Raising kids as vegetarians in Germany

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Interesting thread, as it shows how different versions of veg/non-veg/vegan diets can be. My non meat eater friend is happy with eggs, fish, but not chicken.

It does seem that many just want to eat less meat. To be very strict, one would be checking everything, from cookies, cake mixes, sauces etc, for meat products. The main topic was about children as vegetarians, and many have noted that it is vital they get all the essential vitamins, trace elements etc. Certainly a diet with all the pulses, vegetables, fruits will provide this.

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I will humbly suggest you all calm down, no matter how you rise your children, they will come when going out for example in contact with various types of food, so they will probably end as teenagers/adults eating whatever they want, be it vegan or not, no matter if you like it or not. They are your children, not your pets, you can´t choose for them forever.

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And ya around 500 million people in India are healthy with veg. diet. human body is smart enough to adapt to the diet . all this protien , fat , omega 3 blah blah is also over hyped after an extend.And my haus doctor dont understand why my blood iron level is always on the lower side, beacause my body has adapted to veg diet and 1-2 point low iron level is ok for my body..pheeww difficult for him to see through the theory.

 

I have to be careful here. My intention is not to bash India as a country but to simply state that what you said is not true. Indians children suffer from malnutrition and anemia, among other problems.

 

India is still the world leader in maternal and child mortality.

 

Malnutrition in India -Wikipedia

 

 

The World Bank estimates that India is one of the highest ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. The prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world, and is nearly double that of Sub-Saharan Africa with dire consequences for mobility, mortality, productivity and economic growth.[1]

 

 

And my haus doctor dont understand why my blood iron level is always on the lower side, beacause my body has adapted to veg diet and 1-2 point low iron level is ok for my body..pheeww difficult for him to see through the theory.

 

Low iron leads to anemia. Indians have sever problems with anemia, even adults. Before making fun of your doctor, give him some credit, your health might depend on it.

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Indians children suffer from malnutrition and anemia, among other problems

 

I have no doubt that this is true. But I highly doubt this is because of vegetarianism. Lack of (even vegetarian) food / food choices would well explain that.

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Hi,

I totally agree with you Mikemelga and jeba . Malnutrition and Anameia is widespread in Indian , but one cant start feeding meat to a veg. raised population to solve this problems.one has to find different veg. food groups or Supplements.

Sometime same problem in different Places need different solutions.

btw , in the link you mentioned above , there is a mention of mid-day-meal in government run indian schools . And i know they provide iron supplements to students on regular basis there. So things are moving in right directions. but it is altogether a different topic to discuss here

 

Yorambo

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The point is that India is the beloved example from vegans/vegetarians when they are questioned about the difficulties of having a healthy non-meat diet. Truth is most vegetarians have B12, iron, etc deficiencies, and while you might function your whole life like that, it might have a toll on you at the end. You can see how the India example was already mentioned a couple of times in this thread. And you yourself know you have iron deficiency and you think your body can adapt to it, like evolution is something that can happen in only a few years.

 

I am not advocating for eating t-bone steaks like it was already mentioned by the veg-brigade here, but you either take care of your veggie diet and throw there some supplements if needed, or you eat a piece of beef/chicken/fish/turkey once of twice a week. Specially when feeding kids because they can't fend for themselves yet. Or you might pay the price later on.

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Anyone who thinks malnutrition in India is in any way related to or caused by eating vegetables is having a 'marie antoinette' moment (let them eat cake).

 

One should understand the amount of protein (and water, space, etc) it takes to produced the same amount of flesh. Incredibly inefficient process.

 

Meat, if one should decide to indulge, should be considered a luxury. It is really not very nice to the animal being eaten.

 

http://www.themeatrix.com/

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This would be (partly) true if the land you talk about would be suitable for the production of vegetable. If the climate in this place would be suitable. If the consumption of water would have an negative effect on other s or on other crops. And so on. Not the case in big parts of the world.

 

The story isn't that simple. And the tradition of meat eating or the preference of vegetable/fruit based nutrition isn't a thing of indulging . It's a sheer necessity caused by the quality of land , climate, storage etc.

I like the english word livestock. Explains a lot.

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you are correct only if you are speaking of Argentina. In the vast majority of cases, a 'livestock' is fattened up at the end with grains that were grown on land that can obviously be used for growing grain. An inefficiency is an inefficiency. And note I am not an evangelizing vegetarian.

 

In the Oz outback or in the arid west of the US, they let cows roam freely in truly poor agricultural areas (square miles per cow is how they measure it). Then they get them to feedlots and fatten them up. What you eat in the end has in the majority of cases spent some time at a terrible environment where thousands of animals are forced into small areas to get fattened up. There are some 'ethical' producers that cost more. And good for them.

 

Argentina can put a cow in the Pampa and it comes back lean but juicy. But that is the exception (and in the US they have banned Arg beef for a long time based on fears of disease).

 

But if a dumb cow can find enough to eat somewhere, do you not think a highly evolved homo sapiens could not do better?

 

And there is evidence that certain combinations of foods (beans and corn for example) that many poor folks exist on provides some of the aminos/B12 that we do need.

 

If you are talking about hunted reindeer in Lappland or Eskimos eating a high fat diet in the artic, that is different. I am not against people hunting and eating things (within reason). But the majority of Germans and Americans are eating factory meat, for which it is really hard to make an ethical case (treating animals and the workers like shit to get an extra percent profit?).

 

The tradition of eating meat might not be so necessary when we spend our days sitting at a desk (commenting on TT). We can also continue to evolve. The health of meat eating american and germans could be improved by eating better (less fat). Eating better is possible but not with the McDonaldization (new word) of our diets.

 

See the meatrix. It is hilarious. And because this is Toytown, I apologize to any cows who are offended that I call them dumb.

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Have you any idea how vegetables and fruits are produced? The environmental aspect of it is hardly better.

And to tell people that they "could"eat "better" leads to telling people that they "should" eat better and then into telling people they "must" eat better. That's what I call dumb.

Food fascism.

 

Agriculture has become an industrialized business. That's for sure. The number of people in the world wanting to find enough food has increased dramatically. To keep in mind.California's water reserves are depleted for the production of Almonds .Funny nobody talks about the water used for veggies. Agriculture in e.g. the UK can't produce enough (edible) vegetable protein to feed its population. But can produce animals which are mainly fed with what grows there. Grass.Should the UK abandon most of their farming and import vegetable protein instead? From where? Or better: Take it away from the table of whom? The poorer of this earth?

 

The subject is complex. And only pointing your finger on people who could , for sure, reduce their meat consumption is- nothing more than the usual "I'm better/smarter , you are worse/dumb.

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There are a couple of nutrients you can't never get from a vegetarian lifestyle, if the lack of those nutrients will affect you or not is a different story, your anecdotal experience does not make it universal.

 

And protein and fat are very important for small kids, yes, you of course can get them from a vegetarian dinner but you have to work hard on what you provide for the kids and in my humble experience nowadays vegetarians are not really working hard on that, but of course you can't blame a vegetarian lifestyle for that, it is just people being people (read dumb).

 

Weird I know but proteins are actually easily provided by plants. You don't need to work hard just a little bit of knowledge is sufficient. There are plants that provide complete proteins (eg chickpeas, quinoa, soy) and some plants that have to be combined to provide the necessary proteins (combining grains and legumes such as rice and red beans provides complete proteins). So google and you will see proteins in vegetarian diet is not a problem not even in a vegan diet. In fact, you can provide all and any necessary nutrients with a vegetarian diet. What you probably mean is the vegan diet. And there is only one nutrient that poses a real problem for vegans (not vegetarians) and that is Vitamin B12. BTW, I was iron deficient even though I was eating meat. So iron can be a problem either way.

 

Fat you can easily provide with a variety of vegetable oil. Animal fat on the other hand is not particularily healthy and can lead to health problems later in life. One reason why I believe that it is best to accustom kids to a healthy and varied and mainly plant based diet is that you will form a strong habit for life. You will eat what you were fed as a child later in life with all the dreadful consequence. And red or processed meat is quiet unhealthy when being eating in the massive quantities we do in our normal modern diet. I wonder why people so readily accept that a vegetarian diet is supposed to be unhealthy and not provide all nutrients (which is not true) while the dreadful consequences of meat overindulgence are ignored.

 

So for both vegetarian and meat eaters it is paramount to be educated about a healthy diet. Eating meat in itself doesn't make a healthy diet nor does not eating meat. Meat can be a healthy supplement (sic! meaning only a little, most certainly not daily) to a healthy diet but it is not a requirement while plenty of fresh fruits and vegetable most certainly are a requirement.

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"It is silly how some people go vegetarian for health reasons and then it becomes a religion and would prefer to eat fries with ketchup instead of a more healthy option with a tiny bit of non-vegan/vegetarian ingredient because they do not want to damage their 'veg rep' and/or to break the record of x years with no meat."

 

- I seriously doubt that that's the reason they choose to eat the fries. I think it's more likely that they'd rather eat one unhealthy meal than eat meat that has possibly come from factory farming/an unethical source and they don't want to participate in that.

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"Ah but I feel this is different. Kids should not be encouraged to be choosy eaters - it can be difficult enough to make them try out things and they just shouldn't pick and chose what they want to it. Plenty of time later in life. Plus, although I am a veggie myself, the simple fact is that we really should eat everything, in moderation of course, but there is nothing wrong with meat."

 

- Firstly, I don't think raising someone vegetarian is encouraging them to be choosy, rather it is encouraging them to think about where their food comes from. And secondly, in my opinion, there is indeed something wrong with meat if it came from a factory farm. It depends why the parents are vegetarian in the first place.

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I'm just tagging onto this post...

 

My son, nearly 6, has decided he no longer wants to eat meat. We're not vegetarians, but I don't like to eat sausage. We eat meat/fish at home 2-3 times a week roughly and he gets meat (sometimes) at kindergarten for lunch. This started about a month ago, right before Christmas. He wasn't consistent at first, but now he knows to ask "is that meat or does that have meat in it". We're not making a big deal out of it, but every couple of days I'll offer him meat and he will decline. Even at kindergarten he declines meat.

 

So, why this now? He one day said it's mean to kill all the sweet little animals. I don't know what prompted this discussion (something he heard at kindergarten, who knows). So I respect this choice. Still, I'm wondering if it's only a phase? And of course I want to make sure he gets all the nutrients he needs without having to give him supplements. 

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24 minutes ago, Elfenstar said:

So, why this now? He one day said it's mean to kill all the sweet little animals. I don't know what prompted this discussion (something he heard at kindergarten, who knows). So I respect this choice. Still, I'm wondering if it's only a phase? And of course I want to make sure he gets all the nutrients he needs without having to give him supplements. 

 

At 6 it could well be a phase or it could be ongoing.  Who knows.  The son of a friend was having the same dilemma a bit older, sometimes saying he's a vegan, sometimes not but right now is past 20 and not a vegan for what it's worth.  I think you are doing good to respect his choices.

 

If you want to look up some nutrients to replace meat nutrients, you can check out https://familydoctor.org/vegetarian-diet-how-to-get-the-nutrients-you-need/ or other similar sites.

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1 hour ago, Elfenstar said:

I'm just tagging onto this post...

 

My son, nearly 6, has decided he no longer wants to eat meat. We're not vegetarians, but I don't like to eat sausage. We eat meat/fish at home 2-3 times a week roughly and he gets meat (sometimes) at kindergarten for lunch. This started about a month ago, right before Christmas. He wasn't consistent at first, but now he knows to ask "is that meat or does that have meat in it". We're not making a big deal out of it, but every couple of days I'll offer him meat and he will decline. Even at kindergarten he declines meat.

 

So, why this now? He one day said it's mean to kill all the sweet little animals. I don't know what prompted this discussion (something he heard at kindergarten, who knows). So I respect this choice. Still, I'm wondering if it's only a phase? And of course I want to make sure he gets all the nutrients he needs without having to give him supplements. 

I would say go with it.
If it is a phase it will pass.

I would also say don't do it yourself unless you want to. It would be a good situation for him to learn that people should respect his food wishes but he has to respect their's.

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My son did something similar. We didn't / don't make a fuss about it, as long as he generally eats everything else on his plate. Sometimes he just decides to eat the meat now anyway, whereas I think if we made a fuss, he would become more determined too. Oh, and for some reason he has never considered Leberwurst to be meat! I think it is just a phase - you often hear of kids who refuse to eat vegetables/fruit too.    

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