DD has come out and has struggled with her conscience

(50 Posts)
marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 22:44:10

She told me very earnestly and quietly and said that as a member of this family it had been a very difficult decision and she was worried about her father's reaction especially. Her brother has already told her she is mad and unreasonable.

I have accepted the inevitable but how does one cope with a vegetarian who thinks it also right to eschew fish.

Tonight she has had rice with pesto, green beans and a fried egg. We had Chicken curry.

Will it be a phase that she will grow out of or do you think we must embrace her choice. What help for easy family meals where we can eat meat and she can have veg.

What about protein?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 15-Nov-12 22:47:19


Hopefully it will just be a phase, loads of my friends went through it and it didn't last with many of them.

Do you have the HFW veg book? Loads of good recipes in there with beans and so forth for protein - and you can add a steak or sausages or fish to loads of them very easily and make a delicious meal.

kdiddy Thu 15-Nov-12 22:48:37

How old is she?

I went through a very earnest and serious vegetarian phase in my teens. It lasted 3 years or so I think ...

Cortana Thu 15-Nov-12 22:49:24

It may a phase, she may be a life long vegetarian. She knows her own mind best.

Vegetarians can easily eat just as much protein, sometimes more, than meat eaters. End of the day it's just food, as long as her diet is balanced and she is healthy it has nothing to do with your DS or her Father.

Mine lasted 8 years. It was KFC wot done for me.

JohnBender88 Thu 15-Nov-12 22:50:48

I announced one day I wished to be a vegetarian. My dad came home 5 minutes after with a pack of bacon. Needless to say I didn't last long!

It could well be a phase, has a friend recently switched too?
Support her and maybe add some Quorn products to the shopping list.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 15-Nov-12 22:50:55

Vegetarians never eat fish. Just wait until she finds out about dairy and decides to turn vegan.

Aboutlastnight Thu 15-Nov-12 22:50:56

Oh you'll be fine.
Veggie sausages good substitute if you are having meat. omelette and chips. Chickpea curry very quick and easy if you are having meat curry. Pasta obviously. Baked beans, baked potato and cheese, pizza.

blackeyedsusan Thu 15-Nov-12 22:51:03

any stew/mince thing canbe cooked with the meat cooked and added separately later.

whole grain rice/pasta i think is recomended I think...

BeaWheesht Thu 15-Nov-12 22:52:12

I became vegetarian at 9, I'm still vegetarian now at 31 with no lapses.

Support her in her new life path smile

I was a three year veggie in my teens too - who didn't like vegetables that much. Hmm.... I remember a lot of cheese!

The thing is to get her to embrace the cooking of her meals. This will teach her many valuable life lessons and about nutritional balance which is v important for veggies otherwise you end up eating a lot of cheese. I used to have to do dinner three times a week. To be honest by about year 2 I was gagging for some roast chicken but way to proud to do anything about it.

I then ate meat for about 2 years, then went veggie again for another four years and only stopped when it got to difficult when travelling in odd places. Now, we eat a fair amount of veggie anyway as good meat is expensive and the veggie years gave me a taste for pulses.

That, and cheese.

whathasthecatdonenow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:56:10

Veggie since I was 16, so half of my life now! Definitely not a phase for me. The thought of eating meat is enough to make me gag.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 15-Nov-12 22:56:51

My Dd had a veggie phase aged 9. But after lots of quorn she soon changed her mind...

BlueGuinefort Thu 15-Nov-12 23:00:15

I went veggie at 13. Still veggie at 35. Eggs, cheese, pulses, Quorn = protein. I cooked alot for myself as a teenager (mainly crap), but vegetarian food was more difficult in those days <gimmer>, especially for a vegetable avoider. I eat lovely and healthy pizza now though smile

Soupqueen Thu 15-Nov-12 23:01:04

All vegetarians eschew fish.

How old is she? I was 8 when I became veggie, now 36 and still veggie. It might be a phase, it might not.

Encourage her to help with food planning and cooking. It will do the family no harm at all to have a couple of meat free meals in the week, then there are various things that can be adapted.

Soupqueen Thu 15-Nov-12 23:03:22

And on the protein, that's a bit of a red (tofu) herring. Most people in the West eat far more protein than is needed. There is protein in most foods, mushrooms are very rich in protein. As long as she eats a reasonably balanced diet, she'll be fine.

corlan Thu 15-Nov-12 23:04:10

Is this a spoof?

She's told you she's decided not to eat meat or fish, not confessed to feeling a strange attraction to George Osborne.

Half the people in the world are vegetarian - it really shouldn't be a big deal!

WorraLiberty Thu 15-Nov-12 23:04:57

Why do so many people leave their kid's ages out of their OP's?

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 23:06:58

No it's not a spoof albeit it is a bit tongue in cheek. If she wants to be veggie she can be and we will deal with it as best we can for a triple rib loving family.

She's 14.5 and up to last week loved nothing better than a bacon sarnie.

Whirpooled Thu 15-Nov-12 23:07:07

Am I the only one who thought she announced she was homosexual?

MakeItALarge Thu 15-Nov-12 23:07:22

Im not veggie but always use quorn instead of mince in spag bol and chilli type meals, bit different at first but it tastes fine and its healthier and cheaper!

Tofu is the food of the devil though grin

I'd be devastated if my child had a strange attraction to George osbourne or, possibly worse, Michael gove. The shame!

I was having 'just a phase' when I stopped eating meat at 15. 20 years on, and I still don't eat meat. (I do eat fish - why I don't say I'm a veggie!)
My dad used to try and hide meat in stuff as he thought I wasn't being properly nourished!

I was vegetarian from 13-25. However, at 32 I still haven't told my mother that I now eat meat because then I'd have to eat her cooking. Whenever we visit, DH eyes my plate of shop bough filled pasta with envy as he tries to politely choke down what my mum has produced. One of the main benefits of being vegetarian was that I got to cook for myself.

Easy-cook a large dish of veggie curry & brown some chicken breast fillets, divide the veggie curry into half or thirds & add chicken to one part, add an extra naan bread or rice .

I would look at quorn and soya products as a back up for convenience. A lot of the time it doesn't take too much thought to adapt. e.g. serve lentil dahl or mutter paneer with your chicken curry and your DD can eat that instead and the carnivores get to eat both.

I went through this phase when I was 15 and I still don't eat meat 28 years later although I did start eating fish about 5 years ago.

apostropheuse Thu 15-Nov-12 23:24:13

My daughter became a vegetarian at 12. She was veggie for about six months. She lasted until the moment I put the Christmas dinner on the table.

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 23:25:56

Only problem is dd doesn't eat cooked tomato or any form of sauce or gravy (except for cheese sauce and then only with macaroni or cauliflower). Can't do quorn type spag bols and usually if we have chicken curry dd will have half a grilled chicken breast with rice and some veg.

DD eats eggs, toast, rice, pasta, cheese, bread, vegetables but not cooked tomatoes or carrots. Will eat tinned beans and spaghetti in sauce. DD has historically had a plain lamb chop when we have had lamb shanks, a fillet of plaice when we have had fish pie, a chicken breast when we have had chicken curry.

This really isn't going to be difficult and we have lifted dd once off the verge of anorexia. That was a couple of years ago but although my post was tongue in cheek I am genuinely quite worried about this. Oh, and she doesn't like nuts and won't eat quiches or flans.

TwitchyTail Thu 15-Nov-12 23:25:57

Yep, I did the vegetarian phase too - 10 years. (No offence to people for whom it's not a phase!) Pork chops got me in the end.

If she wants to be vegetarian, good on her - but if you happen to be the family cook, make it clear from the outset that she will have to put the effort in to facilitate her choice, not you. She can learn to make simple vegetarian meals, prepare extra dishes for days when the rest of you are having meat, and so on. It won't hurt your family to have meat-free dinners on some days of the week, but don't get into the habit of making two separate meals a day.

VenusRising Thu 15-Nov-12 23:28:21

Send her on a vegetarian cookery course. It's important she balances her proteins - grains with pulses etc.
Relying on Linda McCarthy burgers isn't a healthy way to live.

TwitchyTail Thu 15-Nov-12 23:28:48

Hmm, just saw your most recent post. Are you worried about a recurrence of her borderline eating disorder? She most likely won't be a healthy vegetarian if she refuses all the things on that list. Do you think she might be looking for an excuse not to get out of eating the family dinner without suspicion? confused

Given her history of eating disorders I would be a bit concerned that she is making a new set of rules to restrict her eating but socially acceptable rules by picking vegetarianism.

The supermarkets do veggie burgers, sausages etc so perhaps use those as a direct meat substitute for now and ask your DD to start researching good veggie dishes that she would try.

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 23:31:46

Not sure.

x post

Cynner Thu 15-Nov-12 23:33:28

My 14 year old has been veggie for about a year. She is very sportive so I was concerned about her taking in enough protein. I had a chat with GP, he gave me list of vitamin supplements. I also checked out some very simple veggie recipes to make. DD relies heavily on soups, veggie burgers, eggs, and giant salads. She is very strong in her conviction not to eat meat, and I try to be as supportive as possible.

MakeItALarge Thu 15-Nov-12 23:34:53

There is quite a wide range of veggie burgers, sausages, even bacon if you think she would eat those?

Do you think this is a moral issue though or a return of her food problems, being veggie may be a good excuse for her to get out of joining family meals

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 15-Nov-12 23:35:04

Whirlpool no you are not the only one!

OP - if she is serious about being a vegetarian encourage her to lean how to provide a varied diet for herself. I know a vegetarian who left to his own devices i.e if his long suffering wife doesn't cook for him (also vegetarian) is capable of making himself chips. That is all :/

Startail Thu 15-Nov-12 23:42:10

At 14 she can get on the web and down the library and write a weeks menu.
If it looks sensible then fine she can try it.

DSIL and my best friend eat veggi food.
(DSIs is a strict ethical veggi, BF is Jewish, so will eat some fish and kosher. However, DD2 declares its ok to eat land animals, but fish must be left swimming freeconfused and kosher meat rules are complicated)

I find cooking for these two is fine, it's veggi cooking for fussy people that's difficult. BIL doesn't like *mushrooms, which means no mushroom nut roast and their DCs are fussier still.

* this is basicly mushroom white sauce, onions and crushed cashews, like posh stuffing.it's yummy and very acceptable to most meat eaters.

DMIL had to make way more than one DSILs worth at Xmas because we all stole it.
DMIL was mostly a veggie, but never quite gave up bacon.

So at 14, I don't see why the OPs DD shouldn't be a veggie so long as she eats most veg, nuts and pulses.

stargirl1701 Thu 15-Nov-12 23:47:47

I went through a phase like this as a teenager. Mum cooked bacon rolls. Phase over. grin

Cynner Thu 15-Nov-12 23:53:46

Oh yes, I did forget to add DD snacks on a variety of nuts, and does peanut butter on toast often..

Ullena Sun 18-Nov-12 01:12:42

I think you should tell her brother not to call his sister mad and unreasonable sad

Potato and lentils, cooked with chilli, coriander and garlic
Mushroom and asparagus soup
Omelette with mixed vegetables (if she eats eggs)
Pan fried mashed potato cooked with shredded cabbage, peas and wensleydale cheese

All very tasty, imo.

exexpat Sun 18-Nov-12 01:32:55

I turned vegetarian at 16 and still am at 44, so don't count on it being a phase.

I learnt to cook for myself pretty quickly, though the rest of the family ate an increasing number of vegetarian meals, specially after my sister & her boyfriend also turned veggie.

I'd recommend getting a few vegetarian cookbooks - Sam Stern's Eat Vegetarian is a good one aimed at teenagers - and get her involved in choosing and cooking things. There are also a few recipe books around which have recipes easily adapted for a combination of veggie/non-veggie eaters.

And there are an awful lot more quick substitutes (veggie burgers, sausages, quorn etcetc) around now than there were when I was 16.

BertieBotts Sun 18-Nov-12 01:57:49

If you're worried about her eating perhaps it would be an idea to discuss why she feels she wants to be veggie? If it's a case of animal cruelty then you could make sure you seek out free range, good welfare meat etc (and maybe sneak some cheaper stuff in when she's not looking blush) or if it's concerns about health then maybe organic stuff?

It might be a case that if she's anxious in general about food it's just something that's manifesting about that. I get similar with everyday things, not food specifically, but things like I read that you shouldn't put a washing machine on when you're in bed/out because it's a fire risk, and consequently I didn't do any washing for ages because every time I thought about doing it I'd be about to go to bed or go out within the next hour or so and I became anxious about it. And once I read that you shouldn't brush your teeth within an hour of eating because it can brush the sugars, acids etc directly into your tooth enamel, and again, it led to me not brushing them at all because I was so worried about my tooth enamel - I was probably doing more damage by avoiding it! blush In both cases I had to realise eventually that by trying to do things perfectly to the letter I was failing at doing them at all and that it was better to just do it and not worry, than worry so much that I wasn't doing it.

It might be worth speaking to her about thought patterns like this and how sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to do everything "right" whereas sometimes it's more important to just do it and not worry about whether it's right or not. I get very anxious and if I listened to it I would drive myself insane so I've had to learn to tune it out to an extent.

Bertie, it is a case of 'animal cruelty' to needlessly kill an animal. Free range good welfare actually means nothing at all. Just phrases to make meat-eaters feel good about their selfish actions.

OP, there is protein in every plant cell. Here's a useful chart for you, should you still be concerned. https://pinterest.com/pin/124130533450985032/. It is very difficult to be protein-deficient as a veg*n.

There is overwhelming evidence that meat (and dairy) are more detrimental to our health. Good on your daughter.

ivykaty44 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:56:42
Rollmops Mon 19-Nov-12 09:19:42

Apparently I was, in no particular order, an anti-potatoe'ist, anti breddist, anti chicken'ist (I remember, there was a most gruesome X-Files episode dealing with cannibalistic chickens, which was to blame), and a full-on veggie - which I actually don't remember, but dear family does. Vividly.
All the above during ones nutritionally turbulent teenage years.
It all passed and one is a happy omnivore again.
Have strength and patience.

CMOTDibbler Mon 19-Nov-12 09:26:18

if she has previously had an eating disorder, then this can be a sign of further restrictions, so I'd be wary of cooperating with it tbh

exexpat Mon 19-Nov-12 09:53:47

But if not 'cooperating' with it involves forcing her to eat meat when she doesn't want to, wouldn't that be rather counter-productive? I would have thought it would lead to more battles over food and refusal to eat.

I still can't eat some things I was forced to eat as a child: just the thought of rice pudding makes me feel ill, and it took me years to eat a boiled egg again after my mother made me eat one every morning (she was worried because I lost a bit of weight when I was 13 - wasn't anorexic, just lost interest in food for a bit after puberty growth spurt).

Merrow Mon 19-Nov-12 10:07:19

I had an eating disorder as a teenager, and was vegetarian. The two weren't explicitly linked, but it did reassure me to have certain limits on my food. When my life gets stressful now it still shows in my diet – I get a bit obsessive with getting the correct amount of fruit and vegetables, for instance. So, while it could be linked, I wouldn't necessarily worry that it's a sign that your DD is planning on cutting down her food intake again.

marriedinwhite Mon 19-Nov-12 20:36:51

Have been incredibly busy. With her dislike of sauces I think she will end up looking like an egg soon.

She seems to be eating enough. I'm struggling with the variety aspect. Have bought some quorn type stuff tonight - chicken slices and breaded chicken fillet. She's had a handful of the slices and wants to try the chick fillet even though her friends say it's "disgusting". DS has just ribbed her about how she can be a veggie because she doesn't like the taste of meat and then eat stuff described as "disgusting".

She seems to be eating plenty of non healthy stuff such as: crisps, smoothies, biscuits, cake so I don't think she's limiting food.

DS's view is that she'll soon get fed up and lapse. We'll see.

She has been very fussy for years though. No gravy, no sauce, no cooked carrot, for a long time only eating pizza crust (but that was the cooked tomato) - has always liked dry food but always been happy with a grilled lamb chop, new pots and a veg or a pan fried fillet of plaice and veg and spud, etc., whilst we have had it casseroled or fish pie, etc. And has always had a roast without the gravy.

The Vegetarian this is worrying though because she doesn't like pulses or nuts or sauce so am a bit "stuffed" thinking of good stuff that she will eat.

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