The other day, with my fellow vegetarian friend we were discussing how hard is it to cook for a family if you’re the sole veggie. She normally cooks a meaty, full meal for her husband and children and then she eats whatever she finds in the fridge, a lot of salads and cheese.
I, on the other hand, mainly cook pure veggie meals and we all eat together. Once or twice a week I cook some meat for hubby and my little girl (my son doesn’t eat meat, because of sensory issues). I just prepare the meat separately. The way I do it is, that I make a really nice side dish: couscous with roasted vegetables, Greek style farro salad or Roasted winter vegetables with quinoa and avocado and serve it with the meat for hubby and little girly. Then I just eat the side dish.
Some days, however, it can be a pain to feed all of us, baby girl being picky, Bobcat on a restricted diet (white carbs and cheese), me wanting veggies, Hubby wanting meat. Husband actually often cooks his own meaty stuff as I have no clue how not to over cook certain meat types and since I don’t eat it, I can’t be asked. He’s also perfectly fine with eating a mainly veggie diet at home, we even have a family tradition of eating Christmas nut roast on Christmas Eve.
But this conversation with my friend made me think, what other vegetarian families eat at home? And if not all of them follow a plant based diet, what do they cook? Do they give meat and dairy products to their children? Do they let them choose? If so, at what age?
So I asked some of my vegetarian and vegan blogger friends to tell me what are they feeding their family with?
“I’m vegetarian and my husband and children aren’t. I’m not going to lie, it is tough but generally I will cook veggie and my husband will add the meat when he gets home, or I’ll cook meat occasionally and have a veggie version of what they’ve had. It’s hassle and effort but I’m used to it now!” Louise from Pink Pear Bear
“I’m veggie, hubby has recently tried to be more vegan and the kids eat meat. We often eat veggie meals together – the kids don’t mind and I also cook them meat substituting it for something veggie on our plates. To be honest, it’s no hassle because I’ve done it for so long and I like cooking.” Debbie from My Boys Club
“I am a vegetarian, but my kids didn’t know until my daughter was about 7 as I didn’t want to influence her. She is now 10 and is vegetarian , my 5yr old son and husband aren’t. My son tends to eat what me and my daughter eat because we eat earlier than husband, he eats a totally different meat dish than us.” Clare from The Organizer UK
“I’m veggie but my boys and husband aren’t. I do separate meals for the boys but my husband tends to eat the same as me.” Jennie from Rice Cakes And Raisins
“I’m veggie but my husband and daughter aren’t. I want to give my daughter the choice about whether or not she ears meat when she’s old enough to make a decision for herself. We cook mostly vegetarian food at home, though my husband might cook meat or fish for the two of them once or twice a week and I just fend for myself.” Katie from Squirmy Popple
“I’m vegan. My hubby veggie and my 2.5 yr old daughter is also veggie having never eaten animals. She eats what I cook so either a veggie or vegan meal. I’m acutely aware she needs protein at every meal and dairy in the form of milk, cheese and yoghurt. She loves a wide range of foods and adores veggies so we’re very lucky. I’ve been not eating animals for 34 years nearly so it’s not difficult to make interesting and healthy meals for us all. I’d struggle to cook meat meals as I don’t know how to…” Ronnie from Dear Babies
“We’re veggie and feed them what we eat. I’ve been veggie for 30 years so I’m clued up on making sure they get their iron, protein and omegas. When they’re old enough to choose how they want to eat (possibly 10ish?) and the consequences of eating meat then I will let them choose altho I won’t be cooking it or supplying it at home. However, if my children were super fussy it might be different. I’m really aware that in the western world we are privileged to be able to “choose” a diet that suits our ethics. So I’m not as militant or pious about it as I was as a student.” Jess from Mrs Helicopter
“I’m a vegetarian and I’m raising my daughter that way. I’m not doing anything to parents who raise their children as meateaters and give them the option to later become vegetarian. I’m just doing it in reverse. It’s a perfectly healthy and balanced diet without the rise of salmonella and everything else. If when she’s older she chooses to eat meat I will provide it. I actually don’t see the big deal about the whole issue as long as they’re healthy which my daughter is. I was raised vegetarian too.” Katie from Mummy In A Tutu
“My husband and I are vegan. We don’t have meat or dairy in our house we have vegan substitutes apart from the odd pizza or something my daughter has sometimes. I’m not strict with her, she just eats what’s available but I don’t order meat for her if we are eating out but she will have dairy. She has chocolate and cake etc. too like other kids. She’s 3 so doesn’t fully understand but she does say animals are our friends and she doesn’t want to eat them. As she grows up I will explain more and let her make her own choices. Samantha from Porridge And Parenting
“I’m vegan. My 15 yr old son eats meat and I have a 20 month old who is being raised as vegan. The rule of my house is that as I cook there’s no animal products. I do allow him to choose when we’re out and about as I feel he should be able to make his own choices in life at that age. My daughter will be afforded the same decision when she’s older, but I hope through my example and learning more about compassion and animal agriculture she will abstain.” Emma from Canny Food
“I’m veggie and dairy free. I don’t feed my boys meat at home, but they do get cheese. My 4 year old has meat at nursery. Recently he’s started asking about animals and what it means to be veggie. My eldest boy is veggie (12 years old). It will all work out.” Marc from Living Unplugged
“We are all veggie and I would never think of giving my kids meat, fish, gelatine etc or to have them wear leather because we just think it’s unethical and I would never encourage my kids to do something I felt was unethical. They accept and understand our reasons entirely and hand on heart it has never been a problem. Do I think they will stay veggie? My kids are now 10 and 12 and 100% I do. They know how eating animals impacts the environment and they just love animals so I cant see they would ever eat one.” Becky from Family Budgeting