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  1. #1
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    Default HELP! 13 yo daughter has decided to become a vegetarian!!! :(

    Hi there ladies, What do I do!?! My daughter wants to become a vegetarian and she wants my support but I cannot give it to her. I don't agree that she is responsible enough at this age to nutritionally manage her own diet, and I refuse to fuss around and make two separate meals etc. My life is hectic enough without catering to the whims of teenagers. I worry that she will become anaemic and just unhealthy. My bestie was a vego through school and she was pale, sickly, and just a shell of her former self. How do I deal with this?! I also feel like it's another hyprocritical lifestyle that people pick and choose what is convenient for them, while pretending to feel so holy and humanitarian. What I mean is, how can you not eat meat, but eat food that has meat products in it, like chocolate etc. Animals had to die anyway, so what difference is it. Also, she says she will eat fish. Is a fish's life any less important than a cow? Sorry for ranting... just concerned and annoyed.

  2. #2
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    Honestly, if it were me I'd let her do it. Make sure she knows that she has to eat a wide variety of things and make her responsible for it. At 13 I don't really see how you can make her eat meat ?

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  4. #3
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    it must be a teenage girl thing as my then 13 yr old said exactly the same thing. I said ok fine, but you and I will sit down and research exactly what you have to eat every day . so we did, we made a list and she took one look at it and said, I don't think I want to do this mum... When i asked her why ( knowing full well what the answer would be) she said well i hate xyz.. .. Maybe you need to do this with your daughter- sit her down and research on the net what exactly vegetarians eat etc and ask her from that list what she likes to eat. also research and show her info about needing calcium for bones etc,. kinda scare her but not if you know what i mean.. I hope i made sense . Good luck !

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  6. #4
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    I went through the same phase didn't last long as I hated lentils, chickpeas and most vegetables lol. As PP said, let her know what she'll have to eat instead. You can't force her to eat meat but hopefully she'll get sick of eating garbage and miss her favourite meals. If not, multivitamins

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    She's your daughter- you support her!
    I fail to see why it would even be an issue. Your daughter is old enough to have her own ethics and morals and make her own choices.
    If you are so anti vegetarianism let her make all her own meals. Personally I became a vegetarian at 12 and was forced to prepare and cook all my own meals from that day forth. Some 14 years later now and it didn't deter me at all. Like your daughter I started off fairly lax in what I consumed. I did not know about rennent, gelatine and the likes initially but as I researched my new lifestyle further, I excluded these from my diet. Your daughter may or may not do the same.

    If you think a vegetarian diet poses health risks (absolute rubbish by the way), ensure your daughter is well educated and consumes a wide enough variety of food. Buy her some cook books on vegetarian nutrition, download some information from the internet, etc..

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    Last edited by HarvestMoon; 03-02-2014 at 11:23.

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    I agree with Harvest moon. As my daughter I would do everything to support my children in dietary choices.

    Many meals can be easily adapted so you dont need to make two different dishes. If you're having pasta just keep some tomatoe sauce seperate, if you're having salad with steak she can minus the steak and add some chickpeas to her salad. It can be an amazing learning experience for her, creating independence by learning to cook her own dishes too. maybe a trip to the library to find some vegetarian cook books or a vegetarian support group would be helpful for her.

    Nutrition wise, every need can be met with vegan and vegetarian diets .

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    I would let her have a go. At 13 I think it would be great to have this responsibility of cooking and planning her own meals. She may even opt for cooking fab vegetarian meals for the family once in a while and open their taste buds to new flavours. I was a vegetarian for 13 years from the age of 12. If her diet is planned then she should be fine. Eliminating meat but not replacing it with other vitamin laden food is not a good idea but well planned healthy vegetarian options are great. IMO children having opinions should be encouraged.

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    I don't really see the big issue, if she wants to do it why don't you try and see if she can start looking up some recipes that she can make herself?

    I became vego at 12, of my own accord and haven't touched meat since (21 years now). I wasn't sickly and pale, never had low iron, it was easy.

    Maybe get her to do some research herself on what she can eat.

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    I agree that you need to sit with her research together so you both know how to make this work for her and the family as a whole.
    I am sure it will be extra work for a little while you work a healthy diet for her that works in with the rest of family but it will be worth it to show your daughter that you support her and that you are willing to let her become her own person with her own belief systems. Believe me this is really important as you go through the teenager years.
    I would use this as a opportunity to build a stronger relationship with her.

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    Without getting annoyed, sit down and discuss it with her and find out why she wants to become a vegetarian if you're so opposed to it. Is it she doesn't like the way the animals are farmed and slaughtered? Is it a new trend in school to not eat meat? Does she not like the taste of it? Does she feel kind of sickly after eating meat?

    For the record, humans currently eat more meat than they should and that isn't healthy for them. We are designed to be able to sustain ourselves successfully and healthilly on a vegan diet. You might find, if done correctly, that she will be a lot healthier than any of you.

    However, not supporting your daughter because you don't believe that a 13 year old can make her own decisions, morals and ethics and simply dismissing her beliefs is a good way to alienate her. There are loads of vegetarian cook books that give you healthy alternatives to meat and I cook a heap of vegan and vegetarian meals that my housemates don't know about. Their health is better than usual, they have more energy and they don't taste the difference.

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