. How could I eat another being's baby? It surprises me that more new mothers (omnis) don't feel that way. I also realized I could truly never feed meat to my child.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggielove View Post

I just got the nth degree from two of my friends on the phone tonight!! About how if I don't give the baby meat (as if BABIES eat meat normally anyway!!!) that I'm limiting the baby's choices later in life! That the baby wont be healthy, that THEY have vegetarian friends who have been vegetarian for years but who decided to eat meat during pregnancy "just in case" and plan to give their baby chicken once in a while. People don't do this to my indian friends, WHY are they doing it to me?
They don't sound like true friends to me.
 

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Seriously - stay strong. If it's too much effort to always argue, just smile and nod. Like Bonoluvr said - EVERYONE, from your parents, your in-laws, to the bum on the street will give you unsolicited advice. Get ready for the onslaught - but DON'T LISTEN. This is YOUR child, and as such, the decisions are YOURS. They either can make these decisions once they have kids, OR they've already had kids, and so have had the chance to make these decisions already. This is YOUR turn.

Good luck!
 

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Quote:
Some people are claiming that the kids won't be able to eat meat ever if I don't introduce it to them at a young age. I just don't believe that is true
I don't buy it either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had a headache all night because of this. :-( I know I need to be thicker skined, and I have my armor up when I'm at work, or with the inlaws, but I thought it would be different with my well educated friends. I sent them an e-mail last night telling them how much it hurt me, and one wrote back, saying she was surprised that I viewed it as criticism, that they just wanted to "warn me" about the "potential effects" of a vegetarian diet on my child!! I'VE done the years of research, NOT them, I'VE been taking steps to prepare for this moment, NOT them. I DO have a lot of research to use to back up, but for some reason their anecdotal experience is CLEARLY better than that. "I know a guy who's parents never gave him red meat and now he can't eat it or he gets sick." Yes, of course, that's gotta be why. Of course its not psychological, or perhaps that he woudl have been sensitive to it anyway. My husband ALWAYS got an upset stomach after eating red meat when he used to. But his parents never shielded meat from him!!! He of course ate it anyway cause its "normal food". UGH.

I'm so sorry to vent on you guys like this, I wish this hadn't upset me so, but I sadly admit it really has. Its probably hormones :-( :-( :-( :-(
 

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First off, I'd say the potential dangers of eating meat are very probably greater than the potential dangers of NOT eating meat... LOL. Also, you are not limiting your child but raising your child in a healthier and more compassionate way than many other people ! (how is that limiting ???)

I'm a born & raised vegetarian, I am raising my kid vegetarian too -- there is one thing I learned while pregnant, nursing and, since, trying to cope with an extremely picky child and that is what many other posters in this thread have said: DON'T LISTEN to anyone else. Even my homeopatic pediatrician advised me to feed my daughter the odd fish or some organic chicken once in a while. I have learned to just nod and say "I'll think about it", then drop the subject. I don't lecture and I don't try to justify myself. I just assume that I am doing the best I can and judging from my kid's health and growth, I am not doing too badly in all.

It was frustrating in the beginning (I have a tendency to justify myself and to try and explain things I just KNOW are right...) but I got quite used to dodging the subject in the long run. It's just not worth your energy to get involved in discussions like that !
 
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