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Is diet a source of conflict with your dh?


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I know it sounds dumb, and this probably isn't an issue for most people. But it really, really is for us.

 

I have been a vegetarian for 18 years, so long before dh and I got married. He was raised in a meat and potatoes home. Of course when we got married, we were all in love and thought of that as a very minor issue. He agreed that we would raise the kids as vegetarians until they are old enough to fully understand what meat is and where it comes from, and then it's their choice.

 

But things have always been a little trickier than that. He mostly tolerates my meals, though he does really enjoy several of them. He took up cooking as a hobby a few years ago and prepares meat dishes on the weekends, which he then eats for a lunch or two during the week. And he always gets meat when we eat out. But I feel like we have dietary conflicts at least every couple months--like a big blow up about...I don't even know what. I guess I hate that he never seems very happy with the meals I struggle to prepare and then it always evolves into a thing about meat.

 

Anyway, things are getting even more complicated because ds2 has had some skin, bowel, and behavior issues for several months now. I started wondering awhile ago if he might have a food sensitivity, like to gluten or dairy. I LOVE gluten and dairy, so I have been avoiding those thoughts--if he has a problem with one of them, I almost don't want to know! (Good mom, huh?) But this child is so hard to deal with that I feel like we really need a trial elimination. We're starting with dairy, because I personally feel like that is easier to eliminate. Holy cow! Dh thinks I'm trying to push veganism on him (I'm not a vegan, never want to be). He thinks I'm using ds as an excuse.

 

Anyway, diet is such a big stupid issue in our relationship, I just wonder if we're the only ones.

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Sorry, I'm no help in figuring out how to move this (but I'd say diet and education do have a lot to do with each other), but my dc are gluten/casein free and it took a while for Dh to stop trying to convince me to let it go for special events (weekends, meals out, parties, basically any chance he could). He's much better about it now and is very supportive. It was just a steep learning curve for him, as he grew up eating TV dinners and other junk. Candy, soda, etc were regular treats in his house.

 

My first thought reading your post is that it's wonderful your Dh has taken it upon himself to cook his own meat-based dishes. How do you feel about your dc eating meat? Personally, I would let Dh make his meals and share them with the kids, and let him include as much meat as he wants, but no dairy/gluten. Would he be willing to meet you halfway and do that? I'd probably help by preparing side dishes that I'd make into my own main meal (in fact, I eat grain-free usually and often do this myself).

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I personally don't like to see children off both meat and dairy at the same time. I don't like diets that are ultra low fat or only use vegetable fats.

 

I love the idea of vegan, but I am healthier when I eat meat. I have a lot of weird health problems and they ease up when I eat meat. :confused: I wish it wasn't so. Maybe only SOME people benefit from animal products, like only some people benefit from certain medicines. I don't know.

 

How would you feel about substituting a little high omega-3 fish for the dairy? If I had agreed to vegetarianism, I would be very unhappy to see dairy dropped too. I would expect a substitution for whole fats as much as the protein.

 

I did elimination diets with my asthmatic toddler. :grouphug:

 

I've cooked a lot of vegan meals over the years for myself and others, for a variety of reasons, including just being poor.

 

My husband was obese. My oldest child was overweight. We didn't fight. He made all the rules when he was around. When he wasn't, I did what I wanted. I was very upset and worried and frustrated with what was happening with my oldest. :grouphug: I felt powerless. Your situation sounds quite different. Good luck!

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I personally don't like to see children off both meat and dairy at the same time. I don't like diets that are ultra low fat or only use vegetable fats.

:iagree:

 

Lately, I'm reading more and more about fats and how important they are.

 

OP, FWIW, this past month we did a dairy-free trial with my asthma boy. Unfortunately, we saw no changes and were about to embark on a gluten-free trial. Recently I became aware of another possibility, having to do with essential fatty acids and seratonin and the fact that my asthma boy has been on lots of antibiotics (and happened to have his behavior take a turn for the worse not long after a hospitalization for pneumonia). I admit I'm skeptical of this particular plan because it seems like she has a hammer and every child she sees is a nail, so to speak, but for my ds it would make total sense. So, we're trying this before doing a gluten-free trial. Someone made notes on this plan here based on an oral presentation - though I noticed a few differences between the program notes and this person's notes, this person's notes provide the general gist of what's involved.

 

eta, sugar would be the source of conflict with my dh

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This is a big topic in our house, and I am not a vegetarian at all and neither is my DH. All the same issues you speak of still come into play however. And often in our house it comes down to meat as well. We don't have enough of it for his tastes. And let me just say we have meat at dinner every. single. night. If we don't for some off reason, it is because I made it with beans and is the night before payday.

 

I am not looking forward to the future for our dinners because I am currently on a serious elimination diet. I started having allergic reactions that were just too much for me to ignore and have been working with a doctor about it. We both agree that I probably have some kind of food intolerance as well. And now, after a week, I am positive of it. Too many things in my health have changed dramatically for the better. I have a feeling I know what it is, and hopefully it is only one thing, but I am 99.9% sure that it is wheat/gluten and let me tell you, I am not about to have and fix meals that I can not eat in our house.

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I love the idea of vegan, but I am healthier when I eat meat. I have a lot of weird health problems and they ease up when I eat meat. :confused: I wish it wasn't so. Maybe only SOME people benefit from animal products, like only some people benefit from certain medicines. I don't know.

 

 

 

I am in this group. I need meat. Veganism is not a vague possibility for me. But I have found that I don't need to eat it daily to get enough or in especially large quantities when I do. Dinner has meat about 2x a week and I eat a smattering of it at other meals. I also tend to use meat based broths to add animal fats to soups and stuff. Dairy is something I can mostly do without but I do have some and use butter vs. margarine.

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we have had disputes in the past over some foods. not only are we from different cultures (me Aussie, him Canadian) but his parents were from a German background as well.

I grew up with and prefer a very plain cooking. DH would love everything floating in all sorts of sauces. To me that is just extra calories (I would prefer to have chocolate later instead).

here is an example; DH would prefer spinach floating in a white sauce. I prefer it lightly steamed. DH has a very specific way of making salad that includes it just about floating off the plate in olive oil. I prefer the salad to have Tomatoes and I could skip the dressing altogether.

Here is the compromise I make salad the way he likes it ( only took 15 years of lessons for me to get it almost right) and we skip out on all the sauces and gravies.

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I am in this group. I need meat. Veganism is not a vague possibility for me. But I have found that I don't need to eat it daily to get enough or in especially large quantities when I do. Dinner has meat about 2x a week and I eat a smattering of it at other meals. I also tend to use meat based broths to add animal fats to soups and stuff. Dairy is something I can mostly do without but I do have some and use butter vs. margarine.

 

 

I agree! It doesn't take much meat to keep me healthy, just some.

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Look into Paleo for your son if you can stomach the idea :) I'm now paleo and no one else in my family is. We kinda figure breakfast and lunch are individual things and then I cook a paleo friendly dinner for us all to share. So far, that's worked great. Sometimes I'll make rolls for my DH and DS's to have and I just don't eat them. My DH has been really supportive - going so far as to setting up a new veggie garden and compost pile for me; I think a lot of the support is because I'm trying this as an anti-inflammatory diet for my joints and he knows how much pain I must be in to give up grains, dairy, legumes, etc., all of which I am very fond of :) I think not trying to foist my diet on the whole family has actually made them far more supportive of me than they would have been had I tried to convert them all, lol. It is difficult to still have all the normal foods I used to eat in the house, but it gets easier all the time to ignore them. ETA: I eat a small amount of meat - mostly veggies, fruit, pseudo grains (quinoa), eggs, etc. Yesterday I think I ate a total of about 2 oz of meat. The day before, maybe another 2. Paleo does not have to mean a plate of bacon with a side of steak!

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No specific advice, but we have similar food issues in our marriage/family. None of the kids has ever had a problem with any food, luckily, but DH and I certainly see things differently. I've been vegetarian for 20 years+ and he is a big meat eater. Actually, he is a total food snob (I say that lovingly!). He grew up as an only child of a fantastic cook. In fact, she still is a great cook and most of what I know, I learned from her. But there is rarely a dish or meal I make that at which he doesn't turn-up his nose. Our early agreement was that I would cook meat and feed it to the kids, but just wouldn't eat it myself. Unfortunately, it turns out that vegetarians aren't very good cooks of meaty dishes. Who knew? My solution? I just let him cook most of the time! And, my older girls are becoming great cooks. I've often joked that I'm easing into retirement (from being the primary food provider of the family)...

 

Good luck with the elimination diet. I know that is challenging even with full spousal support.

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what if you compromised and had more meat while cutting out dairy?

 

 

That's complicated for me. I don't care if dh has more meat--that's his choice. But I have issues with giving it to the kids before they're able to make an informed, conscious decision to eat it. I don't want to necessarily have a debate about vegetarianism, but having been at this for 18 years, I do have some strong feelings about it. And he knew what the deal was coming into this thing. He agreed to it. I'm not forcing him not to eat dairy either, but I don't think it's fair to give everyone else a grilled cheese sandwich if ds can't have one, too. I'm just asking for two weeks here. If it doesn't make a difference, we'll go back. If it does, then we'll figure out a plan for everyone else to have occasional dairy while ds eats a substitute.

 

I'm just irritated that I'm being accused of forcing veganism on him. Hello! I'm crazy about dairy. I don't want to be a vegan!

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If it's a true allergy, you need to eliminate it for 4-6 weeks for all traces to have time to leave the system before you reintroduce to see if there is a reaction. 2 weeks will not give you a reliable result. We went through an extensive elimination diet with my middle child last year.

 

As far as meat/no meat, I would highly recommend if altering the diet that much to talk to a nutritionist. Toddlers need certain nutrients, their brains are developing at a rapid pace. Not getting the fats and proteins they need can adversely affect this, as well as things like bone development. If you're not doing dairy, you need to make sure your 2yo is getting adequate healthy fats and protein.

 

There are food allergy tests if you're interested, but they aren't all that accurate. You also have to be consuming that food at the time of the test since they usually rely on finding the antigens in your bloodstream. Then any positive findings result in an elimination diet, with reintroducing one thing at a time. If you think it's dairy, it's easier to just eliminate it yourself for 4-6 weeks (6 is better) and reintroduce to see what happens. When you reintro, you want to give 2-3 normal sized servings a day. You want to provoke a reaction if there is going to be one, not have it be so small you don't notice it until the problems reappear.

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Regarding your DH's issue with meat, I'd have a heart-to-heart with him at a time when you're not eating or otherwise discussing diet. Ask him how he feels about the "bargain" you made before you were married. Sounds like neither of you was prepared for how hard it would be at times, and you need to come together to re-focus on loving each other - both in heart and in practice - in spite of your differences on this. Easier said than done, I know. :)

 

My kids have multiple food allergies and we've been through lots of testing and elimination, etc., and my advice is to have your ds tested before doing an elimination diet, for two reasons:

 

1. It will help to focus your efforts so you're not barking up the wrong tree, and give you the best protocol to follow. It may be something you didn't suspect at all - that happened to me with DD4, and I'm so glad we had the tests to guide us. Also, for example, if milk is the problem then it's important to know whether it's the protein (allergy) or the sugar (lactose intolerance) that's causing the symptoms. Same goes for wheat allergy vs. gluten intolerance (celiac). You manage those issues in different ways in the diet. So, I'd take ds to an allergist and have him skin tested for at least the 8 common allergens and blood tested for celiac disease. Not sure how lactose intolerance is diagnosed since we've not dealt with that. Tests don't always reflect real-life symptoms, but they can be very helpful tools, and testing is a much simpler first step than going through strict elimination and reintroduction on your own. And by all means, consult a nutritionist if you do have to eliminate something.

 

2. If the test is positive for one or more allergens/intolerances, elimination would be doctor's orders, so dh would, I assume, embrace the inconvenience and not give you grief about it.

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We are both veggie loving omnivorous foodies so that is never a conflict. Though sometimes I get pissy over the amount of time elapses from me saying "dinner's on the table" to the appearance of other family members. But that is getting better. He is bewildered that I like to go to the same restaurants and order the same dishes over and over. Not a conflict so much as a running joke.

 

Meat lovers vs. vegetarian is something that is easy to overcome when dating and when you are in that phase, nothing the other one does seems so bad. But I do know this can get to be quite a heated issue once the relationship is established and the kids are around. The couples I see handle it well both cook for the other at times and see it as humorous rather than contentious.

 

I agree that getting a doctor involved will be the best thing to ease the tension.

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Could you compromise and fix a couple meat dishes through the week?

Diet isn't an issue here - but I imagine it could be if I insisted on only cooking meals that *I* want to eat, not taking into account that others in the house may enjoy something else (and I say that gently).

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I can totally see this from both sides. It sounds like you kind of win a lot when it comes to food. He eats your way unless he cooks. Your kids eat your way. But from your side, to labor over a meal and have it never be enough- yeah, that's tough.

 

I think you need to bring all of the kid food issues back on the table. That includes possibly feeding them meat. I would also consider bringing meat into your mid-week meals (as a side- separate from the other elements of the meal). There's only so much you can remove from a diet. I'm not sure how you'll be able to remove gluten, dairy, and meat, and yet still have a nutritionally rounded meal.

 

Dh and I had a ton of food fights early in our marriage. What it came down to was him feeling ignored, and me feeling unappreciated. I had to learn to try to meet his preferences as much as possible, and he had to learn how to eat and thank me for anything that landed on the table, whether he enjoyed it or not.

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Aww, that stinks. I was a vegetarian for the first few years of my marriage, and now I can't eat poultry (?!?! -- weird allergy), so I've always had some dietary differences with dh.

 

Dh cooks up poultry for himself and the kids whenever I am gone. He also cooks poultry as an "extra" when we're grilling or whatever. It's fine with me, and he's careful not to cross-contaminate (as my allergy is severe and life-threatening). He'd never imagine asking me to cook it, and I sure wouldn't have wanted to get close to meat preparation when I was a vegetarian. I still don't like preparing meat, lol. When I was a vegetarian, it worked much the same way. Most our home-cooked meals were vegetarian, but he'd cook up whatever he wanted if he had a hankering for meat, and he'd always get meat when we went out. I'd even help with the turkey on Thanksgiving, although I steered clear of the raw carcass (ewww) and carving things (also ewww).

 

So far as the dairy, I'd suggest to dh that he snack on dairy when your kids can't see it, and eat dairy at lunch, etc. Stash some favorite dairy items in the back of the fridge (in a paper bag if needed, lol) and share dairy delights with your husband after the kids are in bed. Ice cream sundaes, cheese and cracker, whatever.

 

To try to have dairy in front of a toddler but say "no" seems really, really hard, and probably not worth the effort to teach him to accept for such a short time period (few weeks). Now, if it is a permanent change/allergy/whatever, then I think it is a bad idea to ban dairy/gluten/etc from the whole family just because one member is allergic. The child will have to learn that he has a special diet when he is out in the world, and there is no reason (IMHO) to punish everyone else in the family with an arbitrary diet change just because one member is allergic or sensitive. You already make this distinction for meat (kids and you don't eat it . . . Dad and most people do . . .) so I don't see a huge problem with adding a new distinction for one child for allergies/etc.

 

He'll have some fits, and be unhappy, but be sure to have nice non-dairy alternatives on hand for him, and it'll all be fine soon enough. Vegan cheese for his sandwiches, fake ice cream, etc. Heck, it'd be awfully expensive to make the whole family vegan if you want to have the tasty vegan substitutes!!

 

What exactly triggers the fights about food? Most marital fights are NOT really about the official fight topic. There is probably some other issue that is triggering this fight. Someone feeling unappreciated, unloved, overwhelmed, etc . . . See if you can address any underlying issues, and the food fights will likely disappear.

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Yes. Dh and I regularly argue about food. Not daily, but regularly. He and I come from totally different backgrounds. His idea of a healthy meal is hot dogs with macaroni and cheese. :confused1: He would eat that every single day if he were a bachelor. Well, he might switch it up with some Zataran's jambalaya with a pound of sausage and eat the whole thing in one sitting. :ack2: :ack2: Then have hot dogs the next night. He has also gained quite a bit of weight since we married and really doesn't seem to care how healthy or unhealthy his meals are.

 

This bothers me greatly, but I try to give him space about it since he's a grown man. He resists me when I try to do healthy meals. It's a hassle all around.

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If it's a true allergy, you need to eliminate it for 4-6 weeks for all traces to have time to leave the system before you reintroduce to see if there is a reaction. 2 weeks will not give you a reliable result. We went through an extensive elimination diet with my middle child last year.

 

As far as meat/no meat, I would highly recommend if altering the diet that much to talk to a nutritionist. Toddlers need certain nutrients, their brains are developing at a rapid pace. Not getting the fats and proteins they need can adversely affect this, as well as things like bone development. If you're not doing dairy, you need to make sure your 2yo is getting adequate healthy fats and protein.

 

There are food allergy tests if you're interested, but they aren't all that accurate. You also have to be consuming that food at the time of the test since they usually rely on finding the antigens in your bloodstream. Then any positive findings result in an elimination diet, with reintroducing one thing at a time. If you think it's dairy, it's easier to just eliminate it yourself for 4-6 weeks (6 is better) and reintroduce to see what happens. When you reintro, you want to give 2-3 normal sized servings a day. You want to provoke a reaction if there is going to be one, not have it be so small you don't notice it until the problems reappear.

 

 

This is good to know. I brought this up with the ped a little while ago and he told me that the issues we're having (eczema, regular random tummy aches, diarrhea-like poops almost ALL the time, overall grumpiness) wouldn't be the result of a food sensitivity. So I ignored it. But these issues go on and on and I hear so many people tell me to consider diet, that I finally figured we should give it a shot. Clearly, I don't know what I'm doing, though.

 

I can totally see this from both sides. It sounds like you kind of win a lot when it comes to food. He eats your way unless he cooks. Your kids eat your way. But from your side, to labor over a meal and have it never be enough- yeah, that's tough.

 

I think you need to bring all of the kid food issues back on the table. That includes possibly feeding them meat. I would also consider bringing meat into your mid-week meals (as a side- separate from the other elements of the meal). There's only so much you can remove from a diet. I'm not sure how you'll be able to remove gluten, dairy, and meat, and yet still have a nutritionally rounded meal.

 

Dh and I had a ton of food fights early in our marriage. What it came down to was him feeling ignored, and me feeling unappreciated. I had to learn to try to meet his preferences as much as possible, and he had to learn how to eat and thank me for anything that landed on the table, whether he enjoyed it or not.

 

 

I try to include dh a lot in menu planning. I ask for his input every week. I do throw canned chicken (I know, not delicious to most of you, but I can't handle raw meat--blech!) in his side of things like enchiladas and pot pie. I will also brown beef for his tacos. I really do try to accommodate, and like I said, he does like some of my meals.

 

As for the kids, don't all kids eat their mom's way?

 

I have no intention of removing gluten AND dairy. I figure it's either one or the other, or neither.

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As for the kids, don't all kids eat their mom's way?

 

 

 

No. When my oldest was four, she informed me she did not want to eat meat. So, I didn't make her for the five years she was a vegetarian. I am a big meat eater but I let her make that decision and just fixed her part of meals differently. She still doesn't eat red meat or pork so I make parts of some meals different for her. I don't know how old your dcs are but I think I would probably let dh feed them meat occasionally if dcs wanted to try it. Especially if it was starting to cause problems between us. I felt dd was old enough at four to make the decision about what types of foods she was comfortable eating.

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As for the kids, don't all kids eat their mom's way?

 

Goodness no!

 

Despite not doing the cooking, men often have the biggest impact on what the kids eat. They often fund the meal and put lots of pressure on their wife to make what he wants. They are sometimes short sighted and sometimes only care about peace for that meal and will pressure a mom to do what the child wants, after she does what he wants.

 

For the majority of families I have known, few moms even eat what they want, never mind have the majority of control over what the kids eat. There seems to be no money and time left after appeasing the squeaky wheels.

 

In our home every meal was made to please my husband, and rarely there was a second meal to please the children. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I made a special meal for me. I waited until everyone served themselves and I ate some of what was left. I didn't even get my fair share of what I had prepared for them. And despite all that, there were constant complaints.

 

Yes, I realize this was at the other extreme. ;) I'm divorced now, and getting to experience new foods for the first time in my life. But it's not a default that kids eat what their moms eat, if the mom is actually eating what she wants to eat, and that is different from what her husband wants to eat.

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This is good to know. I brought this up with the ped a little while ago and he told me that the issues we're having (eczema, regular random tummy aches, diarrhea-like poops almost ALL the time, overall grumpiness) wouldn't be the result of a food sensitivity. So I ignored it.

 

:huh: My husband is lactose intolerant. One of my children is also. What suggestions did the pediatrician have if these aren't related to a food sensitivity?

 

As for the kids, don't all kids eat their mom's way?

 

 

I'm the only adult in the home for at least 2/3 of the meals in this house. If they plan on eating, they are eating my way. My husband and I don't have any philosophical differences over diet, but we do occasionally disagree on what times and quantities are appropriate for some things.

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My husband is lactose intolerant and really fussy about kosher, so we have a no-dairy home.

 

Within that parameter, no, he gives me no grief. I set all the meals, make all the meals, and he eats them cheerfully and encourages the children to do likewise. He sometimes mentions he'd like something, but that's it. If it's not his thing he kind of behaves neutrally, and if he likes it he makes a big fuss.

 

That said, if I made him live as a vegan, he'd get a bit pissy. I do think it's somewhat unreasonable to expect him to like your food, or be angry that he sometimes cooks for himself.

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Nope. Mrs Spy Car and our little man are both very adventurous eaters.

 

We eat very widely, and eat foods from many cuisines. Lots of fresh veggies and other plant based foods. Many vegetarian meals, but some meat, fish and poultry too. We all like heathful and delicious foods.

 

No conflicts here.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

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It sounds like you already accommodate him a lot by making his portion of the meal with meat at times and he also makes his own food with meat. That isn't making him live as a vegan. I disagree that kids should not be vegans. There are unhealthy ways of doing it but there are ways of getting enough fat in the diet for kids that do not eat dairy or meat. I have friends who are completely vegan and raise kids that way and their kids are really healthy. I cut way back on cheese to being a regular part of our diet to something we have rarely for environmental reasons. DH eats meat and cheese but the meals I make do not include it and he lives.

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I was a vegetarian for 16 years and slowly started adding in some meat (fish). I cooked non meat dishes at home and dh would get his meat fix at fast food for lunch or when we went to restaurants. I decided that I would let my kids make their choice early about trying meat if they wanted to and we would have a detailed talk about meat production in this country and the ethical aspects when they were older. I mean, I wasn't ready to abstain from meat (something I liked) until I was 14...I wouldn't expect my 6yo to do so. As it turns out, my DS is quite the meat eater. If given his choice, he would eat meat and the occasional cracker (and pb&j of course). But, I still plan on making sure that when he is older, when is ready, he can make an informed choice.

 

Yes, your son's dietary needs are different than yours so no, kids don't necessarily eat what mom eats. I don't eat bacon or steak but I make it for him because I can see that it is nourishing and healthy for him. I just try to make it as good of quality of meat, from as ethical of a farmer as I can find.

 

We tried to go GF for my son to see if it would bring about behavior/bowel changes and we only got him on board with the idea by offering that we would all go through the trial period with him. I thought that seemed fair given his age. Perhaps your dh would be willing to bend a little about not eating dairy in front of him if he felt like you were also making a sacrifice (I.e. meat)??

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I was trying to put this in a personally-relatable perspective, because I am not vegetarian. We do have self-imposed dietary restrictions, however, as we eat halaal. Would you compare your conflict to one spouse wanting to eat halaal (or kosher, as another example) only and the other one not? Because I would think some might be more, umm, able to compromise in their vegetarianism than others... I mean, I'm dedicated to eating halaal on a very deep level, so if my dh was not and wanted the occasional non-halaal meal in our home, well I would have a hard time with that. Is it the same for you, OP? I can't claim eating halaal as a medical issue, were I in your situation some might say I should compromise and make the occasional pork roast, but personally I could not.

 

I think this situation, if it fits you, would make it more complicated. Hopefully I'm making sense. I guess in a nutshell, some (or a lot) will depend on why you are vegetarian and how deeply that is held by you.

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Thankfully, Halaal and kosher are not the same as strict vegan, nutritionally. They are wholesome diets that can be sustained by all people with all types of medical conditions. Vegan doesn't appear to be sustainable for ALL people, with all medical conditions. I am a person who has sacrificed her health to meet requirements I thought my god was asking me to, in the past. That was MY choice and it was to please a powerful entity I was afraid of. But to force a child who is already showing physical stress to make nutritional sacrifices because of a parent's [what?], is a different story. Halaal and Kosher have plenty of B12, protein and most importantly whole and omega 3 fats.

 

Most times asthma and skin conditions and bowels complaints are not cured by removing foods from the diet, even if the problem is nutritional. Sometimes it's the LACK of a food, or an inability to digest food properly, or a bowel disease, or something entirely not food related at all, like a mold allergy, or stress, or an autoimmune disease.

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FWIW, kosher is not a good comparison for vegetarianism in most cases. Dishes and cooking implements are kosher or not kosher, not only foods. So if Spouse A comes in and cooks bacon, everything he uses becomes unkosher. Having a kosher person and a non-kosher person in the same household would require quite a lot of commitment.

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This is good to know. I brought this up with the ped a little while ago and he told me that the issues we're having (eczema, regular random tummy aches, diarrhea-like poops almost ALL the time, overall grumpiness) wouldn't be the result of a food sensitivity. So I ignored it. But these issues go on and on and I hear so many people tell me to consider diet, that I finally figured we should give it a shot. Clearly, I don't know what I'm doing, though.

 

Is anybody really surprised that the pediatrician poo-pooed the food insensitivity idea? I have never known a pediatrician who acknowledged anything other than hives or an anaphylactic reaction as food-related. Most families I have met who have a someone with celiac in their family had to fight tooth and nail to get a referral to someone who could help them with the problem. Doctors get a ridiculously small amount of nutrition education in medical school. My point is, if you think it is nutritional, the pediatrician is not the person who will help you unless that person has taken a special interest in nutritional issues. An allergist can help you navigate potential allergies. A nutritionist may help with other nutrition issues. Like other people have mentioned, the authority of an outside person may be able to help sway your dh as he will be able to separate it from the food conflict between the two of you.

 

I try to include dh a lot in menu planning. I ask for his input every week. I do throw canned chicken (I know, not delicious to most of you, but I can't handle raw meat--blech!) in his side of things like enchiladas and pot pie. I will also brown beef for his tacos. I really do try to accommodate, and like I said, he does like some of my meals.

 

As for the kids, don't all kids eat their mom's way?

 

I have no intention of removing gluten AND dairy. I figure it's either one or the other, or neither.

 

I am so sorry that this has created difficulties for you. I don't think all kids eat their mom's way. Dh has plenty of influence over my kids diet. He is the one who brings in "contraband" and has introduced them to foods that I would prefer not cross our threshold. I'll slave away making a delicious bolognese sauce and he will bring home Chef Boyardee. Dh jokingly calls me the food Nazi in our house.

 

I would try to separate the food conflict between the two of you from the issues your child is having. I do want to say that, despite your commitment to vegetarianism, not all people are healthy on that way of eating. I have tried it several times in my life and found that I need animal protein to thrive. I am just not healthy without it. If it works for you, great! Would you be able to acknowledge that meat might be in your child's best interest? I am not saying it is, just asking if you would be willing to accept having a child eating meat if it was better for that child nutritionally. If so, perhaps acknowleding that could help your dh see this as a separate issue than your conflict.

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As for the kids, don't all kids eat their mom's way?

 

 

 

Nope. I was a vegetarian for about 12 years... right up until a few months ago when I decided that some health issues I was having might be mitigated by eating meat again. But my husband and my kids have always eaten meat. I don't prepare it (still haven't crossed that line yet), but DH usually cooks on weekends, and they have deli meat for lunch most days, so they usually eat meat every day.

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My 17 year old became an ethical vegetarian about a year and a half ago after reading various writings on the subject. No big deal, she prepares her own meal plans, grocery lists, and cooks her own food. It's a good learning experience.

 

My husband joined the bandwagon a few months ago and presumed to demand all the rest of us do the same because he didn't want "his" money going to animal cruelty. That's when I pointed out that for the last almost decade I haven't caused a stir when he had a crisis of faith and went from seminary to atheism and all the science he teaches our kids followed. Did I demand he stay matched to my evangelical, fundamentalist Christian beliefs? No. I explained that I expected him to not demand I adopt his convictions just because he has them. It was blunt. It was very firm. It's live and let live around here.

 

I also explained that when our oldest went vegetarian I was glad to pick things up on her list, but if she didn't bother making one, it wasn't my problem. I don't cook two meals. If you choose to make a change, you take all the work that goes with it just like she did. I'm glad to pick things up at the store but I'm not searching out new recipes, designing a vegetarian meal plan, or changing the diet of anyone in the house who doesn't choose to make a change. He agreed-not emphatically but I'll take what I can get.

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Regarding allergy testing for food. There are 2 you want done, they are both blood tests that test for antigens, so you have to be eating the food, in your diet, when the testing is done. The first is the IgE which tests for immediate reactions to foods. The other is teh IgG which tests for delayed reactions, which are usually sensitivities or intolerances. It's not a true allergy with the IgG, but ti does mean that your body has an issue with the food item and is reacting and the food is best eliminated from the diet. It sounds like your son most likely would have positive results from the IgG test with delayed reactions.

 

If either the IgE or IgG (usually IgG) show up for gluten, that is when you can start looking at if it could be Celiac. With Celiac, you have to carry the gene to have it. I believe there are 2 genes (I'm trying to remember from when ds went through this). A blood test can look for the gene, but it is expensive and most insurances will not cover it unless a close relative is diagnosed Celiac. The only way to get a 100% for sure Celiac diagnoses is via an intestinal biopsy. For the biopsy to be accurate, the person needs to have consumed gluten within the recent past regularly. Gluten does damage the gut, but in children in particular it can heal when they eliminate all gluten from the diet. So if you put your child on a strict gluten free diet, and then 2 years later have an intestinal biopsy done for Celiac, it may came back that they do not have it when they really do.

 

Hopefully I'm remembering everything correctly. I went through all this testing with my middle child a little over a year ago and we had to eliminate gluten, dairy, and eggs. It was torture! Fortunately, he ended up not reacting to any when we reintroduced, but I eliminated gluten with him and found out I reacted! It was super unfair!

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re: gluten/dairy one or both-

Actually from my experience and what I've read if gluten is an issue often dairy is as well, especially with celiacs. If one has untreated Celiacs the villi is damaged from ingesting gluten which impairs the body's ability to digest dairy. Dairy and soy often go together as well as far as intolerances. I've also "met" many vegetarians/vegans on food allergy and intolerance boards that were forced to eat meat due to having to restrict so many other foods.

 

My dh is supportive here. WE are all gluten free at home although he doesn't have to be, although he is healthier when he is. For a long time I didn't buy any thing at all with gluten to be brought in the house but now I do buy some things which won't easily contaminate. We had a dairy free house for a long time as well. However, he does have certain preferences that I try to honor. He would not be happy if meat was sparse and when I've tried to do too many vegetarian meals he is not happy. I don't personally do well with vegetarian myself though, so it is not an issue.

 

As to what to feed the kids I do think you need to have a discussion about that and come up with some clear guidelines, instead of some vague idea. I don't think it is fair that your kids cannot pick their diet until they are deemed mature enough when you are the only arbritrar of that guideline. I've read of kids deciding at a very young age to become vegetarian so it seems reasonable to me that a child could make the opposite decision early as well. At any rate I'd make some kind of decision in regards to the age. I know I'd feel with that sort of guideline that really it was just a tactic to keep them vegetarian for as long as possible.

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OP, I also think you should have allergy testing done before eliminating food. I had no idea that my older daughter's bizarre symptoms (stomach/intestinal pain, eczema, headaches) were due to a soy allergy! If I hadn't insisted on seeing an allergist, we would have continued stumbling around, eliminating one food for 2-3 weeks at a time. The bits of soy in bread products would still have caused her pain.

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we have had disputes in the past over some foods. not only are we from different cultures (me Aussie, him Canadian) but his parents were from a German background as well.

I grew up with and prefer a very plain cooking. DH would love everything floating in all sorts of sauces. To me that is just extra calories (I would prefer to have chocolate later instead).

here is an example; DH would prefer spinach floating in a white sauce. I prefer it lightly steamed. DH has a very specific way of making salad that includes it just about floating off the plate in olive oil. I prefer the salad to have Tomatoes and I could skip the dressing altogether.

Here is the compromise I make salad the way he likes it ( only took 15 years of lessons for me to get it almost right) and we skip out on all the sauces and gravies.

I don't understand why you can't take some of the salad off to the side, add more tomatoes to yours, then add the dressing to his, and same with the spinach. I have kids who don't like sauces. I take components out before adding spicy or tomatoey or whatever sauces. I serve lots of versions of things. Why does this have to be an issue??

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Regarding allergy testing for food. There are 2 you want done, they are both blood tests that test for antigens, so you have to be eating the food, in your diet, when the testing is done.

What do you do when the food is not in the diet?

 

One of my kids had the blood test done on a food that was not in the diet as I already knew there was an allergy.

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What do you do when the food is not in the diet?

 

One of my kids had the blood test done on a food that was not in the diet as I already knew there was an allergy.

 

If the food is not in the diet, and you know it's an allergy, then you don't need to be tested to know there is an allergy. But they could be tested to see if they react to other foods. But if they aren't eating dairy, and you get the testing done, and the dairy doesn't come back as reactive, you don't want to assume it's ok. It's most likely a false positive.

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If the food is not in the diet, and you know it's an allergy, then you don't need to be tested to know there is an allergy. But they could be tested to see if they react to other foods. But if they aren't eating dairy, and you get the testing done, and the dairy doesn't come back as reactive, you don't want to assume it's ok. It's most likely a false positive.

So for RAST and IgE, if you're not sure, you should do what? Give the kid some at home and see what happens? Demand further testing? In my case, there is a food I eliminated before the allergy testing, that came back negative for skin and blood (I think IgE), that the doctor told me is fine for my child to eat. I basically ignored that advice and continue to eliminate it but have found this extremely confusing, because there is also a supposed positive that causes no reaction.

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If it has been completely out of the diet for 4-6 weeks, then you reintroduce it (2-3 servings a day) and watch for reactions. If there is a reaction, you remove it from the diet and consider it an allergy (or intolerance). If there is no reaction after several days, you can assume it is safe to eat.

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If it has been completely out of the diet for 4-6 weeks, then you reintroduce it (2-3 servings a day) and watch for reactions. If there is a reaction, you remove it from the diet and consider it an allergy (or intolerance). If there is no reaction after several days, you can assume it is safe to eat.

Thanks. I have really been confused by conflicting advice.

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Have you tried just cooking vegetarian food for yourself, and cooking meat for your husband and children? That would most likely resolve the conflicts.

 

From his side, has he ever forced you to eat meat?

 

Consider, do you force him to eat vegetarian only by excluding meat from the meals you prepare for him?

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I don't understand why you can't take some of the salad off to the side, add more tomatoes to yours, then add the dressing to his, and same with the spinach. I have kids who don't like sauces. I take components out before adding spicy or tomatoey or whatever sauces. I serve lots of versions of things. Why does this have to be an issue??

It is no longer an issue as we have worked out a compromise. I make the salad how he likes it, and we skip out on all the sauces. We are both happy with this arrangement.

the salad has to be made in a VERY specific way, otherwise it is not right according to DH. it involves the dressing being made first and the salad ingredients being very slowly added.

as for the sauce for the spinach and whatever I cannot make it right. I have had lessons from my MIL and still cannot get it right. so I have given up.

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re: gluten/dairy one or both-

 

As to what to feed the kids I do think you need to have a discussion about that and come up with some clear guidelines, instead of some vague idea. I don't think it is fair that your kids cannot pick their diet until they are deemed mature enough when you are the only arbritrar of that guideline. I've read of kids deciding at a very young age to become vegetarian so it seems reasonable to me that a child could make the opposite decision early as well. At any rate I'd make some kind of decision in regards to the age. I know I'd feel with that sort of guideline that really it was just a tactic to keep them vegetarian for as long as possible.

 

 

Forcing someone to eat something they don't want to eat (whether that's due to taste or beliefs or whatever) is completely different than withholding something they have never even tasted. A young child usually chooses vegetarianism when they learn that "meat" is the same thing as the cute animals they see at the farm. Requiring them to continue eating it would be cruel. Even if it's just about taste or texture, it's horrible to force someone to eat something they don't want to eat. It is not cruel to withhold meat from kids who haven't expressed any desire to eat it. I really think it's unfair of everyone to keep equating the two.

 

As for allowing my kids to choose, my dd5 does understand what meat is and she does not choose to eat it. I think ds2 is too little to understand, so he doesn't get to choose that yet. DH agrees with me on that. He doesn't have a problem with the guidelines we have established regarding our kids' dietary choices. And fwiw, I'm actually not manipulative in the way I explain this stuff to my kids, but I am matter of fact about it. Most little meat eating kids probably don't understand the details of how a chicken goes from the farm to their plate. It's not a pretty story, but I think my kid should know it before she puts it in her mouth. We like to tell the story of vegetables to our kids--we like them to understand how they grow and how they get on our plates. Why not meat? That said, I do teach my kids to be respectful of what other people eat. Dd knows we never comment on other people's food. She knows that what someone chooses to eat doesn't make them a good or a bad person. She knows this is just OUR choice and that she is welcome to change her mind at any time.

 

Have you tried just cooking vegetarian food for yourself, and cooking meat for your husband and children? That would most likely resolve the conflicts.

 

From his side, has he ever forced you to eat meat?

 

Consider, do you force him to eat vegetarian only by excluding meat from the meals you prepare for him?

 

 

As I mentioned before, I throw easy meat into dh's side of our meals on occasion. But, like most vegetarians, I'm really not comfortable handling/cutting raw flesh. I'm just not. I don't expect non-vegetarians to understand that, but it's just not for me. And it's not news to him--he knew this about me when he married me, so it's not like I pulled the old switcharoo. ;)

 

Also, I'm not FORCING dh to eat any way. He is not a vegetarian. He does not eat a vegetarian diet. Between the meat he prepares on the weekend, the leftovers from that, and his eating out, he eats meat at least 4-5 times a week. He's fine. And again, forcing someone to eat something they are uncomfortable eating is totally different from just not presenting something they might like to eat. Not the same thing at all.

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