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What To Do When Your 12-Year Old Son Declares He’s a Vegetarian

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vegetarianTwo days ago, while eating our evening meal, my son Alex declared, “I’m a vegetarian.” My husband Vic and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows. The next morning, as the kids prepared their lunches, Alex said, “Remember mom, I’m a vegetarian. No meat for dinner.” My daughter Natasha immediately chimed in and said, “I’m a carnivore. I want meat.” I had to smile.

While we’ve always had meat-free days in our home, we have never pushed vegetarianism. This made me curious about his decision and why he was so empathic about it. He didn’t say “I want to be” or “I’d like to try” a vegetarian diet. No, it was flat out, “I am a vegetarian!”

How TV Influences Our Children
Slightly confused, I asked him what had happened. Apparently, he’d watched a TV program about how animals have been domesticated as a food source for people. He didn’t like this idea of animals being raised in captivity to provide us food and decided that he wouldn’t eat meat anymore.

I didn’t argue with his decision, and a part of me beamed at his social conscience. I don’t advocate one diet over another, but choosing a vegetarian diet is one dietary choice that will never hurt Alex, the environment or our family.

Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
High in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains
High in healthy fats
High in dietary fiber
Low in sodium
Low in calories (This one may pose a bit of a problem during teen years.)

Where’s the Protein?
As long as Alex eat nuts, seeds grains and dark leafy vegetables in ample quantity, the vegetarian diet can provide enough protein.

Must Do’s
Buy a good fruit and veggie soaking solution to remove any surface pesticides, waxes or chemical residues. This is always important, but if you are eating a primarily plant-based diet, this ups the importance even further.

Here’s to Alex’s dietary choice! What dietary choices do you consciously make?

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3 thoughts on “What To Do When Your 12-Year Old Son Declares He’s a Vegetarian

  1. Way to go, Alexander! You are a very alert, wise young fella for your age and you are standing proof of how TV can influence our choices. Let us know how you enjoy your vegie diet as time moves on…..Congrats, Mom and Dad on raising a son whose eyes are wide open; one who is not afraid to stand up for what he is learning…..
    Love you guys! Nan and Mom

  2. What a story! Your son is awesome for being so confident declaring his choice and you two are wonderful parents for supporting this choice without trying convince him otherwise.

    • Hey Kat, Awe shucks, I’m blushing. One of the hardest things about having kids is guiding and letting them make their own choices. This was one, I was happy to support.

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