to let dd go vegan (at least partly)?

(133 Posts)
marvelousdcomics Sat 22-Oct-16 07:51:21

DD is 14 and wants to go vegan. She has presented me with facts, statistics etc. She wants to do it for her health, animal cruelty and the environment. Due to her past EDs (anorexia, bulimia & binge eating) I've said as long as she doesn't start cutting her calories ir anything, we'll see how it goes. DP is completely opposed to it, however. He says we need meat & dairy etc. Should I let her? I was going to insist on including fish occasionally but DP is even against that. WWYD?

NattyTile Sat 22-Oct-16 08:02:53

How exactly are you going to force her to eat fish?

In fact, how are you going to force her to eat anything, especially if she has a history of eating disorders?

Grab some decent vegan cookbooks, help her to understand the importance of combining foods to get complete proteins - eg beans and rice eaten together - and see how it goes.

saltededamummy Sat 22-Oct-16 08:03:03

Her research & passion is impressive.
Does she have a proper understanding of what she needs, as a growing woman, to include in her every day diet?
Yes, given her history, I would keep a close eye on any tendency towards obsession (not sure if that's the right word)
Could you do this together?

ThatGingerOne Sat 22-Oct-16 08:03:30

Being vegan is very healthy and all protein that is gained from fish and meat can be gained from other sources i.e nuts etc. I understand your concern from the past ED stand point though. Perhaps your DD has a councilor you could speak to about it? Maybe even your GP?

Perhaps you can ask her to write a food diary, that way you can see exactly what she is eating - ask her to do this as you want to get used to her new diet and you need to learn all the new things you will need to buy so she does not think it is too intrusive. Along with that you can research and make vegan recipes together so you know what she is eating and you are also being supportive of her choices.

SaucyJack Sat 22-Oct-16 08:05:43

I don't think veganism is a problem in the slightest generally speaking however I would be hugely concerned that your DD was using such a restricted diet as an outlet for her food control issues.

Have you heard of something called orthorexia?

But then again, if she isn't psychologically capable of eating "normally" clearly veganism is going to be much, much better for her than bulimia.

GwendolynMary Sat 22-Oct-16 08:07:21

I would like to want to support my DD in your position, but given the history of ED here, I'd be concerned about orthorexia. Excluding entire food groups can be an ED behaviour. So I'd be watching closely to see if proteins and fats were being avoided too.

Sovain Sat 22-Oct-16 08:08:51

I would think it far, far better to help her with her choice rather than forbid her to cut out meat and dairy.

It's a very healthy choice - although can be tricky dining out- but she will likely learn a lot about nutrition and what hee body needs.

Her father can't make her eat meat and dairy. That would be the wrong path to take imo.

londonrach Sat 22-Oct-16 08:08:54

I agree op giving her past history restricting her diet could be the start of it again. Needs very carefully monitoring to make sure she doesnt loose weight. Is she underweight now?

Bubblebloodypop Sat 22-Oct-16 08:11:55

Does she watch a lot of YouTube? There's a bit of a vegan trend on there at the minute but some vloggers are giving better advice than others. I would agree with PP, be supportive but watch for the inclusion of protein and fat.

Nataleejah Sat 22-Oct-16 08:12:32

Your DP is an idiot.
My only issue with veganism is that they use a lot of substitutes for 'traditional' items. Egg-free omelette, cheese-free 'maccaroni cheese', meat-free steak... hmm so if eating animal products repulses you, forget steaks and sausages and omelettes -- eat your veggies and be happy confused

KayTee87 Sat 22-Oct-16 08:15:00

I'd worry that this is another way to gain control through cutting food, I suppose all you can do is keep an eye on her. I'm. I'm not sure asking someone with previous ED to keep a food diary is a good idea though.

Feyerefleye Sat 22-Oct-16 08:16:45

Previous EDs aside, switching from an omnivorous to a vegan diet can take its toll and can take a long time for the body to adapt to nutrients from new sources, so phasing to vegetarian as an initial step might be wise...especially as she's so young and still growing. I was a lifelong vegetarian but had to give up dairy and egg so that I could continue to breastfeed my daughter who was diagnosed with severe allergies. I lost 2 stone over the first year but then gradually regained all the weight (and then some) over the second year (still breastfeeding).

Whatslovegottodo Sat 22-Oct-16 08:20:20

natalee I don't understand why you feel eating a non animal food that involves no cruelty and is healthier is a bad choice? I enjoyed traditional foods it is the cruelty aspect that made me give them
up not an aversion to the taste. I mostly eat healthy veg dishes but sometime quorn is great to make a spaghetti bol or sausage and mash.
I am not sure just eating 'veggies' would provide a 14 year old a balanced or appealing diet.

marvelousdcomics Sat 22-Oct-16 08:20:45

Thank you everyone.

No, she isn't underweight. Her last ED was binge eating so she's in the normal range.

I was only thinking about fish because I was worried about protein (she does quite a lot of sports), but I presume she could get that from beans, nuts etc

No, I'm not going to force her to eat anything and I think DP is being ridiculous. I dont eat much meat anyway, but he loves it

Whatslovegottodo Sat 22-Oct-16 08:22:45

I meant to add I am vegetarian, for vegan quorn foods look for the chicken like pieces and vegan nuggets and fillets.

Whatslovegottodo Sat 22-Oct-16 08:25:10

marvellous your DD won't be short of protein. They contain more protein than meat, and a healthier source. It's a healthier and more
Ethical diet all round. Just make sure you get her B12 supplement.

Purplebluebird Sat 22-Oct-16 08:25:57

Actually, when in eating disorder hospitals (as in where you stay for 6 months or so), they keep a food diary, and are recommended to continue this until a normal and healthy habit has been established. I had anorexia for 9 years (and now I'm binge eating instead -.- ).

I would definitely insist and make sure she gets enough protein and fat, and doesn't lose weight. I would be very worried about her developing orthorexia from this. I would also encourage a visit to the gp to get some on going support for ED, if that is at all possible in your area. Your partner cannot force her to eat meat, and he should know that you cannot force someone to eat - otherwise she would not have had anorexia. It would also be very disrespectful of her, and harm his relationship with her.

sleepwhenidie Sat 22-Oct-16 08:27:46

Definitely don't get her to keep a food diary!!

I don't see how you can practically prevent her from following a vegan diet, ultimately unless she's in hospital, she will decide what she puts in her body...but obviously very prescriptive/restrictive diets are classic 'disguises' for ED's. Having said that, a vegan diet can be very healthy, but it takes a lot of commitment and effort/education to be so. Much easier to have a shit vegan diet! I think be glad she's openly discussing it with you and work with her to research the risks and benefits and make lists of food/meals that will provide plenty of protein, iron, calcium, b12 etc that she thinks she would enjoy and will have to include - it may look less appealing written down smile.

Vegetarianism maybe be a better first step before veganism (though there's more chance she will find veganism so challenging she might abandon the idea!)

But yes of course monitor her very, very carefully for weight loss and can you have some kind of agreement with her that if she loses more than x amount then she will reconsider for her health?

marvelousdcomics Sat 22-Oct-16 08:33:26

Thank you sleep. I think we'll do a meal plan today. She weighs about 125 lbs at the moment. I don't think shes at risk of developing orthorexia, shes just always been passionate about these kind of things. Thank you smile

Nataleejah Sat 22-Oct-16 08:37:45

natalee I don't understand why you feel eating a non animal food that involves no cruelty and is healthier is a bad choice? I enjoyed traditional foods it is the cruelty aspect that made me give them
So why then pretend you eat meat/dairy/egg based stuff? Stuff like this... Wtf? confused

Artandco Sat 22-Oct-16 08:38:56

I would. But maybe say you would like her to research at least 7 healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners, to show she knows how and what to include at each?

marvelousdcomics Sat 22-Oct-16 08:46:15

Thank you Artandco smile she has made a huge list of vegan meals already, so she probably has been thinking about this for a while.

There was one thing I was worried about (probably irrational). Diabetes runs in the family. I'm not overweight however have the initial symptoms of hyperglycemia. Would eating loads of carbs would increase her risk for it? I am just really worried about her health, but I'm sure she'll be okay.

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 22-Oct-16 08:47:05

I eat Quorn peppered steak because having been a meat eater it tastes so much better than steak from a dead cow. Equally the vegan steak strips from H&B tastes even better.

Can't comment on vegetarian mock duck I have never heard of this product.

user1471541923 Sat 22-Oct-16 08:51:16

Nooooo.....
A history of eating disorders is a huge red flag. Get advice from the around the dinner table forum.

Speaking from experience, even if I cut out one food group, I go back down the rabbit hole, and it's bloody hard to get back out. Can't you use vegetarianism as a compromise, that's something that could work as she'll need lots of cheese, dairy etc. Her bones are probably already compromised.

Eating disorders are sneaky. Veganism is a common way to restrict amongst sufferers. Please think long and hard

marvelousdcomics Sat 22-Oct-16 08:54:12

Salted, sorry I never replied to your post. She is very aware of what she needs (she even wrote a list for that)! She included protein, carbohydrates (mostly wholegrain), fats (mostly mono and polyunsaturated), iron, B12, vitamins etc

I would consider doing it with her but have high blood sugar so not sure it would help me In any way

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