Dd refusing to eat meat.

(67 Posts)
WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 19:13:05

Dd1 (10) has for the last few years went off meat bit by bit and she has now got to the point where she will eat none. This in itself is not a problem. The problem is that she will also not eat cheese, eggs (unless in something like yorkshire pudding but not omelette) shes gone off pasta (think she sickened herself with it as its all she would eat at 1 point)

In fact I think its easier to say what she will eat: crackers/butter, bread and butter, salad and veg, chips, crisps, thats about it actually. I've blown up at her a bit today when she wouldnt eat her dumpling (mince and dumplings) because there was a tiny bit mince still on it, so I've said, ok you want to be a vegetarian, then you will do it correctly so no more haribos, dumplings have suet in, gravy is not veggie (she likes both) etc. I know ive probably shot myself in the foot there, but I'm really worried as I think shes losing weight.

So now im totally stuck on what to feed her. She comes home for dinner as she wasnt eating them and has bread and butter everyday with a bit tomato and cue and crisps (hate her having crisps everyday but she'd not eat otherwise)

I've tried her on quorn chicken and mince, linda mccartney sausages (taste like stuffing which she doesn't like) she wont eat pizza, pasta unless its plain (but like I said above she wont eat it much now)

Any ideas would be very gratefully received.

Jinty64 Thu 15-May-14 21:00:34

If she has gone off meat then she probably won't like meat substitutes. Will she eat any fish? What about nuts, beans, lentils and rice dishes, cous cous and potatoes.. If she wants to eat as a vegetarian and you are prepared to support her (and I'm afraid that means not "blowing up" because she won't eat a bit of mince) you will need to look for recipes you can make together to ensure she is getting adequate nutrition. It might also be wise to consider a vitamin supplement with iron.

spottydolphin Thu 15-May-14 21:03:58

i would be quite worried if that was my child, to be totally honest with you. has she said why she no longer likes these foods or no longer wants to eat them?

it might be worth a chat with the GP (maybe without DD there to start with)?

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 21:09:14

I took her to the doctors a few weeks back, he gave her vitamin tablets, but she cannot swallow them. He seemed pretty underwhelmed by what I was telling him.

She wont eat fish/seafood, she'll eat cashew nuts in a stir fy

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 21:12:07

Fry*, no beans, not tried lentils (what sort of dish?) No soup, she will eat rice.

Her reasons are that she doesn't think animals should be killed for us to eat. I've asked if I bought the free range chickens she'd eat that as they've had a good life etc, but she said no.

spottydolphin Thu 15-May-14 21:13:26

i may be way off here, but i would really be thinking about eating disorders and whether she is refusing to eat things because she wants to lose weight?
any other signs of that kind of thing?

Andcake Thu 15-May-14 21:23:19

I was like your dd - slowly went off meat ( hid it etc) then stopped all tiger around 12-13 I think. Also ate a lot of bread and butter. Not an eating disorder just realisation about animals. Still a veggie in my 40's. Anyway get her involved in cooking - if she likes rice, veggie Thai green curry, normal curry, risotto... Has she tried vegetable crisps might help. Veggie lasagne not rice but yummy.
My mum took me to the dr - who was unbothered by it. And does it matter if eggs are hidden - omelettes are not loved to all veggies!

OldLadyKnowsSomething Thu 15-May-14 21:29:49

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a brilliant cookbook called "Veg Every Day". It might be worth borrowing a copy, and see if anything appeals to your dd?

exexpat Thu 15-May-14 21:39:45

At ten I think she is old enough for you to sit her down and have a good talk about nutrition, and all the different food groups, and how she needs protein to grow, fruit & veg to stay healthy etc. I would try showing her a list/pictures of all the different sources of protein you can think of (all the different kinds of beans, lentils and nuts, tofu, yoghurt, quorn things, other vegetarian sausages/burgers etc - there is a huge variety in most supermarkets now), and get her to find 6-10 that she will agree to eat regularly. If she can't think of at least 6, she will have to agree to trying some new ones. Likewise for fruit & veg if she is too limited there - will she drink smoothies and juices?

I had to do something along these lines with DS a few years back - I am vegetarian, the children are pescatarian (veggie + fish), and DS used to be a horribly fussy eater. He was OK with most forms of carbohydrate and most fruit and veg, but very limited when it came to protein sources (one or two very specific types of cheese, egg only when cooked one particular way, fish fingers, one specific brand of veggie sausages etc) and it was making life very difficult. I tried reward charts for trying new things, which helped a bit, and then at age 11 or so he suddenly snapped out of it and became much more adventurous.

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 21:40:18

I do not think she has an ED yet as she will eat a full plate of chips if she gets the chance and will eat veg no problem. What I am worried about though is how I can handle this without pushing her into one iykwim.

I've told this story on here before but when dd was in yr1 the headmaster told a story in assembly of how the farmer shoots the animals for us to get meat. Now she knew mince was cow, pork was pig etc but I dont think at 5yrs old she needed to know the details of how it got from the farm to shop.

Just remembered she likes phillidelphia with breadsticks/carrots etc but she would not eat it in pasta.

Ive never actually made a risotto however shes not keen on "saucy" stuff(so lasagnes out too sorry) but might have a go.

Fairylea Thu 15-May-14 21:44:56

For now I would go with it and encourage her to explore being vegan as an option (which seems to be the way she is heading as opposed to being vegetarian). I'd suggest that both of you together sit and look at both the vegan society and vegetarian society websites and ask her to choose some meals from the recipe ideas on there. Maybe even encourage her to cook them herself. Try to spark her interest in food.

I was vegan from aged 9 to 23. Then I got fed up with it all and decided that I couldn't cut everything out so I'd rather not cut anything out - not everyone thinks like that obviously. So now aged 34 I have eaten meat for the last 11 years again.

I think you need to try to work out whether it is a genuine food problem or whether it is just that she wants to explore this way of being and isn't quite sure how to do it properly.

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 21:47:05

Exexpat, I've done the sitting down with a food chart, and told her why she needs each section. Some days she is having nothing but carbs. She's not fussed on fruit really, no to yogurts, beans, I'm not sure about smoothies its not something I buy but can try it. I'm open to any ideas I think she will try.

I really hope she does snap out of it soon. Like I say im not bothered about her being veggie, she just needs to open her appetite a bit. She's into spicy stuff atm so will look into the thai rice mentioned above. Her fave until recently was tacos, but we had them the other day and she just ate the salad and taco shell.

deepinthewoods Thu 15-May-14 21:49:44

Sounds like my son- since the age of 10 he stopped enjoying meat. He has never eaten any dairy either.

I cook a lot of Asian food, he loves chickpeas, gram flour, beans, lentils. I make currys, cassoulets and soups with a little meat and butterbeans, haricot beans, I make burgers with pinto beans, he loves kidney bean and black eye beans into a spicy chilli, quaesadillas or burritos.
He also enjoys tofu with stir fries, and does eat some fish.
He has grown to 6'2" on this diet, I find it quite easy to accommodate him

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 21:50:22

I remember going through a phase like this however my mam wasnt having any of it and I sharp snapped out of it. Kind of wish id done that with dd rather than allowing her to not eat meat at the beginning (I thought it would pass on its own)

Branleuse Thu 15-May-14 21:53:52

youve said salad and veg - that incorporates a huge variety of nutritious food even before the other things.

id not make an issue of it. Certainly dont think trying to force her to eat mince and dumplings will do any good.

deepinthewoods Thu 15-May-14 21:54:52

Why "snap out of it"? It can be a very healthy diet, our whole family have cut down on meat as a result and feel better for it.

claraschu Thu 15-May-14 21:59:08

If you want to help her with her project, you need to have fun experimenting with vegan sources of protein. This can be the basis of a very healthy diet. Try: black beans (burritos), red lentils (dahl), pinto beans or white beans in a soup, seitan stew or pasties, different grains (quinoa, amaranth, polenta). There are loads more delicious things to try; these are a few that haven't been mentioned yet..

Andcake Thu 15-May-14 21:59:53

Have you tried her with falafel - yummy in pitta with a bit of salad, avocado and humous. Easy to buy cheap versions in supermarkets.
Good idea to get a veggie cookbook and sit down with her and choose. If she likes Yorkshires how is she on pancakes - can easily be made savoury. Does she like dried fruit - apricots etc are a great source of iron. Beans?

Andcake Thu 15-May-14 22:01:22

And bisto original and dome other flavours are veggie they just hide the v sign on the back

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 22:07:55

No to kidney beans so I doubt she'd try black/pinto/white beans. She says she likes couscous but she only eats a few spoonfuls of it. She also does not like onion or mushrooms which will make the risotto a bit difficult. I've never actually tried a falafel so thats something else to try. She is very reluctant to try new things but will have to try to persuade her.

It also doesnt help that her dad is pretty fussy too. Hes a meat man, but wont eat stews/soups. For example if I did do a risotto he'd want chicken with it.

She will eat sweet pancakes (with syrup) never tried savoury, but I did mention it last time we had them and she pulled a face, but its something to explore. I'm going to write all these suggestions down and sit down with her at the weekend and sort something out.

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 22:10:07

Oh I didnt realise bisto was veggie (thats what we had on our mince and dumplings) She'll be happy to know that.

Oh and btw I wasnt forcing her to eat the mince for tea, I was annoyed because she wouldnt eat the dumpling because there was a tiny bit on, when she could have just cut it off.

goodasitgets Thu 15-May-14 22:14:07

Falafel are lovely smile
If she likes spicy stuff how about other Mexican things - fajitas, enchiladas, burritos?

WillWorkForMoney Thu 15-May-14 22:16:17

With what instead of the mince/chicken? We do have mexican stuff but what can I use for her?

Methe Thu 15-May-14 22:19:34

It's not the not eating meat that's your issue. My dd is 9 and doesn't eat meat and that's fine, she doesn't like it and she doesn't have to eat it.

However, she eats a healthy verity of other food.

Tbh it sounds like you pander to her. Let her get hungry before you give her food and she'll eat it... sounds like a method of torture but you know what I mean

Fairylea Thu 15-May-14 22:19:43

For a snack option you can get packs of couscous with flavours in the pasta aisle. All you need to do is add boiling water. Dd aged 10 loves those. We also use them to stuff pre boiled red peppers and then top with cheese and roast them for an hour in the oven. (Cover with foil for first half an hour then remove foil and bung cheese on). Makes a nice meal with roast potatoes. You can also freeze them and reheat.

Lentil and aubergine pasta is lovely. Just fry aubergine and mushrooms and onions. Add chopped tomatoes and passata and red lentils. Some garlic and some tomato puree and cool for about half an hour adding water if necessary. Serve with pasta. Again can be frozen and batch cooked.

Shepherds pie with red lentils and quorn mince.

Make a paella with vegetables and then add remove her portion and add chicken and chorizo for you and dh at the last minute and cook through.

To be honest I can understand her not wanting to eat the dumpling if it's been cooked with the meat. When I was a vegan I wouldn't have been able to eat anything like that. The thought would put me right off.

Oh .. another idea Linda mc cartney sausage rolls are lovely with coleslaw. I had that today. Even though I'm not vegetarian anymore I still love some of the foods .

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