How to keep people from feeding your kid meat?

char996

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Does anyone have advice on this? I'm 23 years old and have been veg since I was 15. For both health and ethical reasons. My daughter will be a year old soon, and though my family is supportive, I'm worried about someone forgetting and giving my child meat. Especially if she's out with any of her grandparents, aunts or uncles. Any tips on how to really enforce no meat for your baby to your family and friends without sounding harsh? And how to prepare for when they start school and have school lunch? Thanks in advance!
 
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Michellewel

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Oh this is a hard one! I've been vegetarian for 26 years, went vegan 5 months ago. I have a 5 year old son and an 11 month old daughter. My son has been brought up vegetarian, but my aunt used to look after him when I went back to work. A couple of times I found out he had been given a hot dog, as other kids in the play group were getting one, and he has been given ham a couple of times in those snackable packs. Even writing this just now is sending me into a rage!! I went mental with her cause she knows how I feel. The nursery thing is fine, you pick the meal for them and there are always veggie options, and staff respect this.
Now for my daughter this is harder as I'm trying to raise her as vegan!? Or as vegan as I can manage. She's just started nursery but I feel like I'm being a pain to get her non dairy milk, non dairy yogurt and vegan meals. So because I felt awkward I have said it's ok to give her vegetarian, but it's not? I don't know what to do? My girl is in nursery as I don't want my aunty watching her lol. I love my aunty to bits but she just never done anything I asked her!! If your family respect you they will respect your decision to raise your daughter as veggie -its not hard anymore for goodness sake xx
 

Poppy

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Forgetting and feeding a vegetarian child meat is one thing, deliberately feeding a vegetarian child meat is another. If your parent/aunt/sibling comes to you and says "I'm so sorry, I completely forgot and offered junior a bite of my bologna sandwich without even thinking. I promise I'll do my best to remember he's a vegetarian from here out", then no problem , forgive and forget. If however, you find that people are feeding your child a food that you, the parent, have banished from the options on an on-going basis, then you need to decide how many times you will allow this to happen before you no longer allow that person to be with your child unsupervised. And state it: "If this happens again, then you will no longer be allowed to take Junior to the park on Saturday mornings without me/I will find another babysitter/I will take him with me when I go to the dentist." Full stop.

As for telling friends and relatives your rules for your child, you're should be clear and committed - "I/We do not eat meat in any form and therefore, neither does Junior. If you have any questions about what might be acceptable call or text me before you feed it to him."

People will come to admire your resolution. :)
 

TofuRobot

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A. What Poppy said
B. Maybe try one of these: https://allergyapparel.com/allermates-allergy-bracelet-charms/

For "maximum coverage" include all the ones that say fish, egg, dairy, and vegan.

PS. Welcome to parenthood - where you'll spend the next several years not wanting to let your child out of your sight until they're old enough to say "Ew gross!! No thank you!," no matter what everyone else is doing and/or saying (pretty much until they're 18, LOL). 😂
 
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char996

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Oh this is a hard one! I've been vegetarian for 26 years, went vegan 5 months ago. I have a 5 year old son and an 11 month old daughter. My son has been brought up vegetarian, but my aunt used to look after him when I went back to work. A couple of times I found out he had been given a hot dog, as other kids in the play group were getting one, and he has been given ham a couple of times in those snackable packs. Even writing this just now is sending me into a rage!! I went mental with her cause she knows how I feel. The nursery thing is fine, you pick the meal for them and there are always veggie options, and staff respect this.
Now for my daughter this is harder as I'm trying to raise her as vegan!? Or as vegan as I can manage. She's just started nursery but I feel like I'm being a pain to get her non dairy milk, non dairy yogurt and vegan meals. So because I felt awkward I have said it's ok to give her vegetarian, but it's not? I don't know what to do? My girl is in nursery as I don't want my aunty watching her lol. I love my aunty to bits but she just never done anything I asked her!! If your family respect you they will respect your decision to raise your daughter as veggie -its not hard anymore for goodness sake xx
I feel like I’d freak out as well!! And that’s what I’m worried about, nice to to reassured teachers will respect it, but family and friends can be super tricky. I agree, it’s not hard, so my fingers are crossed!!
 
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char996

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Forgetting and feeding a vegetarian child meat is one thing, deliberately feeding a vegetarian child meat is another. If your parent/aunt/sibling comes to you and says "I'm so sorry, I completely forgot and offered junior a bite of my bologna sandwich without even thinking. I promise I'll do my best to remember he's a vegetarian from here out", then no problem , forgive and forget. If however, you find that people are feeding your child a food that you, the parent, have banished from the options on an on-going basis, then you need to decide how many times you will allow this to happen before you no longer allow that person to be with your child unsupervised. And state it: "If this happens again, then you will no longer be allowed to take Junior to the park on Saturday mornings without me/I will find another babysitter/I will take him with me when I go to the dentist." Full stop.

As for telling friends and relatives your rules for your child, you're should be clear and committed - "I/We do not eat meat in any form and therefore, neither does Junior. If you have any questions about what might be acceptable call or text me before you feed it to him."

People will come to admire your resolution. :)
Fully agreed, there’s a huge difference. I wouldn’t ever be upset if it was an accident, I’m just afraid that people might do it out of convenience whenever watching her for a little....the warning and cut off are great ideas, it’ll be worth it to be sure she’s being fed the way I want her to be
 
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char996

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A. What Poppy said
B. Maybe try one of these: https://allergyapparel.com/allermates-allergy-bracelet-charms/

For "maximum coverage" include all the ones that say fish, egg, dairy, and vegan.

PS. Welcome to parenthood - where you'll spend the next several years not wanting to let your child out of your sight until they're old enough to say "Ew gross!! No thank you!," no matter what everyone else is doing and/or saying (pretty much until they're 18, LOL). 😂

Those are such a great idea!! I really didn’t know things like these existed. And very true, can’t wait till she’s old enough to tell people no thank you to meat!
 

TofuRobot

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Those are such a great idea!! I really didn’t know things like these existed. And very true, can’t wait till she’s old enough to tell people no thank you to meat!
I had no idea either. I just stumbled upon them looking for a "vegan child bracelet." I wish I had known about them (or that they had existed) when my son was little!

I rarely, if ever, left my kid with other people, at least not until he was in preschool. I didn't much worry about it there (he was pescatarian then, so he ate cheese and eggs, which I guess made things easier, but they were super respectful of each child's diet and keeping food separate so I wouldn't worry much now, either. It's public schools you have to worry about, with frigging b-day parties every week where they're having pizza and cookies all the time. That drove me nuts.).

If I were to send my small child to spend time with someone anywhere for any reason, I'd send him/her with food. If I felt I couldn't trust the people, I simply wouldn't leave my child with those people (and I wouldn't feel the least bit bad about it).
 
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