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Children and meat replacements

(13 Posts)
twolittleboysonetiredmum Fri 10-Jan-20 06:07:13

After some advice so it’s not technically vegan but thinking there will be well informed people on here!
Husband and I are both vegetarian and have been for nearly a year. We have 3 children who are very fussy eaters (7, 6 and 4)
We don’t rely on meat replacements much and tend to eat curries/chilli type meals where the kids attempt the sauce and avoid the ‘bits’
When we have burgers or sausages - I also get the kids meat replacement ones so I don’t have to cook both types. (They eat meat ones at school/friends houses etc)
Question is - are meat replacement ones healthier or worse for them than meat ones? In terms of dietary need and ‘processed’ food?
And if anyone knows how I can encourage them to eat more vegetable based ones eg an amazing homemade burger from lentils that they can’t tell isn’t meat?! Then I’d make it. Every burger I try to make is clearly not meat.

GrumpyHoonMain Fri 10-Jan-20 06:25:27

Going to be blunt. Why are you pushing your dietary choices on them? If they eat meat and are picky then it’s a 100% healthier to feed them meat than ‘sauce’ and processed shit.

Ricekrispie22 Fri 10-Jan-20 06:39:46

Some meat alternatives contain worrying amounts of salt, but tend to have more fibre and be far less dense in saturated fats and calorie value than meat. Also, genuine meat is often pumped with preservatives, unhealthy oils, additives and salts meaning that, in the balance of things, alternatives are actually healthier than processed meat – it just depends which substitute you opt for.
Also, don’t forget though that most plant-based sources of protein are generally incomplete - they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids. Soya, quinoa and hemp are the only plant-based complete sources of protein. So a soya burger with low salt content could be equally as healthy as a bean burger.

SallyWD Fri 10-Jan-20 06:50:48

I've been a vegetarian for 25 years and my kids are fussy so I cook them meat. I just think a piece of chicken is way more nutritious than quorn or something. My son is so fussy he's underweight (the skinniest kid you can imagine) and I worry about him. I buy free range, organic meat wherever possible and I know it's a nutritionally dense food. I think they can make up their own minds about eating meat when they're older, as I did. My job as a parent is to meet their nutritional needs. Obviously vegetarian food can meet these needs too but not when you have kids who reject 99% of vegetables and pulses.

Iwillgotothegym Fri 10-Jan-20 07:03:08

( Not a vegetarian or vegan so can’t answer your real question.)

Thread title made me smile - how about a cat or for a pet that’s a vegetarian a rabbit to replace the the children. smile

midgebabe Fri 10-Jan-20 07:15:56

But if a child is rejecting 99% of veg and pulses they are unlikely to be eating healthy even if they include meat?

Are they growing properly? Do they have bundles of energy? Rarely Iill? If yes their diet is probably ok

When It comes to sausages here I think of them as a treat food so would get whatever they like best

SallyWD Fri 10-Jan-20 07:40:20

@midgebabe Exactly, this is my concern. My son is tall, happy and has sooo much energy but his diet concerns me. I make it as healthy as I can. This is why I allow meat.

Salene Fri 10-Jan-20 08:22:52

I'm a vegetarian and the meat free origins are highly processed and full of salt . You would be better making your own burgers from decent mince meat to be honest

Jazz0105 Fri 10-Jan-20 11:19:11

I am vegetarian and have been for years. I have a 7 year old who is Pescartarian (eats fish, no meat) and he is extremely fussy! I am afraid i won't be much help to you as i am in a similar situation but to be honest i am glad if we find a meat alternative he actually likes as there isn't many at all! His favourite was the old vegetarian Tesco own sausages but they stopped doing them and do new ones now which are not nice. I think we should not worry so much, as long as they are healthy, happy and do eat some fruit / veggies then its all good! oh I also give my son a vitamin gummy every morning.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Sat 11-Jan-20 07:08:15

Thanks for the replies - I hadn’t read the title like that 😂
I’m not pushing our dietary choices on them, I don’t want to make a range of different meals each time. The only meat they eat is sausages or burgers so it’s not a fantastically healthy range anyway. When I made curries with meat in in the past, they’d eat the sauce around the meat.
They aren’t fading away and I know their diets aren’t amazing but I can’t actually force feed them unfortunately. It’s trying to decide which processed food is better ultimately. They won’t eat homemade burgers from meat.

lemonjam Sat 11-Jan-20 09:36:56

I’m pretty sure processed meat is literally classed as a carcinogen - to be fair I’ve not looked into it much so don’t know if that includes sausages and burgers, but I can’t believe they are better for you than veggie alternatives..
My kids really like a home made bean burger, and quite like tofu too, but they eat Linda McCartney sausages or burgers at least once a week and I don’t worry about it at all.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Sat 11-Jan-20 12:27:54

Lemonjam- that’s what I can’t pick apart with sausages/burgers - I know the veggie versions are also processed but they aren’t carcinogenic so surely they’re better to buy and feed kids? But I don’t know

twolittleboysonetiredmum Sat 11-Jan-20 12:28:25

And if they supply a similar amount of protein etc then they’ve got to be better?

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