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A Veggie Baby or Not?

by Sarah on December 1st, 2010

I thought a lot about whether I wanted to raise Lily as a vegetarian. My biggest reason is because I know how badly the consumption, and over-production, of meat is affecting our environment, and because I can’t ignore how badly animals are treated for our sake. That being said, both Graeme and I do still eat meat, and so I don’t think if would make sense for her to be a vegetarian if both her parents aren’t.

(image via Free Digital Photos)

What we’ve been doing to ease our consciences, is to eat meat which we buy from our local fresh produce market. It’s held in the neighbouring town, every Saturday morning, and they have a stall which sells the most wonderful, local meat. Meat which hasn’t been tampered with genetically, isn’t filled with preservatives and which comes from a farm where the animals live happily and freely.

What I do think is important though, is to always encourage Lily to eat other forms of protein, so that she is not entirely meat-dependent. Things like lentils, chickpeas, dark green leafy vegetables and grains like quinoa.  I read the other day that it’s a really good idea to give babies below one an egg yolk everyday (I haven’t started yet!) and of course, I’ll soon be giving her some dairy.

I guess my point is that whether you, as parents, decide to raise your child to eat meat, or to be vegetarian, or even vegan, it’s a good idea for them to eat a huge variety of foods, all healthy and nutritious and as close to natural as possible. And it’s a good idea to start your baby eating this way from as early possible, so it’s just what they’re used to. Perhaps one day Lily will decide for herself to become vegetarian, and then the thought of eating lentils, tofu and beans won’t be such an unappetising one.

  • baby wraps

    I can’t bring myself to buy grocery store meat anymore. Not after learning all about what goes in it and what is done to it. Blugh. Organic, grassfed beef is utterly amazing.

  • Jacqueline

    We are choosing to raise our daughter vegetarian as we are, in most part. We only eat fish occasionally and I grew up mostly vegetarian (as my dad became vegetarian for health reasons about 30 years ago). So it seems natural for us… But, as you say, we are giving her as much other protein as possible, in the form of quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nut butters etc. She is 7 and a half months now and I’m only going to start introducing animals products like cheese and eggs around 10 to 12 months. I just don’t think she needs it yet.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds to me like you know exactly what feels right for you and your family, Jacqueline, and that’s what counts the most :)