Help- new vegetarians in the house!

Last week, two of them announced that they are now vegetarians.

It went down roughly like this:

Me: Why aren’t you eating your soup? (soup, of course, being Owen’s favorite food)

Owen: I think I need to become a vegetarian. [tears spill into his soup]

Me: Can you tell me a little more about that?

Owen: I just read this book where the animals… [More tears. He can’t continue.]

Moriah: Me too! [no tears] I’m going to be a vegetarian, too!

So I have one Vegetarian for Reasons of Conscience (which I completely respect and support) and one Food Fad Follower (not so much respect or support…)

All this happened right before I left for Chicago. My friend (who is doing Whole30 right now) arrived with her 3 children (who can’t eat pasta or rice or bread) to entertain and care for my kids while I was at the funeral.

I left her with two pans of marinated chicken and two children who would only eat pasta or rice or bread.

Anyhow… we’ve been changing up our food. I hard-boiled two dozen eggs on Monday and made some lentils as a add-in-protein for our salads and pastas. I checked out a bunch of books and magazines from the library and asked the kids to go through them and choose some recipes that looked go to them.

Owen picked strawberry-rhubarb slab pie” and Moriah picked “coconut custard crèmes.”
This is what I found when I came home from work this week.  I’m not sure they are entering into this adventure quite seriously.

So I need some help.

Can you recommend some resources for an 11 year-old and a 9 year-old on how to eat healthy as a vegetarian?  I have adult-friendly ones, but nothing age appropriate, and pasta-with-a-side-of-raw-vegetables is going to get old fast.



Seriously, They Expect to Eat Lunch, too?

The temperature is bounding up to the predicted high of 91F, and I’m making ham-and-bean soup. Why, you ask?
Because my children are impossible to please.

Mind you, I don’t actually think it’s my job to please them; but I find cooking for six people is much more enjoyable when the victims recipients of my kindness appreciate what I’m cooking.

Yesterday’s meals included waffles for breakfast, quesadillas and apples for lunch, and stromboli (with provolone and salami) or roasted vegetable and sausage pizza, with fresh vegetables on the side.

But at breakfast, only 3 children would eat waffles.  At lunch, only two children ate the quesadillas, and at dinner, only the adults ate the pizza. (Which was fine by me– it was really good.)

Today’s lunch was macaroni and cheese, and only two people ate it.*

My response to lunch after a busy morning of school is, “Wait– why didn’t your mother pack you all lunches?”  And then I remember.  I am the mother.

My solution: soup.  I can serve soup (that I’ve made in advance) with very little prep-time; all the children eat it with bread; and it fills me up without filling me out.

And not only do I already have the beans on hand, but my friend gave me three (count them: three!) ham bones.

So here and here are two of my favorite soup recipes– in case you wanted some soup-inspiration.  But maybe next week I’ll pack their lunches at night a let them bring them to the kitchen table… just so they can see how lucky they are to eat soup.

* I just have to recommend this blog post for you to read from Auntie Leila, because even though my children don’t like my cooking, they rarely say anything about it because I followed Auntie Leila’s advice.