I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

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BenandJerry
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I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby BenandJerry » Fri Dec 10, 2021 12:05 pm

I'm having an issue with my husband and how I feed our daughter. I'm a vegetarian/almost vegan and he has reduced his meat intake over the years but mainly because I do most of the cooking and that's what I prepare (when he's out with his clients he'll eat meat).

My husband feels strongly that our son should have more meat in his diet. Obviously I am not going to go down that route but it is causing increasing friction. Has anyone managed to balance this situation in their household? 
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chorister
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby chorister » Fri Dec 10, 2021 12:35 pm

A friend of ours is a vegetarian but cooks meals including meat for her husband and daughter, because the husband isn't a vegetarian and they think the daughter should make up her own mind when she is old enough.  They are also concerned that the daughter should not suffer any nutritional deficiences while growing, though more on a "better safe than sorry" basis rather than a belief that she would.
Last edited by chorister on Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hello123
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby Hello123 » Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:49 pm

Same here, I’m vegan but my husband isn’t. I cook meat for my kids. I feel they can make their own choices later in life & agree that I want them to have a varied diet while they are growing.
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muddyboots
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby muddyboots » Sat Dec 11, 2021 9:04 am

I personally think you should not force a vegetarian diet on a child and certainly not a vegan diet.
It’s extremely hard to make sure a child will get the required nutrient for their developing growing bodies.
Especially if your child will not eat enough of substitutes such a beans, pulses etc

Unless a parent is extremely on it and the child is happily eating what is given I honestly thing it’s a risk to the child’s health.

DHA, vit B12, iron, zinc etc all need to be sufficient.
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WhiteKnight
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby WhiteKnight » Mon Dec 13, 2021 6:57 am

Is your Husband suggesting your son needs meat but not your daughter?
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Shaftesburymum
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby Shaftesburymum » Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:20 am

If your children are old enough, could they decide for themselves?

It’s a shame that this has become such a polarized debate. Could some unbiased fact finding help with a neutral decision?

Does your husband have a different view on the nutritional needs of your son versus your daughter? I wonder why.

Very anecdotal but my husband was raised vegetarian and he is over 6 foot and healthy. I decided to be vegetarian at age 11, for environmental reasons (yes, we did know that eating meat was bad for the planet in the 80’s). Our daughter is vegetarian, but by choice. We let her make up her own mind, but I certainly wouldn’t cook meat for anyone.

The comment above about forcing a vegetarian diet on a child strikes me as odd. I was “forced” to eat meat as a child for a couple years, and did a pretty good job of secretly feeding it to the dog under the table until my parents gave up on the idea.
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hal
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby hal » Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:27 am

Hi - I am not vegan (pescatarian) but my wife and 2 children are. My wife has been vegan for around 15 years and has been vegetarian since she was 14. My boys have been vegan since birth (11 and 9 years).

Provided no risk of possible health impact (i.e. insisting on Vit K injections and vaccines; ensuring all nutrients correct etc), I was fine with my wife’s preference, in part as she has been their primary day to day carer and is the one cooking for them predominantly. I wouldn’t ask her to cook meat or fish for me or anyone else - if I want that, I sort myself or have when I am out.

I worried a bit about social isolation at school and so on, which is a bit vain but that turned out to be a non-issue in any event, as plenty of other children had food allergies or religious requirements, and friends’ parents were v good.

From a health standpoint, it requires parents/people to be much more astute to nutrition (ensuring adequate sources of vitamin B12 for example); having said that, my wife and kids are fantastically healthy - strong, fit (my wife is in her 40s and is much fitter than people 10 years younger, and my kids are super active), and (when tested) with excellent bloods. Their diet on the whole - probably because my wife has had to be so much more on the ball with it - is by and large much healthier than that of their contemporaries whose parents/partners have a standard diet and don’t need to think about it.

That’s the long point! Shorter one is: it’s a potentially fraught subject, with no totally right answer, but if you’re doing the cooking, your wishes should carry more weight. Unless your husband has an ethical objection to vegetarianism or Veganism (or a plant-based diet), which only you can really parse with him (and then perhaps he can cook the meat or feed them), then the health outcomes shouldn’t concern you - you can have a fully balanced and entirely plant based diet with all essential amino acids and similar. However, it does require some research and care.
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MMum
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby MMum » Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:53 am

If you and/ or your husband are concerned it would probably be best to seek professional advice from a dietitian or even a GP. But there is growing evidence that a vegan diet is the healthiest diet. I have recently started eating vegan (kind of / when it suits!) purely for health reasons and I am so much healthier than before. A generalisation but vegans seem to think much more about their nutritional intake and end up with a much more nutritious diet than carnivores. I was brought up eating meat with every meal and was horrified at the idea of a child being brought up vegan but now I have a better understanding of it I think it would be completely fine or even better. Many top athletes these days are vegan.
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Starr
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby Starr » Wed Dec 15, 2021 10:48 am

I think vegan diets can be completely and fully nutritious if done properly. I'm talking about soaking and sprouting legumes and grains to make complete proteins and pairing it with the right foods. Keeping on top of calcium and iron levels. I do really think it will be difficult to feed a small child like this though. Personally I would hold off a vegan diet for a small child. I know some children who naturally shun meat, my son for example as opposed to his sister who loves it. Children are quite instinctive eaters. I would focus on natural whole foods and let the child decide as they get older.
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chorister
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby chorister » Wed Dec 15, 2021 11:08 am

Why not get advice from a professional nutritionist ie one that doesn't proselytise for veganism, vegetarianism or eating meat, but is simply properly qualified and accredited?
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csiszeronas
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby csiszeronas » Thu Dec 16, 2021 1:17 am

Unless a parent is extremely on it and the child is happily eating what is given I honestly thing it’s a risk to the child’s health.
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MagnoliaMum
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:28 am

I agree with many of the posters above that no one ‘needs’ to eat meat, however I think I may know where your husband’s views are coming from. You don’t say how old your kids are, but having raised two boys who are reaching the end of adolescence now, both slim, very active and well over 6ft, I have been totally shocked at how much protein they craved. I have encouraged them to try different food types and notice how they feel and their energy levels afterwards and they both opt for high protein diets over the slow release carbs that seem to suit me better. One has at least 4 eggs for breakfast every day and 3 tins of tuna at lunch, just to give you an indication of quantity! The insatiability and extent of their appetites has been quite incredible to me - as a female, I don’t think I ever went through anything comparable when I was growing up.

Although clearly protein comes in numerous forms, not all animal-derived, you may find that it is quite hard to supply that sort of volume on a purely vegan or vegetarian diet. Perhaps that is causing your husband’s concern, if he was a similarly ravenous teenager? It might be that you could reach a compromise whereby you sometimes cook fish or even chicken for the kids if that feels easier to face than red meat, or he takes on some of the cooking at weekends?
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dudette
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby dudette » Mon Dec 20, 2021 9:47 am

Hmm. There seem to be a lot of non-vegans commenting on how bad a vegan diet is on the basis of I’d guess knowing absolutely nothing. I am vegetarian but try and eat vegan as much as possible, as is my daughter so I cook food for the two of us. As long as you include tofu, beans/peas, lentils and nuts you should get plenty of protein. My husband is a meat-eater but makes his own (usually vegetarian!) food (he’s following his own diet). My son is a meat-eater and I feed him expensive ready meals plus fresh vegetables as I don’t want to handle raw meat. I cooked them meat when they were younger (always found it disgusting) - my daughter decided herself to become a vegetarian. Why don’t you sign your husband and son up (and daughter if she wants to eat meat) to a meal subscription service like Hello Fresh and get him to cook the food for the meat-eaters? I’m in total agreement that you shouldn’t have to do it. I feel traumatised enough having to walk through the meat section of the supermarket on the way to the vegetables and having to see rows of little dead chickens selling for stupidly cheap prices.
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Starr
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby Starr » Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:17 am

Did you ask your children how they feel about it?
I know several adult friends who have abandoned their vegan diets because they became unwell and fatigued from not nourishing themselves properly, even though they know it can be done if you have the time to prepare foods properly.
I also have a friend who abandoned it for her son. She was very cross when his uncle looked after him and fed him meat. The 7 year old loved it and asked for it, clearly his body was craving it. You can cut down and offer meat once or twice a week. You can buy organic, grass fed, farm raised meat and poutry. Riverford is brilliant. Of course the cheap chicken is awful. You can buy cuts that don't require handling it much.
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NoodleFan
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Re: I don't want to feed my son meat but my husband is insisting.

Postby NoodleFan » Thu Dec 23, 2021 8:09 am

No comment about which diet is better but if you don’t want to cook meat why don’t you buy pre cooked chicken - so easy to put with some rice or pasta and the whole chicken breasts often taste better than when it’s just come out of the oven.
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