Veggie Kids Are Better

Now that I know about this contest, I’m heavily considering having a kid. And becoming vegetarian. And developing ‘cuter’ genes. Anytime I can win vicariously while cementing my dirty hippie credentials, I’m there.

7 comments to Veggie Kids Are Better

  • My three sons are the most gorgeous lads to ever walk the Earth (I don’t like submitting their photos online–to anything–though). Middle son is a vegan; the eldest and youngest sons, like my husband, eat poultry and/or fish about once a week, otherwise they’re ovo-lacto vegetarian (like me).

    Babies’ growing brains and bodies need fat, though–if you’re not going to breast-feed, be sure to consult a nutritionist about the best formulas. There have been some horror stories about babies subsisting on juice and water and, er, not making it. Of course, these stories were immediately used to bash vegetarianism, as though it wasn’t getting bashed enough.

    What else? Being a veg. didn’t stop me from gaining 60 pounds with each pregnancy, but I lost it again, every time, within three months of giving birth. The pediatrician said I was making high-octane milk–my sons were all at the upper end of their weight/height charts as babies. Just these roly-poly cuddle bunnies–people used to point at them and say things like “Oh mah GAWD, that’s a fat lil’ ol’ baby! Luanne, come see this fat lil’ ol’ baby!” (we live in the South, btw.). After toddlerhood, they settled down and are now slim, rangy athletes.

    One last thing: veggie kids, when they do get sick, kick that virus’s ass in no time. Especially if they’ve got supercharged immune systems from being breastfed.

  • My wife is similarly ovo-lacto (I lapse often at restaurants and family visits), and we’ll certainly raise veggie kids when we get to that point (some 2+ years in the future, when she finishes grad school).

    It’s good to hear about your positive experiences — and the concept of high-octane milk is extremely amusing. I’m curious if/how you’ve dealt with your children’s food choices as they’ve gotten older? I can imagine accommodating veganism, raw, or whatever kind of more restrictive diet that a child-o-mine embraced, but what if the want beef all the time?

    How long can you make dietary choices for your kids and how restrictive can/should you be? I’m sure these issues are a decade off, but my wife and I have been throwing it around for a while, love to hear about your experiences/thoughts.

  • Also: we’re totally on your breastfeeding bandwagon.

  • My eldest (15) is relaxed about it–he’ll have prosciutto at a brunch, or the occasional Cuban sandwich while out with friends. I told him that’s okay, if he really wants to eat that. I won’t buy it and keep it in the house, though. I think the more you try to push something, the more they rebel against it, in many cases, so this seems a reasonable compromise. Besides–I couldn’t possibly control his food intake every hour of the day, even if I wanted to!

    I think one has to put one’s foot down on the notion of balance, though (no all-anything-all-the-time, and at least a few vegetables and fruits). It’s really hard to keep sugar at bay, and the more you ban it, the more they’ll sneak it at school. So you bake semi-healthy sweets together, stuff you both like. And you try not to get bent out of shape if they eat oreos at a friend’s house.

    Once they’re old enough, you can explain, in age-appropriate terms, why it’s a good thing–both for the body and spirit, as well as the planet and its creatures–to eat less (or no) meat.

    My second son, as I said, is so easy that way–he’s a natural vegan who requests soy milk and tofu. He’s also got the most otherworldly, Buddhist notions about life in all forms. He’s only eleven, and he totally inspires me.

  • Yes, well, everything you say is incredibly reasonable and puts to shame the total-itarian vs. total-anarchy debate in my head. I’ll add these thoughts to my parenting files, thanks.

    A strong part of me just wants to kick out of these issues by raising kids in a commune isolated from tv, steak houses, and corn syrup. This wouldn’t address the root issue of children needing to develop healthy ways of interacting independently with the outside world, but it would seem easier.

    Your 2nd sounds like a very interesting person. A young bodhisattva? Fascinating…and intimidating. I hope when I have children, they inspire/challenge/intrigue me as yours do you. My big worry is that they’ll become counter-revolutionaries and annoy me no end. Which I assume is just the politicized version of the standard worry that one’s kids will be too alien and one won’t be able to love them, like one should. Or something.

  • the mrs.

    hah-halfway around the world the three of us (k, a and i) had this conversation yesterday at the excellent marche des enfants rouges in the marais district of gay paree.

  • It really is an all-important issue.

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