View Full Version : Trying to get our home vegan....
11-07-2004, 02:02 PM
Since I have just gone vegan in the past year, I am trying to introduce replacement foods to my 4 yr old dd (and my dh has eliminated milk, chicken, pork, and beef at home for me and now rarely eats it out either!). The problem is I didn't tell her that it was a tofu dog, but she wouldn't eat it after one bite-said it was weird. I put Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese in her wheat tortilla w/black beans and she said it was disgusting. I actually don't like the vegan cheese either-the veggie stuff w/casein I can handle but have obviously given this up and she adores cheese-as I do but get my fix from Tofutti pizza every now and again. Did any of you switch over after your kids were already over 3 and what did you do in situations like these? Also, she will say how I am a vegetarian and how she eats pig or cow or chicken like Nana. I keep telling her how an animal has to die for her to do that, but it doesn't bother her in the least. We have two dogs and a cat and I ask her if she'd eat them and of course she says no, but will even say "I like dead pig." It breaks my heart. She is definetely a kid who if I say black she says white, but I'd hoped she'd be more my way-at least w/meat and eventually the other. I've taken her to animal sanctuaries, she knows about work I'm involved in with animal rescue, etc. I don't worry about it too much, but wondered if you had any suggestions! Thanks, Cathy
11-07-2004, 03:11 PM
Have you ever taken her to a farm sanctuary, or a place where she'd have access to a pot bellied pig or farmed pig... to pet them, get up close and personal, and maybe make the connection?
11-07-2004, 03:21 PM
Yep and she freaked because the pig bit me really hard on the inside of my leg next to my knee and the bruise was vicious-he thought I had more animal crackers that the owner had told us to give him but I didn't and he was mad.
11-08-2004, 07:20 AM
It sounds to me like your dd is in the same place as many adults who recognize the cruely inherent in eating meat, but still eat it - she is letting herself be in denial or put up a wall to keep herself from thinking about the animals so that she can justify still eating them.
I am thinking that approaching her in a sympathetic way & putting yourself in her shoes rather than trying to convince her to see things your way might help. Maybe say something like, ' it sounds like you are having a hard time giving up _____ b/c you really like how it tastes.' Or, 'if the vegan foods tasted as good to you as the foods that come from animals, would you want to be vegan?'
Then you can tell her that you are going to work together to find good vegan foods that she will like. Rather than slipping in vegi alternatives and not telling her, tell her that 'mommy bought some _______. Let's try some & see how if it taste like the ________ that you like. If you don't like it, you don't have to eat it.' This can help take the pressure off. I know that I always got upset as a child when my parents tried to sneak things into my food w/out telling me that they were doing it.
Take her shopping with you & let her pick out whatever vegan foods she wants to try. Kids are often more willing to try stuff if they picked it out. If she doesn't like the stuff she chose, don't stress. Just tell her 'okay, mommy will eat this. We can go back to the store & find some new vegan foods that you want to try.' Maybe you can make it fun trying new recipes or products to see if you can find replacements that she will enjoy.
You don't want her to feel coerced or she won't want to be vegan when she is older. My girls are 4 & 6 now, so I don't know how it will work in the long run, but thus far they seem to feel pretty comforable with the idea that being vegetarian is their choice, not something that I put on them.
11-16-2004, 12:52 PM
My oldest was the same way. You need to really try to help them adjust. Don't make this a battle. If your dh is so supportive then don't worry about these foods at home. You might just want to change the things you eat. No pizza, no hot dogs, no fast food type of items. ;)
I know that sounds hard, but it will break the desires. Most children will pick more healthy foods if they aren't around the other items. Her tastebuds are used to the other things and they just need to adjust.
Pick things she does like and keep those on hand. Have you tried Falafell? I've found alot of kids like it. Homemade muffins and cookies kept in abudance are not really healthy, but can help a kid feel like they aren't deprived. Bake up a big batch of homemade french fries and eat it for dinner with her favorite veggie.
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