My 12-year old daughter came to me the other night and asked if she could become a vegetarian. I was not as surprised as my husband, because I have been watching her eating habits (and I buy her food).
After asking her reasoning for wanting to, discussing the foods she would be giving up and making sure she would increase certain foods, to which she consented to, I agreed. I was a vegetarian for a decade, at one point, so I would be able to help her make sound dietary decisions.
Her dad is less than a happy camper. I blame it on his carnivorous side. He gave me grief the entire time we were dating and even after we were married, about not eating meat. He forgets, I would make dual meals; for him and myself. He is also worried she will be picked on when she doesn’t eat the same foods her friends eat. I give her friends more credit than he apparently is. This is his only baby girl and I think he’s not ready for her to grow up and make more decisions on her own.
That being said, I also took her new endeavor as a way to add it to her homeschool life. It’s great for nutrition, label-reading, discussions on ingredients, proper food combining, recipe research and essays. I give her so much credit and am so proud of her. She is taking this seriously. I often get calls/texts at work telling me about a new website she’s been to regarding being a vegetarian. She’s excited to share what she’s found.
I have told her how proud I am of her. I loved being a veg-head. I reiterated several times, that in this dietary journey, if she’s not willing to eat the proper foods, I will not allow her to be a full vegetarian. I have expanded my dietary palate, over the years, which will provide additional knowledge for my daughter.
While I doubt I will ever go back to being 100% vegetarian, I welcome this change to bring more vegetarian dishes to our table (same meat dishes for the hubby) and see how she does. Who knows, she may choose to stick with this; only time will tell.