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WEAVER
04-17-06, 04:10 pm
I am not currently a vegetarian, but have thought about the whole concept for a very long time. There are very few meats that I do eat, and others that actually turn my stomach as I watch my husband eat them. I really believe it is something that I could do successfully but am still trying to learn more about making meals and making it "work" for myself and my family meals. I have sent for the information kit to get more information.

As of right now I only eat and feed my children chicken, pork chops and hamberg meat, husband on the other hand eats everything and anything as long as it is no longer walking. :sad: I am not sure my husband would want to commit to the change, but in many ways I am considering doing this for my children and myself. It worries me how only at the young age of nine my daughter's body is beginning to change. She is a huge chicken eater and has been since a baby, and she drinks milk like you would not believe. Both of those things I know have contributed to her developing at such a young age and I think it is awful. My daughter is in GREAT shape, dances 8 hours a week, and only weighs 72 lbs, yet is now wearing a bra. This truly saddens me, especially when I look back on my childhood days and know I was much "bigger" than her at her age and did not experience these changes until I was much older than her.

I always make meals at night and we have always eatten as a family and these times I feel are very important and I do not want that to change. I do not know if I have the right to make these changes for my children or if it will benefit them over the long-run. I have heard of many pros and cons and children having trouble with growth and their bones as they become older. I am really interested in learning more about this topic and hoping that some of you may have more input and information regarding these questions I am having.

p.s. (please no movies, or graphic pictures, they do truly bother me and I can not watch them)---even though I do eat meat I understand what happens to the animals to get the meat on our dinner plate.

Tatalp
04-17-06, 05:39 pm
For your family dinners, those can still happen! Even if your hubby is going to stay an omnivore, you can make all sorts of foods like stir-frys and just cook the meat on the side.
Here's a list of some pros and cons of kids growing up veg:
-No hormones from meat
-Less saturated fat and cholosterol, meaning less heart problems later on
-Your kids and you will feel so much healthier! If you choose to go vegan, you will notice you are way less congested, and don't get sick as often!
Cons
-Some people think that soy can increase hormones if prepubescent kids, which is clearly one of your concerns. Of course, you can still avoid soy as a vegetarian. Some fake meats like Quorn are soy free, and there are rice and almond milks as soy alternatives
-If your kids are picky eaters, some nutrients may be challenging for them to get, so they might have to take vitamins.

Sabriel
04-18-06, 05:45 am
My husband and I eat together every night. I'm veg and he's an omnivore. If it's something like stir fry or sloppy joes he eats soy meat with me. After you slather soy meat in sauce you really can't tell the difference.

When we make things like burgers or hot dogs I cook meat for him and soy for me.

I think it would be easier to cook veg for yourself and your kids then just for your self. I find it super easy to cook meat on the side for my husband.

Fluffball
04-18-06, 07:51 am
For dinner I usualy make spinach and ricotta quiche, pizzas, pastas, vegetables, casoroles, rice, the list is endless.

Here are some links I thought could help you: http://www.vegsoc.org/info/childre1.html (A guide to children on a vegetarian diet, includes meal servings, how much intake they need e.t.c)

http://www.vegsoc.org/health/ (Includes links to recipe index, meal plans and sources of iron, omega 3 e.t.c)

I hope these help.

RRadoy
04-18-06, 11:13 am
My husband is omni and I cook meat for him and our daughter daily. My 4 year old son eats vegetarian like I do and always has. Making 2 different dinners everyday I thought would be a real pain, but it really isn't. One of these days I am going to make spaghetti sauce with soy meat instead of ground beef and not tell my husband. Who knows, maybe I will be able to get him to go veggie some day (not likely).:cheerful: Oh and BTW, Boca Spicy Chicken Patties are amazing!:love:

WEAVER
04-18-06, 11:38 am
RRadoy---those are in the frozen section right??? (the chicken patties)

RRadoy
04-18-06, 12:00 pm
WEAVER- the veggie meats usually have a freezer section all their own, the Boca products are in red boxes, the Morningstar Farms stuff is in green. I also highly recommend the Morningstar Farms spicy black bean burgers and parmesan ranch chicken patties and buffalo wings. YUM!

WEAVER
04-18-06, 12:02 pm
I have had the Morningstar Farms before but I have never had the Boca I will have to give it a try. Thanks for the tips.

RRadoy
04-18-06, 12:20 pm
no problem!

JarBax
04-18-06, 01:09 pm
My son is now 12, and we have been veggie (vegan for a while) for 11 years, although we do now eat fish (mainly tuna) occasionally. He is the healthiest person I know! He has had no more than 5 colds in his life, and has only missed school once - when he had his tonsils removed. He is average height/weight etc and has no fillings in his teeth. I did make the choice for him (he was only a tot at the time!) - but he has happily kept it up. What does your daughter think about it?

There are loads of meat alternatives available now. We eat a fair bit of Quorn - which is the best substitute in my opinion. Many meat eaters I know will accept it quite happily. You can all eat the same - but cook in seperate pots - meat bolognaise in one/quorn bolognaise in the other etc. All the ingredients bar the meat are the same. Shouldn't be too much of a 'pochil'!

Go for it!!!

WEAVER
04-18-06, 01:32 pm
There are loads of meat alternatives available now. We eat a fair bit of Quorn - which is the best substitute in my opinion. Many meat eaters I know will accept it quite happily. You can all eat the same - but cook in seperate pots - meat bolognaise in one/quorn bolognaise in the other etc. All the ingredients bar the meat are the same. Shouldn't be too much of a 'pochil'!

Go for it!!!

I am so sorry and I appreciate the information but this literally sounds like a foreign language to me lol .

My daughter (my son eats more meat than she does) and myself only eat chicken breasts, ground hamberg, or pork chops in the slow cooker (they have to be extremely tender). My daughter and I can not eat anything that has a bone in it or resembles the "shape" of the animal. My daughter is very bright and has been ahead for her age. She is very picky about food and does not like meat or the texture of many meats. Even the chicken (which is her favorite meat she drowns in ketchup). Actually as I am sitting here really thinking about it she drowns ALL her meat in ketchup.

She would worry me a bit about become the change in diet because she is VERY picky. She loves all fruits, peanuts, noodles, but hates vegetables, rice, beans and anything that may "smell funny". Because of her having such a problem with acid reflux since she was a young baby she is "weird" about different textures and smells of foods and hates to try anything new.

I really am thinking about seeing if this is something I would be able to stick to and make a life change and I guess I really will not know until I give it a try. I know for us the hardest part will be giving up the chicken. I make it A LOT and because of that I know how to prepare it a million ways making all different meals. I think that is going to be one of the hardest things for me is trying to rethink "meals".

I personally have tried tofu and just can't eat it and as of right now I don't think we are going to try to give up dairy products and eggs. I would like to cut back on the amount of milk my kids consume but not give it up entirely.

JarBax
04-18-06, 01:57 pm
Sorry! I think what I was trying to say is that it needn't be a huge change in meal planning for you. You can still all eat the same kind of meal but use meat alternatives for you and the kids. In the UK you can buy quorn in various shapes and forms - minced/pieces/fillets etc. It is the most chicken-like alternative I have found. (I don't like tofu either!)

The word 'pochil' is maybe a Scottish word (my mum and Grandma used it a lot!) - it means hassle.
Hope that makes more sense!

Sabriel
04-18-06, 02:03 pm
You can substitute soy "chicken" for chicken breasts in a lot of meals. Any ground beef meal becomes super easy as you don't have to actually cook soy beef, you just have to heat it up.

Even without Boca and Morning Star Farms foods (not available in Canada), just woking with the basics soy meat wise and my horrible cooking skills I have been able to whip up some decent meals. And I'm not kidding, I'm one lousy cook.

Going veg has vastly improved the taste of my cooking. No more burnt food for fear of undercooking it!

As for dairy, I find it easier to cut back rather then eliminate. I use vanilla soy milk in my cereal and soy cheese when my store stocks it. But I use cows milk for cooking, tea and coffee.

WEAVER
04-18-06, 02:22 pm
Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and knowledge with me. I am honestly learning a lot and it is beginning to make more sense.

I do have a "stupid" question though. . . when you are talking about ground beef meal, and soy beef is that frozen "meat" also? I am sorry, I know I sound like a idoit (honestly I am educated, just not about "changing meat" :) Going to the sites and researching all of this it really is overwhelming to take it all in and try to make heads or tails of all the information. I have never really thought about food and the nutrients and what vitamins was in what food etc. I guess the key is taking it one step at a time and learning as you go . .?????

Tatalp
04-18-06, 07:39 pm
Yes, I'm pretty sure they are talking about the frozen "meat", I haven't heard of anything else they might mean! It can be in either it's own veg section in the frozen foods section, but sometimes it will be mixed in with the real corpses, like the veggie burgers with the hamburgers and the chick'n(veg) nuggets with the chicken nuggets. Since it's not decomposing flesh, it doesn't reqire nearly as much cooking.
You're not stupid at all! Stupid people are ones that aren't willing to learn or ask questions! It's great that you are learning about things like vitamins and other nutrients. :)

SandyF
04-18-06, 09:03 pm
Weaver, I think it's fantastic that you're considering going veg. If it helps, I gave up meat just a little at a time: beef first, then pork, then chicken. I think it took me maybe 6-9 months to eat totally meatless. Once in a very great while, I'll still eat a little bit of seafood. I know that doesn't make sense, and I'm working on it. :) I'm also trying hard to get rid of dairy. From an ethical standpoint, drinking milk is just as bad as eating meat. Heck, I'm semi-lactose intolerant anyway, but I have had a really hard time giving up cheese. The soy stuff just doesn't cut it for me. Rice milk isn't bad...you just have to get used to the texture. It's sort of like skim milk, but without the substance.

My original motivation for becoming vegetarian was severe IBS (which is now manageable, with only occasional "blow outs" [LOL] if I'm under stress), but then I learned more and more about factory farming, and giving up meat was something I really wanted to do. I'll be 6 years meat-free this year! Woo-hoo!

My husband eats anything with a face AND is Diabetic, so the challenges of fixing meals that work for both of us can be tricky at times. Mostly I just plan his meals, and leave out the meat part of it for myself. What started out feeling like something of a sacrifice is just routine for me, now. I don't even think about it. My mother-in-law still thinks it's weird, though. I'll bet she has asked my husband a thousand times, "But what does she eat, dear?" :rolleyes:

WEAVER
04-19-06, 04:44 am
Ok, while I sat at the dinner table last night I just stared at my chicken and thought "What am I doing"? I watched my kids eat the chicken and comment how good it was and my daughter constantly dipping hers in tons of ketchup. I did a lot of thinking yesterday, throughout the day, while cooking the meal, and actually sitting at the table with the chicken on my plate.

Beginning today there will be no meat on my plate, nor did I eat the chicken last night. I can do this, and if I find it extremely hard I will try my best and do baby steps. I honestly think I can give up the meat, there is so many that I have given up already that I am trying to look at the fact that really I am only giving up three more (and the ocassional ham on Christmas and Easter). I do think the hardest for me will be the chicken, but I am going to try and remain strong.

As of right now I am going to leave dairy and eggs in my diet. I am so picky on milk and cheese that I am not sure how I would be able to do give it totally up. I do not eat a lot of those products, but pizza (has cheese), milk in my coffee and cereal, those things will maybe change with time. I know that the animals are tortured for us to have dairy too, and I will continue to seriously think about it once I get through this first hurtle.

As far as my kids go, they are nine and seven and I have seriously thought about what is the right thing to do. Neither one eats a large variety of foods, my daughter has many issues with her throat and stomach, neither child hardly touches vegetables etc. I have decided I am going to let them decide for themself, that I was not going to make the decision for them. I am hoping that with me making changes maybe they will be willing to try new things as well and as a family I am going to be making some meal changes and the dairy is going to be cut back for everyone (my kids right now go through almost a gallon of milk a day when they are home and not at school).

I thank all of you that helped share your thoughts, your knowledge, and your personal stories. I appreciate the fact that no one made me feel guilty and tried to pressure me to making me give up meat and make life changes. I will continue to give updates and I am sure at times will need your support. Thank you for everything, and for helping me understand and see this is something I can do.

SandyF
04-19-06, 06:59 am
I love that you're really thinking through this, plus deciding to let other members in the family make their own choices. I sometimes think I should "force" my husband to give up meat, but that's not my right. I can't make that kind of life decision for him. I have told him about the issues surrounding meat, and he is slowly starting to think about it. I know I'll never turn him into a vegetarian, though, and that's fine. I'm happy with my own choices (most of them, anyway), and that's really all we can do.

As far as eating dairy and eggs, many vegetarians remain "lacto-ovo" and never give up those things. I'm still lacto-veg (I still eat dairy, as I mentioned), but I finally gave up eggs last year. It has been a progression for me.

I think you'll find, Weaver, that it gets easier as you go along. The first time I deprived myself of fried chicken (I'm originally from Kentucky, so you can imagine!), I felt a little unsure about the whole thing. It just smelled so good! Nowadays, I actually find the sight and smell of meat repulsive. I don't crave meat at all, now...it would probably make me physically ill if I ate some. (Worth noting that I have eaten things at restaurants that I later learned contained meat by-products, and I had major diarrhea afterwards.)

Best of luck to you, and do keep us posted on how your meatless journey goes!

JarBax
04-19-06, 10:45 am
I seriously admire your attitude, Weaver!

Yes - do let us know how it goes!

Tatalp
04-19-06, 01:18 pm
Congratulations on your choice! I'm so glad you're going veg, you'll be saving 90 lives a year! As for your kids, I agree that you shouldn't make the choice for them, but encourage them to go veg. Make some veg food for them so they can see if they like it. Since your daughter realizes that meat was once an animal, I wouldn't be surprised if she will go veg, too. Kids care a lot about animals, and a lot are willing to be vegetarians-my brother went veg at the age of 6!

WEAVER
04-20-06, 04:24 pm
Three days----MEAT FREE!!!!!! I just wanted to let everyone know that I am being strong and have not touched a piece of meat, not even a bite in days. I got a couple cookbooks and I am going to try a few of the recipees in there and if they are good I will share them on the recipee thread. I also got a book talking about becoming a vegetarian and proper diet and vitamins so I am hoping that will help me understand more and allow me to learn how I can make sure that I am still eatting healthy and getting the vitamins that I need.

The kids have cut back on milk, only now drinking it at luch at school and for dinner. Breakfast they are drinking orange juice, and for snacks bottled water.

I am happy and feel wonderful that I am able to make a difference. My husband does not seem to understand and thinks that saving 90 animals out of all the animals killed for human consumption is not going to make a difference. He said he would be supportive as long as he does not have to also give up meat.-----I knew that was coming :)

Well that is the update, I just wanted to share and to let you all know that I am sticking to it, still eatting dinner as a family, and making better food choices for my family. I feel good about that!

TheQueen
04-20-06, 08:12 pm
That's great Weaver! I'm glad it's going well for you! And it will get easier. When I first became a veg, I thought giving up chicken was going to be really hard too, but then I found all the "fake" chicken products. I really can't tell the difference, although I can with fake burgers, etc. In most instances, I think the fake meat tastes better than the real meat anyways. And whenever you get tempted to eat meat, just use this little trick I used to use a lot. Think to yourself, "What's more important, innocent animals' lives, or satisfying my taste buds for a few minutes?" It worked for me!

And I'm pretty much in the same boat as you as far as cheese goes. I don't know that I'll ever be able to completely give it up; I just love cheese so much. But I pretty much don't eat eggs or milk. Just the thought of drinking or eating milk with cereal nauseates me now, because I never really liked it anyways (even before I went veg). Anyways, sorry for the bit of a ramble! Keep up the great work! You can do it! =)

JarBax
04-21-06, 12:48 pm
Great news Weaver!

Just a thought - I know you were concerned about all the 'guff' in milk, and the amount of milk your kids drink/drank, organic milk should at least be a bit better for them (although I still reckon soya milk is worth getting used to - for the cows' sake!)

Well done you!

WEAVER
04-21-06, 03:46 pm
Day four----and I almost ate meat!!!!! (but it was by accident). Here is what happened. . . .

I went to work today and I work at the mall, so options of food choices are limited and many places I chose not to eat at even when I ate meat. Well I decided to eat at Arby's and get the new potato bites. I love them and have eatten them a million times already, BUT today I noticed when I took a bite they actually have very tiny pieces of bacon in them :( So yes, I technically had A BITE of bacon bits today. but no I did not finish the bites once I realized. I am so disappointed, not only do I LOVE POTATO BITES, but I did not even remotely think about the possibility of the meat when I placed the order and thought the bites would be "safe". I will have to learn to be more careful in the future!

dangness
04-21-06, 06:12 pm
Don't feel bad, feel good that you even noticed. Organic milk is great if your not concerned with the effects of dairy and I buy Horizens for my daughter. I have eliminated all dairy from my diet and use rice milk and soy mostly. It's best to prepare food ahead so you don't get hungry and vulnerable. I buy shelf-stable "juice boxes" of vanilla soy milk that I always carry with me for coffee and cereal.

WEAVER
04-30-06, 02:53 pm
It has been almost two weeks----I am still going strong!