Post written in paid partnership with Organix
I’ve shared a huge amount of our weaning journey with Violet on the blog, but I’ve not ever talked about our decision to raise our children as vegetarians, so I thought I’d chat about this today. This isn’t just about not eating meat but also how we always chose organic and free range products when feeding our little ones too. For this post, I’ve teamed up with one of my favourite baby and toddler food brands Organix for Organic September, which is a month to celebrate all things Organic, run by the Soil Association and it seemed the perfect opportunity to share our views and our story too.
WHY ARE WE VEGETARIAN?
I have been vegetarian for nearly all my life. I was offered meat as a child but I would never eat it – at 10 years old I was officially a vegetarian and I’ve never looked back since. My love for animals as a child made meat such a confusing concept – “how could people eat these lovely creatures?” I think ‘Babe’ was the movie that tipped me over the edge and that was that! Since then, I don’t even consider meat as a food and I couldn’t imagine ever being tempted to eat it. V is also a vegetarian but she gave up meat a bit later on in life. We love vegetarian foods like tofu and should probably get shares in Quorn as we eat so much!
So, when we had Violet (and now Pearl) it was a tricky decision to decide whether to raise them as vegetarians – one one hand, I didn’t want to enforce my personal views but at the same time I wish I’d been raised as a vegetarian and been able to decide whether to eat meat when I truly understood where it came from. Based on this – we have gone for the later option, we are raising them as vegetarians until they are old enough to decide what they want to eat, then I’ll support them either way. We eat a healthy and balanced diet as vegetarians and as I’ve been veggie for over 20 years now I know lots of healthy meat alternatives, so I’m confident that they wouldn’t be missing out on any nutritional value by having a vegetarian diet.
CHOOSING VEGETARIAN AND ORGANIC FOODS
In my opinion, choosing vegetarian and organic products go hand in hand, so we always do our best to buy organic products too. Here are a few reasons why….
It’s really important to us that our food has come from free range sources and also that we’ve reduced the risk of harmful chemicals like pesticides too. Little ones are so delicate, I can’t imagine giving them anything that would be covered in chemicals – we have a fab organic shop close to where we live where we pick up lots of our fruit and veg, plus we are growing apples, pears, figs, sweetcorn, chillis, grapes, tomatoes, mint, sage and chives in our garden, which is the ultimate in organic!
A pear in our garden!
TIPS ON BUYING ORGANIC
It’s super easy to integrate organic food into yours and your little ones diet. It doesn’t have to be expensive either – here are a few tips for buying organic:
Violet is still super picky when it comes to eating vegetables, so we have to either hide them in sauces with pasta, home made fruit ice lollies or baby muffins, plus for an easy option on the go she loves snacks from brands like Organix – I love them as we know all their snacks are made from the finest organic ingredients with no junk – we have just tried the new Pea Puffs and they were a hit!
Will you be making any changes to your weekly shop for Organic September?
I love the idea of letting the kids choose when they are old enough to understand – I think if they want to be veggie and had been eating meat previously, it would be pretty upsetting! As you found out I guess 🙁
We love the Organix range too, because while I like to cook everything I feed Emilia from scratch, sometimes it just isn’t possible to have healthy home made snacks on the go, and with them I know she’s getting no nasties.
I do have a question if you don’t mind? How did Violet’s nursery react, and have they been supportive and helpful? I asked one nursery about dietary requirements and they said they only catered for medically confirmed allergies! :O
i.e. there were no menu options, just realised that wasn’t very clear. All kids ate the same unless allergic. Not very tolerant!
I think this is the best choice you can take for your children. Parents always impose their views on their children, when it comes to diet (meat, sugar, and so on), religion, relationship with others including family, way to interact with animals. That’s parenting. The best a parent can do is to leave the child to decide for himself when she/he is old enough to make that decision, and support it too.
I had no idea you guys were veggie! Whether vegetarian or not I think it’s so important that children are raised with an understanding of where the food they eat comes from. We often take Florence fruit / vegetable picking and grow our own too and I love the way that even at this young age she is learning the basics and that by doing so we are hopefully encouraging her to make healthy decisions as she grows too. We aren’t veggie ourselves but I do try to vary our meals to include both meat and vegetarian each week. Should she choose that option as she gets older we’d of course support that decision – being SUCH an animal lover, something tells me she will.