Your Child Wants to be a Vegetarian – Now What?

Your Child Wants to be a Vegetarian – Now What?


– Hey, hey, hey, veggie friends. So your kid wants to become a vegetarian. Crap. Okay, I was 17 when I became a vegetarian so I’ll walk you through
how to make it work, how to make it easier for
your family to transition without turning your
whole world upside down. Plus I will tell you what I wish I knew when I became a vegetarian. So here we go. (bright music) The very first thing I
recommend is being supportive. If you wanna see a video
about how much it can hurt when you’re judged for your choices, see the video I uploaded on Saturday about the random guy that
consulted me at Walmart, but anyway you know it’s
fine to say I disagree or I don’t understand
but I support you anyway. It’s okay. You don’t have to. You can eat meat all you want, but if your kid decides
to stop eating meat, just they need to know
you’re there for ’em and you’re backing them on that choice. I really didn’t realize how hard it was for my mom when I became a vegetarian. She told me you know I don’t
know how to cook for you and I was like oh yeah mom whatever. We’ll figure it out. And I didn’t think it was a big deal until my friends as an adult
now started contacting me and saying my kids stopped eating meat. What do I do? What do we need to know? How do I help them? What next? So that’s why I’ve
decided to make this video ’cause I’m sure there’s a lot
of people with that question and there’s not a lot out there on this topic that I could find. So I wanna give you all the information that I can to at least start you off and help your kid with their choice. I became a vegetarian when
I was 17, like I mentioned, and that was because at
that point I had a job, which meant I could take care of myself and I felt like I could
help pitch in on my food and take responsibility for that choice. So if you’re talking about little kids, it’s a totally different thing. That’s up to you when you decide
that they’re mature enough to make that decision for themselves. In my house it was you have
to at least try everything ’cause I didn’t like meat since
I was a little little kid. Like never did. And so, obviously if you’re
talking about a three year old, you’re not going to force feed them, but you just gotta do the best you can and if they’re refusing to eat meat, work in protein sources
that are vegetarian. So the thing I really wish that
someone would have discussed with me when I became a
vegetarian was nutrition. People made flippant comments at me about how are you going
to get your protein and my mom really tried but
she honestly didn’t know. She didn’t have the information and I didn’t realize the
important of looking it up myself until much much much later. And so being able to
present that to your kid and just telling them
about the nutrition aspect and having them armed up
front, why it’s important, and why they need to do it right from the beginning is important. A lot of people freak
out and they’re like oh, you know this person
raises their kid vegetarian so they’re gonna be so unhealthy. Well you know the truth is. It doesn’t matter. If you’re a meat eater and you
eat at McDonald’s everyday, same difference right? There are healthy ways to eat no matter whether you’re vegetarian, whether you eat meat,
whether you’re vegan, no matter what lifestyle you’re choosing. So the important thing is
number one to go over protein. I’m going to list for
you in the description there’s a really good
list from eating well of vegetarian protein
sources and what I suggest is go over it with your kid
and say which ones do you like? You know what works for you? And have their protein
staple stocked in the house and make sure that they are focusing on always trying to get a
protein in with every meal. It’s not gonna be possible, especially when they’re eating out, but if they’re aware of it and at least trying, then that’s good and definitely don’t
make it a weight thing even though you know it is
a weight thing ultimately, but you’re gonna give them
a complex if you go there. Just this is what you need to be doing to be healthy is
incorporating this protein to keep your energy up,
to make you feel good, and all those great things
that relate to health. So the next thing when it
comes to energy supplements. And my mom she had
started looking into this because she actually had
worked at a hospital previously and she was telling me
you need to take iron. You need to take B12. She started looking into it. And I being 17 did not listen to her until she told me that the purple rings that were forming under my eyes, or because I was deficient in iron. And so my vanity is
kind of what forced this but after I started taking them, I noticed a huge difference in energy. And that’s what happens
with B12 and iron, right. So it’s very important that
they have a supplement of those. B12 only comes from animal sources, so you’re only going to be
able to get that from a vitamin and iron I get also in
addition to taking supplements I get that from spinach. Mostly spinach. I try to work spinach into all my salads and into some of my meals just to get that extra boost of iron. I’m gonna link a B12
and an iron supplement in the description for you. Not all of them are vegetarian. There are some that have
animal byproducts in them so the ones that I’m
linking in the description are vegetarian vitamins that, you know, they’re pretty affordable. Everybody says oh it’s so expensive. You have to take all these supplements. Really they’re not. They’re like $5, $6 a bottle. If you go high end
maybe $10, $11 a bottle. So no, it’s not expensive to
get the nutrition you need to supplement if you’re
doing a vegetarian lifestyle and you wanna do it right. The next thing I want you to know is that everything doesn’t have to change. I used to get really frustrated. I worked at a weight loss center and people would say oh
but my kids won’t eat that. I can’t make a different meal because my, you know,
they need to eat this and it was so frustrating to me because why do kids only
have to eat mac and cheese and chicken nuggets and crap food? Like honestly. And then the next thing is
meals are so easily adaptable. I actually have a recipe I’ll
link to in the description. It’s for a Mexican risotto. And I have variations on it. So you can add meat for the meat eaters. You can reduce the fat if
that’s what you’re looking at and you can serve the
whole family with one meal. It’s not that hard. This Sunday was the Super Bowl, and my friend made a vegetarian chili and then he just added
meat for everybody else. It’s really easy to adapt
instead of just saying, low this is your meal. You’re separate, you’re different. You can find things that
make it work for everybody. The next thing I recommend
is working together to make it work. So, this is really an
opportunity for you and your kid to learn how to cook together
and how to do things together. My mom bought me a cookbook
when I became vegetarian and I still have it 21 years later and it meant the world to me ’cause it showed that she really cared. She really was trying to
understand and you can do that too. My friend, her kid was around 10 or 11 when he decided to stop eating meat and her stipulation was
okay, we’ll do that. But guess what? You’re gonna come in the kitchen with me and you’re gonna help with dinner, so that we can make your version or for making you something on the side that’s a little extra. You’re involved and you’re
taking responsibility for that choice and you’re involved with how we carry that out as a family, which I thought was a really cool idea. So, if they’re mature
enough to make the choice, no I’m not gonna eat meat anymore, then they’re mature enough to help and they’re mature
enough to figure it out. Also, this cookbook still is
in print believe it or not. I found it super helpful
because it listed celebrities that are vegetarians and
I found that as a kid, I found that super
relatable and super cool. Like I’m not alone. Like there’s other, you know. Like Mister Rogers is a vegetarian. I thought that was super cool. And there are sections in here about the nutrition aspect of it and kind of how to
start being a vegetarian and how to work that in
your life in a healthy way, but I was a kid and I
didn’t pay any attention to those sections because
my mom didn’t really know to tell me to do that. And so, if you focus on it with your kid, maybe they’ll take more interest. I just wanted to jump in
and start making the recipes to be totally honest. So, you know, but that
information is in there and it’s really helpful,
even if it’s information that you can read and then
maybe share with them. So I’ll include a link to the book in the description of this video. Honestly, it has so many recipes and it’s a really good resource. And the last thing I wanna
mention is preparing your child to handle social situations. As I mentioned in a previous video, and you could check that out
is vegetarians get stressed out about social occasions and potlucks. And the thing that they need
to know is, it’s okay to ask. It’s okay to ask are there
going to be vegetarian options? It’s okay to make that work for yourself. It’s a situation where you
can bring your own food. What’s not okay is expecting everybody else to accommodate you just because you have
a different lifestyle. So that’s something you
want to prepare them for and encourage them on
a case by case basis. If they have something coming up, like I have such and
such with my swim team or I have, you know, whatever event, encourage them to talk to you, so guys can maybe look at
menus or look at the event and figure out what’s going on and how you can make that work, and they can accommodate their new choice. So this is really just a starter. I’m sure there are a lot of
other questions you will have. I encourage you to put
them in the comments. Let me know what other questions you have. I am happy to answer them. If there’s other videos you
wanna see topics covered in, I will do that for you. I also want you to, you know,
come and join our tribe. Subscribe below. Click the bell to be notified
when a new video comes out. I put out new videos
every Tuesday and Friday. So thank you for joining us and good luck with implementing these
changes in your family.

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