Parents who are vegetarian may think that this would be the best diet for their children as well. However, parents shouldn’t force children to be vegetarian just because you’ve decided that it is ideal for your health. Here are some of the reasons why you should never force the diet on your little ones.
May Not Be Suitable For Children
There can be multiple reasons for you to have chosen to be a vegetarian and one of it would be for a cleaner and healthier lifestyle. Though this may be the case for you, it most probably would not be the same for your child.
As growing children, their minds and bodies would need more than just greens to develop fully and properly. In order to have a balanced diet, a child would need to consume meat and dairy for an adequate amount of protein and iron.
Making your child become vegetarian would mean restricting their diet. According to Karen Kuperberg, a dietician from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, it is risky for children to go through diets as it can cause future health problems such as vitamin and mineral deficiency.
It Is A Choice
We should all know by now that going vegan or vegetarian is a choice. It should not and cannot be forced onto someone. Even if you are able to restrict your child from eating meat now, they will grow up and reject the diet you made them follow since young.
If you feel that the vegetarian diet is ideal, rather than forcing it on your children, educate them on the benefits of the diet. Children should have the freedom and right to choose if they want to go with the diet when they grow up later.
A person should be happy and willing if they make the decision to be a vegetarian. It is pointless in forcing it onto anyone. If you are a vegetarian and a meat eater forces you to be like them, it is exactly the same thing happening the other way around.
Your children are bound to notice someday that you do not eat meat and question you for doing so. This would be the opportunity to share your views with them and let them think for themselves. If they agree with your thoughts and choose to be vegetarian like you when they grow up, good for you!
It Can Cause Conflict
It won’t be good if you make your child go vegetarian despite their reluctance to do so. Though you may have done this for them to be healthier, they may grow to resent you for restricting them from eating what they want.
This can start as a good intention but end with a bad relationship. Sometimes not both parents are vegetarian and your child may prefer to be like the meat eating parent, they should be given the right to live their life the way they want.
Your child might go to school and be ridiculed by their friends for being vegetarian. They can only watch in envy as their friends enjoy their non-vegetarian diet. To most people, food is one of the main things people enjoy in life and it won’t do you any good to upset your child with such restrictions.
All in all, being vegetarian is a way of life and it should be decided by an individual themselves if they want to live like that. It is similar to a religion and it should never be forced onto someone.
For more parenting advice and tips, please visit Motherhood.com.my.