Monday, September 16, 2013

Raising Vegetarian Children

Raising kids is hard. I'm a father, I know what I'm talking about. Anyone who tells you differently is definitely looking at it through rose colored glasses, and I applaud them for it. Interestingly. an issue that has popped has come around me a few times is parents who's children have decided to become vegetarian.

I must say that I am lucky in that both my partner and I are vegetarian, and so the choice to raise our children that way wasn't even a discussion. However some of these parents are at their wits end trying to figure out what to feed their children. They are concerned about their child's nutritional needs being met. Most often the question we get asked is what do you eat? For the most part the answer is: the same thing you do, minus the animal products.

Vegetarianism seems to be so misunderstood in general. The truth is eating a plant based diet is quite healthy, provided you eat a variety of NON-PROCESSED foods. Now what do I mean by non-processed? Well if it came out of a box, bag, bucket or drive thru window, its processed. Your best bet is to stick with the fruits and vegetable aisle with some grains thrown in there. To be fair this is pretty good advice for anyone, not just vegetarians.

Sure its going to be a pain in the ass to figure out what the hell you are going to feed your newly proclaimed non-omnivore, but the reality is they are actually challenging you to think further about YOUR nutritional choices. You may end up trading out eating at Taco Bell for eating at Chipotle or Moe's Southwest Grill for fast food. You may even find yourself cooking more at home! None of these are bad things! We may be our children's first teachers, but if you let them, it's amazing what they will teach you along the way.

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