Giving young children Quorn instead of meat...

(56 Posts)
MamaBear17 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:17:39

Background to avoid drip feeding: I have been a veggie for 18 years, finally being 'allowed' by my mother to give up meat at the age of 12. From the day I found out where meat came from I was repulsed by it and never wanted to eat it, however, my mum thought that giving up meat would make me ill so used to do insane things like puree meat up and mix it into mashed potato without telling me. My DH is a carnivoire. He loves meat and all meat related products. We both respect each others views and it has never been an issue between us. When I got pregnant with DD we agreed that DD would eat meat, however, I would not hide my reasons for not eating meat from her and if she asked to become a veggie too, regardless of her age, she could.

DD is now 22 months and eats a balanced, varied diet. However, she has started to show an interest in eating 'mummy's meat' from my plate and seems to enjoy Quorn as much as she does meat. The other day I was cooking for just me and her so did a Quorn based meal and hubby got upset. He said that she is too young to choose yet and I completely agree, however, I can't see the harm in her eating both. I have no plans to stop cooking meat for her. On the occasion in question it was just easier to cook one meal. DH thinks that I am denying her nutrients by giving her Quorn instead of proper meat and is concerned about the Soya content because he read somewhere that Soya can make girls infertile. I understand his worries but as a healthy veggie I think he is being a bit precious. However, I am prepared to accept IABU if the majority swings that way. Thoughts and opinions please?

peeriebear Tue 18-Jun-13 10:19:47

Quorn isn't made from soya, it's made from fungus.

peeriebear Tue 18-Jun-13 10:20:40

And going out of your way to add meat to an otherwise perfectly acceptable meal just for a toddler would be ridiculous! The meal you made was fine!

Quorn doesn't contain soya it is made from mushrooms - mycoprotein.

I don't eat meat (but do eat fish) and DH does eat meat. My children eat a mixture of veggie, fish and meat based meals. You don't need meat everyday to be healthy.

A varied diet including meat dies not have to mean eating meat at every meal. It's perfectly fine to allow a child to have vegetarian food. Eating quirk every day wouldn't be good but as part of a balanced diet it's fine!! U wouldn't eat quirk everyday anymore than you would eat meat every day. smile you are denying her nothing you are expanding her options to try new things.

Quirk? Quorn

MamaBear17 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:23:08

Sorry, that was unclear - some of the other meat replacement products that I eat and that DD has showed an interest in trying are soya based things too.

jessjessjess Tue 18-Jun-13 10:24:22

Eating meat is a choice, not the default position.

I personally have more issue with people giving kids meat when they are too young to consent to eating dead animals. So it's all opinion and there is no 'right' thing to do.

If you're worried just make sure you get some good dietary advice.

Perhaps remind your husband that soya is in alot of neat products too? He can't veto vege soya alternatives then agree to sausages crisps chocolate, sausages, biscuits any kind of reformed meat products, stock cubes, bread etc

curryeater Tue 18-Jun-13 10:26:56

Was your husband worried that she was not eating meat at that meal, or that she was eating quorn?
I think they are different, the first is a bit silly (for a single meal) and the second is more reasonable.
Quorn is manufactured and we don't know enough about it to be feeding it to small children imo.
I would also suggest that if you need manufactured foods in your diet then you actually really need the real stuff. If you were a healthy beans-nuts-pulses vegan, I would say, ok, that works for you. If you feel a need to eat fake meat I would say not eating meat does not work for you. That bit is none of my business of course.

Can you just do something based on eggs for you both next time?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 18-Jun-13 10:30:50

I wouldn't give a child that young soya.

Veggie meals are absolutely fine, you don't need meat every meal or even every day, but I don't see the point of meat substitutes, whether it is Quorn or something soya based.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 18-Jun-13 10:30:53

Curry, a lot of vegetarians don't think of quorn as fake meat. It's just something to have in addition to whatever else you are eating. It doesn't taste like meat imo and for some products it's actually nicer.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 18-Jun-13 10:32:20

Wheresmycaffine - yes that would be sensible wouldn't it? To turn the child's diet into a battleground hmm

fedupofnamechanging Tue 18-Jun-13 10:35:23

To be fair, if he's objecting to soya, it's not unreasonable to point out that soya exists in foods other that vegetarian ones. Everyone should know what they are eating.

I'm also not sure that it is reasonable to ask a vegetarian to make meat based dinners, that they cannot eat, when it creates additional work and maybe if the dh feels so strongly about it, he might like to do the cooking for dc.

MamaBear17 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:35:42

He objects to the Quorn, not the meat free aspect of the meal. I eat Quorn because I like it, not at every meal, but a few times a week. I eat nuts and pulses too (not a big bean eater though). I accept his viewpoint, I just think that it cant hurt. The meal in question was Quorn bolognaise. Homemade sauce, chopped mushrooms and veggies, with quorn mince and pasta.

The point is he's clearly ignorant of the matter. He feels that not having meat is denying his dd nutrients which vegetarian meals are all part of a varied diet. Most people don't serve meat every day. He sounds like he's using health reasons as a reason not to eat the vege food but if he was that worried then he wouldn't allow her to eat lots if other things either. But sausages will be ok cos their meat hmm but they still contain the stuff he claims he doesn't want his dd eating.

VulvaVoom Tue 18-Jun-13 10:38:49

I'm a veggie and have been since I was 10. I would not give DD Quorn (when she can have it) myself as I agree with some other posters that most veggie meals are fine without it.

The other reason I wouldn't is that though I still eat Quorn I find it irritates my stomach at times (I have IBS) and a few other veggie people I know have said the same.

In fact my old boss asked me if it caused me problems as it did him and I suddenly realised it definitely made my symptoms worse at times.

Oh and that Meal sounds fine. If it was every meal then no but you would surely agree that the same meal meat or vege everyday wouldn't be good either. It's balance.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 18-Jun-13 10:43:06

Most soya is grown for animal feed and used as a filler in processed meat products. If he is serious about her not eating soya he will be reading every label with care.

Morloth Tue 18-Jun-13 10:44:01

Well Quorn is pretty disgusting IMO. However if she likes it then some probably won't do her much harm.

We eat veggie many nights but Quorn (or any of that manufactured meat replacement stuff) is as out of the question as heavily processed meat (i.e. hot dogs etc).

I can understand him objecting to her eating Quorn a lot more than I could him objecting to her eating veggie.

jacks365 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:44:27

I'm a meat eater but dd3 is a vegetarian so I frequently make things like chili con carne with quorn as it saves making 2 meals and yes I then also feed it to dd4 (19 months). I also frequently do things like omlettes which contain no meat. Judging by the way dd4 is currently running around its not doing her any harm, we rarely eat meat at lunchtime and probably only about 3/4 dinners a week so I can't understand your dh complaint about not giving her meat that one time.

GiveMumABreak Tue 18-Jun-13 10:45:49

As long as DD is eating a varied diet a Quorn meal every now and again is fine.

My advice to you is to both is to relax a little - a relaxed and enthusiastic approach to food will help your DD more than strictly controlling her every mouthful.

I am veggie, my family eat meat, but sometimes a bit of quorn too (my 10 year old DD is starting to show an interest in becoming a veggie too).

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 18-Jun-13 10:45:55

I think it's fine for her to have what you have

If he really has an issue with it then presumably he can cook whatever he wants to for her

lottiegarbanzo Tue 18-Jun-13 10:46:05

I'd be interested to know what his objection is to quorn. Does he think it is acceptable for your dd to eat mushrooms and eggs?

curryeater Tue 18-Jun-13 10:46:45

Karma, I am not talking about how the vegetarians see the quorn, I am talking about what it is, which is manufactured protein

I would say that, while you might not agree, there are reasonable grounds for thinking quorn is dodgy and you don't have to include it in vegetarian meals, so if it upsets the op's dh it should be left out of the dc's food

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