NSW Should a parent comply with vegetarianism?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Philly2020, 6 November 2019.

  1. Philly2020

    Philly2020 Well-Known Member

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    So... the situation is as follows.

    7 year old daughter lives 50/50 shared care with mum and dad.

    Daughter has been a vego since 4 years old when mother made lifestyle choice for the both of them.

    Parents been separated for 2 years and daughter has maintained vegetarianism.

    Father would like to introduce meat (beef, poultry, pork) into daughters diet, daughter refuses on the basis 'its cruel to animals' however daughter does happily eat fish (pescatarian).

    Mother is criticising father for encouraging daughter to eat meat and make an informed decision.

    At what age would it be considered appropriate for a child to make an independent, informed decision?
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    Is she healthy & otherwise happy?...What food you provide her whilst in your care is up to you. What she actually decides to eat is up to her... Doe's it really matter that she doesn't want to eat meat at this or any age, for whatever resaon?
     
  3. Philly2020

    Philly2020 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Atticus, thanks for the reply.

    Child is slightly overweight, eats very few vegetables, but happy, and father is agreeable to let the child decide if meat is a part of their diet or not, however father believes that vegetarianism has been indoctrinated by mother, and is not a legitimate informed choice.

    Does the mothers criticisms regarding the father encouraging a meat included diet have any substance?
     
  4. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    She is entitled to an opinion on your encouraging a certain diet, just as you have an opinion on the vego diet.... Perhaps one day she may decide to try meat, maybe not... Really not an issue worth the anxst if she is healthy though
     
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  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    mate pick your battles. This one ain't worth the stress....
    Or you could do the reverse of what I do... My kids wont eat vegetables. So I grate potatoe and carrot into their spag bol.

    My advice - this is a law forum. Don't make this a law issue. Just tell the kid that if she wants to try meat while at your house then she can... But don't force the issue. You've done well to have 50/50 care. Many punters on this site dream of 50/50.
     
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  6. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    Sorry guys, but at 7 years old, I find this a little concerning:
    "Very few vegetables" and no meat? Then what is she eating? It's hard to see how this could be a healthy diet at the moment. I would recommend speaking to your GP about it and see what they say.
     
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  7. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    That's why I suggested it's really not an issue worth the anxst if she is healthy.... The OP didn't say she wasn't healthy, but if she isn't, I doubt it would be vegetarianism that is contributing to being overweight. May be worth a GP visit if concerned though
     
  8. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Scruff - Sure it is very disconcerting. But what can ol' mate do about it? Apply for a court order that the kid has a chicken Parmi on Tuesday and a T bone on Thursday? The guy has 50/50 care. Why jeopodise that over a lamb chop? Sounds like mum is a nutter so the more time the kid has with dad the better. even if it does mean beans on toast 3 times a day.
     
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  9. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    Well at the moment, it's just a difference of opinion between mum and dad. But if she's not eating many veges and not eating meat at all, then I think number one priority should be to find out the health issues (if any) associated with such a diet.

    This matter is therefore best discussed with a GP rather than on a legal forum. There doesn't need to be any legal issues here unless there are valid medical reasons to go down that path. If the doctor says all is okay, then there's not even any need for the difference of opinion between mum and dad. But if the doctor says that this diet can be, or already is harmful to the child's wellbeing, then that's an issue that needs to be dealt with and it's more serious than just a difference of opinion. That would be the time to come back here.

    I guess what I'm saying is don't put the horse before the cart. Find out if there's any problem to begin with - and that's a question for a GP, not us.

    Just my opinion.
     
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  10. rjm

    rjm Well-Known Member

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    I know this is an old topic but I couldn't help myself. Philly you seem to be concentrating on the wrong thing. I'm speaking from personal experience here - I have been both an overweight child & a vegetarian. What you need to do is get the kid eating more vegetables. That's going to have more of a beneficial effect on both her health & her weight. Vegetarians who don't eat vegetables are surviving on carbohydrates. Pasta, potato, rice, bread etc. That does indeed cause you to be overweight & eventually unhealthy. Adding meat will probably provide her with more iron, but if she's eating fish regularly her iron levels will probably be ok. That's pretty easy for the doctor to check. If her iron levels were low enough to warrant concern then you might have an argument for wanting to introduce meat. There are however other foods that provide iron. That's when you explain to the child that if she prefers not to eat red meat or chicken then she needs to eat leafy greens. Also, you absorb more iron if you eat something that contains vitamin c along with it. Alternatively you can have an unsweetened orange juice with the meal. There is also the option of taking an iron supplement. Not worrying about her vegetable intake & instead making her eat meat will result in the following - a child who's iron levels are great but who is not getting enough of the other vitamins. The only way other than supplements to get enough vitamins is to eat vegetables, salad & fruit. The best thing I can suggest is to make her eat a piece of fruit, some salad or some vegetables before she gets to eat her carbs. That will have a twofold beneficial result. When you eat the healthy stuff first it makes you feel fuller which means you don't want to pig out so much on the carbs. That means you lose weight. It will also mean she is getting enough iron & vitamins. Win win. All without having to force her to eat meat. Believe me, chubby kids love their carbs. If you withhold them until she's eaten the healthy stuff first she'll be shovelling down fruit,veg & salad in no time. It's also better for your digestion to eat it in that order as the fruit & veg digest quicker than carbs or meat. You don't end up with digested veg getting stuck behind undigested carbs & meat in your small & large intestine, it reduces bloat. And just for the record I overcame both the weight issue & the vegetarianism :)
     
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