my daughter wants to be a vegetarian

United States
December 2, 2012 10:46pm CST
For some time a lady at work had been complaining about her child becoming a vegetarian however her child is a teenager. The other week my 7yr old decides she wants to be a vegetarian that sometimes eats meat. I haven't figured out what that means in a 7yr olds eyes. However, for several days now she's been asking to skip the meat for her meals. I don't mind however, I do worry she's not going to get enough protein in her system to grow. I know vegetarians find alternative sources for protein but I need to find things that a 7yr old would be interested in. I'm easing her into eating avacados with me. But looking for other suggestions as she can be particular about her produce she'll consume and I'm sure she'll be sick of eating peanutbutter (as I know they are burned out from eating PBJ's from summer).
9 people like this
30 responses
@savypat (20246)
• United States
3 Dec 12
Beans and rice seem to be a good combination for children, many children around the world are raised on this. If you can get her to eat dairy, milk and cheese you can find these low fat and full of protein. Stay away from soy, I know many places that is eaten as the main protein, but I wouldn't five this to my children it's so easy to get to much. Also watch out for sugar, PBJ's are full of it. No refined sugar should be in the diet at all. If it comes down to it, more animals are injured or killed in the raising of vegatables then in meat. Just in case saving the animals is behind her ideas to change diet.
• United States
4 Dec 12
I don't know about the beans as we don't eat them much, I'm sure cheese won't be a problem. I know the sugar is no good for anyone but in moderation. IDK what her idea is as I'm not sure if this has to do with her father getting his first deer or just a preference tward salads and such?
• United States
3 Dec 12
It is virtually impossible for an American to be deficient in protein. Most, in fact, consume far more protein than they need. Every time I am asked the question of how I get enough protein (since I generally follow a vegetarian diet), I get a little... irked. As long as she is eating a diverse diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, she should be meeting all of her nutritional needs. Give her mac 'n' cheese laced with veggies (one cup of spinach contains 5 grams of protein, for instance). Give her tofu dogs (and add some veggies). Make beautiful veggies wraps (you can even add some black beans to it). Create homemade pizzas or bagel pizzas, and get her involved. Food should be fun, and kids should be involved in the kitchen from an early age. If they are involved in choosing and preparing food, they are more likely to eat healthfully.
3 people like this
• United States
4 Dec 12
She won't eat mac'n cheese w/ veggies outside of corn. At 7 it's a continual trial and error as to what they are willing to try, as my 10yr has quite a bit of influence on the 7yo. However, the 7yo is willing to try more things than the 10yo will but the 10yr can persuade the other two kids not to eat something because it's "green" ect. Thank you for your suggestions.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
3 Dec 12
I thought I had nothing to contribute until I read my email Dollar Stretcher this morning and saw this article about TVP (textured vegetable protein). http://www.stretcher.com/stories/02/02nov25b.cfm?STT#.ULyQxGfg-wQ I used to eat TVP to cut down on my grocery bill a long time ago before I was married. It was a pretty good meat substitute and I could barely tell that I wasn't eating meat once I learned how to cook it. Although TVP has risen in price like everything else, it's still a lot cheaper than meat! Will your daughter eat eggs or fish? That could expand your options. I've largely given up most meats for economic reasons and knowing I'm not contributing as much to animal suffering as I used to is a good feeling. I'm sure my heart is healthier, too!
1 person likes this
• Israel
5 Dec 12
I used to add TVP to hamburger meat at work to cut the calories. Some of my clients needed to loose weight. Other staff complained it wasn't tasty if they knew it was in there, but when they didn't know they thought the food was fine. TVP is healthy and tastes good if you know how to spice it up. In tomato pasta sauce it's totally indistinguishable from ground beef.
@caopaopao (8620)
• China
3 Dec 12
My daughter is a carnivorous child, she is 7years old , too. She can't live without meat. I am so worried about that. Luckily, she likes potatoes, so meat and potatoes are the common dish on our dinner table. I hear potatoes can supply us enough nutrition our body needs, so maybe you can have a try. But I don't know whether your daughter likes potatoes or not. Thanks for sharing, and have a nice day.
1 person likes this
@prashu228 (25811)
• India
3 Dec 12
I heard that too much of potatoes are also not good fro health i usually avoid them. Its good to have more pulses and leafy vegetables for protein.
• United States
3 Dec 12
You could try making her some protein shakes in place of the meat. I wish I could drink them without getting sick. I like to skip the meat as well.
1 person likes this
@ajithlal (14568)
• India
28 Dec 12
I think it is good to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and fruits are good for health. I would suggest to give lots of fruits like oranges and apples.
@GandharD (148)
• India
3 Dec 12
It's entirely upon the person , whether he wants to be a Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian. I guess, kids mostly dont like eating Fish. But I think they are okay with eating Chicken. You can give your daughter chicken soup ..Its very nutritional. Moreover, a whole chicken is healthy. I also dont eat fishes, but I eat Chicken only. I like eating the bones too.. They provide Calcium!
1 person likes this
• India
3 Dec 12
Hi friend, there is nothing wrong in your kid's decision. Lot of persons are converted in to vegetarianism in this modern days. Give fruits, milk, good veggies to your kid, it will take care of the protein, vitamin and other nutrition
1 person likes this
@hvedra (1623)
3 Dec 12
I think you need to find out why your daughter wants to be vegetarian. It could be she simply doesn't like meat. She might be upset at the thought of eating an animal. It might be some outside influence like another kid at school or some celebrity she likes being vegetarian. It's okay if she wants to be vegetarian but you do need to be careful about her diet because she is still growing - but you know that already. Find out what is influencing her and tell her she can do this BUT she has to eat sensibly. Too many young vegetarians live on pizza and fries (well, too many young folk live on pizza and fries vegetarian or not!). If she'll eat dairy produce and/or eggs there's plenty of protein there. Don't forget we don't need HUGE amounts of protein but the one thing that vegetarians have to be be careful of is getting complete proteins. Beans and pulses contain protein but they aren't complete and need to be consumed with grains - rice, barley, wheat - in order to be properly utilised by the body. This can be the thing that leads to some vegetarians being protein deficient.
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
3 Dec 12
Protein isn't the only thing you get from meats, there are a lot of other vitamins and nutrients in meats also. There's a specific type of Vitamin A that only comes in animals fats. Obviously adult vegetarians get away with it, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to let a 7 year old who's still growing and developing miss out on these vitamins.
1 person likes this
@youless (91533)
• Guangzhou, China
3 Dec 12
Frankly, I don't think it is a good idea to be a vegetarian, especially your daughter is just a teenager. People all say it is healthy to have the vegetarian diet. However, in my opinion, I think the best diet is the balanced one. Namely you shall eat more vegetables and fruits, however, you also have to eat the meats. Your daughter is a teenager and it is time for her to gain various kinds of nutrition for her growth. And in this age some girls may think being thin is prettier. It is wrong. I am afraid some girls want to be vegetarians since they want to lose the weights. You know it is bad for the health.
1 person likes this
@prashu228 (25811)
• India
3 Dec 12
Hmm something might have inspired her to take this decision otherwise she is too young to make such a decision. Anyways its good one and you can support it. Try to give/cook lot of pulses which are high in protein and leafy vegetables too. Milk is also good for health.
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (28256)
• United Kingdom
4 Dec 12
It is fine for your seven year old daughter to become a vegetarian. I became a vegetarian at 4 years old due to my sister telling me where meat came from. I gradually turned into a vegan. A vegetarian diet can contain cows milk, eggs and cheese. A vegan diet has no animal products at all and it totally cruelty free. I have soya drinks, nuts, seeds, pasta, soup, vegetables and fruit. I like bread with nut spread on it. Good luck. I think it is wonderful you are being supportive and understanding towards your daughter. The work friend of yours should be pleased her teenage daughter is now a vegetarian.
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
4 Dec 12
Do you take vitamin supplements like B6 and B12?
@maximax8 (28256)
• United Kingdom
4 Dec 12
I take vitamin B12 because I know vegans are short of this otherwise. I also take a vegetarian and vegan vitamin pill which includes vitamin B6. I take an omega pill as well. I also take an iron pill. I am a very healthy person.
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
4 Dec 12
I am not sure but do they include cheese in their diets? I know that's a great source of protein.....besides that I am not sure what protein they can eat......fish is great....tuna is very good.
• United States
4 Dec 12
I think at 7 other than she doesn't want to eat "meat" she's fine... I don't know she understands fully what she wants to do rule wise. I'm sure she'll continue with eating cheese forsure. I don't serve tuna too often here.
@bjc66bjc (6745)
• United States
3 Dec 12
It just seems like 7 years old is very young to make that decision. Where/what does she know about vegetarian especially one that eats meat sometimes.... Good luck with that...
@prashu228 (25811)
• India
3 Dec 12
yes she is too young, she might have heard something like that from some friend or some celebrity whom she likes that might have inspired her.
• United States
1 Jan 13
Peanuts and rice and beans ! aha. I just became a vegetarian last week. I wish I could have done it when I was 7. Cool daughter !
@williamjisir (22903)
• China
31 Dec 12
It is interesting that a 7-year-old child wants to be a vegetarian. A child needs to have enough protein in the course of growth, so the child may be told about the need to eat some meat in whatever ways of preparing the meat. Take care.
@ajithlal (14568)
• India
28 Dec 12
I think it differ from people to people what they want to eat. I think everyone should have the right to take what food they like. I think it is good to eat variety of food and to eat natural food especially fruits and vegetables. I think fruits are good for health.
@surekharathi (14134)
• India
11 Dec 12
No problem this is your daughter choice if she wants to be a vegetarian then good. Lots of protein in vegetarians dishes also.
@veganbliss (3903)
• Adelaide, Australia
8 Dec 12
It's never too young to start a vegan diet; the sooner the better. And doctors will all tell you something different according to what they've read, who they're influenced by, their vested interests & habits. Unless they're trying to starve themselves or have other health problems like bloating, it's virually impossible to get insufficient protein, etc on a vegan diet. You can read up on these things yourself. Avocados are a good start... organic too if possible. The young coconut is another extremely good one; isotonic & all that, which you can read up on. Try to present a balance of all the vegan food groups in every meal: veg, fruit, seeds, legumes, grains & nuts. Make sure you learn how to prepare them properly for maximum benefit by soaking & sprouting or they can give you problems (very minor ones like gas, for example!). Variety is key to sustaining their interest, but not essential for some. Take a look at some of the pure vegan restaurants in your area & ask for recipes for anything she likes the look of, so you can make them at home. Vegan eatery owners, in my experience are always happy to give you their recipes & sometimes a taste-test, even if you can't afford to buy there. Other restaurants, etc always come up with excuses like "commercial in confidence" or "it's my intellectual property" to try to protect themselves.
@Hatley (164652)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Dec 12
why notr replace hamburger with soy crumbles as it really does taste a lot like meat but its vegetable protein and healthy for us.Beans are also a good substitute for meat too.I think there are other veggie proteins but cannot think of them right now. fish is a good source of protein.I like the frozen soyburgers that you can find in the frozen food aisles.