Friday, February 27, 2009

Raising Vegetarian Kids

Vegetarianism is a subject that seems to come up quite frequently on my favorite online magazine, Slate. The topic is treated very differently depending on the author, but I think most of the articles raise interesting questions. This article, about a meat-eating dad raising vegetarian daughters, is both thought-provoking and quite sweet. The dad discusses some of his initial concerns about the idea, and then describes how he's come to terms, or not, with each issue.

One of my favorite points from the article is that kids learn what is "normal" at a very early age. This means that whatever messages the parents send about food in the first few years of life tend to stick with the kid for a long time. This is why most of us have such nostalgic feelings about the meals we ate as small children. Even if there is a period of adolescent rebellion, many adults ultimately return to the nutritional patterns of their parents. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, it is an important reminder not to feed kids junk.

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