Sorry in advance that this is so long, but it's been weighing heavily on me since I found out I was pregnant more than a year ago.
Our baby is almost 6 months and pretty soon we're going to start him with BLW on solids, so the food story begins...
I have been vegetarian (lacto ovo) most of my life. DH is a meat eater, but not to an extreme. I do all the cooking here and he loves my food without meat, no issue there. He will occasionally cook a frozen turkey breast or shrimp for himself, and he eats salami sausages nearly every day as a snack at home, as well as eating meat when we go out.
We have barely discussed the meat issue in regards to our son's future diet, partly because I know we will disagree to some extent.
I would like DS to be veggie as long as I am making his food choices for him, and when he's old enough (3? 4?) to understand what meat is, he can decide for himself. I don't mind if he chooses to eat meat, as long as it's a mindful decision.
So I have some questions for veteran veggie mamas, and especially those with meat eating hubbys:
-How am I supposed to stop DS from eating meat when DH is munching away on his sausages? I know I could ask him to eat the meat not in front of the baby, which he may agree to (probably not though), but then what about when we're out and DH or others are eating meat and DS wants some? Obviously there's no explaining that to a 1+ year old, besides just saying no. And how do you deal with family? I know the in-laws are going to give me a hard time, and I guess I just have to set very firm limits with them. But I know at all our family gatherings there are platefuls of meat being passed around the table and DS is inevitably going to want to try it. What then, when everybody else except me is eating it, and DS is too young to understand why I don't and he can't?
- How do you teach young children about what meat really is without traumatizing them or making them feel guilty if they want to eat it? I thought about visiting some farms and familiarizing him with cows and pigs, and our neighbors have chickens we can visit and get to know. I just don't want to scare him when explaining that those animals get killed for meat. At what age did your child understand and become able to make their own decision? And how did you help them understand what meat is in a child-friendly, yet realistic way?
To be honest I know for a fact that DH prefers not to think about where his meat comes from -he eats it unconsciously, as many meat eaters do- and I do not want DS to pick that up from him. I would fully support DS being a meat eater, however, as long as he does it mindfully. I guess it's a good thing I am the primary caretaker and cook of the family then, huh!?
TIA for your support, ideas, and experiences.