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 Post subject: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Wears Pleather Undies

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:33 pm
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I have a two year old daughter. I am single mum. My daughter goes to stay with her dad every so often, usually at least once a month. He is a MASSIVE carnivore [not physically, he's quite scrawny, he is just really into meat] and I am a lifetime vegetarian [more or less] and an aspiring vegan. My daughter eats meat. Not in my house, I will never buy it nor cook it but at her fathers and friends or out to meals [paid for by other people] she eats meat.

My dad [a vegan] says I have a responsibility to her to not let her eat meat [obviously only at times where I have that sort of control, at a friends house or at a meal where there is a vegetarian/vegan option for example]. But I feel quite strongly that I don't want to force her into a diet whilst she is incapable of understanding the reasons behind it.

What are your stances on feeding your children?


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Has it on Blue Vinyl
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While she is incapable of making a choice, she is forced into a diet no matter what that diet is.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:43 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I'm vegan, my partner is omni and we both agreed that we wanted Leela (1) to be vegan from birth. We think its the healthiest and best option for her. So we feed her only vegan food, but if she snags a bit of vegetarian snackfood at a playdate, I'm not going to freak out about it.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:03 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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My husband and I came to the same place as Tofulish and Mr. Tofulish, but our rationale had to do with fulfilling our ethics more than our daughter's health (and my husband is sort of a vegan-in-process). The answer is way more complicated when the other parent isn't your partner anymore (or never was). I think you might have to settle for part-time veganhood. I don't personally find the health benefits of a 100% vegan diet even a little bit convincing (and neither do any doctors I've ever met, pediatricians in particular), so I would have a hard time arguing that side of it to an unwilling ex-partner. Generally healthy diet tips might be more convincing to push your daughter's diet with her father toward more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. My dad used to feed us tons of junk when we were with him, because he was trying to buy our love with ramen and french toast and coffee milk, but I think if my mother had ever talked to him about us having a healthy, consistent diet, he would have been more likely to have been helpful on that front. (I could be fantasizing there, though, he might've been feeding us like that to spite her - which is likely a possibility in your situation, too.)

Any way, all parents "force" their children to model after the parents' diet - any other way would not make any sense. Vegan parents raising their kids vegan is not any more weird or "forceful" than kosher parents raising their kids kosher.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:50 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Ariann wrote:
The answer is way more complicated when the other parent isn't your partner anymore (or never was). I think you might have to settle for part-time veganhood.

agreed x 100

personally, i grew up with a lot of food issues that approached disordered eating, and in no way want to recreate them for my kid. food is a loaded subject, and needs no more psychodrama around it than it already has.

i think eventually, the child will find something non vegan, or be fed it by someone. (and it will break your heart.) but your response to this event will be a big learning moment for your child, and deserves some thought.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:20 am 
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Top of the food chain & doesn't need to prove it
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I'm a new vegan, and my husband is omni. We usually eat vegan dinners at home, but if my husband is eating something different, the kid (20 months) gets to try both. In daycare he eats omni food. It works fine for now, we'll see how we handle it in the future. When he gets old enough to understand where food comes from, of course he'll get to choose for himself.

TheseProblems wrote:
My dad [a vegan] says I have a responsibility to her to not let her eat meat [obviously only at times where I have that sort of control, at a friends house or at a meal where there is a vegetarian/vegan option for example]. But I feel quite strongly that I don't want to force her into a diet whilst she is incapable of understanding the reasons behind it.


Are you afraid your daughter is going to blame you in the future for letting her eat meat? If she did, how would you answer?

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I tend to hook up with people who give me chocolate, but I fail to see how this is a bad thing./tofulish


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Wears Pleather Undies

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:33 pm
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amonik wrote:
I'm a new vegan, and my husband is omni. We usually eat vegan dinners at home, but if my husband is eating something different, the kid (20 months) gets to try both. In daycare he eats omni food. It works fine for now, we'll see how we handle it in the future. When he gets old enough to understand where food comes from, of course he'll get to choose for himself.

TheseProblems wrote:
My dad [a vegan] says I have a responsibility to her to not let her eat meat [obviously only at times where I have that sort of control, at a friends house or at a meal where there is a vegetarian/vegan option for example]. But I feel quite strongly that I don't want to force her into a diet whilst she is incapable of understanding the reasons behind it.


Are you afraid your daughter is going to blame you in the future for letting her eat meat? If she did, how would you answer?


No no, the opposite! I worded it in a really roundabout way! It was v late at night/early morning -_- I dont want her to feel forced into a veggie/vegan diet and then eat meat when she is older just as a way to rebel. I let her eat meat now. Although I will never eat/cook/buy it she eats it at friends houses etc. because I feel that it's fairest to allow her rather than deny her whilst she can't make the choice, I'm just unsure about whether I'm happy doing that anymore... it's so difficult! Her father is the opposite of cooperative on most issues, food probably least cooperative of all!


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:43 am 
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We have been vegan at our house for about 6 months. I am doing it for health reasons because I have digestive issues, and husband has weight issues. The kids follow along because I buy the food and cook the food. I explain to our 4.5 year old about food and why we make the choices we do. But at preschool and relatives houses, she makes the choices on what she eats. It is always cheese, milk, yogurt, and meat when provided. I brush it off since it is not all the time, and I don't want her to be the weird one out. I am hoping one day she will make the choice not to eat that stuff, but again it is her choice. My 2 year old does eat meat at parties because my husband goes out of his way to give her some, but he is respectful at home and we eat vegan then. Actually my husband is starting to lean toward vegetarian options while out. He got the special $2 Subway cold cut trio, minus the meat, and doubled up on the veggies. Yes that is a veggie sub, but that one was not on the $2 special. When he goes from work to the gym in the morning, he will now order the oatmeal instead of the sausage biscuit. So I find giving the information and letting the others make their own choices is a good one.

Try not feeling guilty when it doesn't sound like you have a lot you can do about it. Just be proud on that one day in the future when she tells him she is no longer eating meat on her own.

I think the idea of explaining to your ex to feed a healthy diet is good. Like mention about a balanced diet, that small amounts of meat would be better, along with adding fruits and veggies and whole grains along with it.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:00 am
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For the most part, my kids eat what I cook, which means they eat how I eat. DH is omni, and sometimes if he happens to make something he will offer it to the kids. They almost always say no. DD has never eaten meat. She once licked a piece of chicken, looked betrayed, and threw it across the room. DS has eaten a few bites here and there, but never seems particularly impressed.

I make sure my kids know what food is and where it comes from. I'm not going to sugar coat that an animal product was once alive just to let them feel good about eating it. They are only 2 and 5, so it's not like I go into gory details. But I am matter of fact and honest.

In the future, I will support whatever decisions they make as long as those decisions are informed. However I will not ever touch, prepare, or do the dishes that result from eating meat. I'm less squeamish about egg and dairy products.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:35 am
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I think trying to control what they eat is self-defeating. First because it's impossible and second because you'll turn animal products into a big forbidden tempting THING. Go the PPK way and fight the good fight with delicious food and cupcakes!

My kids are 2, 5 and 7. I think of them as omnivores since they haven't decided to be vegan, but we eat vegan at home and I answer questions about my choices and the origins of foods honestly (but gently). Even if they decide to be omni as adults I bet they'll bake vegan- it won't occur to them not to!


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Feed Your Kids?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:47 pm
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We started my daughter as a vegan, but decided that, ultimately, we weren't going to "force" her outside the home. We explained what each animal product was in a very generic (non-gory details) way when she was old enough to understand and have let her decide since she was about three. I think the most "extreme" thing I showed her was a Sesame Street video of an egg hatching. As I said, since she was about three, I would let her know what was in stuff (eggs in cake) and she has opted out. She's almost 6 now and still makes the choice to avoid dairy and eggs (meat has never really been a question). However, she doesn't get torn up about carmine or honey, so nerds and Kashi cereals are a-go.

I don't think there is a perfect answer on how to feed your kids, beyond make it healthy and establish good habits. I think with two parents, especially two parents who don't live together, there has to be some compromise, as in the long run, there are usually more pressing issues. Do what seems right when she's with you.


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