Vegetable-arian? at 7? - Problems Increasing.... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
Laggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
So, my 7 year old SD has apparently decided she is a vegetarian. This is apparently based on an incident at a fast food joint where she received a pink burger and her mom flipped out.

Now, I realize that probably a lot of people on this board are vegetarian and will be on her side... but I just think this is ridiculous. And I don't think we should be making special meals for her. I mean, it would be one thing if she didn't really like meat all along, or if she had some sort of moral reason (which she has not expressed: her reason is 'because I got a pink burger.') But this is a child that LOVES meat. Loves it. As in, gets so excited at the butcher shop that you would think she was at Disneyland. I'm not kidding. When we eat steak she eats a whole steak (rare) to herself (ok, they're not huge, but still - she eats as much meat as I do) We buy mostly organic or free range, small farm raised meat products. We have meat at dinner about 2/3 of the time. Other nights we cook with tofu or yves veggie ground meat stuff.

The part that really irks me, though (and I know this doesn't make me a great person) is that we received a phone call from BM *TELLING US* that we need to support SD's choice to be a vegetarian. And when we tried to discuss it with SD, the response was "My mom called and told you guys you have to support my decision to be a vegetarian now." This makes me furious. I told her she better hope she likes salad, because she's going to be eating a lot of it (she hates salad.)

I don't know, I just think that if a kid wants to eat food that is different than what the rest of the family is eating, they need to be old enough to make it themselves. And I know that this is just another episode in the long standing power struggle between the parents. Which really disappoints me, I really thought that after 3+ years we could get past this kind of b.s.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm going to get roasted for this one... no pun intended. But really, I know there are a lot of families that are vegetarian and the ex's family is not: would you serve meat to your child if they demanded it? Somehow I think not. What I think we should do, is just serve the same meals we always have. If she doesn't want the meat, well then the dog will be that much happier! She's certainly not going to die of malnutrition, we eat plenty of vegetables. And she is only with us 8-10 dinners a month...

Am I being unreasonable?

Finally pregnant with #1 and #2! Due September 9th, 2014 
   
Laggie is offline  
#2 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 03:38 PM
 
boobybunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,361
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes and no, you should respect your sd's wishes. But there is no way you cook a seperate meal. All you need to do is offer her a protein (tofu, nut butter, beans, maybe fish or hardboiled eggs) with the rest of the meal you prepare.


good luck.
boobybunny is offline  
#3 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 04:16 PM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're vegetarian, stepkids and family are not. Once in a while when they're with us dh cooks meat for them, or if they're out they'll get a hotdog. They definitely get less meat with us than with their mom, but we try to tailor the foods we serve when they're with us to match up a bit with what they're used to. We also cook somewhat blander meals, or a blander option, for them. Although each house has different ground rules, I don't expect them to completely alter their palate when they're with us - stretch it a little, maybe, but not turn it unnecessarily into a power issue.

On a broader social scale, when we have friends, relatives or other guests with us, we also try to ensure that meals include things that they like to eat. It's courteous.

It sounds like you're unhappy with your stepdaughter's mom's style of communicating with you, and with the fact that she told her daughter that you 'had' to do something for her. I'd suggest trying to separate that issue and your feelings about it from your willingness to accommodate your stepdaughter's choices. Power struggles are not fun and breed resentment all around, so if they're avoidable, avoid them!

Practically speaking, how hard would it really be to accommodate her? I'm willing to bet you don't eat 100% meat-and-only-meat three-meals-a-day: you say you already eat lots of veggies! Some rice and veggies with some grated cheese makes a fine vegetarian kids' meal, for example - we're not talking about hours of slaving. Are you wedded to having meat entrees only, seven suppers and seven lunches a week, or can you see your way to cooking vegetarian entrees once in a while? She's with you 8-10 dinners a month, so maybe, you might have fun discovering some yummy vegetarian non-salad options out there, and maybe fixing them together.

So far as her reasons for going vegetarian go, maybe they're lame and maybe they're not (it could be that she's not great at articulating it), maybe it's a lasting decision and maybe it's not. Hopefully what will last is her memory of you respecting and supporting her.
mammastar2 is offline  
#4 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 04:28 PM
 
RiverSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Paradise
Posts: 7,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie
Am I being unreasonable?
Umm, perhaps a little. Or perhaps you're just overreacting a little.

I don't think you should have to make separate meals for SD, I honestly don't think that this should add up to much more work, if any, at all for you. Both I and my sister were vegetarians in a meat-eating home for years, we simply ate all the sides at the meal (rice or mashed potatoes, veggies, salads) and if that wasn't enough, we could make a quick cheese & veggies sandwich. You could take into account your SD's vegetarianism (and really, who even knows how long it will last) and add a bean dish to some meals, or if you are making spaghetti or lasagna, make one part of it meat free. Or hard-boil some eggs every few days, leave them in the refrigerator, and serve one with her meals when she can use some extra protein. Since you are already making meatless meals as a matter of regular life, why not have those meals specifically on days when SD will be with you?

Chances are that you are already making fruit and vegetables a natural and regular part of your household's diet and peanut butter sandwiches are always an easy, inexpensive and fairly healthy thing for a 7 year old to eat so it should be hard for SD to have healthy lunches and snacks without any extra work from you.

I agree with the PP who talked about how great it would be for SD to remember in the future how supportive, helpful and sweet you were to her. Having grown up with a stepfather (one that no one in the family is in touch with anymore, including his 5 blood children) who didn't take anything we cared about seriously or with any respect, I can vouch for the fact that children do remember that stuff.
RiverSky is offline  
#5 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 08:10 PM
 
dharmamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bywater, West Farthing
Posts: 4,548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Instead of thinking about it as a "lame" reason for being vegetarian, how about thinking about it like this: Your SD had a food experience that yucked her out. Now she doesn't want to eat that food. I think that happens to a lot of people. I know I won't touch chocolate-covered raisins because I once found one that had creepy-crawlies growing in it. My dh won't eat raisins because the kids sitting next to him in 1st grade opened a raisin box to find it all maggoty. We all have weird food aversions. Maybe this will pass for your SD and maybe it won't. Maybe she'll go back to loving meat, and maybe she'll go on to be a lifelong vegetarian. Maybe it will be because she discovers that it's the best nutritional and spiritual path for her, maybe it will all be a reaction to the pink meat incident. Who knows? What if your SD had a bad experience with broccoli and gave up broccoli? Would it make you this angry?

But I think that it's important that you respect her wishes at this point and that you don't make it any harder on her than necessary. My parents divorced when I was 17. I was practically an adult and their ongoing squabbles and ridiculous, petty power struggles are STILL hard for me to deal with. I can't imagine having to deal with it at 7. Don't let your anger at her bio mom mess up you relationship with your SD.

Making a small portion of your meal meatless and adding tofu or cheese or some other protein source really is not that much extra work, especially if it's only 8-10 times per month.

Btw, we are vegetarian, and maybe I am a hypocrite, but I would not accomodate my 7 year old's wish to begin consuming meat. I see vegetarianism as a spiritual matter and until my kids are old enough to fully grasp the spiritual aspects of it (and I don't know yet what age that will be, it will depend on each kid), I would not allow them to consume an animal's flesh. But if a child chooses to omit something from his or her diet, I think that should be respected. Even if the child's reasons are "lame."

Namaste!
dharmamama is offline  
#6 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 08:15 PM
 
Corvus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny
Yes and no, you should respect your sd's wishes. But there is no way you cook a seperate meal. All you need to do is offer her a protein (tofu, nut butter, beans, maybe fish or hardboiled eggs) with the rest of the meal you prepare.
Yea, that. Respect her wishes. Offer her a separate protein, even if it's a peanut-butter sandwich (which she should make for herself... she is old enough. My 3yo can do it herself.)

Don't turn this into a battleground. As someone who had to put-up with an evil step-mother while growing up (I'm not saying YOU are evil)... I can tell you that NOT accommodating your step-daughter will get you on a s***list with her. It's not worth it. You can accommodate her with very little work on your part, and the results will be wonderful. When she is all grown-up, perhaps still veg perhaps not, she will look back fondly on you and tell her friends or husband, "Ya know, my step-mother is a meat-eater, but even when I was little, she always accommodated my need to avoid meat. She is wonderful."

Think of it this way: What if YOUR daughter decided to become a vegetarian, you respected her wishes, and she had to deal with a step-mother who refused to accommodate her? You'd probably be livid.
Corvus is offline  
#7 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 08:33 PM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think you came here saying you just plain wouldn't accommodate her: I just got the sense you'd 'make it hard' for her, like with your comment about giving her lots of salads since she doesn't like them. I would really urge you not to put stuff in front of her that you know she doesn't like just to make a point!

I actually wouldn't require her to make an alternative herself, like a PB sandwich, unlike Corvus. That still seems like 'making a point' in a kind of hostile way to me, even if it's not meant as such. As others have pointed out, it's not exactly hard to grate some cheese, cube a bit of tofu, or boil an egg along with making the rest of supper, and I'd just do it. I know I can't stand it when I'm at some event and the vegetarian meal that's 'available' has to be brought out separately while I wait by the kitchen door as other folks sweep through the buffet. No need to single her out.
mammastar2 is offline  
#8 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 08:46 PM
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
What if your SD had a bad experience with broccoli and gave up broccoli? Would it make you this angry?
I'd be pretty ticked off if the biomom called and said I was never to serve her child broccoli!

That is the issue for me here, the ex has no business telling you what food to serve in your house. You do not have to respect the 7 year old's food choices. But I hope you will choose to!

My dh hates fish. In a silly way. He hates fish that he can't even taste in his food. No fish sauce in a thai recipe or bland fish sticks. It is irritating to me because I love fish and the kids do to. If there are left overs available for him, I'll cook fish for the rest of us. But we do eat a lot less fish because of him.

Think about the rest of the people in your house. Do you EVER make accomidations for their likes and dislikes. I do. I'll make dss a sandwich on a night we are having spicy curry. If you do things like that occasionally, then you should make some accomadations for your dsd (not full separate meals, but a sandwich, a burrito, something easy and quick). If you NEVER do this for anyone else, then just let her eat sides.
Flor is offline  
#9 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 08:51 PM
 
Corvus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2
I actually wouldn't require her to make an alternative herself, like a PB sandwich, unlike Corvus. That still seems like 'making a point' in a kind of hostile way to me, even if it's not meant as such.
The only reason I said to have her make the PB sandwich herself is b/c, well, if my DD doesn't want or doesn't like what I've made for supper, her only other option is a PB sandwich. Just a house rule, b/c I refuse to be a short-order cook. At 3, she can make it herself, but I generally do it for her, b/c she's a little messy about it. By the time she is 7, she will be expected to make it herself, b/c, well, she will certainly be capable. However, like I (and someone else) said, the PB is just one option. It is not hard for the OP to make a separate protein, like a grilled cheese sandwich or hard-boiled egg, etc. I certainly wouldn't let a 7yo cook! I was just trying to make the point that she should accommodate her step-daughter but that it doesn't have to be hard or a PITA (and she will score huge points with her step-daughter).
Corvus is offline  
#10 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 09:01 PM
 
dharmamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bywater, West Farthing
Posts: 4,548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
That is the issue for me here, the ex has no business telling you what food to serve in your house.
That's not what this girl's mom is doing. She is asking that the girl's dad and stepmom respect the child's wishes, that they "support" her. The way it was described by the OP it sounds very non-combative. But even if she was rude and nasty and said, "You'd better not feed dd meat because she doesn't want to eat it," she's still not telling the dad and step-mom what to serve in their house.

Namaste!
dharmamama is offline  
#11 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
Laggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Ok, I admit I am over reacting. But honestly, if you knew this kid, you would think it was fishy. She *Loves* to eat rare steak. As in bleeding. Has never ever been squeamish about where meat comes from, or expressed even the smallest ew, gross type comment. Never. (unlike, for examply, my little sister, who used to cry when we told her bacon came from pigs.) But suddenly, after mom freaking out over a pink hamburger (which I understand was quite a scene) I am *ordered* to provide vegetarian meals.

I mean, if she came home and said, you know, I think it's wrong to eat animals and I want to be a vegetarian, fine. I wouldn't be happy about it but I would have to respect it. I personally am against the abuse/mistreatment of animals, ie factory farming but I don't think it is wrong to eat them. Thus, the organic meat. This, on the other hand, is just weird. I get the feeling she is doing it just to be a pain. Although, the more I think about it, the more I wonder *who* exactly this is directed at. Might not be me after all (what, you mean the universe doesn't revolve around moi?)

The part where this is really going to be a pain is that she is on the hot lunch program at school. which is paid for for January already. So we will have to start making lunches I guess...

Anyway, we're having chicken breasts for dinner tonight. And the usual assortment of veggies. SD will be having beans. I am saying nothing. I swear. Nothing. I know I should try to be a better person about all this. I don't know why I always feel the need to be so stubborn.

Finally pregnant with #1 and #2! Due September 9th, 2014 
   
Laggie is offline  
#12 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 09:15 PM
 
earthmama369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,989
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't say my parents were thrilled when I announced I was not eating meat anymore.

I was 5.

I didn't like the gristle and fat in meat. The texture grossed me out. So I told them I wasn't eating any meat anymore. They weren't happy about it, but they didn't treat it any differently than if I'd said I didn't like macaroni and cheese. They weren't going to force me to eat something I didn't like.

I think there's a meeting point here. My parents -- ok, realistically, my mother -- didn't go out of her way to make a special meal for me. But since she had always believed in serving sit-down, balanced meals, more often than not there were several dishes on the table anyway -- meat, cooked veggie, salad, grains. I just didn't eat the ones that were meat, and she tried to avoid mixing meat into larger dishes when she could just prepare it on the side. I did get mild anemia that first year for a couple of months, but we all learned about protein and the many other sources from which I could get it, and that was my only run-in with it.

23 years later, I'm still a vegetarian for many more reasons than that I don't like the texture of meat. My mother is one now, too, and my sister has become vegan. My dad's still an omnivore, but his horizons have expanded considerably. He's even confessed to liking the vegetarian Indian restaurant I take him to! It turned out to be a great stepping stone to exploring other food ideas, and my parents really got into preparing foods from other cultures since it expanded what we could all eat and some cultures have more vegetarian or veggie-friendly recipes than the American culture does.

This could be a positive learning experience or a negative one, depending on how you approach it. I vote (not that I have a vote) to have fun with it!
earthmama369 is offline  
#13 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 09:18 PM
 
earthmama369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,989
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Doh. We posted at the same time. I see there's a bigger issue here. Although my vote would still be the same. It's kind of like when a kid says "why? why? why? why?" and it bugs you. You can let it bug you. Or you can turn the tables and answer each question in depth so fully that they quickly abandon that tactic.

If she's not really into being a vegetarian, this could still be a great learning experience and a chance to explore some new foods. Dive into it. Try new things. Get her books from the library about nutrition and balancing her diet. Ask her to help find some new vegetarian recipes and help make them. She might like it. She might decide it's all too much and change her mind back that much sooner.
earthmama369 is offline  
#14 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
Laggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Anyway, thanks for all the comments. I kind of knew i was just being difficult.

We do eat a lot of different foods, some of which are vegetarian. I love Indian food but I never order/prepare meat dishes... mind you, I don't make that stuff when SD is around because she won't eat anything even remotely spicy. Not even something with black pepper on it. I really wonder, if kids are raised with spicy food do they get used to it at a young age or what? I mean, what do people feed their kids in India? Mexico? Or is it just the restaurant versions of those types of foods that are *so* spicy?

Oops, I'm dragging my own thread off-topic. But I've always wondered about that... Because it seems like a North American thing, that kids don't like spicy stuff...?

Finally pregnant with #1 and #2! Due September 9th, 2014 
   
Laggie is offline  
#15 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 10:44 PM
 
lilyka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 18,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
OK lets say her reasons are lame and BM is way out of line and trying to create a power struggle.

then give her the opposite. Embrace it.

There is a great book called OK so your a vegetrian now. it was written by a teenager and its goal is to make things as simple as possible while not getting your folks feathers in a ruffle. the recipes are also simple and tasty. you might find out your familyenjoys a more plant based diet.

this will do a lot of things for your step dd.
1. it will give you something to bond over.
2. she will feel truely respected. her mom is doing it for whatever reason, you are doing it purely to please her and suport her (although I would address the atitude)
3. look at the bright side. the kids eats vegitables. How lucky are you.
5. and this has nothing to o with step dd but this will save you a bit of $$. bonus.

OK how to make it easy. pb&j, speghetti Os, mac & cheese, and grilled cheese are mostly what my kids eat for lunch. find out what she (and her mom) means by vegetarian. you may be able to squeeze tuna salad into the rotation (not thechnically vegetarian but some people let it slide, since this isn't based ona moral issue she might be down with fish). Oh cheese rolls (tortilla with melty cheese) and bean and cheese quasadillas are also good simple lunch things. breakfast is easy if she does eggs.

for dinner just sub the meat dish with baked tofu, a handfull of nuts, some beans (garbonzo beans are a favorite for picking up and eating with my kids), hard boiled egg or somehting else protien. or just make sure she has some god protien snacks (any of the above) available. she isn't going to melt away while she is at your house if she misses a couple servings of protien.

some good things that pelase everyone are speghetti and other pasta/sauce recipes if the family loves meat just pull her noodles out and have her use plain jar sauce. she is old enough to heat it up in the microwave herself), tacos (just put refried beans on the table for her to use as a sub for meat or as a side dish for everyone), vegetable or lentil soup and bread, pizza, there is always a sub for convience foods like nuggets, corn dogs, hot dogs and such, you said you already sub for meat in some things. That is over a week of food with options to go meated or meatless.

This doesn't have to be hard and the less of an issue you make of it the better. Just serve what you always serve and maybe sub something protien like an egg (which my 3 year old can peel herself so a 7 year old should be able to get it.) but even that is not nessecarily nessecary (that can't be gramatically corect) so long as she is getting protien through out the day (a hand full of nuts or a boiled egg or heck, even a glass of milk make for a quick easy boost). It is not nearly as hairy as it feels

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

lilyka is offline  
#16 of 55 Old 01-06-2006, 10:51 PM
 
Corvus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie
Ok, I admit I am over reacting. But honestly, if you knew this kid, you would think it was fishy. She *Loves* to eat rare steak. As in bleeding. Has never ever been squeamish about where meat comes from, or expressed even the smallest ew, gross type comment. Never.
Correction. She USED TO love to eat rare steak. As of now, she doesn't love it anymore. Respect that. Don't try to make her eat something that grosses her out. Food should never be a battle. Don't make it one. Just accept and respect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie
I get the feeling she is doing it just to be a pain.
Ok, now you're starting to sound like my step-mother. Really. Anytime my sister or I had a problem, my step-mother blamed us and felt that we were "just doing it to be a pain." Her attitude toward us was always negative, stemming from resentment and hatred of us. Honestly.

Your step-daughter's world does not revolve around you; it revolves around herself. She has made a decision. Who cares if it stems from her mother's freak-out over the pink meat? It's the child's decision. And she is 7. She is not consciously out to "get" you by creating issues at mealtime.

Again, how would you feel if this were your biological daughter? How would you feel if she had a step-mother who reacted so negatively about this?
Corvus is offline  
#17 of 55 Old 01-07-2006, 02:36 PM
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
That's not what this girl's mom is doing. She is asking that the girl's dad and stepmom respect the child's wishes, that they "support" her. The way it was described by the OP it sounds very non-combative. But even if she was rude and nasty and said, "You'd better not feed dd meat because she doesn't want to eat it," she's still not telling the dad and step-mom what to serve in their house.

Namaste!
I disagree. The girl's mom called and said they had to support her decision. They don't have to. I hope they will.

The way the OP stated it sounded compative to me.

I don't understand how saying "You'd better not feed dd meat because he doesn't want to eat it," isn't telling them what to serve and not serve in their house.

I thought it was especially weird how the girl said, "You have to support me because my mom told you to," or something. When dss was little we had to clarify boundries. He would tell us, "My mom said I have to do this," or "My mom said I can't do that," at our house, when he lived with us full time. He didn't understand at the time that mom's rules and ideas aren't the law at our house, though we try to parent together.
Flor is offline  
#18 of 55 Old 01-07-2006, 02:42 PM
 
Tofu the Geek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't see it as a big deal. There are tons of great meals that don't have meat in them. Do you honestly eat meat EVERY single meal in your house? If you do, then I guess it might be tough for you. But if you don't, why not just make some great meatless meals for the entire family on the 8-10 times she eats with you per month? That way, you aren't making 2 different meals (and as others said, you likely don't have to make a seperate meal anyway).

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
Tofu the Geek is offline  
#19 of 55 Old 01-08-2006, 04:44 PM
 
StephandOwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 8,809
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is this about not eating meat or is this really about you not liking the way BM told you about this? If it's the latter (which I think it is, by reading this thread)- forget about it! Just drop it. Pretend BM asked you in a nice way to respect SD's decision to not eat meat. You're upset at BM. Perhaps there are other issues between you two. Don't drag the kid in the middle. If this was YOUR DD who suddenly didn't want to eat meat what would you do?

It really isn't hard to serve meals without meat. I eat meat most days for dinner, as do both of my parents. My DS refuses to eat meat in any form. I do not, and will not, prepare a completely seperate meal for him. I DO take it into consideration though (especially since, at 2, he can't exactly make his own meals). When making spaghetti with meat sauce (or meatballs) I just make the sauce, take some out for him, then add the cooked meat to the rest. When we get a pepperoni pizza he just pulls the pepperoni off and puts it aside. I usually prepare a meat, salad, rice/pasta/potato dish, and a fruit (or veggie, depending on what I put in the salad). I always offer him the meat (he always refuses) but he has plenty of other options on the table.

I think instead of making a big deal about it you should turn this into something fun for the two of you. Go buy (or borrow from the library) a book on vegitarian cooking. Go shopping together and teach her how to prepare some meals (which you could benefit from in a few years when she's able to cook alone ). You learn to be more flexible, your SD learns much about cooking/preparing food. Sounds like everyone wins

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

StephandOwen is offline  
#20 of 55 Old 01-08-2006, 04:56 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Seconding Steph's suggestion with the cooking. My 7yo is a conscientious vegetarian- if I'm cooking two choices at dinnertime, he'll help prepare the vegetables to serve with the meals so I get a bit more time, or do some of the cooking for me (he makes a mean risotto, and has the patience for it as well.)
Strange question- has her mother gone vegetarian as well?

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#21 of 55 Old 01-08-2006, 05:57 PM
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie



Anyway, I'm sure I'm going to get roasted for this one... no pun intended. But really, I know there are a lot of families that are vegetarian and the ex's family is not:?
Sounds like the ex is not going vegetarian?
Flor is offline  
#22 of 55 Old 01-09-2006, 10:54 AM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm familiar with the combative ex who calls up to tell you what you 'have' to feed the kids, or to tell you that 'as usual, you never [fill in the blank here]", and with stuff like the kids saying stuff like "you have to drop us off at the coffee shop because you're not allowed on mommy's property", etc etc etc.

All you can do it try to go zen and let it roll off you. If you let it affect how you relate to the child, you're just falling into the trap set by the other parent. In your case, if your husband's ex is not exactly cooperative, she probably knew full well what buttons she would push by telling you what you 'had' to do (and by advising you to be supportive, I'm assuming you took it that she assumed you otherwise wouldn't be), and by telling her daughter that she'd laid down the law with you. It's taken us years and it doesn't always work, but we've got a lot better at letting it roll off us. Of course, if she's really trying to pick a fight, this will irritate her, but c'est la vie!

Try a simple role play:

Ex: Dd is vegetarian now. It's very important to her and I'm fully supportive of her. I expect you to support her too.

You: How wonderful! We've always served lots of fresh vegetables and alternative proteins - it's great to hear that you're going to be moving in that direction too. I'm so glad to hear you're going to be supportive of this.

Or -

Sd: I'm never eating meat again and my mom said that you have to support me and never make me. Na na na na na! [ok, I added that!]

You: I'm so glad your mom is supporting you in this - I know she's been a meat-eater her whole life, so it's really cool that she's going to try something new. We always have lots of vegetables at dinner, but we can try adding some new stuff too. Did you have any ideas?
mammastar2 is offline  
#23 of 55 Old 01-09-2006, 11:16 AM
 
umami_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: home is where the magic is
Posts: 5,121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
if your dsd's mom remembers those kids that died after eating at jack in the box, then she might be justified in "flipping out." personally i think it's better to just ot ever eat in them, but i can understand her being upset.

my cousin's son has been vegetarian since he was 7. he decided it wasn't ethical to eat animals when he was that age and know what? he's 20-something now (in graduate school) and he still is.

the whole rest of his family eats meat. (big time, my brother used to be a butcher) his mom just always made sure that there was a simple non-meat source of protein for him at all meals. lucky for her he didn't decide to be veagn, that might have been tough. her father, my uncle freaked out about the whole thing and made a big deal about it, but my cousin just kept saying "of course he can be healthy without meat and he's allowed to decide what goes in his mouth." this was a radical concept for my family and so it took a long time before people stopped making a big deal about it.

since it's just a few meals a month, why not just honor your dsd's request and show her that you do care about her decisions even if you don't agree with them.

HTH!

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

umami_mommy is offline  
#24 of 55 Old 01-10-2006, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
Laggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Well. On the weekend we had chicken for dinner. SD asked what we were having, and her dad told her we were having chicken, but that she could have beans instead, as a protein. She asked for beans AND chicken, but didn't eat the beans. We did not discuss this during dinner, although her father did talk to her about why she wanted to be a vegetarian the day before. She ate some chicken, ate her veggies, ate maybe one small mouthful of the beans, and that was it. We all did eat beans as well.

We received a phone call from BM about it, of course saying that we were not being supportive. I feel that we offered a vegetarian option and SD chose the meat. What am I supposed to do, tell her not to eat the chicken because she is a vegetarian now?

I find it interesting that very few people answered my question: Would you, as a vegetarian (and I think most of you are) feed your child meat if they asked for it? I am willing to let her pick what she wants to eat at the dinner table, but I am not willing to completely alter our menu to suit her.

Also, in part there is another issue here: SD is in the habit of eating a small amount of food, then repeatedly asking "how much more do I have to eat?" at which point her dad will portion off a certain amount that he wants her to eat before she is "done." I can't stand this and always try to just encourage her to eat until she is full, or to just stay at the table until everyone is finished, but it is a habit and she will repeatedly ask "how much more?" "Is that enough?" etc. So, there has always been this struggle over food, which I often feel is detrimental to us enjoying a family meal together. SD is used to eating dinner in front of the TV at her mom's and it has been a struggle to get her to sit properly in a chair and eat at the table with us, although in the past year she has gotten a lot better.

Oh, and for those who asked: BM is not a vegetarian either, although I think she only eats chicken.

Finally pregnant with #1 and #2! Due September 9th, 2014 
   
Laggie is offline  
#25 of 55 Old 01-10-2006, 05:37 PM
 
Tofu the Geek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a vegetarian and will buy chicken breasts to BBQ for DD when she's in the mood for them and asks. At holiday gatherings we usually get my parents or MIL to cook some meat (pork chops or roast chicken) etc. for the family and DD will usually have a few bites (well not the pork chops unless they have enough of some sauce to cover the taste!).

I was vegan the entire time I was pregnant with DD and her and I vegetarian until she was 5. The someone gave her chicken fingers. She is 8 now and a fairly picky eater (she must have got it from me, I am still picky!) and I am more concerned that she get a varied, nutritious diet than that she is a vegetarian. Her diet is too limited and meat occasionally adds some variety.

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
Tofu the Geek is offline  
#26 of 55 Old 01-10-2006, 06:44 PM
 
Corvus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie
We received a phone call from BM about it, of course saying that we were not being supportive. I feel that we offered a vegetarian option and SD chose the meat. What am I supposed to do, tell her not to eat the chicken because she is a vegetarian now?
Laggie, she's 7, not 17. She's not always going to be firm in her convictions, and she might not necessarily completely understand the meaning of the term "vegetarian." It's possible she is only grossed out by red meat—which is how *I* am. I eat chicken, turkey, pork, and some fish. No red meat, except the occasional homemade burger.

Maybe YOU should not be talking with the mother; your husband should be doing all the communication with her. Obviously things are strained, so HE should be dealing with her. HE should be the one to tell her, "Well, DD was given chicken and beans, b/c she said she wanted chicken and beans. She only ate the chicken." It's not difficult to explain, really.
Corvus is offline  
#27 of 55 Old 01-10-2006, 07:30 PM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sounds like you're doing what you can, and her mom is just a tad over-controlling about what goes on at your house. All you can do is your best, really, and try not to let that sense of being 'supervised' by the mom affect how you interact with your stepdaughter.
mammastar2 is offline  
#28 of 55 Old 01-10-2006, 09:16 PM
 
talk de jour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Posts: 2,662
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just a thought -- I would have flipped out if my child was served a pink burger as well. I went out to dinner with SO's family at a fairly upscale restaurant a few weeks ago, and his eleven-year-old brother was asked HOW HE WANTED HIS BURGER PREPARED. After every E. coli outbreak that has happened -- and is easily avoided by thoroughly cooking every surface of meat, inside and out, it seriously came as a shock to me that any restaurant would even CONSIDER serving less than well-done burgers. This place didn't even have one of those "Undercooked meat can make you sick" disclaimers on their menu. It was seriously appalling. (And SO's pescotarian mom told the waitress medium-well -- ugh.) It only takes ten E. coli organisms to kill a child.

That said, I think she should be able to manage fine on side dishes, if you tend to serve balanced meals (veggie, salad, bread, main course type meals). If she was with you for large periods of time, you'd need to be more accommodating -- but she's not going to melt away for lack of tofu over a weekend.

I don't think you're overreacting. I'm thinking you feel like the way you run your house is being criticized, and that's NEVER a good feeling.

babyf.gif

talk de jour is offline  
#29 of 55 Old 01-10-2006, 11:12 PM
 
boobybunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,361
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have worked in the restaurant industry for years. Upscale restaurants use a better quality of meat than say JITB or MCD's.


I eat a rare burger from the Outback anyday of the week. And I have worked there.
boobybunny is offline  
#30 of 55 Old 01-10-2006, 11:27 PM
 
talk de jour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Posts: 2,662
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The quality of the meat doesn't have much to do with the sanitation of the cow's intestines.

I wouldn't eat a rare burger if I'd slaughtered the cow myself.

babyf.gif

talk de jour is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off