lunches at school like chicken nuggets, hamburgers, etc. I believe the other children are pressuring him because we are vegetarian. I understand he can make his own decisions, but I hate for him to abandon his healthy life to eating junk a few times a week at school. Also, his younger siblings will want to do the same. Forget about healthy substitutes, he wants the same as everyone. I sympathise, but do I try to make him wait till he is older? I try to give him 'normal' food for school, lik PB&J. He is also complaining about being the only one without cable TV, playstation, etc.
How have people dealed with raising older vegetarian, healthy children in this culture?
Wow - this will probably be me in 10-1/2 years. We're raising Dd isn our orgnaic vegetarian, sugar-free, home, with minimal television. I've put aside all the video baby gifts we received. My in-laws tell me I'm up for a losing battle, which they perpetuate by keeping the television on and talking of nothing but sugar. They tell me she'll get all that stuff at school and with her friends anyway, so why do I bother.
Experienced mother that I am not, I tell them that the longer she can go without that stuff, the better. My sister raised my nephew much the same way. He had a phase when he ate junk and got into some things she was hoping to avoid, but he decided it wasn't for him and he's now a vegetarian (gourmet cook) adult.
My sister thinks that it was her early efforts that kept him on the overall track she felt was important.
Good luck. I'm sure I'll cringe when that first twinkie goes into Dd's little organic body.
As for the food issues, do you think you could get to hold out a little longer? Once he gets to middle school things evenout a little and there are vegetarian meals in at least one of the lunch lines and people and thier individul choices aren't so obvious. Maybe you could just let him taste the crap they serve. If he has been raised on flavorful whole foods he willl most likely find it not worth his money or taste buds. we never could afford school lunch so it always seemed really appealing to me because everyone else got to eat it. I was the one of 4 kids out of 120 that brought thier lumch to school and the other three usually had fast food left overs, pop, or flashy processed stuff that made mine look even grosser. I lived. Are there other areas you can comprimise that would make him feel normal?
Good luck. I fear the day my children say these things to me.
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.
School is tough. 11 is an age when it really matters to kids what other kids think. And it is extremely painful not to fit in. And an unusual lunch does stick out. Maybe you can modify the lunch a bit as someone else suggested, and maybe allow a school lunch once every 2 weeks or so, or whatever you decide. If you are eating healthy at home, one school lunch once in a while is probably not such a bad thing.
The middle school years have been a real learning experience for me. They are the toughest years we have faced so far. (And I have one in High School).
I hope this helps.
Maybe the thing is to relax a little on the school lunches, but help him to explore in the kitchen. His first efforts at cooking will probably look a lot like the school's chicken nuggets, but given time and encouragement he'll come back to wholesome food that tastes good. When I was a kid, I specialized in Jello 123 and Shirrif's Lemon Pie Mix, but now I am a pretty good cook, and my homemade lemon meringue pie is to die for.
I also think that the more you resist it the more attractive it becomes and it will lead to more undesirable behavior like lying and sneaking, because peer pressure rules at this age. Trust that you have shown him how to take care of his body, his desires to be like everyone else is overwhelming. Being 'WEIRD' is very hard. Talk with him honestly about why you feel the way you do and give him the decision.
My guess is he will try it for a little while, maybe longer than you would like. But if it is his decision he won't have to lie or sneak and have the guilt from that.
The foundation is there for healthy eating, I seriously doubt that this will be a life-long decision on his part!
As a result of this, he feels like he belongs, and doesn't even argue the fact that we keep very little sweets in the house. I've raised him this way since he was little - my ds is more likely to want a pear when he wants a snack than anything else.
I strongly believe that, if buying school lunch gives him a sense of being able to make his own choices, then so be it. I can live with 5 junky meals a week.
It's also interesting to note that he told the cafeteria workers that they should cook the string beans like his dad does! :LOL