Giving young children Quorn instead of meat...(56 Posts)
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?
nhs says small amounts of quorn are ok from around 9 months
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!
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.
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.
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?
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