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Adults indoctrinating kids to be meat eaters...

I was talking to my great-nephews mother last night about how his grandmother pretty well hounded him into eating meat. He still doesn't care too much for meat, but she will NOT leave him be until he finishes all the meat on his plate each meal. He just turned 4 yesterday. This kid has no trouble finishing his fruits and vegetables. He loves those things. Especially raw, or steamed ones. He's just not big on meat. However, his grandmother, when he visits her, is convinced that he needs meat and dairy to be healthy. His grandfather, whom he lives with, thinks the same thing. ;_; This frustrates me, because this kid was naturally inclined NOT to eat these things, and used to drink my soymilk when I lived there. His mother is furious, and she regrets letting herself get tricked into signing over custody. She only did so because of her youth, and the situation behind the conception. She still loves the boy, it's just... it's a long story, and there's a lot of pain associated with it. She wants the best for him, and she's scared they are messing him up the way they messed the father up.

Getting off topic: Has anyone else noticed that tiny children don't seem to be naturally inclined to eating meat, but instead have to be programmed to enjoy it by the adults in their lives? It's like they are trained to disliked vegetables!

Man...it is so hard to be a kid because someone has total control over you whether you like it or not.  :p  At least when he grows up he will be able to make his own decisions- and I'm sure you'll be right there with the tofu and veggies when he's ready!  ;)

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That's exactly how it was when I was little. I dreaded holidays because it meant I had to eat huge quantities of food, and so much meat! It took me a while to figure out that it was POSSIBLE to not eat meat. It was so ingrained that that's just what you did, it seemed alien to remove it. Now, it seems weird to include it. I think/hope that little boy will make the right choices for himself when he's old enough to make them. Until then, unfortunately, he is at the mercy of those who are charged with him.

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that's pretty aweful.  probably the worst part is that his mother is limited in her ability to change it, especially if they are not her parents but the fathers.  i don't think that most people do this to kids on purpose.  people just pass on what they "know".  and this kids grandparents have only known that meat is important in a healthy diet.  they probably care for the child deeply and only have his best interest in mind, they just don't know any better.

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They are the legal guardians and primary caregivers and have every right to raise the child as they wish.

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I agree, it is terrible. I hated meat as a kid, too, and my mom used to force me to eat liver and drink a full glass of milk and whatnot.

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They are the legal guardians and primary caregivers and have every right to raise the child as they wish.

Unless you think animals have rights...  if they do, then they certainly have the right not to be wantonly killed, since that is the most basic sort of right possible.  If they don't have that right, then they don't have any rights at all.

But if they have that right, then no one else can have a right to kill them for their flesh.  The two rights would be a direct contradiction of one another.  (It'd be like me saying that I have a right not to be punched, but you have a right to punch me.  It makes no sense to think those can both be rights at the same time.)  If animals have the right not to be wantonly killed, then no one has to right to eat them, or to feed them to their kids.

So if you think animals have any rights at all, then these people do not have the right to feed the child this way.

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Goescrunch--A few years ago I stumbled upon an article written for a Canadian pediatrics journal about what to do when children don't want to eat meat.  Apparently, it is not an uncommon "problem" because many kids don't like the texture.  It was so funny to be reading this article, written for omnis, and helpful hints about how not to worry about it and alternatives like lentils and peanut butter.  I still remember that it included a recipe for "twisted hummus"--hummus with peanut butter in it--but I didn't try it.

About your friend's son--I see what you are saying but that is the truth almost everywhere for children of omni parents.  At least they give him enough variety that it is apparent he likes fruits and veggies.  We just came back from a weekend visiting my family (mom and sisters) and I don't think my kids had a single fruit or vegetable the entire time we were there (not counting tomato sauce).  I often think that if something were to happen to me and my husband, our family members would have  a hard time feeding the children a proper vegetarian diet and the kids would have a hard time adjusting to a diet other than the one they've become accustomed to.  And that definitely bugs me, but I have to step back and put it more in perspective and ask would  the kids be generally happy and well-adjusted and cared for, etc.  Because if I had to choose between the warmest and most caring family in the world that ate McNuggets every night, and the healthiest family that was all screwed up, well, I would choose the warmest family for my kids.  And I know you can make the argument that they are not as caring as they should be if they are feeding the kids garbage, but . . . . I don't know why I'm rambling on like this . . . maybe because I know EXACTLY what you are talking about and it would bother me too but personally there would probably be a couple of other things that would take priority and be of more concern to me than his diet.  Of course, one of my sisters is not warm and caring and she DOES eat McNuggets all the time, so it is the worst of all worlds!

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Getting off topic: Has anyone else noticed that tiny children don't seem to be naturally inclined to eating meat, but instead have to be programmed to enjoy it by the adults in their lives? It's like they are trained to disliked vegetables!

Actually this is a true, scientific fact.  Yet another thing I learned in Neurology class (we discusses human evolution to understand why our brains are so large).  Humans are naturally herbavores and are conditioned to eat meat, we don't naturally eat it, this is not what we are.  Humans are fruit eating primates, perfectly adapted for eating fruit.  But there is a common myth out there that humans are predators which is totally untrue.  That myth always gets me mad because everybody believes it, and it is so wrong!

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i think it will be hard to talk them into feeding him a veggie diet. are they giving him BIG hunks of meat? that might be the way to talk to them-- about giving him a smaller, more "kid sized" portion of meat. if he is eating his veggies/fruit, then the issue of him getting enough to eat isn't an issue. that might be a workable stratagy. he's still just a little kid and doesn't need THAT MUCH meat, if you think about it.

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I agree, it is terrible. I hated meat as a kid, too, and my mom used to force me to eat liver and drink a full glass of milk and whatnot.

OMG, that conjures horrible memories of these nasty fried chicken livers my mom used to make me eat!  They were so gross!!  It almost makes me gag just to think about it.
http://bestsmileys.com/puking/1.gif

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I think it's sad on both counts to see, i.e. anyone forcing a child to eat anything.

As a kid, I was never forced to eat anything. If I didn't like dinner, I could choose my own option from whatever was in the house. The trick to this is that my parents had ZERO unhealthy foods in the house. So, no matter what I ate, it was healthy.

I've seen parents force their kids to clean up their plate full of meat. But, I've also seen the opposite - vegetarians forcing their kids to eat the beans and veggies. And, later, forbidding their 10 year olds from even trying meat. That usually leads to just the opposite. As soon as they leave home, they eat it in secret, and as adults eat it out in the open. 

IMO, force feeding is bad all around and develops bad food habits in children, i.e. eating when not hungry, eating past fullness, eating what one doesn't like, eating just for the sake of eating, etc. Also, it's silly. If all a person has it healthy foods in the houses, and offers the child a variety of choices from day one ... there will be no problem with nutrition or forcing them into eating. 

In terms of the comment about kids being naturally inclined to avoid meat ... I think it's individual. As I kid, I LOVED my fish, chicken, beef, etc. I wasn't too wild about veggies, though. Fruit and meat was what made my tummy feel good, lol.

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I have also noticed that many kids books make references to "not eating broccoli" and how bad vegetables taste. There are a lot a jokes about it in books, which also makes eating vegetables seem like a bad or weird thing. Its like the vegetables are the punch line, and it happens more than you would think!  I try not to buy those books! 

My dad once said to my son (when he was eating off of a plate with a picture of a pig on it) "I'll show you one day what a pig is really for!"

Cant wait till he visits next.  ::)  At least now Noah can speak for himself, and hopefully, he will!

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I avoid those books, too.  It's aggravating to see stuff like that. 

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that's pretty aweful.  probably the worst part is that his mother is limited in her ability to change it, especially if they are not her parents but the fathers.  i don't think that most people do this to kids on purpose.  people just pass on what they "know".  and this kids grandparents have only known that meat is important in a healthy diet.  they probably care for the child deeply and only have his best interest in mind, they just don't know any better.

Meat killed my gallbladder, along with the help of fatty dairy. I've been trying to convince them lately to avoid it, or they too will be in my position. They think I'm just being an "alarmist". I wish they had spoken to the doctor I spoke to at the hospital. She said she wishes more people would understand the importance of a vegetarian lifestyle.

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i think it will be hard to talk them into feeding him a veggie diet. are they giving him BIG hunks of meat? that might be the way to talk to them-- about giving him a smaller, more "kid sized" portion of meat. if he is eating his veggies/fruit, then the issue of him getting enough to eat isn't an issue. that might be a workable stratagy. he's still just a little kid and doesn't need THAT MUCH meat, if you think about it.

Yea, that's what has the kid upset. It's just that it's LOTS of meat. They think that meat should be the biggest portion of the diet, followed by dairy, then fruits and veggies. Unfortunately for them, he'd rather just eat the fruits and veggies, and ignore the rest, so then a big fight follows in which they try to force him to eat the rest. I've tried to tell them that the vegetarian "meats" have all the nutrients he needs, without being hard for a kid to chew, and much better flavors.

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I have also noticed that many kids books make references to "not eating broccoli" and how bad vegetables taste. There are a lot a jokes about it in books, which also makes eating vegetables seem like a bad or weird thing. Its like the vegetables are the punch line, and it happens more than you would think!  I try not to buy those books! 

My dad once said to my son (when he was eating off of a plate with a picture of a pig on it) "I'll show you one day what a pig is really for!"

Cant wait till he visits next.  ::)  At least now Noah can speak for himself, and hopefully, he will!

i agree. there are many awful children's books out there. all promoting the stuff we wouldn't want our kids to learn (no wonder so many people in our culture think so similarly...)

our little AR activist? of course he would speak up for himself  ;)

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Quote:
Getting off topic: Has anyone else noticed that tiny children don't seem to be naturally inclined to eating meat, but instead have to be programmed to enjoy it by the adults in their lives? It's like they are trained to disliked vegetables!

Actually this is a true, scientific fact.  Yet another thing I learned in Neurology class (we discusses human evolution to understand why our brains are so large).  Humans are naturally herbavores and are conditioned to eat meat, we don't naturally eat it, this is not what we are.  Humans are fruit eating primates, perfectly adapted for eating fruit.  But there is a common myth out there that humans are predators which is totally untrue.  That myth always gets me mad because everybody believes it, and it is so wrong!

umm dont agree with the primate part.. but if we are natrally " programmed" to eat veggies andnot meat so maybe we hsoudl try to make a move with all ppl sfor kiddos notto eat eat. i mean obviously tehy dont like it.. so why make them? its terrible.

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Interestingly, as a kid I did like the TASTE of meat, but when I found out where it actually came from (around age 4) I was distraught and told my parents I didn't want to eat animals anymore.

Of course I was 4 and they didn't take me seriously (they weren't bad parents at all, they just didn't understand) and so I continued to eat whatever was on my plate.

I wonder if it is the taste he doesn't like, or the idea?

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I was the same way when I was a kid.I would always eat my vegetables and fruit,but give me meat and I'd spit it out,but usually kids give in to what adults tell them to eat.and not I have many health problems,so it does no good.

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I meant NOW I have many health problems.

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