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Four-year-old choosing not to eat meat because their animals?

Has anyone else had their preschooler decide that they don't eat animals? We have tried serving chicken, turkey and deer meat and he won't eat it, he says" Momma we don't eat animals." He doesn't even like to see it on our plates. We have not told him where burger comes from because that is the only kind of meat we can get him to eat. Is there some nutrient that he's going to be missing? He'll eat peanut butter and any fruit or vegetable. Not sure if this is a passing thing or a way of life. Any thoughts?


Asked by apollo9357 at 11:17 AM on Jan. 11, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (10)
  • Our daughter WILL NOT eat meat of any kind. She says she will not eat anything that has a mom ( she's 8) she's been like this since about 2 ~ it's not going to hurt him if he doesn't eat meat, matter of fact my dd never gets sick, she may catch a cold in the winter but that's about it, she eats LOTS of peanut butter & drinks a gallon of milk in 2 days by herself, don't worry to much about this & try not to make a big deal about it in front of him, he may turn out to be a vegetarian & that's ok too :)


    Answer by tntornado45 at 6:48 AM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • My niece went through this as well; she's not eaten meat for about 2 years now (she's now 7). There are plenty of foods available so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:22 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • Talk to your pediatrician about a protein supplement. I think thats the only thing he could possibly be missing by not eating meat. And good for him for already having such an idea at 4. Also, I'd tell him about the hamburger. He's going to figure it out anyway, and when he does he'll be pretty upset that you lied to him.

    Answer by Rebecca7708 at 11:24 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • Hamburger isnt even that good for him... If he will eat friuts,veggies, beans then he will get everthing he needs. Most kids hate meat at that age anyways. There is nothing wrong with wanting to not eat animals. There are also alot of soy products like "chicken" nuggets, corn "dog", ect they are all meatless. They dont taste the same but he might enjoy them.

    Answer by Ms.MarineWife at 11:33 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • It's not going to hurt him if he doesn't eat meat...just make sure he gets protein from other sources...

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 11:50 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • Iron is another nutrient found in meats that is difficult to come by in such large quantities in a vegetarian diet. Discuss with your pediatrician and make sure your son taking a multi-vitamin. Some great sources of vegetable protein are beans with rice or corn, soy (if he doesn't have a problem with it), dairy, check out meat alternatives (most are soy based, some are night) - these can get pricey, though. Check out some books about vegetarian diets at the library, too. I don't remember which vegetable (besides spinach) have a high iron content. Also, is he okay eating eggs? They don't have eyes, but is a great source of "meat" nutrition.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 11:59 AM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • You don't need a protein supplement. There is plenty of protein in many foods other than meat, such as leafy greens and sunflower seeds. Iron can come from plenty of sources as well. Don't let anyone try to tell you a balanced vegetarian diet is hard. It's only hard if you don't know anything about the nutritional value of anything other than meat.

    If your child doesn't want to eat meat because they know it's animals, don't force them, and don't lie about it if he asks either.

    Answer by RanaAurora at 12:38 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • My 4 year old doesn't eat meat. We're vegetarians though. :) Bee pollen is an EXCELLENT source of protein. That's what we use. Look up vegetarian dishes online.

    Answer by Autumn22 at 2:08 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • You will need to make certain he gets a balanced amount of protein. Proteins from plant sources (peanuts, etc) do NOT have all the amino acids that we need. Simply shrugging your shoulders and giving him nuts, seeds, and leafy greens will harm him.

    If you are willing to let him be a veggie at this age, then you need to learn how to make certain you do not harm his health. The same veggie diet that is fine for adults will HARM children, as a commited veggie friend of mine found out when she decided to raise her children that way. She learned as she went - and learned the hard way by damaging the health of her first child. The same diet that was fine for her hurt her daughter's bone development and muscle growth. Make certain you find out what you need to do to get a growing child everything he needs.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 2:09 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • If amino acids are a concern buy brewer's yeast and add some to your meals. Problem solved. It's not a big deal at all.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 7:35 PM on Jan. 11, 2009