Do you have problems getting your kids to eat vegetables? Well so have I/we for as long as they have been on this earth. Hiding them in stewy dishes, giving them fun names or making crap pictures on their plates was an every meal necessity for even the most cursory consideration.
And then at the ripe old age of 8, my little princess decided she was vegetarian (well pescatarian to be truthful) . For ethical reasons of course. Bless her cotton socks.
Now at first I was all like “this is going to be bloody hilarious” as she slowly relented after starving herself from lack of calorific intake. Then I was worried sick (quick Dad pun injection) about her doing the same thing. Because, true to her stubborn AF nature, she has remained stoic in her decision. She did the same thing at aged 2 when I suggested that the raw onion I was dicing for dinner would indeed not be an appealing pre-dinner snack. As I laughed at her obvious disgust and weeping eyes while she chewed her response, she looked me dead in the eyes…and took another bite. Class. All. The. Way.
So unlike most things in an 8yr old’s whirlwind life, this seems to be more than a fleeting thought. And I’m proud as punch with her resolve and compassion.
By proxy, or maybe just from laziness on my behalf, this pretty much makes Albi and I vegetarian too. I mean who can be fucked cooking two meals every night?
Seriously though, the only meats my two really ever ate were mince and chicken anyway, so I wasn’t very perturbed when my thoughts turned to cooking and providing sustenance. (quick tip: just replace mince with a variety of beans and lentils and chicken with anything. Everything tastes like chicken anyway)
The most important reason, however, that I choose for Albi and I to follow suit with the boss, I mean Grace, is purely to show support. I think it is vital to not only allow, but to positively support our cherubs through these formative years, when they are exploring the impact their decisions have on themselves and those around them. And let’s face it, more plant based foods in our lives is hardly a negative.
Another positive outcome from this change in our diets so far has been my ability to brute force new and exciting ingredients and meals on the little fusspots. Nothing like the threat of a chunk of dripping steak to get an ethical vegetarian to eat her greens! I think I only have mushrooms and zucchini to go and I’ll be happy with the weekly spectrum we eat.
It has also inspired the inner chef in Grace, who now routinely cooks, bakes and sous-chefs on a regular basis. I still do the oven though; not ready to move house again just yet if this one explodes. And I have enough fun playing nurse to barely perceptible scratches and phantom sprains without a nasty burn thrown in thank you very much.
So as mindbendingly fucked as I thought this journey with vegetarianism would be, I find myself pleasantly surprised at the current state of play.
More importantly, Grace is feeling very supported, loved, understood and encouraged. And just a little bit more grown up 😉
And when I go out for dinner, I’m all over that steak like Oprah on a baked ham. Old habits 🙂