Did you know that nearly 50 billion burgers are eaten by Americans each year? Yup. PBS told me so. This statistic doesn't count for alternative meat substitutes...only red meat. Cow.
I brought my daughter up vegan for nearly four years because I felt it was important to establish a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and the like. During that time, she grew like any other toddler and never had a health problem. In fact, she is super healthy and has only had two colds in her life. She has no allergies and she is incredibly bright. I did supplement her with fortified soy or almond milk and a vitamin to be sure. You never know.
I know. I know, where the hell am I going with this-- I did have a point. You don't need to eat animals to survive. However, you can't survive without fortified foods or a vitamin. B12 is an essential part of our diet that tends to come only from animals or through processing. Either way, I am okay with it, but I want to keep our lifestyles as close to the earth as possible.
Okay, back to my point. I never intended to force her into a vegan diet or lifestyle. Honestly, I don't think we should consume dairy often because it is weird and eggs sort of freak me out...so..when my daughter turned four, I told her that if she wanted to try animals, she could.
We started with fish, which she loved. And now she is into turkey. This week we made turkey burgers. But not just any turkey burger! These turkey burgers are loaded with pureed carrots, bell peppers, garlic, and onion. Because even though she is eating a bit of animal, our consumption of vegetables will not wane. Now, our diet includes 1-2 meals per week that had fish or turkey. I'm still keeping most dairy out of the picture, and I don't know if I'll keep this animal-eating practice up, but for now, it is what we are playing with.