Do your children know where their food comes from?

Lissa - posted on 06/21/2011 ( 36 moms have responded )

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

We were singing sing a song of six pence today and after the blackbird pie part the whole family started to talk about food and where it comes from. My children know a lot, their Uncle is a farmer, they have seen a lamb being cut up for the freezer. They understand their meat and fish were living animals that were killed for us to eat. My daughter briefly considered being a vegetarian but decided she like bacon and chicken too much (she's 6). We grow some of our veg and my husband was previously a chef so i suppose they have been exposed to a huge variety of foods, we make our own food from scratch wherever possible. They take part in preparing food when possible, an afternoon with ingredients to make your own fish fingers, fish cakes and chicken bites is messy and fun.

Do you explain to your children how their food gets on the plate? Do they know how there meat is killed? Are you afraid to tell them for fear of upsetting them? If you are vegetarians/vegans have you explained to them why you feel this way and do you give your child the option to eat as you do or choose to eat meat?

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Elisabeth - posted on 06/22/2011

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Yes, my kids know.

I've never quite understood how kids manage to get to high school and don't know? (and I've never come across that personally, only what I have seen on some tv shows).

I can only presume that there are some households that buy so much in the way of frozen prepared meals that the kids don't have fresh veg in their house and therefore don't know what different veg looks like?

But then I also have to wonder what they are watching on the tv when they are younger? All of the shows my kids used to watch were quite educational in simple and easy to understand ways. Lol - doesn't evey child get a good input of Sesame Street?

My now 5 year old found a fondness for boiled eggs at the age of 2 after watching a segment on Tellytubbies where children were collecting eggs from the chook pen and then their mum cooked them and served them up. If she didn't already know that eggs came from chickens, then she did after that :-)

I also tell my daughter where things come from or how they are made when she comments on different food, whether it be her telling me how much she loves it, or if she asks for fruit or veg that is out of season I'll explain why we are not buying it at the moment because of where it grows and the different seasons that different fruit and veg grow.

It really isn't that hard to teach them about where food comes from - no idea why some don't know?

Jenni - posted on 06/22/2011

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I have no issues telling my kids where their meat (and other foods come from). We've always talked about it since they first learned to talk. I have no problem explaining death to my children. They witness it regularly because we are a family that's really into nature. They know animals eat other animals for food and what certain animals eat. My son actually use to go through his picture book and when he was 2 and ask me what animals we ate and what those animals ate...
He knows if he keeps a bug too long in his bug container it will die. He knows that means it can't move anymore. I don't know how much he exactly understands about that but he grasps the basic concept. He makes sure to be gentle with bugs so he doesn't squish them and lets them go after awhile so they can go and eat and not bake in the sun and die. :s
I tell him and my SD what meat they're eating and that it came from a cow, pig, chicken etc.

Now knowing where my meat comes from, I think I need to work on that. As far as I know it comes from the grocery store and I buy it when it's on sale. :/

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Sal - posted on 06/23/2011

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yes to a degree, like many of you we have a vegi garden and the kids just love that, we also have chooks and ducks so the egg thing is not even in question, they know that meat was once and animal, and once asked where lamb chops came from and i told her a lamb she was ok with that but then promptly said but chicken isn't made from real chickens though, and will ask what animal is a bacon....(it kind of reminds me of homers ham, bacon and pork animal of a simpsons episode...) i am pretty squeemish my self and went vego for quiet a few years as the killing of animals made me sick after seeing some sheep killed and i don;t want to turn the girls off just yet so i have tried to not go too indebth at this age when they ask how a cow turns into a steak i tell them at the meat factory, i do say that they are killed but i don;t get to gorry at this age, they are only 3 and 4, we live in the bush so it is only a matter of time until they get the full picture.....

Rosie - posted on 06/23/2011

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yes my kids know. my youngest doesn't understand yet, he's too young to grasp it, and my 6 year old kinda gets it. we plant a garden every year so they know where veggies come from.

[deleted account]

Sherri, I've been on the search for cheese from a grass-fed cow with no added ingredients for weeks. Sadly, I'm having a tough time of it. I did find recipes to make my own mozzarella and ricotta.

Elfrieda - posted on 06/23/2011

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When I found out that meat used to be animals, I cried and turned vegetarian for a few months (I was 6) but I could not resist the farmer sausage!

As an adult, I still feel sick when I think how cruelly many animals are treated. We've found a guy who raises a few cattle each year and they live out on the grass instead of knee-deep in manure, and then at the end they get killed and I feel much better about that. Still haven't found a good place to get chickens. Possibly will raise some ourselves, seeing as we live in the country. Then my son will know from young on!

Elfrieda - posted on 06/23/2011

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I once had three flatmates, and one was vegan, and the other was trying to figure out what that meant. "Nothing from an animal", says I. "Oh, good. So an omelet would be okay." Um, what? We teased her about that for a good long while.

Sherri - posted on 06/23/2011

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I don't think it is even possible to not buy processed cheese here and least not in any of our local grocery stores. I am not sure in my lifetime if I have actually eaten cheese that wasn't processed since any cheese you buy here is processed.

[deleted account]

@Amy that reminds me.Our foster parents at the time were minding two young brothers on weekends.They asked for cheese on there toast.They gave them non-processed cheese.They turned around and said"we want the real cheese"what cheese asked our foster parents.The older boy said"the slices in the plastic"lol.
The processed crap.We had to laugh.After i encouraged them to try the cheese the loved it.:-)

Amy - posted on 06/23/2011

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we grow a garden every year. huge one. they know where it comes from and help us can/freeze. also meat is either from the farm or deer.

although i did laugh when we were at my sister's and they had those processed cheese squares. she was like....what's this come from? sis was like...uh....plastic? it's sure not real! so they know about real foods. processed stuff i have no idea what to tell them.

the kids aren't scared of how meat is prepared. part of farm family life and hunting.

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My six year old is quiet a clever clogs.Shes six and i think it was when she was 4, she was eating chicken.Asked were it came from.I said its a chicken.She said okay.
We were out at a farm, she saw a chicken, i said that's what you were eating.Bad idea..she had not connected the to.Due to me being to lazy to explain it properly.I was run off my feet and was so tired at that time.
She didn't realise the chicken was actually the chicken in front of her.I felt so bad.I thought her all about how her food got to the supermarket to her plate.Without the gory details.She was fine with that.She said its a pity they have to die.I then spoke to her about if you feel very bad about the animals and wish for them not to be harmed.You can become a vegetarian or vegan.She was off then.SO inquisitive about the whole vegetarian/vegan thing.
I am a meat eater but i could never watch an animal being killed.Nor would i do it myself.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/22/2011

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I guess she understands as much as a 2 year old can. She moos at her burgers and bawk bawk bawks at her chicken. Ha. We grow some food in our greenhouse so she's getting a lesson in where veggies come from this summer. I'm not afraid to upset her. If she decides she doesn't want to eat an animal one day, I know how to be a good vegetarian and I can help her out with that.

Johnny - posted on 06/22/2011

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My daughter is starting to get a good idea. She's just turning 3 and we live in the city, so her exposure to animal farming is not all that extensive. Her Baba raises chickens, so she knows where eggs come from and that the ones she chases might be dinner one night. She knows all about honey thanks to the bee hive program in the park beside our house. She's been to the dairy (we buy our milk direct from a dairy in our neighborhood-yes in the middle of the city) so she understands that the milk & cheese come from cows and goats. She's seen milking, although it was a while ago so I'm not sure if she remembers. We also have our own vegetable and herb garden, so she gets that part. I don't think she's too clear on how cows, lambs, pigs, and other animals end up on the dinner plate yet, but I'm sure that will come.

The one thing that was hard to explain to her was that our neighbor kid's Cheezies didn't grow in the ground or on trees. She's still looking for the elusive Cheezy bush every time we walk in the park.

Lissa - posted on 06/22/2011

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My friends children were at my house and my husband was preparing food for them, he didn't realise they were vegetarians. They are very polite kids so they were going to eat whatever was put in front of them. I just assumed my husband knew, thank goodness I came in before they had started to eat.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/22/2011

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I am a vegetarian, and I do cook meat for my family (yuk...but I do) and yes I tell my kids (well son who is five, daughter does not eat meat yet she is 14 months) what he is eating.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/22/2011

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Absolutely I tell my kids where their food comes from. I want them to fully understand what they are eating. I don't want them thinking a french fries is a vegetable, but to understand that it comes from a potato that is grown from the ground.

[deleted account]

Funny story though...growing up we had laying hens. Mom would send us out to collect our breakfast. My sister had a friend over and she was horrified that our eggs came from chickens. We asked where she thought eggs came from and she said, 'a factory.' We were probably about 8-9 at that time.

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My oldest is only 3, but she understands a fair bit. She helped her daddy plant squash, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers and green onions. Recently we took a trip the farm where our beef comes from. She sees me buy a whole chicken and eggs every week at the farmer's market, but I'm not sure she's made that connection yet. We're getting there, but she doesn't completely understand it all yet.

Teresa - posted on 06/22/2011

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We butcher chickens and have hens that lay eggs. We kill deer and butcher them ourselves and the kids see all this. So yes they know that it isn't just from the grocery store that we get our grub.

Nikki - posted on 06/22/2011

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My 2yo is beginning to understand it. we are hunters so she sees the deer after it has been harvested and she asks if it is that deer we are eating. also, when we eat hamburger she says we are eating moo cows.

I think she will be okay getting it as she grows.

Vicki - posted on 06/22/2011

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I love your daughter's rationalising Elizabeth, it makes sense, human milk for humans lol. Not sure if I want to be hooked up to machines long term though, I've had enough of pumping!

My son isn't 2 yet, so doesn't have much of an idea. We've recently moved house and I'm planning a veggie patch and chooks. We buy our meat from a local butcher rather than the supermarket. I'll be explaining to him for sure where all his food comes from.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/22/2011

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My almost 16 year old daughter knew at a young age. At one she was picking my cherry tomatos off the plant and plopping them in her mouth. This year however I discovered that she didn't understand everything because she told on herself.

She knew that cows made milk she had even seen some be milked at a milkhouse. However she also knew about breastfeeding. Evidently she didn't get that the milk gallons we had in the fridge was cows milk. She envisioned a bunch of lactating woman all lined up getting hooked to machines like the cows were.

Becky - posted on 06/21/2011

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My kids are still pretty young for that, but my oldest one gets it a bit. We've told him beef comes from a cow, pork comes from a pig, etc, and we have a garden, so he will be learning how vegetables grow. I'm hoping that'll encourage him to eat them! My husband likes to hunt and fish, so they will learn that stuff eventually.

Kate CP - posted on 06/21/2011

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My daughter knows that a chicken was once a live chicken with feathers and now it's a tasty portion of her dinner. I don't think she's grasped the concept completely of HOW it got that way (even though I have briefly explained it to her) but she doesn't seem upset about it. Then again, she's only 5 so maybe she just can't understand that yet.

ME - posted on 06/21/2011

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Oh...and we also have an herb garden and a vegetable garden, the 3 year old can't wait for the veggies to be ready to pick and eat :)

ME - posted on 06/21/2011

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I am a vegetarian. My older child (3 1/2) knows that I am, and I've told him why. He eats what I fix for dinner, which is always a vegetarian dish. There is meat in my house, however, and if he chooses to have it for lunch, or when his father fixes it, that is fine with me. Becoming a vegetarian was a very personal choice that I made as an adult. I cannot see how forcing this lifestyle on my kids would do any good...

Jenn - posted on 06/21/2011

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Yes, my kids know. We talk about what we eat, and my son will ask if it's pig or cow or chicken we are eating. Brian is also into hunting, so we all see the turkeys and deer that he shoots - and we eat it.

Stifler's - posted on 06/21/2011

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My kid is 16 months but he will learn one day because my dad has steers nearly ready for the butcher. I haven't got a veggie garden anymore because all my tomatoes got eaten by bugs and I was devastated and planted yesterday, today and tomorrow bushes there instead.

Charlie - posted on 06/21/2011

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Cooper pointed at a cow and said mmmmm yum plus we have a huge veggie garden which my 2 and a half year old helped plant , so yes he does ( my youngest is too young)

Kylie - posted on 06/21/2011

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Did any one see Jamie's food revolution in America? He was asking teenagers where foods like honey and cheese come from and some of the kids had no idea. That was scary.

Sherri - posted on 06/21/2011

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My older kids know. I don't really sit them down and explain it to them though. No real need in my opinion they all learn it eventually. I would never ever take them to witness an animal being killed though.

Heather - posted on 06/21/2011

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They know the basics. We live in the country so their are many ranches around us. My son (8) watched the Oprah episode with me about how they butcher the cows. We had a good little talk about it.

[deleted account]

Pretty much... at least the girls. Not sure about the 3 year old yet. They watched my ex shoot and clean a pig when they were 5, so... yeah. Although for some reason they didn't quite grasp that the chickens we got the eggs from were the same types of chickens we got meat from. Maybe cuz we never ate any of those? lol

Kylie - posted on 06/21/2011

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Yes my children know, especially the oldest. They see it grow, we've been to farms and i've told them where meat comes from and what happens to the animals. I've told them about where some of the preservatives and colours come from and about the factories that produce food. We make our own bread and the kids help in the kitchen. My daughter got quite upset when she saw some trucks full of cows when we were driving. She wanted to know where they were going and i told her. She cried but she still eats meat (she is 6 also).

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