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To go ahead and feed my vegetarian kids meat?

(182 Posts)
QueenEagle Wed 08-Aug-07 15:35:16

To clarify:

I am meat eater, dh is strict, strict vegetarian. We agreed when I was pregnant with our first that baby would eat fish and chicken.

One way or another I was overruled since and both our 2 kids have been veggie as dh couldn't face them having meat or animal products until they were of an age to decide for themselves.

They are 4.5 and 2.5 and their diets consist mainly of a processed frozen Quorn product such as sausages, Quorn chicken kiev sttyle thing, or similar with potatoes/pasta and veg. As often as time constraints allow, I make veggie shepherds pie or lasagne from scratch (ish).

Anyway, increasingly I wish to feed them good quality meat and I do struggle for inspiration for veggie dishes; in short I am getting quite tired of them being veggie because of dh's wishes whilst mine are disregarded.

Our relationship is at a very bad point right now and I suspect dh would see this as me trying to have a go at him. My older 3 kids have been veggie by choice for the last 4 years (dh and me been 2gether for 6). However dd has recently started eating meat again and tbh it's been lovely having a fellow meat eater in the house, and being able to do hearty beef casseroles and pork chops etc for someone other than myself.

If you have stuck reading this through that load of old ramblings, thank - any advice? What should I do?

oranges Wed 08-Aug-07 15:37:18

i think if you are just giving meat subsitutes, you may as well offer them meat. if dh doesn't like it, suggest he does the cooking.

isaidno Wed 08-Aug-07 15:37:58

I would eat lots of meat in front of them - then when they ask to try it let them!

I can never eat anything alone, so it won't take long!

They might not like it anyway.

chopster Wed 08-Aug-07 15:38:39

is he veggie for religious reasons?

I do wonder though since you have done it for this long, why you can't jsut carry on. It seems more about making a point than about the children really, and I don't think it is going to help your relationship much.

QueenEagle Wed 08-Aug-07 15:40:09

ds aged 4.5 checks every label to check if it is veggie friendly. If not he won't go near it.

ds aged 2.5 has often asked to eat some of what I am eating. dh would go utterly ballistic if I gave him anyhting - he would consider that I had contaminated his child if meat passed his lips!

binklehasflipped Wed 08-Aug-07 15:40:20

Thats a difficult one. If you're children are quite happy with their current diet I would leave it until they're older and feel like they might want to try meat.

I think your dh would take it very badly if you just introduced meat into their diet spontaneously.

I do think fish is a good idea though - can he compromise on that?

QueenEagle Wed 08-Aug-07 15:40:32

dh is veggie for ethical reasons.

ChipButty Wed 08-Aug-07 15:40:49

Give your children the choice. Do not start to feed them meat because you want to get back at him - that is petty. You say that you have gone along with the children being vegetarian because it was his choice and you are not getting a say in things but being vegetarian IS usually a choice we make, so it must mean a lot to him, whereas one does not usually CHOOSE to eat meat IYSWIM. If you feel very strongly, putting your problems aside, that your children should be eating meat then you need to speak to your husband about it.

suzywong Wed 08-Aug-07 15:41:06

Bacon Sandwiches

there are very very very few veggies who do not salivate at the mere whiff of a bacon butty, now they may yield and ram it down their necks or they may be holier than thou and eschew it but they will all be dreaming about ti.

Feed them (good quality free range) meat and watchtheir little cheeks bloom.

Smaug Wed 08-Aug-07 15:42:07

Hmm, I sympathise QE. My dh is a veggie-plus-fish easter and I eat meat. we agreed that our children would be veggie until they could decide for themselves. When ds1 was 6 he asked if he could eat meat and DH gave him a thorough talking to about meat production and he still wanted to, though in practice he eats very little and not at home. Dd is now 6 and has also chosen to eat me (had the talk) and apart from a blip after seeing Charlotte's Web has been very keen. Ds2 is only 4 and tbh I would think he was too young.

I am very happy with my choice to eat meat, but I do think it's important that my children understand the reality of eating meat before they start. And I don't think that is possible before 6.

As I see it you have two choices: stick to your earlier agreement that they wouldn't eat meat until later or discuss with dh that you would like to change the 'rules'. However, it sounds to me as though this is about more issues in your relationship than eating habits and maybe they need to be addressed first.

NineUnlikelyTales Wed 08-Aug-07 15:42:37

You could certainly ask the older one what s/she wants to eat.

The trouble with wanting kids to be vegetarian or not, is that only one parent gets their way until the child is old enough to make up their own mind. As you agreed to it, however reluctantly, I think you are on very rocky ground if you decided to give them meat without discussion, especially if most of your children are vegetarian by choice.

Are you certain that this isn't because you are having issues with your DH anyway? I don't get why it would be such a big deal to eat the same meal as your children, given that you wouldn't be eating the same as everyone anyway.

Could you compromise by making big hearty dishes without meat that you can all share and enjoy, to which meat is added for those who want it?

For the sake of fairness, I must confess to being a vegetarian myself so my views are not completely without bias

QueenEagle Wed 08-Aug-07 15:42:57

Oh and he wants them to watch a video of how animals are slaughtered, when they are old enough, so they are fully aware of where meat comes from. The videos he has are from dh's days has a hunt saboteur and are particularly explicit.

I disagree heartily.

Smaug Wed 08-Aug-07 15:44:54

Have just seen your laters posts: don't feed them meat if thhey don't want it! feeding them unknowingly will cause problems, not just with DH but with them too, later. it's not fair. I think you have to wait. I really do sympathise, I find veggie cooking quite irritating these days though i was fine with it for years. Meal times are a battle enough without limiting the possibilities further.

NineUnlikelyTales Wed 08-Aug-07 15:45:19

Oh, and bacon sandwiches make me want to heave Suzywong, and I don't know many vegetarians who don't feel the same way.

QueenEagle Wed 08-Aug-07 15:46:56

It was bacon butties which lured my dd back....

NineUnlikelyTales Wed 08-Aug-07 15:48:52

Really? God I'd rather fry and eat my own arm but each to their own

suzywong Wed 08-Aug-07 15:48:56

<markes nine-thingies down in the Uber Holier Than Thou file and adjusts peg dolly accordingly>

I was a veggie for 14 years, I blemae that bastards Morrisey who I later found out ATE TUNA ALL ALONG!!!!!!!!!!

QueenEagle Wed 08-Aug-07 15:49:32

True - only one parent gets their way. Why shouldn't it be me getting my way and they decide later they don't want to eat meat rather than not eating it now then deciding they DO later??

When I ask dh why we agreed to them eating fish and chicken and then he refused to allow it, he just shrugs.

NineUnlikelyTales Wed 08-Aug-07 15:51:53

I wasn't saying that not liking bacon makes me holier than you. It was just a statement of fact. I don't think eating meat is wrong, I just can't abide the stinky stuff.

These ex veggies and their guilt complexes, eh?

lailasmum Wed 08-Aug-07 15:53:17

My husband is a vegetarian and our daughter was vegetarian until about 18 months at his wishes. The turning point was the day she grabbed a meat sausage off someone's plate and ate it with such relish we couldn't refuse her. The main problem with veggie stuff like quorn is its really over processed and quite often very fatty and salty so I can totally understand that you want to add some good quality meat. My daughter won't actually touch much meat other than pork as she doesn't like the texture so you may find you find the same thing. My hubby is still vegetarian and my daughter and I still eat vegetarian food about 90% of the time as it is easier but there are quite a lot of nice recipes for things like home made veggie burgers and veggie casseroles or soups that can be frozen then reheated when you need them which may brighten up your eating a bit. Fish is definitely a good one to add if you can convince him has it has so many health benefits.

binklehasflipped Wed 08-Aug-07 15:53:23

suzy...MORRISSEY. EATS.... TUNA???

are you sure? I cant believe it? You're not allowed to buy a pie at his gigs and he eats tuna!

NineUnlikelyTales Wed 08-Aug-07 15:53:23

QueenEagle you probably should have had that discussion with your DH 4.5 years ago! Or does he tend to bully you with his views generally?

seeker Wed 08-Aug-07 15:55:14

Why not just cook good quality vegetarian food for all of you? My dd is a vegetarian and I sometimes do special meals for her but I usually just cook vegetarian food for us all. It's easier, quicker and healthier - but not if the vegetarians are eating processed food. What's wrong with a delicious, hearty chick pea casserole, a lentil roast with all the usual roast dinner accompaniments - there are lots of recipes aroud if you look.

BraceYourselfMavis Wed 08-Aug-07 15:55:53

<<tries to banish images of NUT's recipe book, including 'Own Arm Stir Fry'>>

suzywong Wed 08-Aug-07 15:56:51

well I had a mate who used to work in a sandwich bar in manchester and he used to come in for tuna melts

I also know some techies who worked on one of his albums recorded in the south of france and he banned the use of garlic and olive oil and got the hump when they sneaked out for McDonalds.

But enough of the digression. I can see both sides of the issue. I always tell me kids what they are eating and where it ocmes from if they ask and I also tell them that it is humans' responsibility to care for animals and be kind to them in return for their meat.

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