hello All, I have been a vegan for 15 months and I am having a hard time raising my daughter as one as well. her family and my fiance stress me out so i agreed to raise her as a vegetarian..just no milk, or meat. It seems to be easier for her and them to handle? I don't like it and don't want this for my kid but I need to take baby steps .

I am a vegan but raising my daughter for now as a veggie. I feel really bad about it. I don't know how to make sure she grows healthy, (as my son is very underweight but due to his special issues) i guess in my head, i dont want her to ever be underweight which is why i agreed to raising her as a veggie, i still use boca and tofurkey (which most have eggs or milk in them) for her.

I am having a very hard time with this and need help on how to raise my child as a vegan instead and how to inform grandparents who are controlling and judgmental. I am afraid of the day we move and my daughter spends the night with them. (she's only 1)  my mother in law almost gave my daughter chicken nuggets and i wasn't home, if it wasn't for my fiance, my daughter would have ate them! . I really need help on this. our money issue is pretty bad as it is with vegan products.  I already feel horrible so please don't judge. 

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Hi there,

I am raising a 2 year old boy as Pescetarian and feel good knowing that i am raising him healthy because i am not feeding him meat. Meat has so many preservatives and additives that you can rest easy knowing that you are allowing your child to have the best quality of life by not feeding her the bad things. My ex partner (sons dad) feeds him meat at his house which is disgusting and i have tried to educate him on the dangers of eating meat (the compassion argument wouldn't work with him lol) but we can do what we have control over. I think the best way for your own piece of mind is to be  educated on different foods. It also helps with the argument to others. So many vegetables have more protein and iron than meat and i know families that have been raised as vegans their whole life and they are so happy and healthy. Do not feel guilty. Feel good knowing that you are giving your child the best. There's a reason why they say to start your child on veggies and not meat.... It's better for their digestive system. My son is 2 and the size of a 3 year old. He is super smart and i have never given him meat and i didn't eat meat when i was pregnant.

First of all grandparents don't get to have a say in how you raise your children. If a person isn't respectful of the way you choose to raise your children, then they don't respect you as a person. Not only that those who don't eat meat get very sick when they do eat it, so explaining that to them may help, or may add fuel to the fire depending on the person.

Most packaged vegan products are not that healthy, although convenient. It is healthier and cheaper to make your own food. I make tofu and seitan and home all the time. I still occasionally buy some packaged vegan products, but not that much.

I was raised onmi and was underweight as a child. I refused to eat, my poor mom! Eating meat, dairy or eggs is not going to guarantee that you or your child won't be underweight.



I would read up on a vegan diet for children and base your choices on that. There are two links, but obviously there is much more information out there. Perhaps pick up a book on vegan nutrition for children?


you're being a little controlling and judgmental too by forcing her to be a vegetarian when she has no say in the matter, and if you fear judgement so much, it's clear that you are also doing some judging. It seems like you have strong opinions toward your mother-in-law and her decision to give her chicken nuggets and when your daughter leaves for school, she will also be making her own decisions out of your control. Keep this in mind.

Frederic Patenaude has great advice on raising healthy vegan children. Personally, I'd shy away from processed vegan products and move towards produce and simple staples like legumes, rice, and potatoes. Even pb and j sandwiches are a great option that are cheaper than those veggie products.  Vitamin supplements are a great option to ensure she gets the vitamins she needs if you need a little extra reassurance. Don't worry about her being underweight, worry more about giving her quality, easily digestible nutrition with plenty of healthy carbs and fats. :) maybe do a little research into foods with specific nutrients like almonds for calcium and spinach for iron content. 

Just out of interest...how is it controlling and judgemental to force her to be veggie?  Surely it is no different at all to force her to eat meat when she has no say in the matter.  In fact anything a young child is given to eat or drink is out of their control.


I think it's important to acknowledge that there is control, restriction and judgement on both sides. I'm going to repeat myself a bit here and say that I don't see her decision to raise her child as a vegetarian as wrong but I DO think that latia doth protest too much when it comes to being judgmental. it's important to understand that there are two sets of values going on here and that she is trying to control her in laws as much as they are trying to control her.

I must excuse my words and say that it isn't judgmental to force her to be veggie but it is controlling. All parents control their children on some level and it's important to see when you're placing your values on your children.

Yes children have no say in what they eat as it is the parents who make the choices. Children are also learning, and are not yet developed enough nor educated enough to make their own decisions or form their own opinions, their parents have to do this for them. Raising your child vegan isn't any different that raising them Jewish, Buddhist, catholic, or on McDonalds.

Ooooh another blanket statement. I think it is very different to raise your child on McDonalds than to raise her on homemade baby food and it is very different to raise your child Jewish than to raise her Catholic or Buddhist. There are very different core values associated with each of those things.

Children don't have any say in most things, but I believe that they should be left to make their own decisions regardless of their level of education or development because they will learn and grow more through their independent experiences. This is how I was raised and I think it makes for a very fulfilling youth

"it is very different to raise your child Jewish than to raise her Catholic or Buddhist. There are very different core values associated with each of those things."

What does that even mean? Is it wrong to raise a child Jewish, but right to raise them Catholic? Do you personally decide which "core values" a parent is allowed to teach their children? Sorry but every parent chooses which values they want to teach their children, and no one has any say in which ones they should or shouldn't teach them.

I guess a parent should also leave a one year old alone to feed themselves. The one year old should do to the store, pay for the food, cook it themselves, all the while making healthy choices like broccoli instead of cake. Because the parent should step back and let the one year old make it's own decisions instead of teaching them the knowledge and reasoning they need to make decisions. You must have been an amazing one year old because when I was one if my mom left me to make my own decisions I would have eaten all the chocolate I could reach, then gone outside and starved or froze to death. Obviously a much better choice than my mom deciding what I should eat!

EI don't know where you got the idea that I choose everything for everyone. Yes, parents make choices based on what is important to them. I'm simply acknowledging the fact that Catholicism is a very different ideology compared to Buddhism. And yes, I think it's wrong to clump them together into one group.  But maybe you aren't educated enough to tell the difference between a monotheistic and polytheistic religion are you? 

There don't have to be extremes here. Slow down, crazy. Independence and freedom does not mean total negligence. I was a fucking rad one year old. I was bald and couldn't talk, but I was still awesome. My parents were more hands-off with me. They taught me by example and let me have important developmental experiences. Meal time was meal time and I knew not to eat between meals just because I was never hungry and cared more about playing with my toys or climbing trees and such (like most other toddlers). Maybe it is because my parents are foreign or the fact that I grew up without TV, but there was never any of this controlling going on. And yes, maybe some doctors would have called me underweight, but I was always very healthy as a child. I was a little skinny in my early teens when I had a growth spurt, but now I'm quite normal. I'm 5'0 and weigh around 100 pounds.  

Now that we know my whole childhood I think this sob story is over because this argument has strayed verrrry far from the original post haha .

I have two children aged 20 and 14 now , when they were little they ate what I cooked at home which fitted with my diet. However I never "imposed" my diet on them when they were with friends and relatives. Of course I want them to grow up with the same values as me and as they became older they learnt about why I eat the way I do and have on the whole adopted it for themselves. My eldest is not veggie at the moment but still doesn't eat red meat. My youngest is vegan.

Keeping relationships with friends and especially grandparents good sometimes means not dictating to them what they have to cook. But in your house do what you see fit.

Relax and have faith in your self, and as others say use fresh foods and be confident in your knowledge of nutrition.

A vegan diet isn't healthy for a one year old. They need specific nutrients that can't be found in an all vegan diet. However, a vegetarian diet is completely healthy for someone that  young I suggest letting them be vegetarian until they're older.


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