Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How food allergies turned my vegan daughter into a Pescatarian and why I don't care

vegan recipes
'Look into my eyes...I'll stop you being vegan'

If truth be told, I don't really love fish.  I find them a bit repulsive with their scales, scary mouths and darting ways.  But I support their right to live and that's one of the reasons I don't eat them. 

Although a Trigger fish once 'charged' me repeatedly during a dive and scared the neoprene off me.  I sank to the bottom of the sea, mask full of water, hyperventilating.

THAT fish I would have happily served up on a platter to anyone who cared to feast on it. 

Back to the point.

I don't eat meat or fish and up until recently nor did my children.  They've tried it occasionally - the odd sausage here, a mouthful of cod there - but they seem happy to stick with the veggie status quo.

Yucky, Smelly Fish

So lately it's a bit weird to find myself in the fish aisle at supermarkets, actively planning meals that involve yucky, smelly fish.

It's the allergies.  My daughter can't eat eggs, milk or nuts so where's a vegetarian supposed to get her protein?  And remember she's six, so pulses are not top of her list unless they are served on candy floss.

I can't remember how it happened, but somewhere she tried fish fingers.  And liked them.

Do you know, I never thought I'd be so happy to see fish in my freezer.  Finally here was a form of protein that was good for her, that she liked and that didn't bring her out in hives.

Vegetarian principles?  Straight out the window.

Observe my vegetarian principles...and now watch me hurl them from the window with joy.

Because as much as I support the right to life of animals and fish-type beings, I'm afraid that my daughter's health ranks significantly higher.

If you are a principled vegan or vegetarian, perhaps you are appalled.  And of course I can see that viewed from a certain angle I am looking pretty spineless. 

But if your child is forced to eat a restricted diet, you may well have experienced that nagging concern about providing balanced meals. 

And maybe like me you have a huge portfolio of nutritional horror stories in your head at any one time?  The current one is the story I heard years ago about a lack of eggs causing someone to get cataracts.  Did I make that one up?  Possibly, but it still bothers me.

So the fish might not solve the cataract problem (real or imagined) but for the time being it's helping out with the nutrition/allergies/help conundrum.

Sold-out, spineless sap?

What do you think? 

a) Sold-out, spineless sap? 

b) Brownie points to me for adjusting my values to suit the more pressing dietary needs of my daughter?

(In case you haven't realised, I'm pushing you towards choosing 'b'.)

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


Recipe Junkie said...

Totally with you - it has to be (b). For totally different reasons, I had to swallow my principles and allow my then 2 yr old to stuff his face full of the horrible 53% meat content (47% disguisting stuff) cocktail sausages he craved during steroid treatment for leukaemia. He's better now, so no cocktail sausages. Think about it this way - at least fish is 'healthy' and a good thing for her to eat, even if it's against your principles.

AliBunn said...

I was vegetarian for 10 years and after several bouts of fainting my doctor told me I was anaemic. I can't eat dairy thanks to allergies so had to resort to eating fish. It's a good move, I hope she enjoys her new meals!

whitehologram said...

Ohhhhh I am totally behind you!!!

I'm glad she's enjoying her fish and that you're happy she's enjoying her fish ;)

Potty Mummy said...

Completely with you on b) - but then, as a confirmed fish eater, that's not surprising!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Recipe Junkie, wow, that sounds like a tough time for you and for your son. I'm so glad he has the all clear (and is no longer eating those little sausages... :-)

AliBunn, ah yes, anaemia. I pretend it's not really happening and when my lips start to blend into the rest of my face because they are so pale, I start a course of iron supplements. What a healthy way to live :-)

whitehologram, yay for fish! (although don't ask me to eat it!)

PottyM, ha, thanks dear. Up the fish eaters

Mimi, yep, it IS b isn't it? Thank-you!

vww said...

B B B B B B B and then some more B.

You have to do what protects your family, and if that means going against values you normally hold, so be it.

I know it doesn't really compare, but in a war, people kill to protect their own. Their normal principles would never be to do that!

Anne Roy said...

a plant based diet has enough protein ...

I have been following a vegan diet for 14 years & am full of energy ...

Nikki-ann said...

Definitely "B". As you say, your daughter's health goes above any principles you might have about what to eat.

tinkerscastle said...

I have two daughters who are avoiding wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soya, yeast, lentils, as a result of York testing to narrow down which foods they've been reacting to. One of them has a peanut allergy and has been warned off all nuts by hospital - luckily she is the one who will actually eat fresh fruit and veg!

Since we started this in March, apart from keeping some limits to the quantity of sugar and salt, I have been grateful for the existence of any foods they not only can, but *will*, eat. 'Free from' fishfingers are very helpful in our house too. I've not tried homemade versions, although much success with deep frying chicken in batter made with gram flour. It is just a relief to go for weeks without a poorly tummy/throat/head/very tired child.

heavenisabookstore said...

B) Life is all about adjusting and being able to live a long healthy life, even if that means eating fish.

Anonymous said...

B) im a vegetarian too and my 3 daughter has the same allergies as yours but couple more and i too have found i had to give her fish . She likes it . asha

Sophie Atkins said...

I’ve been on a vegan diet since I consulted a long island weight loss center. Upon reading your blog I came with a suggestion that give her the kind of food that you think what is healthy and best for her.

Shannon Bird said...

My daughter also has allergies to some meat products good thing I know a good doctor and gave her medicines for her allergy. She can now eat meat products but of course with moderation.