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5 yo won't eat meat anymore:(


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So, my youngest dd (5) recently learned that meat comes from animals. Now she is refusing to eat meat. It's going on three weeks now. Meal time has become extremely difficult. She will pick at her food looking for hidden meat and making me swear there isn't any in it. So, how much would you cater to this? Dinner is the hardest because we eat meat every night. I really don't want to make separate meals for her:glare: Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this.

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One of my sisters was like this from about that same age. My mom continued to serve her meat, but she just wouldn't eat it. She wouldn't eat meat in her lunch, and some kid at school started calling her Veggie, and that really upset her. I remember her crying about it.

 

Now, as an adult, she is not a vegetarian, but she still doesn't eat much meat. I don't know what to tell you about your daughter, but I wouldn't force her to eat meat if it really upsets her. She may eventually change her mind.

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My sister did the same thing, way back when she was 8 years old. My parents just said 'ok' and let her eat everything BUT the meat and didn't say anything at all about it. After a couple weeks, she forgot and had some pepperoni pizza. :D Chances are, if you don't make a big deal about it, she'll forget about it in a week or two. Maybe sooner since she's five ;)

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I don't know. Do you usually have meat and potatoes and a veg? That would be easy enough to just not put the meat on her plate, give her the potatoes and veg and a pile of something with protein (beans, lentils, etc). If you normally have casseroles and meals with the meat and all mixed it, it will make things a lot more difficult.

 

My kids have gone through phases when they've wanted to be vegetarian, but then I remind them that if they choose to be vegetarian it means no more bacon or pepperoni or other meats that they really like. That cures them pretty quick. :D

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Not sure to what degree I'd cater, as all my kids are enthusiastic meat eaters who'd probably have meat at every meal if we offered it. I wouldn't want to be locked into a battle trying to force her to eat it, but I agree with you that it doesn't seem a reasonable option to cook two totally different meals every night. Could you maybe do vegetarian meals some of the time? Then perhaps you could then keep beans, eggs, tofu or whatever on hand so that on meat days she could have that instead of the meat but with the same side vegies.

 

If she is wanting to avoid meat for real ethical reasons (as opposed to a simpler oh-my-gosh-it's-dead-animal shock), you could explain the reasons why you believe it's OK to eat meat, and - if applicable - what steps you take to ensure your meat is as cruelty free as possible. Many kids go through a vegie/vegan stage and then revert to eating meat, but some do stay vegetarian, so it might be worth teaching her about nutritious vegie meals just in case.

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No, but I am leaning towards it. It seems like every time I go out, I see the semi-trailer truck with all the cages of live chickens headed to the chicken plant. It totally freaks me out and just looks and smells plain gross.

 

I don't think you need to necessarily cater to her. You just need to make sure she has a substitute for the spot on her plate that is empty. I'm assuming you'll want protein to replace the meat. Here's a website I found that shows examples of proteins. There are tabs for meat, dairy, eggs, soups, beans and nuts.

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So, my youngest dd (5) recently learned that meat comes from animals. Now she is refusing to eat meat. It's going on three weeks now. Meal time has become extremely difficult. She will pick at her food looking for hidden meat and making me swear there isn't any in it. So, how much would you cater to this? Dinner is the hardest because we eat meat every night. I really don't want to make separate meals for her:glare: Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this.

 

Hm. I am not sure I'd approach it or frame it this way. She's made a sophisticated, mature, heartfelt decision. I would not patronize it with the idea that I am "catering" to her. I'd honor the decision by involving her in her meal planning. I'd give HER responsibility for making healthy choices within her boundaries of not eating meat. I'd drop the "confict" and "battle" mentality altogether.

 

"Hon, you don't want to eat meat, and I will respect that. I won't hide meat in your food and I will make it possible for you to be a vegetarian in this family. You can't insist any of the rest of us eat the same way, but we will back off your choices. Here's the thing, though, baby. You still need to eat and eat healthy. So, from now on, Mom is going to tell you the meal plan and together we'll figure out what of that plan you can eat."

 

You may have to make MORE of the side items. You may have to add that since she's not eating meat, she can't fill up on junk, but has to get full on fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and eggs (if she does them, or dairy).

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We are a family of carnivores..and I have a dd who is not. She isn't completely anti-meat, she just really dislikes most meat. (although a good hamburger or some bacon usually sway her) I don't cook anything special for her, she just opts out of whatever meat we have that night and has a double helping of veggies instead.

 

We've also had vegetarian friends over a lot that I've had to feed. If I am making a casserole or something that has meat mixed in, I just set aside a portion of it before I add meat.

 

I would start talking to her, in 5 year old terms, about how our bodies need certain things to be healthy and if she chooses to not eat meat, then she needs other proteins like nuts and beans.

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I appreciate all of your input! I really don't want this to be a battle. The thing is, I can relate to some extent. I stopped eating beef when I was 13 after watching a show on Dateline. She just seems so young to make such a decision!!! However, I am willing to alter her meals a bit and respect her decision. To be honest, I guess I haven't been too respectful of it...more annoyed (although i haven't forced her to eat it nor hid it in her food!).I don't want to be like that though. I think involving her in meal planning is a great idea. I do need to get some protein in her. She won't eat eggs or drink milk (because they come from animals) and she is allergic to all nuts. The girl had better get used to beans:). Thanks for the advice and perspective.

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I personally think making up some "mock meat" or tossing some quinoa onto her plate instead of meat is a very small change. If you force her she could rebel even more. Just learn a little bit about vegetarianism and instead of giving her meat add a different protein.

 

My SPD dd9 started on the no meat track because of similar feelings as your dc. This journey for her began 3 years ago. We fought it. It didn't change and it started to affect our bond with her. She is now a vegetarian along with her dad & other siblings. (They only eat eggs, honey, & seafood). I'm now vegan. Mealtime is now a family bonding time.

 

I do have 1 picky eater still and that's my ds. He doesn't like beans, but loves rice which by itself isn't a complete protein. We've now found textured vegetable protein and its saved my worries of his protein intake. It has NO FLAVOR and is super easy to cook and toss in nearly anything! It's also extremely affordable. I purchase it through vitacost.com for under $3.00 a pouch. The one pouch lasts my family 2 weeks. http://www.vitacost.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-TVP-Texturized-Vegetable-Protein

 

The mock meat recipe is this one with the gluten free alternatives. http://veggieconverter.com/2011/01/whole-food-vegetarian-ground-beef-substitute-recipe.html ... My previous meat eaters all love this as a replacement! It's even a complete protein. We use it in place of any dish calling for ground meat.

 

Also try some baked tofu. This is the only way we prefer our tofu! I've got some recipes of you want to try it. Tofu is cheap too! 1 package @ Walmart is under $2 and it can feed 3 people! It takes 2 packages to feed my family of 5 and have just enough leftover for daddy's work lunch.

Edited by mamaofblessings
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Hm. I am not sure I'd approach it or frame it this way. She's made a sophisticated, mature, heartfelt decision. I would not patronize it with the idea that I am "catering" to her.

 

Bingo.

 

Did you know, by the way, that many very bright children decide on their own to go vegetarian?

 

Here's what I can tell you about my own experiences: From the time I read Charlotte's Web, I was horrified at the idea of eating meat. Although I continued to eat some meat for some years after that, I quit eating pork more or less immediately. When I did eat meat, it had to be unrecognizable as flesh (very dry, nothing oozing, etc.).

 

I was also picky, by the way, something that was made much, much worse by my mother's attempts to fool me into eating things I didn't like. All that happened was that my trust in her was eroded, and I got more and more rigid about what I would and would not eat. If I couldn't recognize all of the ingredients, I wasn't eating it. Period. I survived most of my teen years on french fries, plain cheese pizza and Diet Coke, because those were reliable.

 

As soon as I began feeding myself full-time, I went veg completely. I've now been vegetarian for almost 30 years, vegan for about 15.

 

For someone who has made this connection and is bothered by it, the very idea of eating an animal is appalling, sickening. Please don't do this to your daughter. It's not good for her, and it's not good for your relationship with her.

 

There's no reason why you have to make a separate meal for her, either. She will do just fine eating the meat-free sides you are likely making, anyway, along with a simple alternative protein source (peanut butter, nuts, beans, etc.). If she's willing to eat dairy, there's no reason you couldn't keep some yogurt cups in the fridge and just hand her one of those at dinner time.

 

It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. And I believe that even a five year old deserves respect for her beliefs.

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My eldest wont eat some meats because of the texture and dh is vegetarian so she sways that way from time to time she was also totally vegetarian until about 3 yrs old. She isn't a fussy eater aside from that though so in general if she doesn't want the meat in a meal it's fairly easy to replace it with something I can quickly grill or is cold or can stash a small portion of in the freezer to re-heat. If dh is here then she has more options but he is only home a few days a month.I think how you handle it could depend on how fussy an eater your dd is. I would personally give her an alternative to meat for at least the forseeable future and see how it goes. It might just be a stage or it could be more than that.

 

My sister didn't eat meat from a young age because of the texture and because it was animals and also couldn't eat eggs and some dairy because they made her sick. She was hard to feed because she was also extremely fussy so that used to annoy everyone else in the family particularly my mum who hates cooking.

Edited by lailasmum
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She won't eat eggs or drink milk (because they come from animals) and she is allergic to all nuts. The girl had better get used to beans:). Thanks for the advice and perspective.

 

Ah, I didn't see this comment before.

 

So, it's not just vegetarian. She's leaning vegan.

 

This still isn't a problem, really. Could you try replacing the milk with soy milk? There are good rice milks, too, but those are much lower in protein than soy. There are also soy-based yogurts and puddings that are really tasty and come in convenient, single-serving packages.

 

For what it's worth, my kids are lifelong vegans, and neither of them likes nuts. They will each eat limited quantities of certain kinds of beans. But they have been drinking soy and rice milk their entire lives and are happy, healthy teens now. (My son is actually unusually tall, which challenges the "wimpy vegetarian" stereotype rather nicely.)

 

He drinks a smoothie most mornings that has orange juice, banana, frozen strawberries and a big scoop of protein powder. (I usually mix soy and soy-free about half and half.) That one item has most of his day's requirement of protein, and it tastes like a milkshake.

 

Here's what I did when each of them was little: I did some research into what their real nutritional requirements were at their current ages. Then, I tracked all of their food for a couple of days and tallied up the information. Each time I did this, I realized that they were getting pretty much all of the nutrition they actually needed. If anything was low, I would work with the kid to explain the problem and ask him or her to help me figure out how to get more of that nutriet in their bodies.

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It was horrifying for me to be forced to eat meat for most of my childhood. I remember long angry lectures about having to eat whatever disgusting slab they put in front of me. PLEASE do not force a child with ethical concerns to eat meat or any other animal product. Let her have toast or a bowl of cereal and make her fix it herself. A five year old can pour cereal and milk or even fix a sandwich if no cutting is involved.

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I have been a little irritated, but I haven't forced her to eat anything! It's just something I haven't dealt with before, so I appreciate the advice and personal stories. I think tracking what she IS eating is a great idea. I just want to be sure she is getting her nutritional needs met. I've never cooked vegetarian, much less vegan. Looks like I'll be doing some research:). I hope I didn't come across as being demeaning to her. I already have one very picky eater(ds 9)...I'm just at a loss as to what to make at meal time with all of these different demands. I grew up in a house where we ate what was served. I'm trying to let go of that type of thinking. Maybe we need to sit down once a week to meal plan so I don't end up frustrated with the kids complaining about everything I cook!

Edited by hsbaby
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One of my dds has been a vegetarian since she was six, and she's 14 now. She'll eat a bite of turkey at Thanksgiving, but that's it. We generally eat meat around three times a week, and I will substitute in a different protein for her. If we're having meat/two veg, she will have either a vegetarian "meat", egg, yoghurt, cheese, or maybe tofu. You may be able to find some good vegetarian "meats", although availability seems to depend on where you live. I've found some really good veggie burgers that we will now eat instead of regular burgers because they're so good.

If we're having a curry or something where the meat is mixed in, I'll separate out a portion for her and add tofu or beans or nothing (depending on what else is in there). So for chicken enchiladas she'll get tofu or beans and extra cheese, for chicken curry she gets tofu and sauce. Or if it's chili with meat, she'll get the veggie version without meat.

It really hasn't been that difficult to arrange our meals. It can be difficult when travelling as some countries/places are definitely more veggie-friendly than others. The hardest part was when she discovered that gummy candy and marshmallows contain gelatine, so now much candy is off-limits to her (and vegetarian candy is expensive and difficult to come by!).

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Hm. I am not sure I'd approach it or frame it this way. She's made a sophisticated, mature, heartfelt decision. I would not patronize it with the idea that I am "catering" to her. I'd honor the decision by involving her in her meal planning. I'd give HER responsibility for making healthy choices within her boundaries of not eating meat. I'd drop the "confict" and "battle" mentality altogether.

:iagree: with that entire post!!

 

It doesn't have to be a battle. This is an opportunity to learn together and allow her a chance to be involved with meal planning/preparing. What a sweet time!! :)

 

Quinoa is a GREAT food to add into your pantry to use in place of a meat dish! So many ways it can be prepared. If you go to foodgawker.com and do a search you'll find plenty of ideas. :)

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My ds6 has recently decided he is a vegetarian. I decided it was a good opportunity for me to cook more vegetarian meals as well. He's always been my picky eater anyway, and I admire his convictions at such a young age. He won't even eat gummy bears because they have gelatin in them.

 

Funny thing is several years ago I decided we should all go vegetarian and it lasted almost a year and then I went back to eating some meat (though only organic grass fed and free range, which is expensive so we don't eat that much.)

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My sister did the same thing, way back when she was 8 years old. My parents just said 'ok' and let her eat everything BUT the meat and didn't say anything at all about it. After a couple weeks, she forgot and had some pepperoni pizza. :D Chances are, if you don't make a big deal about it, she'll forget about it in a week or two. Maybe sooner since she's five ;)

 

:iagree:

 

Pink wouldn't eat meat (not out of any real 'decision' based on animals or anything - she just wouldn't touch it) for probably a year. (Granted, she was also a toddler. :tongue_smilie: But I do think I would still handle it the same.)

We eat a lot of stir fry, and she can pick out the meat if she doesn't want it. So with stuff like that, it should be relatively easy - it's chunks big enough to be obvious and pick through.

With stuff like tacos, beans instead. With spaghetti, do meatballs so that it's (again) obvious where the meat is and easy to pick out (or not serve on her plate).

With separate meals (meat/veggie/starch) it would be the easiest. With your DD I just wouldn't put the meat on her plate. :) (Because it's a conscious decision on her part. If it was just a kid who 'didn't like meat' I would probably put a little on there anyway.)

I think it'll be a phase. :)

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I appreciate all of your input! I really don't want this to be a battle. The thing is, I can relate to some extent. I stopped eating beef when I was 13 after watching a show on Dateline. She just seems so young to make such a decision!!! However, I am willing to alter her meals a bit and respect her decision. To be honest, I guess I haven't been too respectful of it...more annoyed (although i haven't forced her to eat it nor hid it in her food!).I don't want to be like that though. I think involving her in meal planning is a great idea. I do need to get some protein in her. She won't eat eggs or drink milk (because they come from animals) and she is allergic to all nuts. The girl had better get used to beans:). Thanks for the advice and perspective.

 

Interesting whenever someone mentions going vegetarian or vegan all thoughts immediately turn to protein concerns.

 

Anyone ever seen an American child deficient in protein? No? Me neither. If you have access to food, getting enough protein is very easy.

 

One thing you may have to consider though with these limitations is fat. Fat is very important to brain development, nutrient absorption, and even your immune system. Without animal products or nuts, the percentage of fat in the diet drops dramatically. Everything she will be eating could easily low fat unless you make an effort to find vegan sources of it.

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My dd8 has never eaten meat (I'm veg too). It's her choice, and she's very healthy. Hard boil some eggs or keep cottage cheese around, my dd also likes tofu warmed in soy sauce. You don't have to do a lot of extra work--she can eat the side dishes (bread, fruit, veggies) with everyone, and then toss in an easy protein like the above.

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I would read up on raising vegan children. It will give you all the dietary advice you need on how to get protein (though this really isn't an issue on a healthy vegan diet), fat, and other essential nutrients. It's honestly not difficult to get everything you need on a vegan diet, even for a child. :)

 

I can understand your frustration with having to alter meals and such, but look at it like a fun way to try new recipes and a new way of eating. :) Not that I hope she goes back to eating meat, but in my experience with kids, they usually go back to eating the way they're used to and the way their friends eat so just look at this like a phase and try not to push her too much.

 

My kids have been vegan since birth and are very healthy so if you ever need advice or meal ideas, feel free to PM me. :)

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For fat, try avocadoes. My kiddo will happily eat a full avocado sliced up with some salt. He can't get enough. I also cook with a fair amount of olive oil and sometimes butter. Thankfully he hasn't declared himself vegan. He said he will eat anything that doesn't require the animal to die :tongue_smilie: In the past week, that's meant he wants to eat a lot of eggs!

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One of my friends became a vegan as a teenager. I think her parents' respect of her decision really strengthened their bond. Natalie Portman became a vegetarian as a child and later transition to vegan and then back to a vegetarian. There are lots of good books on veganism and children. Fortified soy milk or rice milk will help her get the b12 she is not getting from meat. Nutritional yeast will help her get the vitamins she needs as well. I've read it tastes a bit like cheese. I've found it in the organic section at Krogers and it is sold online. "www.ohsheglows.com" is a vegan blogger with some great ideas.

 

Here is a great article from Dr.Sears on vegetarian/vegan:http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/family-nutrition/vegetarian-diets/12-frequently-asked-questions-about-vegetarian-diet

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Edited to add: I was talking about how I modify things for my meat adverse son (sensory issues) but he's not vegan so it's easy for him. I didn't see you've got allergies and she's leaning more toward vegan. That does make it hard and I think you'll need to be a little more concentrated planning to make sure you get a system that's nutritionally complete. Some grains like quionoa and even teff and spelt have decent protein profiles. You'll really need to think about fat too. It's easy to add fat but you'll want to make sure you are doing it. Will she eat butter? Avocado, olives, and adding fats to things is going to be important imo. My nut allergic son does well with Sunbutter.

Edited by sbgrace
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Interesting whenever someone mentions going vegetarian or vegan all thoughts immediately turn to protein concerns.

 

 

 

B-12 is the biggest concern, medically, I believe.

 

I would do a bit of research and then just make sure she gets a multi-vitamin (vegan, of course ;) ) that has whatever she *MIGHT* be missing.

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Interesting whenever someone mentions going vegetarian or vegan all thoughts immediately turn to protein concerns.

 

Anyone ever seen an American child deficient in protein? No? Me neither. If you have access to food, getting enough protein is very easy.

 

One thing you may have to consider though with these limitations is fat. Fat is very important to brain development, nutrient absorption, and even your immune system. Without animal products or nuts, the percentage of fat in the diet drops dramatically. Everything she will be eating could easily low fat unless you make an effort to find vegan sources of it.

 

:iagree: My oldest was vegetarian from the age of 4 to 11. She didn't like or eat most of what others told me should replace the meat. She was extrememly healthy and never had any problems. Honestly, her health problems (asthma & dust mite allergies) started after she started eating meat again. :glare:

 

OP, it really wasn't hard to make the same meals as always, but just alter a portion for her. I would keep the meat seperate for most meals and those of us who wanted it would add it.

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B-12 is the biggest concern, medically, I believe.

 

I would do a bit of research and then just make sure she gets a multi-vitamin (vegan, of course ;) ) that has whatever she *MIGHT* be missing.

 

Pretty easily remedied though.

 

I'm just picturing trying to get any of my kids to eat an avocado. :tongue_smilie:

 

The protein thing just gets me though. Ranks right up there with "What about socialization?" :lol: (And I'm not vegan.)

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I don't know. Do you usually have meat and potatoes and a veg? That would be easy enough to just not put the meat on her plate, give her the potatoes and veg and a pile of something with protein (beans, lentils, etc). If you normally have casseroles and meals with the meat and all mixed it, it will make things a lot more difficult.

 

My kids have gone through phases when they've wanted to be vegetarian, but then I remind them that if they choose to be vegetarian it means no more bacon or pepperoni or other meats that they really like. That cures them pretty quick. :D

Making a separate veggie casserole isn't difficult. Just put a serving of each ingredient into a small casserole dish and bake with the bigger casserole.

 

I would not put meat on her plate if this is what she wants. I would honor this. Keep in mind this is coming from a vegetarian. You do not have to make a separate meal for her every night. Vegetarians happily eat most any food expect meat (vegans will not eat any animal products). You do not even have to provide a separate protein source. Just give her an extra serving of veggies or a fruit or even an extra bit of grain.

Edited by Parrothead
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Pretty easily remedied though.

 

I'm just picturing trying to get any of my kids to eat an avocado. :tongue_smilie:

 

The protein thing just gets me though. Ranks right up there with "What about socialization?" :lol: (And I'm not vegan.)

 

My dd9 won't eat an avocado but she'll eat guacamole. dd6 loves eating avocado (will often ask for a second one) but won't eat guacamole. :confused:

 

We also take Nordic Naturals Berries - it's a great multi-vitamin that is gelatin free and are even appropriate for adults (my husband calls it his candy). They are pretty pricey though.

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She won't eat eggs or drink milk (because they come from animals) and she is allergic to all nuts. The girl had better get used to beans:). Thanks for the advice and perspective.

Oh, so she has gone vegan.

 

It would probably be beneficial to both your dd and you to read up on vegan eating.

 

Keep in mind that the body will put together the amino acids needed for a complete protein as long as a variety of fruits and veggies are eaten every day. So there is no need to serve beans at every meal or even every day.

 

Since she is vegan you should provide a supplement vitamin B12 for her. This is not found naturally in the vegan diet.

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I'm just picturing trying to get any of my kids to eat an avocado. :tongue_smilie:

 

Dessertify it. Look at recipes for avocado chocolate pudding (and this works really well as the base for an ice cream, if you have an ice cream maker) or avocado key lime pie. You can also throw it in smoothies, or use it as a replacement for butter or eggs in most recipes (including baked goods). The additives mask the color and flavor, and the texture is more expected and acceptable.

 

Using it as a sandwich spread like mayo(either plain, or as guacamole) is another way it tends to work well. If using it plain, most people find it more appealing with some salt. Personally, I like it much better as guacamole than plain.

 

Coconut products are another good vegan source of fat.

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Interesting whenever someone mentions going vegetarian or vegan all thoughts immediately turn to protein concerns.

 

Anyone ever seen an American child deficient in protein? No? Me neither. If you have access to food, getting enough protein is very easy.

 

One thing you may have to consider though with these limitations is fat. Fat is very important to brain development, nutrient absorption, and even your immune system. Without animal products or nuts, the percentage of fat in the diet drops dramatically. Everything she will be eating could easily low fat unless you make an effort to find vegan sources of it.

:iagree: with everything darla said.

 

Some foods are naturally high in fat. Does she like avocados? Olives? Perhaps you can cook her food in olive oil. Does she like vinaigrette style dressings? Use a high quality oil to make those if she does.

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Pretty easily remedied though.

 

I'm just picturing trying to get any of my kids to eat an avocado. :tongue_smilie:

 

The protein thing just gets me though. Ranks right up there with "What about socialization?" :lol: (And I'm not vegan.)

 

I think it's just the automatic response to just "not feed the meat portion" and not actually offer any alternative protein.

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I would make zure she has plenty of legu,es and nuts. Then I'd respect her decision not to eat mrat, even at five years of age. My friend's dd did this around the same age.

 

I would start to teach her, even now, how to prepare legumes and make a pb sandwich. I would help her prepare dishes which will last a few days, and in a few more years she will be old enoigh to make them on her own.

 

Would your family be interested in trying a couple meatless meals per night? There are a TON of yummy ones!

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I think it's just the automatic response to just "not feed the meat portion" and not actually offer any alternative protein.

 

Exactly. Alternative suggestions are helpful to someone (like myself) that is unfamiliar with cooking vegetarian. So, thank you, to those that have offered suggestions:).

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BTW, without reading beyond the first cople of responses, if a pot of prepared beans, TASTY prepared beans, are available, that could be her meat portion and then she can have the rest of what the family is offering. Think lentils with prepared she would like, hummus and crackers, beans made into a vegan chili, etc. As a back-up you can have cans of refried beans, perhaps with Daiya mozzarella melted on top and chopped grape tomatoes, cans of vegan chili, etc.

 

I use legumes and lentils in salads, either with veggies or grains, all the time. Maybe your dd will have to adjust her tastebuds a bit.

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Actually most american's don't even know how much protein they are to intake daily. Most consume WAY more than they actually need. I learned this on my journey to veganism.

 

Daily Protein Requirements

Infants require about 10 grams a day.

Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.

Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.

Adult men need about 56 grams a day.

Adult women need about 46 grams a day.

One important exception is pregnant or lactating women, when the recommended intake rises to 71 grams of protein a day.

 

Vegetable Proteins

In addition to fruits and vegetables, which contribute small amounts of protein, a high-protein vegan diet includes different types of whole grain products; legumes such as beans, split peas and lentils; soybeans and soy products; and nuts and seeds. Some vegans enjoy getting their protein from meat substitutes, or meat analogs, which are products most often made from soy or wheat gluten that taste and look something like meat.

 

High-Protein Foods

Common grains that contribute protein to a vegan diet include wheat, rice, corn, oats, rye, barley and millet. Whole grain protein comes from breads, muffins, pancakes, pastas, hot and cold cereals, side dishes and other foods made with these grains. Black beans, white beans, pink beans, pinto beans, black-eye peas, garbanzo beans (chick peas), brown lentils, green lentils, red lentils and yellow or green split peas are all good examples of legumes used in a high-protein vegan diet. Soybean products include edamame (green soybeans), tofu, tempeh (fermented soybeans), soy milk, soy cheeses, soy yogurt and soy nut snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, nut butters, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds also contribute protein to a vegan diet.

 

Protein Contents

The average, healthy, nonpregnant adult needs to consume 0.4 to 0.5 grams (g) of protein per pound of body weight each day. That translates to about 52 grams of protein daily for someone who weighs 130 lb. To put that figure in perspective, note that the protein content of tofu (1/2 cup serving) or soy milk (8 oz.) is 10 g; cooked edamame (1/2 cup) is 11 g; cooked dried beans such as black, kidney or garbanzo beans (1/2 cup) are 8 g; almonds (1/2 cup) are 15 g; cooked regular pasta (1 cup) is about 7 g; wheat germ (2 tbsp.) is 4 g; and cooked instant oatmeal (1 cup) is 6 g.

 

My children take this vegan multivitamin http://www.amazon.com/VegLife-Vegan-Multiple-Chewable-Tablets/dp/B000POUIOE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1348847771&sr=8-3&keywords=veglife

 

And for those that wonder what kid will eat an avocado?? My dd7 eats them straight from their skin with a sprinkle of salt. I do as well! YUMM!!

 

If you want I'd be happy to list some of our favorite vegan items in our home that are BIG hits!!

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Hmm. Well ds13 doesn't like to eat red meat, and never has. He has always refused it. If we go somewhere where burgers are served, they better have a chicken version, or he will simply not eat until he gets home. It bothers DH at times, but I just don't make a big deal. I didn't eat red meat at all as a teen, and only every so often now. I find it easy to just cook a piece of chicken in the oven, or on a skillet. Of coarse, any other meats he eats have to be trimmed of all the fat. He hates the texture. Again, not a big deal to me, but DH seems to be really bothered by it. I am not sure why, since I do all the cooking. ;)

 

The way I look at it, he will be much healthier. Plus over time, he may loosen up a bit. As a teen he will eat shredded red meat in certain dishes, but only periodically. Go figure.

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I think it's just the automatic response to just "not feed the meat portion" and not actually offer any alternative protein.

 

Yeah. I think too many vegetarians have the experience of going to a dinner and being told to just eat the sides, with most of the protein (and often fat) being in the main dish that they can't eat.

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I think it's just the automatic response to just "not feed the meat portion" and not actually offer any alternative protein.

 

It's the first thing to pop into most people's head. I was vegan for about 4 months and if I had a nickel for every time someone (invariably someone who themselves ate terribly) would express concern over how much protein I was getting, I could have bought that Vitamix I'd been longing for. So. Kind of a touchy spot.

 

I didn't see anyone suggest she actually do that and I assume she knows better anyway (because she came here to ask). One poster recounted that it's what her mother did.

 

I bet a good spoonful of coconut oil in some oatmeal would go a long ways toward getting her some fat. Adding milled flax to baked goods might also be palatable. My kids love it in bread. Haven't tried it in anything sweeter.

 

Also, since she has a nut allergy, will she snack on sunflower seeds and the like?

 

Going to check out some avocado recipes myself. :001_smile:

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My son has been leaning toward vegetarianism for most of his life. He stopped eating chicken nearly 2 years ago. We have layer chickens. One day he was helping me make dinner with some recipe that had chicken breast. He looked at me and said simply, "I can't do this." I was confused and he elaborated that he can't eat something he cares about. He wouldn't eat dog or cat, why would he eat something that was sweet and gave us eggs? He has stuck by his decision and carefully reads labels :001_smile:. It would not surprise me if he went completely vegetarian, if not vegan, eventually.

 

It does take some extra effort. He'll eat Morningstar Farms "chicken" patties on nights we have chicken. We're not huge meat eaters anyway, so I've actually just incorporated more bean recipes for all of us. Lentils are incredibly versatile and we often use them to replace meat in tacos.

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It's the first thing to pop into most people's head. I was vegan for about 4 months and if I had a nickel for every time someone (invariably someone who themselves ate terribly) would express concern over how much protein I was getting, I could have bought that Vitamix I'd been longing for. So. Kind of a touchy spot.

 

:iagree:I think what started out as making sure Americans were getting enough of a needed nutrient turned into a marketing ploy by the meat industry to really push meat on people who really didn't need that much of it.

 

A healthy diverse whole foods plant based diet does not need a separate source (meat or beans) of protein. The body is quite capable of putting together more than enough protein with the amino acids found in a plant based diet.

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No, but I am leaning towards it. It seems like every time I go out, I see the semi-trailer truck with all the cages of live chickens headed to the chicken plant. It totally freaks me out and just looks and smells plain gross.

 

:iagree: I keep thinking about the movie, "Chicken Run", and it bothers me to think that they can't get away from their fate. So sad. It really gets to me.

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I wouldn't cater to it at all. She can eat the rest of the meal and avoid meat/chicken. But she has to learn to do it unubtrusively, i.e., quietly, without making a big deal about it, because is she's going to always be a vegeterian, she has to learn to be polite about it.

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My dd did the same thing at about the same age. Now she will eat a little meat sometimes, but it's still not something she loves. As far as I'm concerned, she doesn't have to ever eat meat if she doesn't want to. ETA: I offer a healthy, whole foods, mostly plant based diet to my family, anyway, and meat is not the focal point. I include meat once or twice a week to keep dh happy.

Edited by kimmie38017
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My dd did the same thing at about the same age. Now she will eat a little meat sometimes, but it's still not something she loves. As far as I'm concerned, she doesn't have to ever eat meat if she doesn't want to.

 

:grouphug:Love your attitude mama! I wish that I had this attitude years ago when my dd9 refused and cried over eating animal products.

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