Why should we not give meat to our son?

Julia - posted on 01/12/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I and my husband are both vegetarians for spiritual reasons and are not sure what to do with our son who is 14 months old. We have given him meat every so often, (which makes me a little bit of a cheater, but I had to join the group to pick your brains, right ;-) not very often recently though... I guess last time he had meat was a month or two ago.... so, could you give me some good reasons why my son should have a vegetarian diet, some research resources, some tips... anything to convince me and my very skeptical hubby! Thanks!

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Amanda - posted on 02/25/2010

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I see you already have the information you requested. If you would like a sample of my 2 y.o.'s vegan diet, which I painstakingly balanced for over-all nutrition, iron and protein (the things I get asked about the most). Feel free to write me justgreenclean@att.net . Also, check out PCRM.org they have sample vegan diets for pregnant mothers, nursing mothers and children. Also, Cook's children's and probably any other children's hospital you can find online has a sample veg diet for children. If its the best thing for you, don't you think it's what is best for your son? It's not JUST about animal rights, or JUST about your spirituality, or even JUST about your health or the environment... but its about all these things and more... do the right thing for your family and the world your children's children will inherit.

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Seana - posted on 03/21/2012

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I love Veganomicon and have made many recipes from it. I particularly recommend the potato and kale enchiladas, but also suggest that you do a roasted tomatillo sauce with it instead of the red sauce in the recipe.



Enjoy!!!

User - posted on 12/02/2011

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Hi Julia, I just posted this video on another conversation... it's about how much protein we actually need. hope it helps some... there are some great vegan/vegetarian books on raising kids.

Sarah - posted on 03/30/2010

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I have two boys who have been vegetarian since before birth, they are growing up just fine. I just want to add that kids are by nature picky eaters. Even parents that feed their children a "traditional American meat based diet" face this problem. Some kids will eat anything you put in front of them others will not it just depends on the kid. You have do what you believe in and not let others pressure you to do what they want.

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Julia I am going to use your quote about finding stuff on the internet hope you don't mind but it is so freeking true. Love it.

Cletus (kathleen) - posted on 03/18/2010

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I don't think it sucked, I've never heard of it before. I was just saying I liked the name, it's a pun on the necronomicon, and thus funny to me. I Looked thru it on amazon and it looks awesome.

Cletus (kathleen) - posted on 03/17/2010

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And a great name! That's one I'd buy just to have even if it sucked...

Julia - posted on 03/17/2010

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Thanks we'll check that out! We just ordered the Veganomicon, let's see what it's like... it has good references at amazon.

Cletus (kathleen) - posted on 03/17/2010

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The Moosewood cookbooks are awesome, all veggie, and lots that can be modified for vegan, I haven't found a recipe yet that sucked.

Julia - posted on 03/11/2010

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Thanks for all your very helpful responses! I guess I never got information about the health issues of a vegetarian diet before i had my son. So my first approach to vegetarianism was a bit sloppy I guess, I went vegetarian not really knowing how to put the food together (and looking back I must say I did a pretty good job :-) and whether there aren't really any things I am missing out on, well that's what you are being told from the rest of the world, right? Now with the responsibility of having a son this is a different story and you wanna find out about things and make sure there will be nothing to regret later on. I have done a lot of reading lately and the new situation right now is that my husband (!!!) and I switched to living vegan, our son is vegetarian until the next doctors check up appointment in a month and then we'll probably switch him to a vegan diet as well. If you can recommend any vegan cookbooks, fire away! Cheers everybody!

Cletus (kathleen) - posted on 03/09/2010

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Meat is over rated. We are vegetarian because meat is HORRID for the environment, and because animals love their babies too, why should I kill one to eat when beans and quinoa are so tasty?

My son is almost 7 and a vegetarian from birth (since before, really). He weighed 8'13" at birth and is 49 lbs, now, and 49 inches, very healthy and vibrant. I have let him try meat a few times when he asked but he has always spit it right back out. I do wonder why you would ask when you are doing vegetarian as a spiritual thing, that's sorta like Jewish parents feeding their kids bacon...

But, there are tons of reasons to keep him on the veggie path, not least is the childhood obesity deal that is so rampant in our culture. As long as you choose healthy foods for him you should be golden. My son's favorite meal is a plate with cooked beans, apple slices, avocado chunks, raw cashews, and carrot sticks. (I gotta admit this makes me proud). Mothering.com has tons of forums and info on veggie kids, and would be a good place to start.

Barbara - posted on 03/09/2010

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Why give him meat? I have been vegetarian since I was 12 and am raising my son vegetarian. My pediatrician who is not vegetarian said it was no problem. I will raise him vegetarian until he is old enough to decide if he wants to eat meat. FYI my husband is not vegetarian and is cool with this because there is truly no reason to eat meat!

Holly - posted on 02/23/2010

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Google health benefits for vegetarians...you will find your answer!!Good luck with your little boy:)

Tiffany - posted on 02/02/2010

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By feeding your child unhealthy food (and by this I mean ALL unhealthy food, not just meat) you are tilling the soil for disease and obesity later in life. Children do not need twinkies, sugary drinks, meat saturated with antibiotics and pesticides, they do not need caffeine or artificial preservatives.
By feeding your child a healthy, earth-based and vegetarian diet you are doing everything in your ability to ensure their healthy immune systems, bodies blessedly free of obesity, lower instances of illness and acne (PLUS!!) and the best gift: clean consciences. No little kid wants to know they're eating Bambi, or a cute cow/piggie/hen.

Regardless of the decisions that they make later in life, you are giving them every advantage for a healthy body and soul by making the intelligent and informed decision to go cruelty and meat-free.

Julia - posted on 02/02/2010

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Thanks y'all! We did a lot more of research and I guess I am an official member of the group now ;-) Next challenge will be to tell our parents that this is good for him, they are worried sick we are not giving our son what he needs. The thing is he never really had meat, maybe 10 times in his life alltogether, and he is as thriving as can be. So since they know he is (officially) a veggie boy they bombard us with emails full of links why we should give him meat. The thing is the internet gives you everything you want, every opinion will be served...if you google why should I grab my dog by the tail and spin him around you'd probably find tons of pages that'd tell you why :-D I am getting carried away ;-) Anyway, Thanks y'all again!

Cindy - posted on 01/31/2010

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My best advice is for you to read Dr Joel Furhman's book "Disease Proof Your Child". If after reading it your hubby is still unconvinced there will be no convincing him!

Amy - posted on 01/23/2010

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In terms of health and nutrition, a vegetarian diet for children is not inferior to a meat based diet at all. We are vegetarian for spiritual as well as health reasons. For our children, we figure that since they can get adequate nutrition (and in many ways superior nutrition) from a plant-based diet, it doesn't make since to start them on a meat-based diet and then switch later. In terms of research, we recently read several books about the benefits of a very low-fat, plant based diet on preventing disease. One was written by Caldwell Esselstein and the other is called "The China Study". Also, many cultures in the world eat vegetarian diets (e.g. Hindus in India) and raise their children this way without any harm. The important thing for children (and adults too) eating a vegetarian diet is to make sure that they eat lots of variety--whole grains, legumes (=nuts/beans), vegetables and fruits. Small children get the fats that they need for healthy brain development primarily from breast milk, but as they get older you can add vegetarian sources of healthy fats such as avocados and olives. I think that training your children to eat a healthy vegetarian diet when they're young will make it much easier for them to stay healthy as adults.

Crysta - posted on 01/19/2010

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I am a mother of 3, a vegetarian for 7 years along with my whole family who also converted with me. I would have to ask.. if you are vegetarian for spiritual reasons.. why would you want your child to eat meat?



Being a vegetarian is not only good for your child's health and mind, but great for the envirionment. You are saving your child early on from having to "miss" certain foods like my daughter for a while after switching "missed" whitefish.. a certain jewish holiday food. But as a family we talked about it and came up with our own holiday treats that more than make up for it and we start our own traditions.



Your little one will grow up knowing how and loving being a vegetarian for the right reasons and won't know any other way. Why ruin a good thing?

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