Anonymous

Raising kids as vegetarians

Firstly is anyone else doing this? And how has it worked out so far? Now I’m talking about vegetarianism not full on veganism. Secondly, both S.O and my family thinks it’s ridiculous to raise our kids on that diet, I just ignore what my family says. However, SO is getting sucked into wanting to give our kids meat because his family. We agreed to raise them little to no junk/processed/fast food and no red meats. But almost every time we go to his family they try to give our baby cookies, ice cream, pizza etc. really bothers me when they say it in my face how they’ll give them junk food then.

  • Anonymous
    Nov 22

    That would really bother me if someone blatantly was giving my child things I asked them not too. Regardless of your choice for doing vegetarian they should be respectful. It’s your baby if you don’t want it eating junk it shouldn’t have junk. It’s not healthy for any kid to eat pizza and ice cream. I would sit your so down and tell him he needed to tell his family that you both don’t want your child eating bad food. If his family can’t get on board then your child won’t be going over there for meals or unsupervised

  • Katya
    Nov 22

    It happened something similar yesterday. I’m not vegetarian at all, but I tried not to eat too much red meat, same for my LO. Yesterday, My dad cooked a food with red meat, and everybody was pushing to my LO to eat that, I felt so sad and upset, cause they force him to eat something that naturally he doesn’t like. I told them it’s ok if he doesn’t one to eat that, It’s better for him veggies and cereals. In this case, they were my family, I think I will answer the same if they had been my husbands family. I can suggest you talk with your husband and explain him that you need his support in front of everybody when you already toke a decision. Bless!

  • Anthony
    Nov 22

    Just curious as to whether or not this was something discussed before having children. I personally feel like something like this, while trivial to some, sounds like an important discussion to have and to make sure you’re on the same page on as your partner

  • Madeline
    Nov 22

    I agree with a commenter previous, making sure that everyone (you and partner and child) was initially on board with this. It's quite a change, especially if it's not what everyone was always use to doing. I'm a vegetarian and my partner is not, and I will personally be raising my daughter as I was, letting her eat what she chooses (from healthy options of course) and if by some chance she decides she wants to be a vegetarian too, awesome, if not I wouldn't be too beat up over it. If none of this was the case for you, I hope you can discuss with them all to respect your say. You are the mom and that is important to have boundaries and your wishes respected... but if this is a new thing then also make sure your partner's views are addressed too! Good luck with everything

  • Beth
    Nov 22

    I’m a vegetarian, my husband is not but he is very supportive of raising our kids vegetarian. We live far away from grandparents so we don’t have interference in that way... I wish we were closer for all the other grandparent perks though. I’m trying to leave the door as open as possible for the kids to make their own choices. My oldest is just 4 but she has been asking questions about why she gets different things to eat at daycare. I try to answer them as simply and honestly as possible. It’s tough because I don’t ever want my kids to feel odd because of it— I guess I don’t want the blame! Being a vegetarian is very important to me, but again, I want my children to know that they can chose to eat meat if they want. My husband and I have talked a lot about it and our pediatrician also raised her 4 kids as veggies and only 1 has chosen to eat meat. I don’t know how it’s gonna play out but I’ll love them either way! Now your family pushing meat on them is a whole other deal... I would be furious. It seems that it’s almost out of spite? In my almost 20 years as a vegetarian, I’ve had to defend my decision about my diet so many times, it’s ridiculous. As long as you child is eating a healthy & nutritious diet, they’re good and family should respect that. Sounds like what they are offering is not nutritious but more “normal” in their minds? Maybe they could use some gentle education on the benefits of a vegetarian diet. If that doesn’t work, I’d have to set some serious boundaries, ie, if you can’t respect what I want for my child then I guess she/ he can’t be around you as much. Harsh but, there it is.

  • Anonymous
    Nov 23

    I was never really a big meat eater. When our LO began solids both SO and I started to do research on what to feed. I started seeing a lot of articles where with cons of eating meat (red mainly) and so did he. And how a more veggie based diet is healthier for you. So I asked him about raising kids as vegetarians and he agreed to it but said he just can’t do it (yet, maybe one day).. so slowly I personally plan on cutting out meats and junk/processed/fast foods and I thought it’d be easy for the kids if they never had it. Family thinks it’s stupid because kids need protein and meat is yummy and what else would we eat and it’s gonna be hard etc. so, I’m just going to have to see how things are going to be as time progresses and LO can eat actual solids. And if people still try to give her things we agreed not to then you’re right, spend less time with them.

  • Ashley
    Nov 25

    I know it's frustrating. My S.O. and I are on the same page with what we are cooking for our daughter but his family is annoyingly against it. I don't really care about their opinions on it so whatever. However, the worst part is that our daughters cousins are always trying to get my 9 month old to eat what they are eating and out in my face say "oh you can't have this because your mommy wants you to be a vegetarian"! Every vegetable I put in front of her they'll come and say "eww that looks gross. Why is your mommy feeding you that. " All I can say is stand your ground. It is very important to keep in mind that everyone raises their kids different. Let it be. If they can't be trusted to do what you would for your baby then they can't be around her unsupervised. Simple. Keep up the good work mama!

  • Ashley
    Nov 25

    Also I've been doing a bunch of research in the topic. If your child is under 1yr old it is not necessary to be fed any "table food " at all. Take away some stress and just keep up with breast milk or formula .. babies need time to develop certain hormones and enzymes required to properly break down the food we are trying to feed them.

  • Anonymous
    Nov 25

    @ashley that is exactly what my sil and her husband does! Saying it’s nasty when we give her veggies. LO is 9 months so we started to introduce some solids for her (mainly when we go out to eat, which my in laws Love to eat out almost all the time) they gave her ice cream when she was 1 month old, which I why I don’t like them baby sitting but SO says it’s unfair my mom baby sits and they don’t as much. They’ve tried giving her pizza, cookies, cake, etc. and it drives me insane.

  • Heidi
    Nov 26

    My parents tried to raise me as a vegetarian and it didn’t work to well and I usually felt like an outsider and weird as a kid. I was personally not a fan. As an adult I do eat meat but not a lot and certainly not much red meat. However I’m not raising my son to be either. I give him the option and see what he decides to eat. My dad is still a full vegetarian so the meat substitutes and tofu etc is always around in the house alone with the food that my mom and I eat. I tried the entire no junk food thing but same as you my in laws give him junk food. He doesn’t see them much so I just let it go for the occasional weekend here and there. Luckily for me he loves his fruits and veggies best and will usually choose them over most food. Do what you feel is right however I personally wouldn’t say that they can’t or aren’t allowed to eat meat once they are a little older. I would let them choose for themselves.