Vegetarian parents about why they don’t feed their children with animal products and how they will react if their child starts eating meat.
- I became a vegetarian in 2003, sixteen years ago. Masha was born four years later.
I had doubts about the nutrition of my daughter - then I still did not know a single family with vegetarian children, and relatives insisted that the child should be fed “as expected”. But by the beginning of meat feeding, I clearly understood: I can’t put in this trustingly open mouth what I myself consider disgusting and absolutely unacceptable. For me it would be hypocrisy. And I began to look for like-minded people on the Internet. Created a group in the contact "Our kids are vegetarians" to exchange experiences and support.
The group began to grow rapidly. It turned out that we are many. By the way, it was the group with its real stories, photographs of healthy pink-cheeked children that reduced the degree of tension in relations with relatives. We agreed that if something goes wrong (poor analyzes, for example), I will be ready to review the Machine ration. But since everything went fine and the analyzes were always good, in the end everyone calmed down.
I did not inform the doctors at the clinic about our vegetarianism, but at first I consulted about the diet with vegetarian doctors via the Internet.
Previously, we lived with grandparents, who ate traditionally. And at the age of 2.5, Masha first asked why grandfather eats meat, but we don’t eat. I explained truthfully and briefly what meat is and where it comes from.
She explained that other people just got used to eating it, not thinking that it was bad, and now it’s hard for them to stop.
We eat very simply, we haven’t been soaring about proteins for a long time and we don’t calculate anything. The diet has dairy products and eggs, as well as plant foods rich in proteins. We try to ensure that the food is healthy and varied (then all the necessary substances will be enough).
We rarely visit the clinic, but the school has an annual medical examination and the children take tests - in combination with good health, growth and development, this is enough for us.
Once, when Masha was nine, we passed a paid detailed blood test for indicators considered risky for vegetarians (protein, ferritin, B12) - for the sake of interest, for ourselves. Everything is okay. We decided that we would take such an analysis about once every five years. The youngest son (he is now 3.5 years old) once a year undergoes a standard medical examination in the clinic - tests are normal.
There are no nutritional problems in institutions. Masha went to a home-based kindergarten with vegetarian food, which we ourselves created by teaming up with like-minded people in our city and renting an apartment for these purposes. Now at school my daughter only has breakfast, and breakfasts are usually vegetarian. If for breakfast, in addition to traditional porridge, cheesecakes or omelette, there is a sandwich with sausage or sausage, she simply gives them to one of her classmates. Lunch at home.
My son does not go to kindergarten, or rather, attends a group of short stay - there are only classes, without food.
I believe that because of age, the child simply cannot make any conscious choice, almost everything in his life is decided by his parents (and this is normal). Parents decide what to feed him, what to wear, how to have fun, and so on. The child absorbs the traditions and values of his family. Therefore, the question sounds strange to me: "Why do not you want children to come to vegetarianism consciously?" Our children are just very conscious! Knowing the truth about how it gets on the table, they make a natural choice not to eat it.
Because they have kind hearts and sincere, open, capable of compassion souls.
Nevertheless, I’m normal to say that when the children grow up, they can start eating meat or, for example, drinking alcohol. Although, why hide it, it will not make me happy. But they have their own way and their own life experience, freedom of choice. Our parental task (while the children are small) is to take care of their emotional and physical health, to sow in their souls seeds of the rational, good and eternal, and no one knows what will happen next.
- I became a vegetarian 7.5 years ago, realizing how harmful meat is to nature. I immediately decided: I will raise my children in humane traditions and they will be at least vegetarians.
Now my daughter is almost six, and she does not eat meat and fish. As she grew older, I had to explain why other people eat our smaller brothers. When she was four years old, we had a serious conversation: I had to tell where the meat comes from. For the child it was a shock. She still does not understand why people are so cruel.
She really loves all animals, not just cats and dogs.
On the topic of nutrition, I talked with doctors of traditional and alternative medicine. Doctors generally believe that vegetarianism is dangerous for the child - they were taught that way at the university. Although there were also such doctors who admit vegetarianism.
We as a whole family adhere to lacto-vegetarianism.
Our diet consists of vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes, nuts, dairy products, herbs, vegetable oils; we also eat butter and cheese. We do not calculate the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, since vegetarianism is not a diet for us, but a lifestyle. Blood tests are good, so there is no need to calculate your diet.
We usually determine the state of health by indirect signs (the frequency of colds, the condition of the skin, nails, hair, vitality, mood), but sometimes we take tests and go to bioresonance diagnostics.
My daughter goes to a private kindergarten for half a day, she brings food with her, so there are no problems with food.
Parents in any case choose the type of food for their baby. We chose healthy and ethical food, and when the daughter grows up, let her decide what she has. Of course, I will be sorry if my daughter does not continue to eat without “killer” foods, but I will accept her choice. At the same time, I believe that our children will be better than us and go further in their development. Maybe she will be a fruit-eater or a prano-eater at all.
- My husband has been a vegetarian for 20 years, I am 14 years old. Since all family members, including the mother-in-law, do not eat fish, meat and eggs, the question of whether the child will be a vegetarian or not, did not arise. Our son does not eat animal products from birth.
However, my parents, who live in another city, eat meat. The child was very surprised when he found out that grandfather was eating sausage. Started to ask questions. We replied that different families have different food systems, this is the choice of parents, and when he grows up, he will also be able to choose. Our family has this rule: we don’t eat the one who ran, jumped, sang and swam.
Because they are also living beings. Now his son is seven years old, and at a party, when he sees meat products on the table, he reacts calmly - he’s used to not eating all that his friends eat.
The son did not go to kindergarten and does not go to school, is at home school. I am the organizer of the family class, I oversee the laying of the festive table at all our events. We have a lot of friends, and among them are not only vegetarians, so all opinions are taken into account.
We do not buy store baked goods and sweets, we cook everything ourselves. For the sake of this, when the baby was born, I learned how to bake and make healthy sweets. We have created our environment and are now reaping the benefits - I do not forbid my son to try sweets at festivals of distant friends, but he does not eat it himself. Purchased cakes, sweets seem cloying and tasteless to him.
The phrase that a child should come to vegetarianism consciously, with the same success can be reformulated and said that he should come to meat-eating alone.
My husband and I are running our gastronomic project on Instagram, we know how and what to replace these or those products with and regularly undergo medical examinations - there have never been any problems with protein, hemoglobin and vitamins. We regularly accept dietary supplements, like our friends who eat meat. Once a year we go through an extended examination for vitamins and minerals and fill in the missing list.
If a child at the age of 14-16 begins to eat meat, that means he will start to earn good money, this will become his personal choice, his responsibility. Until then, it was my responsibility to maintain his health.
If he decides to eat meat - please! But only on its territory and for its money. Although I would still like for a child to choose vegetarianism in adulthood.
- I became a vegetarian in 2004, a year later then made a decision for the children. One of the sons had indications for a temporary dairy-vegetable diet - from there he began. At that time he was two years old, the diagnosis was renal impairment (reflux), oxalates in the urine. The middle one was then four; he went to the garden.
They didn’t give meat at home, ate soups in the garden. He became a vegetarian from school age. The eldest son, who was ten, remained on traditional food. In 2013, another son was born, a vegetarian from birth, does not go to the garden.
When asked why someone eats meat, she answered her sons that not all people understand the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
The younger one (he is five) has not yet asked questions, he sees others eating meat food, but he does not want to try it. When he plays "in the kitchen", he cooks "fish" and "chicken" for others. That is, he knows that other people can eat these dishes.
I did not consult with doctors, as I am confident in the benefits (in my experience) of healthy vegetarianism. The diet consists of 50% raw plant foods.
I don’t pay attention to proteins, because I don’t see the opportunity to get a deficit. I believe that it is more important to focus on live unprocessed plant foods. Additional examinations took place only in the early years - I checked B12, he remained normal for five years. During pregnancy, there was a deficiency - it made up for injections of B12 (I attribute this to violations of the digestive tract as a whole). Children rarely take tests, only if necessary - if they become ill.
She brought to the kindergarten a certificate that the elder sons were shown a plant diet. Wore food in a container. They did not give an average certificate, so there were problems with food in the garden. The younger one doesn’t go to the garden; friends always cook something vegetarian for us at holidays, everyone treats us with understanding.
I believe that children under 10-12 years old cannot independently make decisions in matters of nutrition, they are completely dependent on parents.
But getting older, at 13-15 years old, my children returned to traditional nutrition under the influence of society. Although they eat meat food in a much smaller volume and can safely do without it. Homes mostly eat vegetarian food. I take it calmly, it's their choice. My husband is not a vegetarian, however, he significantly reduced meat consumption over these 15 years, prefers fish.
In his life there were long periods - about a year - without meat.
When I explained to the children why they should change their food, I showed a film about the ethical side of the issue - this made a strong impression on them. The children were crying. The film is not very bloody, but true. I showed them what meat really is.
- I started exactly four transition to vegetarianism years ago. I ate fish and seafood for a couple of months, then I refused them. I immediately decided that my daughter would also become a vegetarian, as I thought and still think this food is more healthy. Maya (she was then about four) and so practically didn’t eat meat - she always spit it out, so for her the transition was painless. The second daughter from the birth of a vegetarian, or rather, from conception.
Her dad has not eaten meat for more than eight years. Six months ago, I switched to veganism, and she, respectively, too. We eat the same food with her, plus she eats my milk.
At the age of four, Maya understood and saw that almost everyone eats meat. I told her that people are used to it because their parents fed them that way.
She said that we do not eat animals, because we feel sorry for them - a very suitable explanation for children of her age. My grandparents eat meat with her, sometimes they offer her without my knowledge, but she refuses - the meat does not cause her interest. It’s logical for a daughter not to eat animals, she is rather indignant that most of them eat.
We have never consulted with doctors about this. My dad is a doctor, and he still likes to talk about the essential amino acids in meat, but since I am convinced that his opinion has no scientific basis, I enter into a dispute extremely rarely.
I never counted the amount of protein. Rather, you need to monitor the intake of healthy fats, because protein is almost everywhere. For a balanced diet a day, you need to eat a portion of legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits, berries, cruciferous, herbs, nuts and seeds, and also do not forget about oils (they are especially relevant for children). It is clear that not every day it is possible to take everything into account, but in general we eat according to this scheme. A lot of books about healthy plant nutrition in the public domain - if you want to switch to vegetarianism is easy.
My daughter did not go to kindergarten, they have breakfast at school now - she eats it if the food is suitable: porridge, fruits. He doesn't go to lunch. I give her snacks with me, a full meal is already at home. There is always vegetarian food on holidays. The same rolls with avocado or pizza without meat products.
She eats dairy products, doesn’t eat eggs, but there are exceptions - eggs are added to sweets.
I am sure: young children follow their parents in matters of nutrition. Yes, I still would not cook meat and fish. And the daughter gladly refused meat. She doesn’t want to refuse dairy products, and I don’t force them, I just don’t buy them, because I don’t eat it myself.
She can try them at a party or with my parents. The youngest daughter, in principle, does not yet understand that animals can be eaten. I’m filtering her dishes!
If my daughters, having grown up, want to eat meat, I’ll react to this normally, although I will certainly be sad. But I do not exclude such a probability. I’ll ask you exactly why such a desire arose, but I will not persuade vehemently.
Although I will give reasons.
- The husband stopped eating meat first. This happened 2.
5 years ago. Then I was pregnant with my second child and was afraid to change food dramatically. Therefore, in our diet - mine and the eldest son - there was a bird (chicken, turkey). After giving birth, there was also a bird in the diet, but in much smaller quantities. As soon as the youngest daughter turned six months old and I finished breastfeeding, she and I completely stopped eating meat.
The son became a vegetarian a little over a year ago, but once a week he eats soup at school (there is traditional food). Me and my daughter are raw food vegans (very rarely my daughter can ask for cheese).
We refused meat primarily for physiological reasons. Now there is a lot of literature where everything is stated in detail: that meat does not carry anything useful, but rather harms the body. In second place is the ethical side.
The eldest son is very calm about being a vegetarian. He never had much cravings for meatballs and meat. On the contrary, always had to persuade him to eat a piece. When it came time to feed my daughter, there were doubts. But, having tried in the first week to give her cottage cheese, my husband and I agreed that she would not eat meat or dairy products of animal origin.
I didn’t consult with doctors! Unfortunately, doctors rarely support and favor vegetarianism. Children rarely get sick (once a year), so we don’t go to the clinic.
The eldest son has no problems with food - at school he eats once a week. And on holidays, if he wants to eat pizza with sausage, we will not interfere. With the youngest daughter now in thought - time to go to kindergarten.
Most likely he will be private with vegan food - or we will give it back on a part-time basis, before dinner.
If children in their teens begin to eat meat, we will take it calmly - this is their choice. But I hope that this does not happen.