Mum, I want to be a vegetarian… I don’t want to eat the animals

Right, ok Oren let’s do this!

I’ve dabbled with being veggie for years. Vegetarian is something I can get on board with and the sad eyes from my 7 year old is the push I needed to commit to it.

Even my husband wanted to be veggie for the same reason when he was younger, although apparently his family weren’t particularly supportive so we really wanted to make sure we offer Oren all the support we can. Even if this is just a phase with him, I’m quite keen to make sure we as a family eat less “animal” products overall.

I suffer from a few intolerances (I’m still devastated about avocados so we’ll not mention that) I’ve never really got on with red meat so eat very little of it, cut out fish almost entirely due to micro plastics and I’ve never completely trusted celery – it has negative calories which makes me very suspicious!

Family meeting

To summarise;

  • The husband doesn’t really care what we do with our diet as long as he still gets fed.
  • Edward seemed to express genuine concern about the loss of some of his favourite dinners.
  • Lochryn is still trying to pronounce the word vegetarian so not sure how much of a say he actually got…
  • Me, I’m happy to support Oren and if we both eat alternatives in some meals it makes it that bit easier.
  • Oren, I don’t want to eat animals. Can I have a ham sandwich for lunch?

*I’m going to use “we” from now on as this was a joint decision from both myself and Mark

What is a vegetarian?

Well we’ve got a bit creative with the facts because Oren is quite sensitive and we didn’t want to frighten him with some depressing statistics. There’s plenty of time for that later in life.

Oren said he doesn’t want to eat animals so that’s what we’re going with.

Oren: So no more ham sandwiches?

Us: not if you don’t want to eat animals

We felt quite strongly that we don’t want to restrict him from certain foods. Telling him he can’t do or have something is not something we agree with. So we’re trying our best to educate him about some of the foods he’s not realised are actually (or were) animals.

We’ve decided to offer him a choice

We want to make sure this is his decision and not something we’re forcing on him. We want him to have the freedom to eat what he wants if we’re out and about but just make sure he has an informed choice.

Schools do so little to educate kids where stuff comes from. It’s all very well knowing carrots grow underground but we’d much rather they knew that some of their foods used to be a living breathing animal..

*back to me!

Meal planning

Now this is something I’ve never been very good at but after a few shopping sprees and googling veggie recipes I’ve managed to fill my freezer with some common alternatives to meat and fish.

Our diet mostly consists of scratch cooking; stir fries, curries, anything with noodles or brown rice and obviously a lot of wholewheat pasta. Ooh and a healthy dose of home baking thrown in. Since the beginning of the year we’ve been eating “veggie” meals probably 3/4 days a week.

In the past month we’ve been eating veggie meals at least 5 times a week, if not more and Oren has been almost exclusively vegetarian. It’s been much easier than I thought.

How’s it going?

Well Oren is happy and I love that. He doesn’t judge his brothers choices if they choose a real sausage over a veggie one and he isn’t trying to force his views on them either. He’s just Oren being Oren. I love that even more.

We went to a family party last weekend and he took and ate a ham sandwich without realising. Mark didn’t want to tell him until we got back home but he realised the next day what he’d done and seemed genuinely upset about it, which was a wee shame. I promised him next time I’d encourage him to think before he made choices at the next buffet but stressed it was completely ok if he ate one ham sandwich. *cough and 6 sausage rolls…

And the rest of the family?

Edward hasn’t moaned as much as I feared. He’s actually embraced some of the swaps. For example, he never actually noticed he had a veggie curry last week as he thought the butternut squash was chicken… ssssh!

Mark and I have discovered a few new foods and developed a fondness for veggie balls, which is my current mission to try and replicate as I think it’d be a great one to batch cook and freeze.

Loki isn’t getting a choice in this but I am giving him a few veggie swaps too as I think his tummy is a little sensitive to certain things. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in his movements since reducing his “animal” intake. However, like me, he does not get on with Quorn. It makes us both violently ill.

Sigh…

This is actually quite frustrating as living rural we’re so restricted on what foods we can actually buy Quorn is the only thing that’s readily available. Looking on the positive side though, there’s going to be a lot more home cooking happening as my freezer starts to empty!

Team Veggie

So yeah… well on the way I think. I’m happy, the kids are happy, the husband is fed so he’s happy and all this for indulging the whim of a 7 year old!

Could be worse!

Help me!

I need good family friendly veggie recipes please, or even a few cheeky swaps I can pick up from the shops, what gems are out there I don’t know about?

Please let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Jo

Team Worrall

💚

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