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Would you help your children become vegetarians, even if you and hubby weren't?

So my 6 and 4 year old sons informed me today that they no longer wish to eat beef. They decided that cows are useful animals, and they don't want to eat them anymore. Even after I told them all the foods they were going to have to give up, they are still adamant about not eating beef.

Then, just before dinner, my 4 year old tells me he doesn't want to eat chicken anymore, because chickens lay eggs (which he is still ok with eating eggs). So far they are still ok with eating pork and fish, but who knows, they may decide to become full fledged vegetarians. Or, this could just be a phase.

I have decided that I will not force my kids to eat meat if they don't want to, even though I have no idea how to eat as a vegetarian. I guess I have some research to do.

Would you let your kids become vegetarians, at this age, if you and hubby weren't? And if you and hubby are vegetarians, would you let them eat meat if they wanted?


Asked by my2.5boys at 7:20 PM on Jul. 15, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (50)
  • As long as they don't want to become Twinkie-tarians ;-) I would support and accommodate them.

    Answer by Collinsky at 7:33 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I would help him become a real vegetarian. I would not help him become my niece's version of vegetarian in which vegetarian means any time you don't like what's been prepared for dinner you have Captain Crunch and Fritos for dinner instead.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 8:55 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I would absolutely! But I would also encourage them to help you cook these special meals, since it takes a bit more to get the necessary nutrients and vitamins. They need to know what's all involved. But all in all it's great that your kids are confidant enough to make such a decision.

    Answer by VolpeFemmina at 7:23 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • i would support them either way. my mom did when i became vegetarian. have them research with you. it's really not hard, but it's very different than just eating whatever. if they are serious about it it will be almost like a lifestyle change for them.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 7:23 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • Yes, I think I would nurture their wishes.

    Answer by ToriBabe1221 at 7:23 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I wouldn't force them to eat meat, but I wouldn't let them become full fledged vegetarians unless it was something you and your DH wanted to try too. Do your research and there may be more common ground than you think. It is a good learning exercise for your family.

    Answer by elizabr at 7:25 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • ABSOLUTLY! i personaly am not but if my child wanted to more power to them i would go to a health food store they would be realy helpful to you :D good luck

    Answer by megan1089 at 7:29 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I am vegetarian and no we will not allow our children to eat meat. They can do what they wish when they get a bit older. (our oldest is preteen)

    And before we switched to vegetarian our oldest gave up chicken (once we got chickens for eggs). We fully supported that. Now our 2nd boy will find a BBQ the day he turns 18 LOL!!!!

    I don't know if you are interested but I have a blog where I keep my vegetarian recipes together.....

    It's not hard to make sure they get the vitamins they need from the veggies:)

    Answer by pjacademy at 5:01 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • I would. My parents FORCED me to eat meat. Eventually when I was a teenager my mom gave up. I would refuse to eat it and would just live on veggies and whatever else they were eating with the meat. I went DAYS without eating once when my dad told me to eat my meat or don't eat anything at all. I was so skinny my mom gave up and started letting me cook my own meals.

    Answer by JasonsMom2007 at 6:32 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • Wow McDonald's isn't even food mean to even joke to do that :(

    And money talks.....people thought this whole organic eating thing was just a phase. I vote and tell them what I want everytime I go to the store and buy organic and NO meat!!!!

    Answer by pjacademy at 6:58 PM on Jul. 16, 2010