Vegans - got a question for you?

United States
February 1, 2007 9:13am CST
When your children are babies do you let them eat meat? Since it's a viable source of protien that is essintail for their development? The reason I ask is because my manager at works 2 year old grandson refuses to eat meat. They're not vegans but he just hates the taste. They're concerned that he's not getting the protein he needs. His doctor said to give him so peanut butter everyday - but he's mom is worried about him chocking. So I began to wonder if vegans feed their children meat.
3 people like this
34 responses
@SaraCate (184)
• Canada
1 Feb 07
Hey GnosticGoddess, I'm not vegan; my family and I are semi-veg and nutrition as it relates to cutting back meat is more than a passing interest of mine. :) So - my understanding is as follows: Infants shouldn't have solid foods introduced before 4-6 months (some doctors now say 6 months at the earliest). Smooth nut/seed butters can be introduced after 1 year of age, unless there's a history of allergies to such in the family; then it should wait till at least age 3. Avoiding cow's milk and eggs is probably a good idea for the first year, at least. These apply to all babies/infants. Most babies' diets are probably mostly identical for the first 6-12 months, as the first solid foods a kid tends to eat are mashed fruit, creamy rice cereal, etc. (Unless you feed them the commercial pureed meat baby food.) Based on a quick skim of a couple books and websites ( www.vegansociety.com seems to hav a bunch of good info) soybean protein doesn't seem to be an issue - someone more well-versed, please correct me if I'm wrong. So if protein intake is a concern, mashed tofu (for example) owuld be a fine protein source. Also, at two years old, it's probably okay to give him some eggs, as long as his folks don't have a problem with that (since vegans don't do eggs or dairy). If dairy is an issue, feed him soymilk. I have a niece who's just turned three and is allergic to milk protein - shegets all soy-based "dairy." The only other issue, potentially, is vitamin B12. Worst case scenario, they could give him a supplement. Probably best just to make sure he gets enough milk or soymilk. The other thing to remember, I think, is that most Americans (and I'd guess Canadians, too) get far more protein than we need. I don't know about kids, but there's actually research coming out that indicates excess protein in the diet may be a significant contributor to oseoporosis, because too much protein seems to inhibit calcium absorption. ...But I've rambled long enough. :) Hope this helps, ~Sara
@gberlin (3836)
1 Feb 07
I am not vegan, I am vegetarian. I don't eat meat but I still eat cheese and eggs. I know that my friends who are vegan do not feed their children meat. I did not feed my children meat either until they were old enough to make a choice. Most vegetables and beans and nuts are high in protein. Just feed your kids vegetables, beans and nuts and they will receive all the protein they need. Here is a website to visit that talks about foods with protein. http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/nutrition/high-protein-foods.html
@LittleMel (14033)
• Canada
1 Feb 07
I am semi vegan so yes I would let my baby eat meat. My decision to be semi vegan will not have anything to do with my children's decision. I have no kids yet though.
3 people like this
@brokentia (10394)
• United States
1 Feb 07
I can't answer you question about if vegan's feed their kids meat. I can't imagine that they do because they are so against meat eating. But I had a suggestion for your friend because I had the same problem with a couple of my boys. Try making him a hamburger with all the fixings except the bun. Cut it up and don't give him anything else. The colors attract their attention. And if the child is hungry, he will eat it. If not, try again later when he really is hungry. Often kids will not he the things we prefer because we offer them too much choice. But if they are limited to choices and are hungry, they will really eat it. This may sound cruel to some people but really, a small child can only eat a portion about the size of the child's hand. So, if we give them the other things they like with it, they they are going to fill up on the things they like first. And when he does take one bite, she needs to be sure to praise him and ask him if it is good. Of course because he is hungry, he will think it is good and be proud that mommy is praising him for eating.
2 people like this
@astromama (1226)
• United States
1 Feb 07
I must say, I totally disagree. Children are much more in touch with their bodies nutritional needs than we are, so if the child does not want meat, give him other foods. I am a pregnant vegetarian who has absolutely no intention of feeding my child meat. Protein comes from a variety of sources: tofu, soymilk, beans, vegetables, cheese, cottage cheese, lentils, whole grains, nuts, etc. If the child is enjoying a balanced diet, he will get adequete protein. I believe most vegetarians have studied enough about nutrition to know what and how to eat and as a by-product enjoy better health. The boy's parents might need to do some research on amino acids and food combining to make sure he gets complete protein, but children have rights too, and I think it's terrible to 'force' him to eat animals by giving him no other alternative.
4 people like this
• United States
2 Feb 07
i think that vegans should let their children decide.....i couldnthave been a vegitarion....i was forl ike 2 years but i needed to bite some cow...lol...i would always let my son decide everything he wants in life to what he thinks he should be to religion, im wiccan and if wants to be.....catholic or jewish or you know what i mean i support him,,, he he wants to eat dirt and not food when he gets older more power to him,,,,as long as he washes it down with milk...to stay strong...lol
2 people like this
@Lunerian (493)
• Sweden
1 Feb 07
Both my parents were vegetarians and they had us kids eat meat for those reasons.
2 people like this
1 Feb 07
I wouldn't eat meat as a child. My parents forced me and I grew up resenting them for it and I turned veggie as soon as I was allowed to cook for myself. I am now a vegan and so are my two daughters. They have a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and grains. I think they are a lot healthier than a lot of meat eating children. I would suggest the 2 year old has smooth cashew nut butter rather than peanut butter and homous. He can also have tofu and soya milk for protein as these are better sources than dairy products.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
Thanks! I relay the messages!
• United States
2 Feb 07
PS - I'm sorry your parents didn't respect your choice on that. I hear that a lot and I don't understand it. If my children choose to not to eat meat that's fine by me. I don't eat a lot of meat myself - except Chicken! I LOVE chicken. It's something I wouldn't be able to give up.
@korek222 (701)
• Poland
1 Feb 07
I'm not a vegan ... i know that this may get me - reputation in this thread but i like and eat meat. I know the basics of Vegan religion and why they refues to eat meat etc. but for me it is necessairy for every human to eat meat since as the person starting this thread stated - meat contains some essential proteins which are necessairy for every organism to grow properetly! Especially for children
1 person likes this
@SaraCate (184)
• Canada
1 Feb 07
Apart from making sure a child has enough B12 and D vitamins, there are no "essential proteins" that cannot be found in other food sources. John Robbins (heir to the Baskin-Robbins empire and staunch vegan) has a sample menu for one day in one of his books (can't remember which at the moment) showing how an *adult* could easily get adequte protein even without eggs, cheese, and other dairy. People forget that whole grains contain a considerable amount of protein, and even fruits and vegetables have some. ~Sara
1 person likes this
@babykay (2133)
• Ireland
1 Feb 07
If it is necessary for every human to eat meat due to essential proteins, can you please explain to me how many millions of vegetarians in India and Sri Lanka are alive....after many generations of doing without these essential proteins? No I did 't think you could. This is because meat is NOT an essential food.
1 person likes this
@ajay22 (300)
• India
2 Feb 07
meat is not the only source of protein, there is good protein present in pulses and soya bean. I am Vegan and pulses are regular part of my diet, they are liquid and do not choke as well.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 07
Thank you!
@sco888 (27)
• United States
2 Feb 07
We're not vegans either but my wife and I started feeding our daughters minced meat when they were a year old. Right now, my three year old daughter has this habit of turning her head away when we serve her meat (chicken, pork, fish, you name it). As we serve rice along with the meat, we make sure that we "hide" the meat. Most of the time, it works. Anyway, to be sure that she stays healthy, we give her multivitamins as well (like gummy vites!). Now, THAT makes her happy!!!
• United States
3 Feb 07
Yeah they've tried to hide the meat too. They've bought the baby/toddler meat foods that are mixed with vegtables and fruit and he still won't eat it. He spits it back out. :)
• United States
2 Feb 07
My sister is vegan and her daughter is 4 1/2 and has never eaten meat. She has always been healthy and never underweight. My daughter and I rarely eat meat and she has always been healthy. You don't even need soy products to get enough protien. Dairy, eggs, beans, peanut butter, whole grains... I get an average of 60 grams of protein a day eating just those things for protein and that is plenty. I don't understand why someone would worry about their kid choking on peanut butter but not worry about choking on meat. I would think that if anything the meat would be more of a choking hazard.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 07
Meat for toddlers no it's not easy to chock on. They give him the baby food & the graduates baby/toddler food. And peanut butter is very sticky and they're afraid he won't be able to swallow it.
• United States
2 Feb 07
no,I didn't feed my babies meat at all. I raised three children from the day they were born as vegetarians, and they are all very healthy young adults now. I know how to cook East Indian cuisine, and in India, millions of people are vegetarians, and for the most part are healthy and have healthy children. Milk is a very high quality protein food, so is soy. There are lots of alternatives to meat..it's just a matter of getting oneself educated.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
123...(that means i agree with you) People just are unwilling to educate themselves. They are ina mindset that they have to have meat...but they don't. It's just an ignorant way of thinking.
1 person likes this
@earthsong (589)
• United States
1 Feb 07
I'm not a vegan, but we don't eat very much meat, just chicken and fish. There are so many other, healthier ways to get protein. There is really no reason a child should ever have to eat meat if you know what you are doing.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 07
That's kind of what this disussion was about - finding other options. And as chicken and fish are meat - the grandson won't eat those either.
@FrancyDafne (2048)
• Italy
19 Feb 07
First of all I have to say that I'm vegetarian, not vegan. I didn't force my son to a vegetarian diet, I'm for freedom and so I let him free to choose. Proteins are essential for children development, but vegetal proteins are enough. Only some particular kinds of people need meat proteins, as anemic people, for instance. I know a vegetarian veterinarian who has two children. He grew up them only with a vegetarian diet, they got no animal proteins, and now they are two beautiful persons. So, I think that it's possible to grow up children with a vegetarian diet, but I didn't do it because of a question of freedom, not of diet or proteins.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
3 Feb 07
Hi GnosticGoddess! Ok I'm not a vegan - I'm a vegetarian. I have a 14 month old girl, and I do feed her meat. Basically I am a vegetarian for very sentimental reasons - I like animals lol! - so I do not see that as a good enough reason to not let her eat meat. I don't think it's right to impose that on her for an emotional reason of my own, and I will let her make up her own mind when she is old enough. If I were vegetarian for a different reason, say perhaps because of religion, then I may have different feelings about the matter as in that instance I would probably believe that I was spiritually harming her by letting her eat meat.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
i think alot of 2yos do not like meat. my daughter is 2 and se would rathr have apples and veggies than eat meat. i think maybe because their taste buds are starting to really taste things and feel textures and meat does not have a nice texture compared to an apple or mashed potatos. also you can get protien from beans,peanut butter, soy, tofu. also if parents are worred about getting protien to their kids and the family is vegan they can always add a bit of protien powder to the babies formula.
@superbren (856)
2 Feb 07
i have a vegan friend and she will not give her kids meat .they eat a lot of seeds and stuff i would normally put out for the birds but everyone to their own i guess . the kids will eventually make up their own minds what they want to eat.
1 person likes this
• India
2 Feb 07
no,vegans dont feed their babies by meat.theyfullfil their such protein requiarment by cheease,soyabeen,soyamilk,eggyolk,nut and dryfruits.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
I'm not a vegan but I have a son who is almost 2 and he's a very picky eater and he doesn't like to eat meat. So, to make sure he gets enough protein I feed him tofu, peanut butter, eggs, etc. He likes scrambled eggs. I would use eggs, tofu, cheese and milk. He gobbles it up!
1 person likes this
@FrancyDafne (2048)
• Italy
2 Feb 07
I'm vegetarian, not vegan, but some friends of mine are vegan. My little son eats fish and meat because he must always be free to choose what he prefers. A friend of mine is a veterinarian and vegetarian, he grew his two children with a vegetarian diet, they got no animal proteins at all. So I think that it isn't true that a child must absolutely eat meat. There are particular cases in which a child is forced to eat meat, but it isn't the norm. So, my son eats meat and fish not to introduce animal proteins, but because of a matter of freedom, I'd never impose him my diet.