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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?

exexpat Wed 19-Jun-13 14:11:32

There is certainly no problem nutritionally with bringing children up vegetarian, and I don't think a bit of quorn or some soya-based sausages will hurt her. Personally I prefer not to use too many highly-processed meat-substitutes like that, but as part of a varied diet they are fine. My DCs have been brought up pescetarian from birth - mainly vegetarian, as I am, but with a little fish - and our vegetarian meals are mostly based around vegetables plus tofu, beans, lentils, eggs or cheese rather than imitation meat.

I get the impression your DH doesn't know much about nutrition, and is possibly worried that you are trying to convert your DD to vegetarianism by stealth. Can you look up some reliable information to show him that your DD does not need to eat meat at every meal to grow up healthy?

megsmouse Wed 19-Jun-13 14:07:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theodorakisses Wed 19-Jun-13 14:01:19

I have been making chilli with Quorn mince undetected by anyone else for years. We also eat sweets and crisps though without any apparent ill effect so I think it is more about how you feel, what you like and how strict you are about diet. Living in the ME, most of their peers are Filipino and have ready made noodles and a bowl of sugar in their lunchbox so I guess we are at least ahead of them. I think it is up to parents what they feed their children and there are extremes on both sides.

stopgap Wed 19-Jun-13 14:00:29

Isn't Quorn highly processed? I'm a meat eater, but wouldn't give my toddler DS hot dogs or Spam. When we do eat vegetarian (50% of the time) I use cheese or pinto/kidney beans as the protein.

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Wed 19-Jun-13 13:56:35

Vegetarian Society say it's fine from 9 months, but not to give it too often because it's low in calories and fat - the reasons many adults like it!

nhs says small amounts of quorn are ok from around 9 months

www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/when-can-I-give-Quorn-to-my-baby.aspx?CategoryID=62&SubCategoryID=63

MrsOakenshield Wed 19-Jun-13 13:50:07

hmm, I wonder if that's the same nursery DD goes to - did serve fish but has now (due to uninformed parental pressure, I have no doubt) started serving meat. Just red meat, oddly, from an organic farm or summat. Feel annoyed that money has been taken from other things to pay for this (and annoyed that DD is now referred to as being on a 'special diet').

I have to say I never knew that Quorn wasn't recommended for little ones, we never have it cos DH hates it and I didn't like the idea of her having meat substitute, just seemed a bit odd!

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Wed 19-Jun-13 13:49:04

Thanks for alerting me to this - I'd intended to wean DD onto the same foods we eat so will check out if there's any evidence that Quorn or soya is risky. The NHS website doesn't mention it being a problem.

I agree with Mrs Oakenshield's stance - I'm veggie, DH eats fish occasionally but meals at home are veggie and we're not going to start buying meat, but when DD is old enough to understand, she can eat meat outside the home. PILs are predominantly veggie, so it's only really my parents who would have it around her when she's really little.

Sarah1611 Wed 19-Jun-13 13:44:37

One of the little ones I nanny for used to go to a nursery which served only meat free meals (they serve meat now) and quorn was often on the menu. He couldn't eat it as it has cows milk in which he can't have.

princesssmartypantss Wed 19-Jun-13 13:44:07

i am not a vegetarian, (sorry) but i cook a lovely lasagne with quorn green lentils and mushrooms because it tastes lovely and frequently give my ds (2yrs) macaroni cheese for his tea.

burberryqueen Wed 19-Jun-13 13:38:21

yes Quorn is fungus grown in a lab - weird shit IMO - u could try some other veggie dishes like with lentils or beans etc?

bugsybill Wed 19-Jun-13 13:35:21

Also from what I recall it is some type of fungi, not mushrooms or soya.

bugsybill Wed 19-Jun-13 13:33:39

I'm a veggie and tried Quorn a few years ago, was sick after eating it- headaches, body aches, vomiting, bloat, diarrhoea. Once i linked the sickness to the Quorn and then did some googling I discovered that some people are intolerant/allergic to it. Can't remember the stats but it would be worth looking into this before feeding it to your child.

BlackeyedSusan England Wed 19-Jun-13 13:08:30

he clearly has no underrstanding of the nutritional needs of a young child, they need protein. this can come from milk, eggs, beans, wholegrain, nuts, seeds... etc. as long as you give her a mix of the nine amino acids she needs it should be ok.

maninawomansworld Wed 19-Jun-13 12:42:35

Quorn and other meat substitutes can be dubious especially for small children.
I get that many people want to be vegetarian, some do it on health grounds, some do it because they disagree with eating animals but I really don't see the logic of a highly processed substitute full of additives like quorn. Either give her meat or don't but faux meat is just odd and I'm not convinced of it's healthiness.

By all means if she decides that she doesn't want to eat meat then let her make that decision when she's older or cook her a veg based meal without the need for substitutes but heavily processed meat substitutes aren't great food.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 18-Jun-13 11:33:02

Well, knowledge is power. Sounds like he needs to read about nutrition, stop attaching unreasoned significance to coincidence, then he can stop worrying!

50shadesofvomit Tue 18-Jun-13 11:27:34

Quorn used to come with a warning that it wasn't suitable for under 2s or under 3s. Not looked recently but I think it was because of too much fibre and too little fat?

We are carnivores but occasionally eat Quorn Bolognese rather than regular. First time I did it as an experiment so see how the kids would like it and they did so we still make it sometimes now.
I think the important thing is to get your dd to enjoy food and it's probably a lot easier to do that if all 3 of you eat veggie sometimes.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 18-Jun-13 11:26:10

As far as I am aware the only issue with quorn is that it can fill a wee one up but with not a lot of nutritional value.

There is no real issue with soya. The vast majority of the "information" on how soya is bad is to be found on woo blogs rather than scientific journals.

Look at all the dairy intolerant babies that have to have soy formula...

WilsonFrickett Tue 18-Jun-13 11:16:19

I really don't care about the ins and outs of it. But making a meal for you and then a separate meal for a toddler is bonkers, imo. If DH would be there and you'd be making two meals (or two variants thereof) then fine, but cooking for you then something different for her is just nuts.

Quorn shouldn't be given to children under three.

I have been vegan, i now eat fish, but no other animal product.

There are better other meat substitutes available, i used to use Asda's own.

I started to eat fish after being ill and seeing a Dietian, she was very against using Quorn regulary, so i researched it.

I don't see the need to use anything instead of meat, that is like saying a meal isn't a meal without meat. I would rather leave my Mushrooms etc chunky, if i felt i needed substance.

I would domore research about weaning a child on a non meat diet and go with that, rather than fill her up with chemical meat substitutes. As said,most vegetarians/vegans i know look at those products like cheap chicken nuggets.

I had a very positive response from my main consultant, who was Hindu and vegan. In his family (some Hindu's are not vegan) all of the children were raised on non meat diets and people recoved from illness etc, without having to use animal deprived food.

SixPackWellies Tue 18-Jun-13 11:07:18

that was supposed to be 'bringing up' not building up.

SixPackWellies Tue 18-Jun-13 11:06:53

If he is concerned about the health part, then there are some terrific books about building up infants, toddlers and children as vegetarians and vegans which he and you both could read. I know you are vegetarian not vegan, but as an example I can highly recommend these two books;

www.amazon.co.uk/Feeding-Your-Vegan-Infant-Confidence/dp/0907337295

www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Vegan-Eating/dp/1592579787/ref=pd_sim_b_5/276-7948700-3051939

Pozzled Tue 18-Jun-13 11:04:21

I'm a vegetarian, DH eats meat. Like you, we agreed the DDs would eat meat. However, I use quorn a fair amount and certainly wouldn't bother making 2 meals. If I do something like Bolognese, we all eat quorn- DH included. My DDs are 2 and 4 and have been eating small amounts of quorn since they were weaned.

MamaBear17 Tue 18-Jun-13 11:04:05

white meat and fish^

MamaBear17 Tue 18-Jun-13 11:03:39

He does eat veggie, but only if I do a pasta based dish. He eats a lot of white meat and chicken in his evening meals. I suppose he would argue that it balances out because he has a meat free breakfast and lunch. He doesnt like DD eating from his plate (however, that is a different thread entirely...) but I encourage it. I am a 'pile it all in the middle and share' kind of eater.

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