An issue is looming in the Tealady Household. As Bubs creeps further and further towards 6 months, an elephant in the room is getting larger and larger. The issue, you see, is about Vegetables. About Vegetarians. A Vegetable debate, if you will.
The Vegetarian Debate
You see, I am meat eater. I am not completely carnivorous, and mainly like chicken and steak, but I like it, and eat it. My partner on the other hand, is a vegetarian. He’s not just a vegetarian though; he was brought up vegetarian so he had never eaten meat (until a rather unfortunate mishap in a burger bar about 2 years ago). His Mum, Aunty, Grandad, Dad – they are all vegetarian.
When I was pregnant, it was easy to quell the questions, the ‘ will you give the baby meat’ questions, as I would say I didn’t know and we’d work it out nearer the time. But now it is nearer the time. 7 weeks nearer the time until she starts to wean. I know she can’t eat meat straight away anyway, and so I probably have a few months to get this sorted.
The thing is, my partner’s family assume she will be vegetarian. My family assumes she will eat meat. It is true that most meals we eat at home are Veggie, but this is for ease, and also, due to cost – I can’t justify buying meat just for myself – even a small pack of chicken can cost a bit. I do eat meat at home, however, and there are times when we will eat different meals, or I will add meat to the rest of the veg/tomatoes/whatever we are eating.
I want Bubs to try everything, including meat. I don’t see why I should stop her from trying things. I don’t particularly like most fish, but I will still give it to her to try. I think a part of me also wants her to be a bit like me, or enjoy the things I used to enjoy as a child such as a roast dinner, or a hot dog or a barbecue (believe me, there is nothing more depressing than a vegetarian barbecue).
I find it funny that people make assumptions, and the other day a family member commented ‘oh you won’t eat that horrible stuff’ and I winced a bit. My Mum has threatened to feed her meat when we are not there. I don’t want people putting ideas into her head about anything, let her make up her own mind. I am also a little concerned if she doesn’t eat meat, what protein will she eat. Her Dad, being a vegetarian, but a terrible one, is not overly keen on quinoa, or beans, lentils etc. He will eat them but not often. I have told him if he wants her to eat vegetarian, he will have to aswell – not live on Domino’s pizza, and garlic bread.
I think we are going to have to compromise about this. I think I will let her try meat, but make sure I buy really good quality, organic stuff. I will cook it, and give it to her, but maybe not everyday. I think of she goes to my family, she can eat meat there, and at my partner’s family, maybe she can eat vegetarian, and if she ever asks for it, I can give her some of my meat when I’m there. Or maybe I should just see if she’s interested in it and then let her try it then.
Has anyone else been in this position? What did you decide? How did you do it and was it a success? I’ve got 6 weeks until she’s 6 months old, and I am trying to get prepared, so any advice you have, please let me know in the comments!
I will of course let you know how I get on and what we eventually decide. And how everyone takes it.