Mixed food habit households: Deciding if your child will be raised vegetarian or non-vegetarian

Choosing between veg and non-veg for children

Mixed food habit households: Deciding if your child will be raised vegetarian or non-vegetarian

If you and your husband have different food habits, then it can be a challenge deciding what to feed the child and how. While you are accustomed to one another’s food habits, you may need to sit down, discuss and chalk out a plan of what you want to feed the child.

Either way, feeding a child should not become a prestige issue or a matter of power play. Respecting and understanding one another’s choices and reasons can make this easier to inculcate in your child.

  • Talk it over: Discuss your reservations over the different food habits, and your concerns about it. Listen to your husband’s reasons for inculcating a different diet. If the concern is that only non-vegetarian food can provide better nutrition, then understand that there are some vegetarian foods that are as nutritious as certain non-vegetarian foods.
  • If you agree on the variety of the diet, but either of you are feel queasy about handling non-vegetarian food, then chalk out a plan to feed your child alternatively. If you are a vegetarian and are queasy at the thought of cooking non-vegetarian food, then hand over this responsibility to your husband.
  • Find a common ground. Agree on some rules such as festive occasions to grant some leeway in food habits.
  • If you are unable to cook non-vegetarian food, get a cook specifically for cooking non vegetarian food for your child.
  • Finally, while you are still a primary caregiver, it is important to consider the child’s nutrition along with your beliefs, and reach a compromise till your child is old enough to make their decision to stay a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian.

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