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question for vegan parents - analogues?

i have been addicted to vegan lunchbox lately (http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/) i get excited by all the colors.  but i am also noticing how much meat and cheese analogues are in the lunches Mrs. schmoo packs for her "little schmoo".  now, i avoid fake meat/cheese stuff altogether except for when eating out (i even call ricemilk "rice juice"), because they gross me out unless i am having a wierd craving, and also they are generally overprocessed and contain stuff that is wierd to me. 
however, jennifer makes the point that veggie dogs and vegan bolognia allow her son to feel like he isn't "missing out" on all the stuff that other kids eat and enjoy. 
not that i am thinking of having kids anytime soon, but i am wondering how all my vegweb buddies do it.  do you give your kid fake stuff?  do you eat it as well?
were i a parent i would also be concerned that my child grew up with a warped concept of what things were, liek calling vegan cream cheese "cream cheese" and then someone else offering the child deadbabycowtorture cream cheese and the child not knowing the difference...

I was concerned about this. Though it has less to do with analogues.

My son calls soy milk "milk" I was worried that one day he'd ask someone for milk and get the real thing (he's allergic too) But frankly this is why he has a vegan babysitter, why he doesn't go to daycare (where they gave him mayo!! He didn't eat it BTW) and why grandparents aren't allowed to give him 'bites' of things, without asking me first.
When he's old enough he will know the difference, Mommy and Daddy don't eat every kind of cheese there is, or every kind of meat, he'll realize we only eat certain ones. And we talk about it in front of him! Kids really are far more aware than we give them credit for.
Little2ant was telling me her son calls things: veggie milk, veggie ice cream etc. I liked that.
I'm far less concerned about it than I was. I am a little worried about him starting Kindergarten next fall, since I will have to get the vegan thing across to Germans and I'm not sure how that will be accepted.  :-\

As for if we eat meat analogues, yes we eat Boca burgers occasionally and I use morning star strips in recipes. My son loves Boca burgers but won't touch the strips.
Frankly, if you knew what this 2 year old would eat you'd see a meat analogue actually provides for good variety. Otherwise my son would live on whole grain cereal, apples, peas and PB sandwiches and the occasional Newman's O. Yes, Boca is processed and has about 15 ingredients, but only 3 are above the "less than 2% of:" line. I still think it's a far better choice than, another 'accidentally vegan' processed food or a real meat product.

It's funny because I have the Vegan Lunch Box cookbook (it's one of my favs!) and I don't think she uses many meat or cheese analogues, in fact I can only recall the one recipe for a "deli sandwich" which uses them. I have seen her use them on the blog, I think she's also 'testing them out' for review purposes.

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My kids like veggie dogs, but I'll only buy them 3 or 4 times a year, just because I don't like processed foods.  I have a box of veggie burgers in my freezer, just in case I'm extremely tired and extremely short on time, but I bought them shortly after moving here, and that was over a year ago.  I made it through a pregnancy, house reno, and my kitchen floor being tiled without using them, so I guess I find them unnecessary.  As for bologna and such:  deli meats never appealed to me, so it doesn't occur to me to buy those. 

I have one kid in school right now, but it doesn't seem to really bother her that she is different from the other kids.  I'm forever going on about how great being vegan is, how we are kind to animals, it's better for the earth, better for us.  There are a few meals that I pack in her lunchbox that look pretty normal, so we just go with that.  I've also pointed out that it's quite fun to point out to the little brats in her cafeteria that she's eating spinach, which'll gross those kids out.  There's also the old standby, a PB sandwich. 

As for names, kids are very smart.  They pay more attention to stuff than you think.  My 4 year old points out all kinds of non veg things in the grocery store.  I didn't point it out to him, he figured it out.  And he's vocal about what he thinks of it.  They know that what I call milk is actually ______ milk outside my home.  And they aren't hesitant to throw the magic v word around.  I'm teaching my oldest to read labels, and I'm pointing out the "icky" words on packages to my 4 yr old.

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I'm teaching my oldest to read labels, and I'm pointing out the "icky" words on packages to my 4 yr old.

LOL!! Yeah! My son asked, "What's that?" in the grocery store about some kind of Hi-Cee Drink and I replied, "THAT is a terrible sugar drink that some parents give their kids, it's like a poison." I got a funny look from a lady in the aisle, but my son was like, "Ohhh... Yucky!"

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I am with the other moms. Processed veggie meats are an occasional treat, but I don't like to eat them too often. The wonderful thing too...the older my 4 year old gets, the more willing she is to experiment. Last night, she actually asked me for brown rice, squash, zucchini, carrots, corn, and greens for dinner! With a side of plain nori! I was so proud.  ;D

She cracks me up in the store. If I put a product back on the shelf, she will say: "oh, is it not vegan? does it have hybog-inated oils in it? atto-fishal colors? cow's milk?"

She smelled something gross cooking while we were out the other day (bacon I think), and said "That smells disgusting. Is that cigarettes or pigmeat? Or cock-a-doodle doo meat?" I am still cracking up over that one.

She is good about asking other people what is in stuff, too. Plus it helps that everyone who cares for her knows what to feed her. Anyway, kids are way smarter than we think. ;)

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For a long time I was militantly and irrationally opposed to the vegan lunchbox lady and the complicated, lovingly prepared lunches she sent off with little schmoo every day (all of which he supposedly devoured).  Few parents have the time to prepare those sorts of lunches for their kids, and even fewer kids are willing to eat such an incredible variety of food.  But I do think her imaginative menus and pretty pictures did wonders to promote vegan diets and helped out a lot of people wondering what to have for lunch or dinner or to send to school with your kid.

About the slices--some of her choices would not be mine. However, my kids don't like slices.  There is nothing wrong with PB&J--it's a great lunch--but she wrote an article about school lunches once where she suggested uncrustables.  I couldn't believe it.  PB&J sandwiches freeze fabulously and are the ultimate make-ahead sandwich.  Pull them out of the freezer in the morning and they are perfect by lunch.

If your kids go to school, and especially if they watch television, they are going to figure out there is stuff that they are not getting.  And often that is okay and they just accept it.  But when they're in a social situation where everyone is roasting a hot dog or eating a hamburger or nuggets, they DO want to be like the other kids, especially as they get older.  Most kids want to get along and have friends, which includes sharing experiences.  Food is only a small part of that, but it plays a role.

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I'm teaching my oldest to read labels, and I'm pointing out the "icky" words on packages to my 4 yr old.

LOL!! Yeah! My son asked, "What's that?" in the grocery store about some kind of Hi-Cee Drink and I replied, "THAT is a terrible sugar drink that some parents give their kids, it's like a poison." I got a funny look from a lady in the aisle, but my son was like, "Ohhh... Yucky!"

Haha!  I love vegan kids!!  We get funny looks all the time.

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does it have hybog-inated oils in it?

I love that! She obviously already knows more about nutrition than most adults.

No kidding! How cute! And it's funny that lime green posted this question because I was randomly thinking about this the other day, too... I also don't plan on having kids in the near future, but if/when I do, I definitely want to raise them vegan. So, I occasionally think about these same issues; him/her asking for "milk" while at a friend's house & receiving dairy milk... Seeing gelatin Rice Krispy Treats (which I would make with brown rice syrup, Ricemellow Creme, etc.) at school & chowing down. Not that it would be the end of the world, but I'd obviously prefer that didn't happen.

It's interesting to see what you actual parents (not hypothetical like myself ;)) think & do about these situations. And I totally agree that children are smarter & more perceptive than we give them credit for. :D

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There's not that much opportunity for that to happen.  My kids pack their lunches. All the other meals are eaten at home.  If they are at a friends' house, the parent is told when I'm setting up the playdate about their dietary restrictions.  I've offered to send food over.  It is, however, a total pain when they're going to something like summer day camp where they feed the kids and there are no veg options, so I have to somehow get boxes of frozen nuggets to the cafeteria so they can eat with the other kids.  There are so many children with allergies these days, places that serve meals to children are becoming quite restrictive about allowing in food from the outside.  But it also means that people pay more attention to dietary restrictions in general and, at least where I live, no one will offer any other kid something to eat without first checking with their parents.

I will say the one thing about not eating slices . . . . the other day one of my children told a tall tale and I said she was full of baloney.  My grandmother used to say that, and I don't think I've ever used the phrase.  My daughter didn't know what I was talking about and I explained the various meanings of "baloney. "  I realized there are a whole bunch of words that appear in stories and frequently in conversation that they have no understanding of--ham, baloney, salami, roast beef, steak, chops, hash, bacon. They really don't have the faintest idea of what these things are, even though each of these words are uttered by Americans millions of times each day.   

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I realized there are a whole bunch of words that appear in stories and frequently in conversation that they have no understanding of--ham, baloney, salami, roast beef, steak, chops, hash, bacon. They really don't have the faintest idea of what these things are, even though each of these words are uttered by Americans millions of times each day.   

When we were having our youngest tested for ADD/ADHD, the psychiatrist was concerned that she didn't know where bacon came from. We were so proud!  :D

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There's not that much opportunity for that to happen. 

Exactly.
I think that non-parents wonder about this issue because they just don't realize the amount of effort it would take to put our children in a situation where meat/dairy/eggs were avalible. LOL trust me, no one is volunteering made my son's meals! *I wish!*
In fact, it's quite simple and straightforward, at a young age we control what our child eats and as they get older they begin to, but if they were veg from the beginning it shouldn't be a problem.
I can see a problem arising where a family became vegan or veg when a child was 12 or 13 and had been exposed to a SAD diet in the beginning. I don't know of any examples of that kind of a situation, though I assume that would be difficult!

I also find the food allergy idea helpful and annoying at the same time.
It helps others to be aware and not feed your children, but it's hard for me to provide snacks and lunches for my child in places where no outside food is allowed. :( I noticed I even began to see this in omni-moms that I attend playgroup with. They always ask, and not just me the "vegan mom" they ask about all children probably due to allergy and the fact that some children are more prone to choking than others.

Oh by the way, my son was given mayo at a "no outside food" place where they were supposed to have a diet-trained chef who should have known that an egg-allergic child cannot have mayo (let alone a vegan one!) *sigh*

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Oh by the way, my son was given mayo at a "no outside food" place where they were supposed to have a diet-trained chef who should have known that an egg-allergic child cannot have mayo (let alone a vegan one!) *sigh*

Ugh I love how people are ignorant of the fact that mayo is just egg yolks and oil (and a few flavorings). I have literally gotten into arguments with people over it and they are too stubborn to accept that I know what I'm talking about.

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wow thanks for the responses guys!  it's been really interesting to hear about all your different concerns with vegan kids.  and i thinks it's awesome that you are doing what it takes to let your kids lead a vegan life

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I'm not a parent yet either but I believe we will handle it the following way: eat analogues but not as a substantial part of every meal. I'm talking meat analogues here. The reason is simply that ideally we'll feed the kids a varied diet with all kinds of foods and meals.
now, obviously the kids will have a say, too, and I wonder what they will actually eat  ;D

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