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09/12/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

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Anonymous on

How can you deny your child meat like that? It should be her own personal choice. I knew an Indian couple who were vegetarian and had a two year old daughter. They were letting her decide what she wanted to eat and she did eat some meat. But maybe down the road she will be a vegetarian. But you cannot deny your child that protein. I know you get a lot of nutrients from vegetables but those aren’t enough.

Lau on

I 100% agree with you, Anonymous. I’m sure a person can be very healthy being a vegetarian, but there’s a reason human beings are omnivorous, and that’s because we need what’s in meat. If the protein in meat could be substituted by something else, all animals that are carnivorous could easily eat other stuff too, but you don’t see them doing that.

Shannon on

That’s true, Lau, I’ve never seen a bear or tiger tend to a garden or cook beans…oh wait, that’s because they’re not nearly as sophisticated as humans! I’m a life-long vegetarian (my parents were not, they say I just never ate meat) and all three of my children are too, although my husband eats meat daily. I’ll admit that it is a lot more work to raise children on a healthy vegetarian diet, but for me, it’s worth it. A vegetarian diet, done properly, is proven around the world to be the healthiest way to live. If you haven’t seen the movie Forks over Knives (it’s about reversing diseases through diets), I recommend it. I don’t think for a moment that it’ll change your views completely, but perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to be a bit more informed before making such bold statements.

Reese on

It’s a personal decision that each parent needs to make for his/her own child. She’s not telling you what to feed your children. In the cases of people that I’m familiar with, plenty of research was involved with the decision, including consulting with pediatricians. If a well-balanced diet is implemented, then a child can receive protein through a variety of sources that don’t include meat.

Shelby on

As a vegetarian myself, my children will absolutely be raised as vegetarians. I plan to encourage healthy discussion and should it come to a point where we need to have more in depth conversations, we will. I do not want to start an argument but as I stated on the other posting, there are lots of healthy/unhealthy vegetarians/vegans/carnivores. Each one of those is a lifestyle choice and it is important to ensure your children (or you) are getting adequate nutrition. In the beginning, my health was monitored and with the support of my doctor, I am extremely healthy. However, it is a false statement that we “need” meat. Even if you believe God placed livestock on the earth for our consumption, can’t the same be said for the vegetables and grains he created that carry some of the same nutrition? My philosophy in life is to live kind and that’s what I plan to continue to do and to raise my children the same. Kudos to Bethenny, I have no doubts Bryn will be raised as a healthy, well adjusted young woman (lest us remember her mother is a renowned Chef).

mary on

It is much harder to raise a child on a vegetarian diet than a meat diet. I have talked before about how my 7 yr old is a vegetarian, but the rest of us 18 yr old, 16 yr old, 10 yr old my husband along with myself are carnivores. Coming up with ideas that are not only healthy full of vegetables but also include protein and fiber for her and tasty I think IS hard. She gets her blood tested every three months and thus far is doing great so whatever she is eating she is thriving on.
I respect anyone who has this type of diet. After all it would be a lot cheaper to not eat healthily (maybe cheaper now but not so cheap if your health suffers later in life, right?)

Yes it’s a personal choice. Keep your doctors informed about your Childs eating habits. With that your child should grow healthy. And thank goodness for the internet I have come across some really good recipes that she loves AND the others have liked as well!

Danielle on

I see a lot of ignorant comments regarding how being a vegetarian is unhealthy, lacking in protein, etc. Its a perfectly healthy diet if it is balanced. Just as a meat based diet can be healthy if its balanced. And vegetarians DO get more than enough protein. If you don’t believe me go and check the facts yourself through a non-biased medical study. As for denying a child meat and denying a child its own personal choice: ridiculous. A vegetarian and a vegetarian child is not denied protein. The source of their protein is simply different. And as a parent you are in charge of making choices for your children, including your choice of what you feed them. Your job is to make those choices and to guide them. This same old discussion happens every time somebody decides to raise their child vegetarian. There aren’t vegetarians jumping into threads constantly saying their meat eating counterparts are taking away their child’s choice to be a vegetarian by serving them meat or that they’re not giving their children a choice. Everyone is different. Just because Bethenny may do different than you would do doesn’t make her wrong.

Sarah K. on

A vegetarian diet can be perfectly healthy for kids. My siblings and I were always vegetarian and still managed to play sports, do well in school, and be healthy. As long as Brynn’s doctor says she’s healthy, there is no problem.

It’s a parent’s job to make decisions for their child and impart their values. That’s kind of what parenting is! Anonymous, are you saying that no one should bring their child to church/temple because they’re “forcing” their beliefs on their child? I hope you see how ridiculous that would be.

Duckie on

Before criticizing Bethenny for raising her child vegetarian, some of you should do your research. It is incredibly easy for a vegetarian to get all of the necessary protein (and other essential vitamins and nutrients). Quinoa, beans, nut butters, tofu, tempeh, TVP, and seitan are all great ways of getting protein in your diet. Don’t forget that most Americans get too much protein in their diet, and that can be unhealthy as well.

I’m not sure how it’s logical to extrapolate that because certain animals can’t be vegetarian, nothing should be. Animals and people have different nutritional needs and different kinds of bodies. A cat is an obligate carnivore, but human beings are not. A fish can live in water, but human beings cannot. A bear eats fish so I should kill animals as well? How does that make sense?

At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice what you eat or allow your children to eat in your home. Just like it’s a personal choice as to what religion you raise your kids to believe in, for instance. As long as everyone’s healthy (and there’s no reason to suspect that Bryn is nutrient deficient), who cares?

Shea on

My oldest two children were raised vegetarian, they are now 26 and almost 16 and perfectly healthy in every way and were always very good eaters…they ate things other children would turn their noses up at. My kids would have rather had vegetables like spinach, collards, and squash over nasty food like Burger King and McDonalds that most of my friends children whined for.
My girls have always been very healthy in every way and have always been active in sports, dance and yoga. They are very toned and lean.
Sadly, I am now married to a southern meat and potatoes man that refuses to go Veggie… my two little ones have had meat…while I allow them to eat meat they also love veggies and have never had fast-food. We also do not fry foods. There is no reason children (or anyone for that matter) needs fried food, processed food, or take out. This is why here in the U.S. we have such a problem with childhood obesity (not to mention a lot of fat adults). My husband is tall and lean he wears a size 31 X 34 jeans…do you know how had it is to find jeans and belts for him??? But the store is full of 38X30’s…that’s so sad.
I find it so wrong that they make a size 18 Petite…there is nothing “petite” when you are a size 18!! As a whole, especiaslly here in the South where we live, people are lazy and love their fried, fatty food…
I think it’s *AWESOME* Bethany is reaising her child healthy.

ecl on

I eat meat, but if people want to be vegetarian, more power to them. People today eat waaay more meat than is healthy. As for making the choice for your child, well, either way you are making a choice for your child. All day you make choices about your child that s/he has no say in. How is this any different?

Indira on

Everyones body works differently and some people shouldn’t be on a vegetarian or vegan diet and others function better with less meat. I don’t really care for her reasoning for raising Bryn vegetarian and, considering she has to feed her daughter sometimes more caloric smoothies(pediasure), she doesn’t seem to be doing that great of a job. Personally, I never would raise my child to be vegetarian or vegan. I want them to try ALL foods and be open to them. If my child was 5 and decided she didn’t want meat, I would respect that.

mary on

What I personally find upsetting, disturbing and disgusting, is the coloring book! Period!!!!!!