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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 7yo daughter has just informed me that she is now a vegetarian. I know sometimes kids go thru phases like this but she has been grossed out by meat and feels bad for the chickens when we had chicken. I have always wanted to become veggie for health/social reasons. Never took the plunge bc dh is such a carnivoure. Aaaanyway. I was thinking we could take the plunge together.

Whats it like in your home if others are not veggie. I also wonder if its harder to be vegan living with nonvegans? Is it more expensive, hard work doing seperate meals? How has it effected the family's lifestyle having carnivoures and veggies living in peace and harmony in the same home?
 

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Well, I guess as long as there is total respect for your choices then hypothecitcally, it could work. It all depends.

My dh and I had my mom come live w/ us for awhile and while we are both vegetarians, she is not. But she never really even bought meat so it was never in the house, only when/if we ate out or ordered in. She respected our way of living and we respected hers. (Well, I don't respect anyones choice to consume meat and support that industry BUT I wasn't gonna harrass my mom. I have told her many things but in the end, it's her dicision, ya know? And it helped that I didn't have to deal w/ meat in my refrigerator.)

Anyways, we ended up having my brother come stay for awhile. He too, eats meat. We would get the childish comments from him and I felt like on many occasions, I was defending my choices and beliefs. I mean, it wasn't THAT big of a deal but it just gets annoying after awhile and he actually bought meat. So even though I never said anything to him (because I wanted to treat him as I would like to be treated) it kinda got to me. I really didn't like the fact that I had it in my house.

I couldn't ever live w/ another meat eater but it's easy for me to say that because my whole family are vegetarians. Now, in a family like yours there just needs to be an understanding among everyone. So that everyone is on the same page, per se.

BTW ~ I think it's AWESOME that you're supporting your daughter and taking the plunge into vegetarianism w/ her!!! Kudos to you!
You can order a free vegetarian starter kit @ goveg.com I believe.
 

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Wow, a 7yo deciding that for herself. That's awesome! She must be quite a kid!

I did something similar although at a later age. When I was 13 I informed my parents that I was going to be a vegetarian. I also had been grossed out by a lot of meat products for a while and was a fussy eater. My Mom humored me thinking it was a phase I'd grow out of. I just turned 40 (ACK!) and I've been a veg ever since!

Anyway, when I married my husband he wasn't a veg, in fact, he doesn't like a lot of vegetables! But, since he doesn't cook and I won't cook meat he effectively became a vegetarian at home. I never pressured him to become vegetarian because I think that's a decision someone needs to make from their own heart. He continued to order meat out a restaurants but last year we watched a movie which had such a big influence on him that he decided to go vegetarian. I also was moved even though I knew about most of the info in the movie. I have since moved closer to a vegan diet but I'm not entirely vegan. If you're interested in that movie here's a link:

http://www.tribeofheart.org/pk.htm

You might just try cooking with some of the meat substitutes and see how that goes. A lot of the meat substitutes are really good. I've made things for my father-in-law who is a dyed in the wool carnivore and he was astounded that I'd cooked meat for him AND it was delicious! HA! He had no idea.
Yves hot dogs and "ground round" are very good. Whole Foods makes really good "meat balls". Morning Star farms bacon and sausages are good. You'd be surprised. There's a faux meat for just about everything including Tuna and Scallops. I don't think it would be more expensive but then I haven't really ever bought meat so I couldn't say for sure.

I just want to say good for you for being supportive of her! I think any step you can take towards being a vegetarian is awesome and makes a difference!
 

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It is totally possible! The one pitfall to avoid I would say is don't make the vegetarians' meals everything-minus-the-meat, yk? I see that happen a lot, and we all need our protein.

Maybe make a few side dishes to share, and then one meat-based dish and one veggie protein dish?

Or make a veggie dish including protein (like a tofu/veggie stirfry) and then if the meat eaters insist, make meat, sort of like for them to have on the side?
 

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I am in a similar situation in that I have recently decided to stop eating meat. We have never fed our ds meat (he's 18mo) and I decided to stop eating meat all together but a month ago. My dh still eats meat if he's out or orders bacon on his pizza, but other than that he's meat free as well.
I've found it cheaper to shop w/out buying meat, and instead spend the extra $$ on things like:

organic veggies/fruit
REALLY good olive oil
high-end cheeses, olives, pickles...
etc

It's been a great choice and I feel healthier! Also, we only have one chance to give our kids the best possible start to life... it's great that you are respecting your daughters decission, what an empowering lesson for her to learn!!
 

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I have recently become vegetarian and my husband and child are meat eaters. We always made a lot of meat free meals just because we love pasta. We looked at what things we eat on a regular basis that don't have meat in them or could easily be left out. We eat that kind of stuff. We made spaghetti with polish sausage. We had to leave the sausage out of my son's meal because he is allergic to it. Now we leave it out completely and my husband can add it if he wants. We eat manicotti. We eat this wonderful vegan chili. If DH wants to cook something on the grill he makes what he wants, a turkey burger for DS and a veggie burger for me. We eat tacos a lot. I just have extra beans and no meat on mine. And sometimes we do just eat separately. I work late on Tuesday and Thursday nights. So on those nights I make myself something veggie and the guys eat their meatfilled dinner before I get home. I have found that I'm saving all kinds of money because I also gave up all fast food at the same time. This is the most frustrating thing for DH. He likes going out on the weekends to bring home fast food for the family. He still does that, but I fix myself something at home while he's out. I think it makes him feel like he's not providing as well for the family if he's not bringing home McDonald's for me. So far we're making it work. It's only been a few weeks now. So time will tell.

Kathi
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, you guys are great. Thanks! I really think it can work for us because as I think about it dh is quite fussy about what I make anyway whether it has meat in it or not and he really does like beans and stuff like that. I like the ideas you came up with. I think what might be helpful for me it to buy some vegetarian magazines and have that kind of literature around the house to keep me motivated. sometimes its been easier to let dh cook what he wants and eat what he makes, even tho it is nooo good for me. I am having investigative tests being done to find out if I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease and dh likes tons of chillies and garlic, the chillies are no good for my 'condition'. (but his food is so yummy, Im bad!). With my dd going for it I have inspiration!! Bless her cotton socks!

Oh yeah... She is quite a wonderful kid
 

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There are lots of meatless dishes everyone can eat like pasta. For nights when meat is served try offering rolls, salad, veggies, or fruit along with a pasta or rice side dish that she can use for her main dish. There are vegan hamburgers and hot dogs that are pretty inexpensive, too, and they can be cooked in the microwave. She might not understand that they're not really meat, though.
 

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It's great that you're supporting your daughter! Way to go, mama!


In our home, I'm veggie, my DH is an omnivore, and I'm the cook/shopper. Result? Only vegetarian food in our home.

I'm a good cook (if I do say so myself!
,) and my DH isn't picky, so it works out. If we order in, or go out, he gets meat, and it doesn't bother me (though I DO make him brush before I kiss him!)

That's probably not all that helpful for you, but it's how we do it.


Christine
 

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I was vegan for years (now ovo-pesce) and lived w/now dh, who is a lacto-veg. He was always very supportive and learned how to cook vegan for me! I never felt it was any problem until we had dd and moved to the middle of nowhere. Now we live in a place where the restaurants are very limited, so we end up eating pizza a lot. I get a salad bar and eat some protein later at home, dh and the ILs eat regular pizza. What's bumming me out a lot is that while dd, 20 mos, does not eat dairy, she wants whatever we are eating. So when we eat pizza, she has to have some. DH just says no, MIL kindly gives her a piece of plain crust, so dd now asks for pizza by name. This is bugging me more and more. When dd is asking repeatedly for pizza, I tell dh, "Why is it okay for you but not for her?" It just seems weird to withhold something that we eat (though we drink beer . . .). If I eat something I don't want to share, I go in another room.

Plus the ILs come over a lot, and they usually buy, and they always leave chicken bones on their greasy plates, and if they babysit they bring over some meaty dinner and eat it in front of dd, leaving their meaty carry-out styro on the counter. I'm confident they won't give it to her, but it bugs me because I don't see how she will understand this not eating dairy thing if everyone around her -- but one person -- eats it every day. There's no doubt in my mind that she will be eating cheese before she's 3. Then MIL fully expects that she will go to preschool, where they serve it and teach the importance of eating it.

I knew that when I moved to Kansas these things would be issues, but I guess it's just now dawning on me how isolated I am.
 

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My 11yo is an ovo-lacto vegetarian, and the rest of the family are omnivores.

I don't prepare separate meals for her, but I do keep her needs in mind when I plan meals. I generally don't make casseroles with meat and veggies all mixed together- when I make a meat dish, I make the side dishes meat-free. I'll bake a chicken, and serve it with carrots and rice, but I keep the carrots and rice in separate pots. When I made spaghetti and meatballs, I cooked them in tomato sauce and then DD made another meatless sauce. Next time I think I'll keep the sauce meatless and serve the meatballs separate from the sauce. Tonight's dinner was macaroni and cheese with fish sticks on the side. She didn't eat the fish sticks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Richella, In considering this lifestyle change for myself and my family, mostly my kids, dh eats what he wants, I had the same concerns as you mentioned. We are a very sociable family and have meals with friends all the time. While Im very concsious of other people being veg*n when feeding them, I wouldnt expect others to be so when feeding us. I guess its all about finding out whats right for your family and the reasons you are making this change. I wanted to cut out MOST of the sugar we consume. I actually found that the most difficult. I thought it just mean when all the other kids at church were having cookies and Id say 'no' to mine. Thanks alot you all for your tips. they are great!
 

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it may be a bit harsh but i make a meal and if dp turns his nose up he can go fend for himself. occasionally if i have time ill make him something vegetarian but thats as far as i go. i figure the whole country is set up for him and his diet, he'll live.
i used to cook for him when we met but he used to complain that it didnt taste processed and it needed meat. i may venture into cooking for him again though since now he pretty much throws a parade when i do
 

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Dd and I are veg, and Ds and Dh are not. We just include meat for their portions.
 

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I became veg at 11 - the only one in my family. My parents thought it was a phase but I'm still there at 35. My mom always made sure there was something healthy for me to eat but expected me to help make it often. For example, we would make enchiladas and freeze them in individual servings.
My husband is omni and my son is veg. My husband doesn't eat meat at home - only when we go out or get takeout. When he cooks, he cooks veg. My only concern is how will my son react when he's older (he's 1 1/2 now) and wants to eat what dad is eating. I know dh wouldn't give him meat but I don't know how to explain to him that he can't have what dad is eating right in front of him. This will also be worse because dh is a sahd and I work full time.
 
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