Tag Archives: vegetarianism for kids

A Little Vegetarian

Gentle Readers, the most important part of developing a functional weekly meal plan is acknowledging that things may go completely off the rails. Sometimes, for instance, one’s amazingly thoughtful seven-year-old will quietly decide to become a vegetarian before dinner.

The Eldest Practical Cook Junior reads labels to the Youngest.

The Eldest Practical Cook Junior reads labels to the Youngest.

That’s right, The Eldest Practical Cook Junior, after consideration, told me she simply preferred animals walking around. There is no agenda she’s promoting, no gotcha, just an expression of a pure heart unencumbered by years of food marketing or cultural training. So how does a mom respond to this, much less one who is on record as a bacon fan?

Nutritious snacks, no problem. Nuts are your friend.

Nutritious snacks, no problem. Nuts are your friend.

Simple really. I thanked her for letting me know, I assured her that I would help her eat a balanced diet. And I promised her that I would wait for her to tell me if she changed her mind instead of constantly offering meat, and would respect her decision either way. This was Sunday, and the resolution has held.

Vegetarian Enchiladas at a local Mexican Restaurant (fresh spinach and potatoes, nice!)

Vegetarian Enchiladas at a local Mexican Restaurant (fresh spinach and potatoes, nice!)

But do lean in close Gentle Readers, I have a confession. You see, I was a vegetarian for 7 years. I returned to omnivorous eating for a number of reasons, not all of them good ones, and we still eat a lot of beans, rice, tofu, and cheese in this household. We are probably meatless over 50% of the time.

Free form Mexican Meal made with The Jrs. Squash, guacomole, beans and rice, chips.

Free form Mexican Meal made with The Jrs. Squash, guacomole, beans and rice, chips.

I feel very confident in my ability to feed her nutritious meals, and as a family we’re having ongoing conversations about food, culture, animals, and the environment. Additionally, both the Juniors are adventurous eaters, so we’ll be trying all sorts of international delights.

Stone pot bibimbap is available with or without beef!

Stone pot bibimbap is available with or without beef!

The Eldest is not doing this for attention or publicity, she is simply living by her convictions. What a beautiful thing. Here’s to the little vegetarian. I’m honored to have the privilege of knowing you, much less raising you.

How many of you are or have been vegetarians? Share you story in the comments below.

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Coming up Sunday: Weekly Menus, Vegetarian/Travel Edition!

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