Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 1 decade ago

I don't want my 15 year old daughter who is a picky eater and can't cook to become a vegan. Am I being unfair?

Well my 15 year old daughter on a rather spur of the moment thing has decided that she wants to become a vegan. She is an EXTREMELY picky eater and she also cannot cook. I have tried to teach her to cook, but she is yet to have cooked anything successfully.

I try to explain to her that being a vegan means eating a lot of things like vegetables (because she only eats potatoes, carrots, and peas) but she will not listen. She seems to think that having such a small food repertoire is not a problem.

I don't want to seem like a mean and horrible parent who will not let their child do something they believe in, but she doesn't even care that much about animal rights. She just thinks being a vegan is cool. I do not have time on my hands to be preparing separate meals for her, particularly ones that have so many requirements, because she can't cook. I also think think that her being such a picky eater is a problem. She will also have to take lots of expensive dietary supplements.

Am I unfair not letting her become a vegan? I tried to compromise by saying I would consider letting her be a vegetarian, but she says no, it has to be vegan.

What should I do?

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'd suggest humoring her. Fifteen is a tough age, and most fifteen year olds react badly to being told that they're wrong. Let her eat only potatoes, carrots and peas. Within a couple of days, she'll be sick of them, and that day or two won't kill her. If it is just a fad she's following, she'll go right back to eating what's put in front of her. If she truly is interested in the ethical or environmental reasons for being vegan, trying new foods will become a lot more tempting.

    My sister (who is fifteen, herself) was very, very picky, and when she said she wanted to be a vegetarian my mom worried that she was just copying me, and that she'd be unhealthy. I told my mom not to worry. My sister's been an animal lover her entire life, and once the idea of not eating animals got in her head, it stuck. She ate very few foods at first, but sure enough, sis got tired of cheese pizza and french fries, and now she's actually a pretty good eater for her age, and has gradually been learning to cook.

    All kids are different, but for the most part, they really like being allowed to make their own decisions, and they can be surprisingly adaptive and intelligent if allowed to do so.

  • 1 decade ago

    Take her to a nutritionist and/or doctor. Make sure you all discuss what nutrients she needs and how she can get them from a vegan diet. I'm talking numbers here. How many grams of protein, how many grams of fiber, how much vitamin A, B, C, etc. Figure out how to do this WITHOUT the supplements. (Aside from a multivitamin, which is useful for everyone, and perhaps a B complex if she's not going to be eating enriched foods.)

    If your daughter is serious about going vegan, she will step up and show you by going along to the doctor with you, asking questions, and making a strong effort to eat right with her new diet. Agree to a trial period of a month or so. Then go back to the doctor. See how her health is and what the doctor thinks.

    Insist that she learn how to cook. There are tons of meals out there that can easily be made vegan, but for the ones that aren't, she should be able to throw together a little something to supplement the parts of the meal that she can eat. It also wouldn't hurt to have her get a job and buy some of the expensive stuff (like frozen dinners/vegan junk/prepared foods) on her own. She really isn't going to be horribly limited by her dietary choices... I could easily cut animal products from my diet and still eat something different and delicious every day. It takes a bit more creativity, of course, but it's not difficult.

    Good luck to you all.

  • Cheryl
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Being Vegan and caring about animal rights is kind of a fad right now. There are, however, people who are concerned about animals and become vegan out of moral obligation. It takes a lot more work then just cutting meat and dairy products out of your diet. If your daughter is committed to making a difference to how animals are treated, then she will most likely continue attempting becoming vegan. But if she's doing it just because it's popular she will probably let it go after a while. Until then you can always buy frozen vegan meals for her to cook herself. Morningstar Farms has special veggie burgers for vegans that are available in a common grocery store.

  • 1 decade ago

    At 15 she is pretty much able to cook for herself. If she cannot be bothered to learn then i would suggest the desire to be vegan is not that great.

    If its important to her, she'll learn.

    Its not like you are saying "no, you can't be vegan", you are just saying she needs to contribute to the effort.

    at 15, i think thats fair.

    But please, be wary of some of the other advice. Many people go vegan ro vegetarian for life at this age, so please do not dismiss it as a "fad" or "humour" her. I'm sure you realise that is disrespectful and will not win you any favours.

    Also, one person says "it could be dangerous"...really, thats a bit daft. It would only be "dangerous" if they lived off vegan crisps for the rest of thier life. A balance of veggies, fruit, nuts and cereals will be fine. Rice and Soya milk are ideal substitutes for dairy. Over the years, as it settles to be a permament diet, she will probably want to learn more and become aware of long term topics such as B.12. Short term though ( few years), things like b.12 are not an issue..

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  • 1 decade ago

    In my humble opinion, you are doing the right thing for being concerned over the well-being of your child. If she thinks being vegan is "cool" then this may be just one of the many phases she will go through as a teenager.

    However, if she is truly interested in making the decision to no longer consume any animal products, it will be important for her to learn that her health and proper nutrition are going to depend on eating a variety of foods and choosing wisely (everyone knows that potato chips and soda are vegan but may not be the best foods to live on.)

    You may just want to ask her why she wants to be vegan and, depending on the response, either support her decision or let her know that it's not a good idea at this point in her life. Good luck!

    Source(s): I'm a vegan.
  • Luna
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    your right, there needs to be more commitment on her end...

    being a vegetarian first is a great idea... it's very difficult to go straight to vegan... there's no reason for her to be so against doing vegetarian first (esp. if it's not even an ethical reasoning...)... she also needs to cook more and shop more... just the way it goes... she needs to eat a LOT more veggies to be a vegetarian or vegan... so if she can't eat a healthy diet then she can't do it... have her do more shopping, more cooking and plan out menus and do more research... maybe she needs to see a nutritionist too (i hate to suggest it but a lot of teens hide eating disorders by saying they are veg...) to help her out..

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with you. Being a vegan is a big commitment, anything less and it is dangerous to your health. You must be extremely conscious of your vitamin, mineral and protein intake. Common deficiencies include iron and b12. Also, simply getting enough protein isn't enough. You have to ensure that you are consuming proteins with complete amino acid profiles. If you tell her that she can be vegan but she must provide her own meals, she will most likely neglect this information. Try sitting down with her and explaining how difficult it is, not to necessarily deter her from being vegan, but to make sure she knows what she is in for.

  • 3 years ago

    By not letting her go vegan, you are standing your ground. You are in charge, not your daughter. If I was that girl's father, I would not allow her to become vegan, even if she can cook her own meals. To be honest, I find veganism to be almost as offensive as Devil worship. It is abominable!

  • 1 decade ago

    I have been vegetarian since I was 18 (I am now 34) and I am on my 4th day of giving up dairy.

    My opinion is that if your daughter is unwilling to learn how to cook, or unwilling to bring a lot of variety into her diet, then she is not at all serious about being a vegan.

    When I was still living with my parents, my mother would occasionally make something specifically for me, but as my entire family are meat eaters, my choice was one I had to manage on my own, including buying many of my own groceries, yes at that young age.

    If she is serious about this choice she will HAVE to learn to cook. These lessons will only help her as an adult. I think it is totally fair for you to tell her that she must learn to cook her own food, and if she refuses you have every right to refuse to cater to her. She is definitely old enough to cook and to contribute financially to the very expensive and time consuming vegan diet.

    Many people do make this lifelong commitment at her age and younger, but if she is unwilling to participate it is pointless to even begin. Being vegan is not something to do because it's 'cool' and even the idea of that is insulting.

    I think the best thing is to explain to her that you respect her feelings and her wants, but that being vegan is a personal choice that she must live, not something she can demand her mother do for her. She is far to old for that.

    Also, one of the surest ways to be unhealthy is to limit your diet to a few items. Variety is the best way to be healthy. She will have to learn to eat many things if she is serious about wanting to be vegan.

    Dairy is not healthy at all for humans, check out for more information.

    There are tons of vegan recipes online, and many meat/dairy substitutes that are very tasty.

    Good luck to both of you. But please make it clear to her this is not something someone can do for her, she has to do it herself, period.

    Source(s): 17 years as a vegetarian, 4 days trying vegan!!
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My mom let me become a vegetarian a few years ago. I just have to suggest ideas for dinner and make sure I am eating healthy. I don't think I could become a vegan, though, it is very difficult.

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