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Five Year Old Eating Beef

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by Neelaa, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Neelaa

    Neelaa Bronze IL'ite

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    Last week we came to know that my five year old son waswas eat beef in school lunch. All thesedays he used to say he ate chicken burger. Today, while talking to a parent just found that he was eating a beef burger. This lady works in school during lunch hours. My husband said it is ok if he is eating beef. Today he brought home a beef burger for my son to eat. He also happily ate the burger. I still cannot digest that someone in our home eating beef. A vent.
     
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  2. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    I see where you are coming from. Personally like some Indians, I eat chicken but not beef too.

    I think our reaction to eating meats that we are not used to - is "social conditioning". A couple of decades ago growing up in the Gulf, where we used to chicken and goat meat - but not beef. We heard of a scandal where most restaurants were using beef for mutton dishes because it was much cheaper - and no one will know the difference. It is a fact that most meats get most of their flavor from the strong Indian spices and gravies and our cuisine doesn't retain any of their original flavors. As a family we had happily enjoyed the dishes - but if you had put a plate of beef in front of us - we would have shivers down our spines - such physical/visceral reactions to another "animals" meat only because we are not used to it.

    But after I became an adult - I questioned myself so much - I would picture a goat and a cow in my head - just as I saw them in my neighbor's little farm in my native home-town - why do I think it is perfectly OK to cut up one animal and eat and not the other? Only habit and the messages we received from our family upbringing.

    I think your husband's action may be to make your son feel comfortable given the fact that he felt he had to hide what he was choosing to eat at school - i think that is a good step on your husband's part. Also there might have been peer pressure - if a few of his friends are having - and children are naturally curious and want to have the same experience.

    If you know the reason why you don't want your son to eat beef - ask yourself that - is it religious or health reasons? Don't impose it on him. Casually make him know the reasons why "you" have chosen not to do so - he may not respond or act on it right away - but it will be imprinted on his young mind. And later, possibly older, when he is making choices for himself - he may find reason to follow mom's way.

    If you try something passive-aggressive to prevent him from eating - I feel it may backfire. Children "test" the waters always and try to break rules and understand what happens if they do. Also having spent a lot of time in the US in the workplace and in University - I have been in so many conversations where my Americans friends and colleagues discuss beef and steak in such passionate ways - for them it is part of their celebrations, family-time, and they enjoy geeking out on the quality, types and cuts of beef. So asking your child - who is going to be growing up with a lot Americans here in the US - to be ok with eating some meats and not with others - will be a tough sell.

    Having said all this, I have eaten meat all my life - but have given it up (on and off) for long periods and am still working on it. So if I were in your situation - I would also be sad that my kid hasn't taken to my principles.
     
    silentlistener, Urmila, Amica and 5 others like this.
  3. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Very well reasoned!:thumbup: @startinganew.

    @Neelaa ,

    Your feelings are understandable. I am a vegetarian by birth but I do respect other people's choice but within the family, it is undoubtedly extremely difficult to accept alternate food choices. @startinganew has beautifully reasoned. Plant a seed of your belief in your child and then let go of your dilemma. Let him choose whatever he wants without having the need to lie. Since he is a part of another system, due to peer pressure or the need to be a part of their circle his choices seem natural. As he grows, maybe he will grow out of it.
     
    Ammu2886 and Neelaa like this.
  4. Amulet

    Amulet IL Hall of Fame

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    A child eating the McDonald Happy meals (tiny burger, some french fries, and a small carbonated soda) would go out and play. When s/he sweats, s/he'd smell like s/he had eaten something fried in ghee. The ghee smell comes from the ground beef s/he had eaten.

    Even children who hail from vegetarian homes (rice, ghee, pappu, and rasam) have that familiar taste of ghee+carbohydrates, same as a beef, ensconced within a bun. Easy to get used to it, especially when all the other children are wolfing it down with glee (not ghee); your child probably sniffed at it, and imagined that it is a differently textured ghee-infused dark cookie in a bun.

    And besides, the younger one is, the easier it is to transplant that in a new culture. Dont fight this battle; you'd get bigger, and more justifiable ones later on.
     
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  5. Neelaa

    Neelaa Bronze IL'ite

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    Thanks for your replies ladies. My husband doesn't want me to lay restrictions in food choices during school lunch. He says let him eat what they provide at school, thats how he would not be labelled as a different child among his classmates. We agreed to let him eat. Yesterday at bedtime, my son asked me whether he can eat that chicken given at school. My husband told him that was beef and he can eat it. I didn't say anything. As long as I am not asked to cook beef at home, I am kinda of ok.

    Now my hesitation is how my parents and inlaws think when they come to know about this. They will not get to know this one unless my son shares with them. Just thinking whether to tell him not to share beef eating thing to grandparents.
     
  6. KashmirFlower

    KashmirFlower IL Hall of Fame

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    @Neelaa
    Health wise it is not good for kid, he will continue to eat in life, instead choosing lean meats like chicken and fish is good.
    when your son asked whether he can eat, I think you can tell to eat chicken or veggie burger instead of beef, telling it is not healthy. At least you are letting him know what is better food for him. Same talk to your hub also and both can tell the same to kid.
     
    Neelaa likes this.
  7. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    I am sure the pun was not intended but it was funny nonetheless. :grinning:
     
    SunPa likes this.
  8. deepthivinayak1

    deepthivinayak1 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi,
    My son is studying in public school. Where all type of meat r allowed. He has seen Indian reds eat beef or pepperoni pizza. He asked me shall I eat that. I said that, we (our family) don’t eat beef or pork. If you want to try, you can. You have decide whether to have or not. He chooses not to.
     
    Neelaa likes this.
  9. Neelaa

    Neelaa Bronze IL'ite

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    @KashmirFlower ,
    we are non vegetarians but we don't eat beef. Mostly tamilian hindus do not beef.
    I am not sure how far he will follow if i say choose somethingelse for beef. He is in reception(ukg). He was eating it thinking it as chicken and he likes the taste too. Above all, it is my husband who don't want me to put restriction and make him feel guilty. When I discussed about this with him, he cooly said if he can eat goat he can also eat beef. And one more reason he gave is eating red meat is good in cold weather region. Couldn't argue much.
     
  10. Neelaa

    Neelaa Bronze IL'ite

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