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'Mom, I'm a Vegetarian'

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Last night on NBC's "Parenthood," 5-year-old Sydney announces she's become a vegetarian. Her parents (Julia and Joel), who are not vegetarians, are taken aback and began trying to convince her that she's not a vegetarian -- reminding her that chicken is her favorite and explaining protein is important.

Mom I'm Vegetarian

Later, when Sydney's grandparents (Zeek and Camille) arrive to baby sit with a lasagna in tow, Sydney sticks to her guns and insists she will not eat it.

Julia tells her father, Zeek, she's disappointed that he tried to force her daughter to eat meat because she doesn't want to squelch Sydney's "spirit" and wants to support her decision. Camille tells Julia that she needs to make it clear to Sydney that she is not boss of the house.

Momlogic wants to know -- do you have a child who has expressed interest in being a vegetarian? Did you support him or her? How did you support your child's decision but also make it clear who's boss?

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30 comments so far | Post a comment now
Emmitt Hollin February 24, 2011, 10:37 AM

The parents can’t make their kids eat anything they really don’t want to. I think they should admire her for having a set of convictions as such a young age. Vegetarian meals can be prepared with sides of meat the other family members can eat. They entire family might want to give having at least some vegetarian meals a try - they might like it!

Emmitt Hollin @ panic away by joe barry review

Lorraine February 25, 2011, 7:55 AM

Our son, at almost 4yrs, has displayed a dislike for most meats, and a high emotional sensitivity to animals in general (including fish). None of the rest of us are vegetarian, however, I couldn’t red meats and especially pork while I was pregnant with him - Smell alone made me feel sick. Very wierd.

While I don’t force large amounts of animal protein on him, I do try to get him to take a few bites. At this age, I want to be sure that it’s not just fussy eating. He gets a multi-vitamin, spinach, beans, and other products that contain adequate proteins. I don’t find that it’s a major concern, so long as he is healthy, and I try to keep a balance.

Leyla Moradi February 25, 2011, 9:53 AM

This little girl is so smart! I applaud her and her mother for respecting her wishes to lead a vegetarian lifestyle. As with any diet (ominvore or a form of vegetarianism) you need to be conscious of what you are eating. It’s unfortunate that some people aren’t open-minded enough or educated enough to understand that it is perfectly healthy to be a vegetarian. Our bodies don’t need meat, the 8 amino acids (“protein”) found in meat is found in plant form too!

Spottedfeather February 25, 2011, 9:27 PM

Emmitt, you have no idea of what you’re talking about. Of course, the parents can make their kids eat whatever they want. That’s why they’re the parents. Parents say, kids do. That’s just the way the world works. 5 years old isn’t old enough to have convictions. A 5 year old won’t even know what convictions are. Think before you speak, Emmitt, especially about things you don’t know about.

Anonymous February 28, 2011, 9:57 PM

My daughter made the decision to become a full carnivore at the age of six. I fully supported her in her decision, and every meal we eat is comprised solely of meat and their products. Lamb is her favourite, followed by steak and then sashimi.

It is of course important to be healthy too which is why I make sure she takes all the supplements she needs. Personally, I’m not sure if this decision she’s made is a good one but, as people above have pointed out, it’s important that children are listened to and are supported in the decisions they make. It would be wrong of me to ‘show her who’s boss’.

Patricia March 18, 2011, 2:26 AM

Tofu is healthy and delicious.

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Jordan March 21, 2011, 10:36 AM

Tofu also increases the production of estrogen in the body. Feeding tofu and other soy products to young children can have negative effects on growth and development.

If my kid decided to change her dietary habits, I’d tell her that I wouldn’t make a second dinner for her. That said, if the dish I wanted to make had meat in it; I would ask my daughter to “help” me in the kitchen as much as she could so that I could save a portion of the meal for her without meat.

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Grace March 29, 2011, 11:53 AM

@SpottedFeather & Anonymous……..I don’t think u even believe your own ignorance. You sound exceedingly moronic.

I’m dissapointed with the statements from vegetarians, such as “it’s still healhty to be vegetarian”……are u kidding me?? People need to understand that it’s meat eating that’s completely unhealthy. I can’t say that people that eat meat are wrong for doing so, but I will say that you’re a moron if u believe it’s healthy. Of course vegetarians can receive the right amount of protein just as meat eaters could. The problem is that not everyone will get the appropriate amount. There are still bad habits involved with “any” eating. Meat eaters eat too much meat….there is such a thing as too much protein. And don’t get me started on people who have meat with nearly every meal. That’s just disgusting. Them we wonder why colon cancer is on the rise.

Like many peopl have said, be conscious eaters. It’s not just meat we need to steer clear from. If you’re not a vegetarian, let me remind you, we are better off than eating meat.

Spottedfeather, yes children should listen to their parents. However, how many dumb parents have u seen feeding their children the wrong foods. We have a case here where the child seems to be smarter than the parent when it comes to eating. Maybe you’re just a little jealous that your child couldn’t do the same. Maybe because he/she gets it from u. Oh well! What can u do??

Meat eaters…..good luck! What will u do if a catastrophe hits?? Hunt animals, or grow your food?? Think about it. Think biblical days. Even they only had meat a couple of times per year.

Maddie April 2, 2011, 5:32 PM

I am 12 years old. I became vegan after seeing a cute cow at a petting zoo, named Norman, who fulfilled my lifelong dream of hugging a cow. I did some research, found lots of Peta videos, and became vegan. My parents supported me, and my dad made me healthy vegan foods, like tofu and Boca burgers, which I hated. So I came up with my own recipes and tried them out when I was home alone after school. I surprised my parents with a new idea called ‘meatless Mondays’ where I would cook healthy, meatless, food for the family. They loved it. Besides me giving up all animal products, I also made my family cut out more than 10% of their meat diet every week, and to but a faux leather sofa, instead of real leather.
The switch has been great, and my family all together have lost weight, we are all healthy and more happy then we were on meat!

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