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So, Junior is a Vegetarian

veggies.jpg

When my younger son at age 13 announced he was a vegetarian he said the no longer should be served chicken or pork or beef. How about steaks? Nope.

How about hamburgers? Long pause.

Maybe, sometimes.

Well, that didn't last long.

Today that young man, all grown up, is an accomplished avocational grill-chef. He prepared an especially well-seasoned pork roast last night. His mother is a vegetarian (some fish, occasional chicken, no red meat). But his father will eat almost anything that tastes good.

The key is not letting a child decide what the family eats. Not when he or she is eating for free.

Yet an article by Casey Seidenberg of the Washington Post suggests a different approach. Find out what vegetarian meals most appeal to the little gourmet. Maybe she (or he) will eat some kinds of meat; say, fish. Negotiate, in other words.


Maybe get some vegetarian cookbooks out of the library. Try out different dishes.

But first, of course, you must try to understand your child's reasons. "Then educate yourself and your child about the nutrient disparities between omnivorous and vegetarian diets."

Back to my view: how about finding out who put the ideas into the little head in the first place? Could it possibly have been someone at school where various persons may wish to shape the next generation's habits of all kinds? Someone who thinks that is their job, not yours.

Explain the error in that thinking to Junior.

Then take time to explain that food comes in many forms and people have many preferences and ideas about the subject. In your family, you eat good, nutritious food. Someday, Junior can decide what to eat and how to prepare it. And how to pay for it.

Meanwhile, Junior, if you don't like the T-Bone, pass it to someone who does, and enjoy a second and third helping of spinach.

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You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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