My 5-year-old announced last week that she is now a vegetarian.
They had been discussing dinosaurs at schools and whether they were herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. I guess that led to the children discussing what they were. One little girl that Lilina likes announced that she is a vegetarian, and I think talked about meat is gross and you’re eating animals – cue the cute pictures of chicks and cows. So now Lilina has decided that she is a vegetarian.
She has actually done a pretty good job asking at each meal is this meat or a vegetable?
She resisted my shrimp and vegetable linguini (asparagus and tomatoes). She ate linguini and carrots. We told her she was missing the point by not eating the asparagus or tomatoes.
Although when told that hot dogs and bacon were meats, she granted herself some exclusions to have just a little bit.
I know lots of people that have gone through vegetarian phases albeit not self-imposed at 5-years old.
Michael was actually a vegetarian when I first started dating him. Recently it was revealed that it was for financial reasons – meat was expensive for college students. I thought he did it just to annoy my mom.
I returned from a high school trip to visit my cousin at UGA declaring I was a vegetarian. It didn’t last very long as I am not a huge fan of vegetables. (I would be an awesome grainetarian.)
So I’m not particularly worried about it. I will make my meals as planned and she can pick and choose. I think this too will pass but if doesn’t we’ll have to figure out how to increase her protein in other ways.
What do you do with a child who decides to be vegetarian? Do you honor their self-imposed dietary restrictions? Do you adjust your menus or let them pick around what you serve? Do you force them to eat the meat?