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To let DS age 7 go vegetarian

(83 Posts)
letdownalittle Mon 18-Sep-17 22:32:16

I'm not personally, though I eat a minimal amount of meat. A few of his friends are vegan, though certainly not the type to challenge him on his eating habits. I presume this triggered his thoughts on animal welfare, I know he's read and thought about it quite a bit independently.

He's been refusing meat at meals on and off for months, mentioning it more and more and now decided to go veggie. I've pretty much shrugged and said fine, presumed there's little point in trying to force feed an adamant child and just put a little thought into getting all he needs in his diet.

My mum and friend were both a little horrified I've 'allowed' him. Would you allow a child of 7, who was capable of clearly expressing their reasons in response to questioning, to change their diet and have autonomy? I didn't think I was being out there... but my mum does! I think I have memories of all the clear your plate stuff and the feelings about it...

Runssometimes Mon 18-Sep-17 22:41:39

I think if he's researched and understands he's going to have to eat a varied diet and maybe things he hasn't tried before then there's no issue. Nutritionally there's no problem, medical advice backs this up. Lots of info on the vegetarian society website, specifically aimed at kids. I'm afraid you will get a bit of judgement from others who are convinced he's going to waste away. Our family is veggie - I've been veggie for 28 years, my husband for 24 but I was still asked if we'd feed our child meat or fish, err no. We don't buy it, I can't cook it and he doesn't need it. I'd say support him but do make sure he eats well which might mean you rethink some family meals. It certainly meant that when I turned veggie but my mum made me cook for myself most of the time! I was nearly 15 though.

Userwhocouldntthinkofagoodname Mon 18-Sep-17 22:43:02

Seems pretty normal. Whats your issue with it?

opheliacat Mon 18-Sep-17 22:44:47

My son wemt vegetarian (along with me) at the same age.

I would see this as a positive.

NC4now Mon 18-Sep-17 22:46:01

I did. It lasted till his first Quinn bolognese.

NotTheCoolMum Mon 18-Sep-17 22:48:15

Sorry OP but it's a bit naive to think these "friends" haven't contributed to DS decision. Peer pressure is only going to become more of an issue as he gets older.

I was going to say let him, he'll get bored of not joining in with the yummy non vege meals the rest of the family is eating. But with the peer pressure I'm not so sure.

geekone Mon 18-Sep-17 22:51:50

My answer to my DS 7 on this was he eats what we eat until he leaves home then it is up to him. Maybe it popular opinion but I am not making separate meals for everyone or trying to figure out how much protein a very active person needs and where to get that from. Also I said no bacon sandwiches ever and that also put him of lol

AllBellyandBoobs Mon 18-Sep-17 22:54:25

Please do let him. My parents wouldn't allow me until I was 10. It resulted in 3 or 4 years of stressful mealtimes, a burgeoning resentment and ended with me still not eating meat over 30 years later. Not eating meat will not harm him.

letdownalittle Mon 18-Sep-17 22:55:17

He may well get bored, it's partly why I've commented so little- so he can back out.

We eat little meat, maybe one or twice a week so it won't be a nightly wrench.

Re vegan friends, we have an amazingly large number it seems! Lovely people but yes, I'm sure there is some pressure. They are though lovely friends so I can't police it more than I can the football mad ones talking football.

To be fair he had noticeably upped his vegetable and Nut intake lately

Userwhocouldntthinkofagoodname Mon 18-Sep-17 22:55:52

he'll get bored of not joining in with the yummy non vege meals the rest of the family is eating
Or everyone will get jealous of the yummy veggie meals he is having and join in...

UterusUterusGhali Mon 18-Sep-17 22:56:05

My son went veggie last year at the same age too. None of his friends are, he just didn't want to eat animals.
I used to be veggie and lots of extended family are.

It's been fine. It's good eat less meat as a family; I find it easier just to do a veggie chilli or curry rather than cooking multiple meals. For roast dinners I just cook everything separately and do DS a separate veggie main.

He likes the quorn stuff; it's a nice introduction to life without meat. The nuggets and fishless fingers were a life saver at first. He now is much more experimental with food.

The only sticking points at first were haribo and slow-cooker recipes which I used to rely on. Veg turns to mush during the day. I've had to stop cooking my lamb vindaloo in the slow cooker which was his fave. For sweets there's veggie Percy Pigs from M&S. I keep a stash to swap with his party-bag haribo.

It'll be fine though. You should be proud you've raised a conciencious young person. smile

letdownalittle Mon 18-Sep-17 22:57:11

I do largely say eat what we eat in the face of fussy eating, no separate meals normally and they are good eaters.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 18-Sep-17 22:57:21

ds went veggie for a year. he is back to eating meat now. though we rarely eat meat. just means that meals out on holiday were easier to get him fed as the vegetarian options were very limited.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 18-Sep-17 22:58:10

aldi do veggie "jelly" sweets too. v cheap.

theymademejoin Mon 18-Sep-17 22:58:31

I would be a bit wary about allowing him to suddenly transition to a veggie diet from a fairly meat intensive diet. He's used to getting iron from meat. This is more easily absorbed than vegetarian sources. You need to make sure he combines sources of iron with sources of vitamin c to increase its absorbability. I would also suggest a reasonably gradual approach to moving from meat eating to vegetarian so the body gets used to the less easily absorbable iron as the main source.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 18-Sep-17 22:59:11

I did when dd was 6 and it was brilliant for her.
It got her eating nuts and eggs (she had to choose one or the other in lieu every main meal) and she stopped eating sweets.

She's not veggie any more but now eats loads of eggs and nuts.

letdownalittle Mon 18-Sep-17 22:59:28

He doesn't have a meat intensive diet, we generally eat it a few times a week cos itscheaper

BillywigSting Mon 18-Sep-17 22:59:35

I certainly see nothing wrong with it, even if there is an element of peer pressure involved.

I know a veggie family and all the kids have been raised veggie. They're some of the healthiest people I know (and always have delicious food. I'm forever pinching their recipes)

KityGlitr Mon 18-Sep-17 23:00:15

Totally normal. I was 7. No outside influence. 22 years later I haven't changed my mind. Transitioned into veganism at 16.

AuntLydia Mon 18-Sep-17 23:02:49 7 year old decided to go veggie a couple of months ago and her 10 year old brother joined her a few weeks ago. I don't see any issue with it as long as they will happily eat protein from other sources.

Ladyformation Mon 18-Sep-17 23:02:55

I went veggie when I was seven (non-veggie family) and my parents supported me so long as I abided by two rules: 1) eat a healthy, balanced diet (supported by them providing a veggie version but not enabling fussiness) and 2) don't be a dick about it (no judging other people, expressing disgust at meat on people's plates, etc). It's lasted over 20yrs so far and I'm hopefully both healthy and not a dick so I say do it but make sure you have ground rules in place.

Ummmmgogo Mon 18-Sep-17 23:04:33

no way. he's copying his friends and I believe an omnivorous diet is healthier than a vegetarian one, especially for a growing child. (que millions quoting the same one flawed study which thought vege was healthier!!)

if he must be veggie try and minimise the quorn it's not suitable for children in large amounts.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 18-Sep-17 23:13:57

So long as you monitor what he is eating and making sure he gets the proper nutrients he needs, I see no problem. My daughter became a vegetarian at 15 and I supported her 100%. I have no right to demand what she puts in her body other than what she needs to be healthy.

marzipancustard Mon 18-Sep-17 23:17:47

I'd let him. My mum did and 21 years later I'm still not eating meat smile

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 18-Sep-17 23:17:53

A vegetarian diet is omnivorous, as it includes eggs and milk products. A vegetarian diet is a complete diet and is fine for children and adults.

You'd be horrified @Ummmmgogo to hear that my two have been vegetarian since weaning, and are resolutely healthy and growing just fine. Anecdotal of course so do take that with a skeptical pinch of salt.

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