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Beliefs of forcing your child to be a vegetarian?

I am a member of another site and I saw a mom post how she will never give her baby (child) any kind of meat growing up. She said that he will not be allowed to eat it in her house and she will never give him money to purchase it outside the home.

Now to me, that seems absurd. I think a child should grow up eating everything they like and then, when they are older, make the decision on what they want to eat. I understand that the mom has beliefs, but why FORCE them onto your child? Don't they need meat in their diet growing up?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:41 AM on Aug. 5, 2009 in Kids' Health

Answers (14)
  • all the nutrients you get from meat you can get from veggies and other sources. but i agree i wouldnt force it on my child, i used to be vegetarian but my husband and daughter ate meat when i didnt. its not something you should force on anyone

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:00 AM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • By this logic, is it also wrong to force a child to go to church? I think that part of parenting is teaching your child your morals. OP is basically saying mom should go against her own morals so her child can eat animal flesh, which is not necessary for good nutrition. I don't think there is anything wrong with raising your kids vegetarian.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:09 AM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • I think it's OK to do so, as long as you let the child know there are other options. And not restrict those option.

    To the pervious poster, Is it wrong to allow a christian child to go to a hebrew servcie? Or allow them to learn about Muslim? I believe they should be exposed to all and allowed to make their own *educated* decision. Until then, continue with your path but don't be too rigid.

    Answer by ferdo0204 at 12:08 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • i think it should be a choice of the child once they are old enough to make that decision. and i dont force my child to go to church either. my parents are christians and so am i but i came to that on my own they didnt force it on me they let me choose the religion i wanted. but i really do think it should be up to the person not the mother once the child is old enough to make that decision she made hers and her child should be able to make his or her own choice.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:09 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Hmmm, by this same logic then everybody should give their child sodas loaded with caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, artificial flavorings and chemical preservatives b/c, hey, it's an option and we shouldn't limit what our kids drink, right?

    One does not need meat to live. There are plenty of other ways to get your daily dose of protein besides consuming cooked animal flesh, such as through dairy foods, nuts & legumes. Meat wasn't even a part of most people's regular diets for thousands of years simply b/c it was too costly to obtain and did not keep well, unlike plant-based foods that were (are) cheap & easy to cultivate, are easier on both your body & the planet and store well for extended periods of time.

    No, I am not a vegetarian, but we do eat only limited amounts of meat because, contrary to popular belief & judicious marketing propaganda, meat is not good for you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:53 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • The question, Annon. :53, is do you think that sort of belief should be FORCED onto your child? I, personally, don't care what your belief is about meat. I love me a big old juicy cow burger, BUT I wouldn't expect every body to. There for, I don't expect my child to like what I like. I do, however think it is important to teach your child good morals and values. And with that knowledge, use their own minds to decipher what is right for THEM!!!

    Answer by DirtyMonkey at 1:17 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • I think it is fine that she is going to raise her child the way SHE wants to. IMO I would (at a later age) let the child chose their own path. It is however our choice to raise our children any way we choose to. On a side note, I think it is very rude of you to bring up another posters discussion in your group. It is honestly none of your business what anybody else chooses to feed their children.

    Answer by imtheonlysane1 at 2:37 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • The same argument can be said about any belief, such as religion. Here's the flip argument others give, if a parent is raising their child then they are allowed to feed, cloth, care for, and teach their child as they see fit.

    Vegetarianism is not illegal, or abuse it doesn't cause health issues if done right (no I'm not one), and it won't harm the child. Also not everybody believes on giving a kid anything they want to eat, for myself I give my children a balanced amount of each group throughout the day and in their meals, they do not get soda pop or junk food through the day.

    I’d respect my teens if they chose to do a healthy form of vegetarianism, but I’m not everybody. To each their own when it comes to raising kids and if others want to not allow certain things they view harmful or wrong then who are you or anybody else to say that’s bad, if that it’s not your kid. It’s the difference in raising children.

    Answer by Knightquester at 3:57 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • I am raising my daughter that way. She is strong, smart and healthy.

    I initially stopped eating meat when I was a senior in high school. I was doing a report on work hunger, and learned how meat is an incredibly inefficient delivery system for nutrition. Now, I also know that meat production is bad for the planet and bad for our health.
    Being vegetarian not about what I don't eat, it is about what I do eat. When asked how I get nutrition by not eating meat, I respond by asking how meat eaters get nutrition by eating meat. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is overloaded with protein, fat, sodium, etc.; and is "underloaded" with whole grains, fruits and vegetables. By the time I eat my recommended 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables (in at least 3 different colors), 6 servings of whole grains, at least two servings of legumes, and one serving of chocolate, I could not possibly make room for meat.

    Answer by rkoloms at 4:47 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Yes DirtyMonkey, I read the question, and I still stand by my answer. Should you FORCE a child to drink soda pop or allow them to decide for themselves if they want to drink soda pop? Is a child capable of making an intelligent decision regarding consuming highly carbonated, often caffeineated, high fructose sweetened, artifically colored & flavored beverages? No, they are not, therefore we, as their parents (hopefully) make the decision for them and choose to offer more healthful & appropriate beverages. Children learn to eat by what their parents feed them, so if they feed them crap, they eat crap, & if they feed them healthly, then they eat healthy. Yes, children will make their preferences known as they grow, but most families don't run restaurants & you eat what's put in front of you or you don't eat.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:55 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

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