Veggie Lovers vs. Meat Lovers… feeding the family

When is comes to feeding your family, how to do you balance nutrition and taste?  I don’t mean how the food tastes, I mean… a personal preference for certain foods.

Here is my dilemma. Two of our six family members are strict vegetarians. One of them is toying with the idea of becoming vegan. I don’t eat much meat, but I will. I’d say 90% of my diet is vegetarian. I am actually pretty grossed out by a lot of meat and would rather not deal with raw flesh if I don’t have to. That leaves my 13 year old, who prefers meat with every meal, and my two youngest who will “eat” (aka pick at) what you put in front of them. I would love to start replacing the meat in their diets, but what on earth do you serve them? They won’t eat pbj, only nibble on grilled cheese, I make “pizza rolls” out of wheat tortillas/pizza flavored hummus and cheese (they only stare at it)… but the gobble down chicken nuggets & hot dogs (*sigh*).

Our staples (things that are almost always in supply) in our house include: hummus, beans (whole or refried… love me some mexican food!), bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, salads made from 1 head of iceburg/2 romaine hearts/a huge handful of spinach chopped & tossed together in a large bowl, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, broccoli, carrots, apples, bananas, frozen strawberries (we make smoothies from them w/soy or almond milk), natural peanut butter, pumpernickel bread, soy or almond milk, eggs, cheese, some type of “meat replacement” (like Morningstar Farms “chicken” patties or “hamburger” crumbles), almonds, sunflower seeds, olives, whole wheat spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, chicken nuggets (for the meat eaters)… okay, you get the drift (and my grocery list!). This is by no means the only foods we eat, but those are the permanent residents on my grocery list.

So… there is always a child saying there is nothing to eat. I have to admit that I am under educated when it comes to feeding vegetarian/vegan kids. But, I also am proud to admit that I have come miles in trying to know… I also am proud to say that I will not force my way of thinking/eating on anyone. That is why I keep asking my son… “what do you want to eat?” “what would you like me to pick up for you at the store?” I get a blank stare and a couple of shoulder shrugs. 

Anyone else in a similar boat with different “eating styles” in your house?? If you know of any blogs or websites that could help this frazzled mom out, I would greatly appreciate it! I am looking for help feeding a 3 1/2 and 2 year old healthy food that they will eat. I am tired of feeding the dog (and the garbage disposal!).


  1. Marta says:

    I think it’s important to cook at home, after becoming vegan I find out what they put on regular foods we buy and I was very surprised, they are not good for us and of course, for the animals. I hated cooking but now it’s fun, I know it’s something I have to do so.

  2. Wow! It must be very frustrating to try to juggle meals. Never thought about it before. We live on a farm, so it is a given of what we eat. We are lucky in that aspect, that we grow what we eat. Vegetarian is very healthy though. Good luck with your search. Thanks for sharing.

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