Vegetarian for a Lifetime & Mortality Risk for Red Meat Eaters

Somewhere today I saw an article that said that eating red meat will reduce your life expectancy. My first thought was, “Well, great. I’m set, then.” But immediately after, I started thinking about my kids. They are SO not vegetarians. If you want to see a 17 year old boy cry, suggest broccoli for a side dish.

At the same time, I worry about my kids. If the “study” is true–bear in mind, I didn’t read the article–that means I could outlive my kids, simply because of what they chose to eat. It’s not even their choice. I’m the one who makes their dinner. They could cook (or make a sandwich) enough so I know they wouldn’t starve if I wasn’t home for a given meal. But have I given them the best example? Have I taught them to make the right choices?

My oldest thinks it’s hysterical that I’ve become a vegetarian. He says my mother told him, “Your mom’s just going through a phase.” Okay, so life’s been a little challenging lately, but this isn’t a phase. This is a personal choice, and I’m not unhappy with it. Try the broiled zucchini I made last night and you’ll never miss meat again.

But I want to know my kids will make good choices when they’re out on their own. I have a walking nightmare that my oldest will live off Domino’s and Chick Fil-A until he realizes how quickly it drains his wallet, at which point he’ll starve. The youngest will eat bologna-on-a-bagel sandwiches until his arterties turn to cement. At what point will they figure out, “Maybe Mom was right; salad’s not that bad an idea”? Or, being boys, will they stick with what they like, rather than what’s good for them?

Recommendations for a healthy lifestyle we can all live with?

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Forgive me but I need to add something here. I found a link to the article I mentioned, via Runner’s World, my new favorite mag, but I found something in it rather amusing. Let me quote:  “One daily serving of unprocessed red meat (about the size of a deck of cards) was associated with a 13% increased risk of mortality, and one daily serving of processed red meat (one hot dog or two slices of bacon) was associated with a 20% increased risk.”

Maybe this is just me being simple-minded, but being humans, aren’t we all at 100% risk for mortality? 🙂 Nobody lives forever, not even the Highlander. But I realize what they meant was “you could speed up the pace if you eat red meat.” I guess, that being the case, the boys should be fine because Alex only ever eats bologna, if that’s considered “red meat”, and only rarely does Ryan have steak. Otherwise they’re all about pizza, grilled cheese, chicken…

But “for a lifetime”, I mean in general. How do I get two teenage boys to eat healthier? Suggestions welcome.

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2 thoughts on “Vegetarian for a Lifetime & Mortality Risk for Red Meat Eaters

  1. I think they’ll eat healthy by you setting a good example. Even vegetarians can eat poorly! But at least you’re showing them good choices by what’s on your plate. Not too sure about that broiled zucchini, though. 🙂

    My kids hate it when I make them eat fruits, veggies, or cheese for snacks, depending on their food intake of the day. They’re like me – bring on the carbs! …which I don’t do (when they’re around).

  2. Carla, I wouldn’t worry much about that article. The reports I saw on the news said it would take eating red meat every single day for over 20 years to affect your mortality.

    Chicken or turkey bologna are better options than regular bologna for your son and in my opinion you can’t tell a difference when it’s turned into a sandwich. As for pizza, it does contain grains, fruit, usually vegetables, a small portion of meat, and a good dose of dairy. Sounds like your eldest son is following the food pyramid guidelines! 😉

    Do tell how you roasted the zucchini! I have some sitting on my counter and can’t find the recipe I intended to use them in.

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