5 year old not eating animals anymore - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-25-2010, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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My 5 year old DD decided a week or so ago that she's not eating animals anymore. Good for her! The only problem...is that being 5, she's still kind of picky when it comes to eating. Does anyone have any simple recipes, or vegetarian cook books that they'd recommend? She can't live on noodles! Thanks.
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#2 of 6 Old 03-25-2010, 11:52 AM
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First of all I have to tell you my family and I are meat eaters, but these are some things that go over well in this Omni household.
My first step would be to try to convert her favorite meaty meals to a veg. option, without using soy-meat stuff. Portobella mushrooms as burgers ( like them marinated in garlic, evoo, and a little Worcestershire sauce, S&P) Crimini mushrooms chopped finely and fried like ground beef for spaghetti, again with the fresh garlic and evoo. Falafel is a GOOD alternative to a burger..my kids scarf them up on a bun with all the fixins (cheese, ketchup, onions, lettuce, and tomato) I make patties not balls. I eat them traditionally in a pita with cucumber, hummus, tomato, and a little red onion. Does she like beans? You could make a veg. chili, or tacos with beans instead of meat, or burritos...Do you have a grill? There are lots of veggies that my kids won't touch steamed or sauteed, but LOVE when I grill them; asparagus, zucchini, veggie kabobs(try to keep soft with soft, hard with hard) sturdy greens, leeks or green onions, peppers.
Also, letting her pick out and help prepare the meal makes it more special, and she would be more likely to try something new. (works here!) I think the most important thing is variety, and please make sure she is getting enough protein, little bodies need it for growth and development!

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#3 of 6 Old 03-25-2010, 12:11 PM
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My kids have been veggie their whole lives so I might have some ideas. What types of foods does she like and dislike so we can give you ideas that don't focus on all of her least favorite foods?

In terms of "burgers" as mentioned by the pp, one of my girls loves mushrooms and the other would never touch a portabella burger. She hates mushrooms. I, too, don't care for the isolated soy protein burgers, but veggie burgers can be made from grains and veggies as well. Some beans, like black beans, work well for veggie burgers too. My kids particularly like Sunshine Burgers which are made with sunflower seeds, rice, and veggies. It sounds odd, but they really are good.
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#4 of 6 Old 03-26-2010, 03:07 AM
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My (vegan) 5 year-old has a ton of fun with the Mollie Katzen cookbooks for preschoolers. Her favorite meal is Polka Dot Rice (in Salad People, I think, might be Pretend Soup. Both cookbooks are entirely veg, and most recipes are easily veganized). She also loves creamy tomato soup (I make this with canned diced tomatoes, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, agave, and salt thrown in a blender) and cheese toast (which we now make with Daiya cheese). Um ... spaghetti with white beans in it, white beans with lemon, olive oil, salt and polenta, baked potatoes with white-bean spread or hummus and nutritional yeast sauce. These Tofu fish sticks are a big hit in our house. I sometimes make "chicken strips" by omitting the kelp and dill from the breading and adding a teaspoon each of sage, thyme and parsley. Sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, edamame and chard are the favorite veggies around here.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-26-2010, 04:10 AM
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#6 of 6 Old 03-26-2010, 01:08 PM
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Both of my girls are veggie. Dh and I are not. When my youngest was 3 1/2 she decided she would never eat an animal again and hasn't. She pestered her sister enough that after a year she stopped eating meat also. So I have a lot of experience w/young kids who are veg.

As a pp said, beans are great. My girls love all kinds of beans. Cannellini beans warmed up w/olive oil and salt are delicious. Saute some garbanzo beans w/olive oil and add some fresh or dried thyme and salt. Hummus w/pita bread is kid friendly. Nut butters for dipping, used in a sandwich. Burritos are well loved and can have a variety of things in them.

Various grains are big in our house too. Quinoa w/edamame, sundried tomatoes and olive oil. Topped w/parmesan. Or quinoa w/pesto for something more simple. Couscous w/tomato sauce, or w/cinnamon, raisins and some olive oil.

One thing I told my girls repeatedly was vegetarians eat veggies. And though they both went through phases of not eating certain veggies, they both always ate one or two, and now at ages 10 and 8, eat most veggies. I've never been a fan of drowning veggies in a sauce to get kids to eat them. We like broccoli steamed and topped w/olive oil and lemon juice. Brussel sprouts roasted w/oil, and topped w/salt and pepper. Sauted chard or kale is well loved. Spinach sauted in oil and topped w/sesame seeds is devoured around here. And soup w/pretty much any veggie thrown in is universally liked by my girls.
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