Bethenny Frankel: Bryn Chose To Be Vegetarian

Scholastic Parent & Child’s November issue captures talk show host Bethenny Frankel doing what she loves best — whipping up some delicious dishes! The Housewives alum opens up to SPC about her Thanksgiving plans, her 2-year-old daughter Bryn – whom she says chose to be vegetarian – and her top kid-approved holiday recipes.

On celebrating Thanksgiving: “We don’t have an iron-clad tradition by any stretch! But one thing that has changed is the focus on what I make because my daughter Bryn is a vegetarian. We still have a turkey because my husband wants one, but I’ve adapted a lot of our dishes for her.”

On Bryn’s decision to go vegetarian: “It’s actually been her choice. She just never wants meat.”

On kids and healthy choices: “Feeding kids well can be frustrating and time consuming. I never give her the same thing two days in a row. It’s the same with adults. You want different options or you don’t enjoy your meals. I freeze things ahead of time and buy a lot of frozen organic foods like broccoli and cauliflower fries, veggie chicken nuggets and sweet potato tots.”

On a little treat every now and then: “I’m not a hero. As long as Bryn’s eating real food, I never feel bad. And that goes for treats, too. We try to get all the healthy stuff in so she can have ice cream, too, or a cookie. Everyone should get to indulge a little bit every day.”

For more from Bethenny, go to Scholastic Parent & Child

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Filed under: Bethenny Frankel,Featured

Photo credit: AKM-GSI/Scholastic Parent & Child

  • Zar55

    How can a two year old CHOSE to be a vegetarian, if she doesnt want to eat meat that doesnt mean she understands what that is :O lot of kids dont want to eat a lot of meals, its normal pihh hahah

  • Anonymous

    It’s kind of a stretch to say that just because she’s not eating meat right now, she’s a vegetarian.

  • Heather

    Well, she didn’t say Brynn will be a vegetarian for life, she just said that she choses not to eat meat right now.

    I completely understand. My 6 year old son will barely eat it either, and it drives me nuts!! He will eat steak and hotdogs (of course the two things that we only eat once in a while) and that’s it. I cannot get him to eat chicken, turkey, ham, or fish. I have tried cooking it many, many different ways, but he just does not like it. So, as any mother who cares about the level of nutrition her child is getting, I do opt for vegetarian alternatives just because I want to make sure he is getting healthy protein with a variety of choices. I don’t think we need to over analyze her comment though.

  • avm

    I work with a 3 year old girl who does not want to eat meat. The first thing she always asks for is a salad. And her parents work to get her to try and have some chicken or beef. She’ll eat a little, but really prefers the salad. Thankfully she does enjoy other forms of protei like beans. As long as kids are getting the proper nutrition, I don’t think it’s necessary for them to eat meat.

    • Anonymous

      There are many nutrients only found in meat that aren’t present in beans, tofu etc. Feeding children a vegan/vegetarian diet is not doing their growing bodies any favors. Take it from someone who has been vegan and has done quite a bit of research on the subject.

  • jill

    seriously, if you are buying “veggie chicken nuggets” for your child… they aren’t choosing to be a vegetarian. you are. the child would eat CHICKEN nuggets. A child doesnt understand the reason or rationale until around age 7.

    • Zar55

      I agree, Bryn is just 2 year old, its just stupid for her mom to say she chose something to be when the baby doesnt really know the meaning of the word

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely not true. The texture is completely different and she is not the first child I’ve heard of that won’t eat meat.

      • Tara

        Yes of course- but the babies refuse it simply because they don’t like it, NOT because of some political or health agenda. To say she is choosing to be a vegetarian is a very different statement that “she doesn’t like to to eat meat. That is something that comes from the parent or caretaker.

        • Rose

          Why does a person have to have a political or health agenda to be a vegetarian? My sister has been a vegetarian since she was a young child simply because she doesn’t like the taste of meat.

          • Tara

            They don’t, but Bethany always talks about how her choice to be a vegetarian is a social conscious issue- therefore in this posts is about a statement. Am sure your sister like many others do it for nothing other than disliking meat. But a two year is not choosing to be a vegetarian. They just don’t like meat. There is a difference.

        • Anonymous

          Nobody, including this child’s mother, said she became vegetarian because of some political or health agenda. Only you are implying that.

          A vegetarian is simply someone who doesn’t eat meat. And there could be a hundred reasons why someone might choose to do that, none of which has to be political or health related.

          • Tara

            Actually Bethenny clearly stated when asked in an April interview with PETA that she indeed became a vegetarian because she saw “the deplorable way animals were treated”. That is a social consciousness. She did not say she did not like the taste of meat she chose it for other reasons. Anyone who thinks we do not influence our child’s choices directly or even indirectly is pretty naive. Furthermore no one is saying its bad to be a vegetarian at all, but to say a two year child chooses it is a bit of a reach.

  • Anonymous

    Who says celebrities are smart?

  • Anonmom

    My sister is a vegetarian. She became one around 12 however she tells me that she can remember hating meat from a young age. She can remember being 4 and not wanting to eat it but our parents made her. I’m just saying this because i think it can be possible for a child to dislike meat from a young age but maybe 2 is pushing it. That being said maybe its just a phase i don’t think its anything for anyone to worry about.

  • Kamila

    Young children absolutely can choose to be vegetarian. I was a first hand witness to my friend’s 2.5 year old turning vegetarian without ANY influence from her family, who are all not vegetarian. One day, we were eating lunch and she asked where meat came from and was told it was a cow or whatever animal and she got very upset and said she didn’t know meat was animals. The kid was and is a big animal lover and made the connection on her own. From that day forward, she never ate meat again and is now in her pre-teens, still vegetarian, never changed her mind. It can and does happen. I’m not vegetarian and I have a baby and if she makes that connection on her own, I will let her be vegetarian. Some kids are just aware that way.

  • mrs. trumbell

    it doesnt bother me if she only feeds her kid vegetarian food, but that said…

    this woman is so full of crap.

  • HDP

    I find it very interesting how up in arms people get about whether or not a child eats meat – and how infuriated people are by Bethany saying it was Bryns choice.

    If I told you my daughter decided she doesn’t like sugar and decided to never eat it would you call me a liar and tell me it must have been me withholding it from her, and that she couldn’t possibly have come to that conclusion herself?

    What if I said she decided never to wear the colour red – would that also have been MY choice?

    No. Toddlers make their own rules – yes they can decide to refuse meat, but enjoy meat substitutes – and if she doesn’t eat meat – then Bethany can call her a vegetarian if she so chooses.

    What part of a kid not eating meat infuriates people so much, I just don’t get it?

    • Summer

      They get so infuriated by this because THEY feel guilty eating meat, because they know it is horrible for animals. They’re being defensive to cover up their guilt.

      • Anonymous

        Doubt the animals really care that much. It’s the food chain. Nothing to feel guilty about.

      • Anonymous

        I love meat and I feel no guilt. Beef, chicken, fish, yum!

      • Tara

        Why is it anytime one is not saluting the vegetarian lifestyle it must mean we carnivores feel guilt?! It’s an irrational argument. You don’t eat meat- I don’t judge. So don’t judge those of us who enjoy steak, chicken, turkey, etc.

        • Anonymous

          Tara, you are the one who can’t accept that this child has CHOSEN not to eat meat, which makes her a vegetarian.

  • AnonYmous

    I think she is the next Dhali Lhama

  • Kinky

    The only reason I am posting this is because I am an older version of Bryn. I am 29 and have been a vegetarian for almost 25 years. I gave up meat after a Saturday breakfast of sausage and found a piece of gristle in my food. When I asked my mom what the heck that was and she told me it was a piece of bone from when they shave the meat off, you could never ever get me to eat it again. I have been doing it since I was 4 or 5. But, if you ask my mother she will tell you that I was always anti-meat and that I would always prefer my vegetables over any type of meat except for a few choice dishes. So Bryn making this choice as a child even though she is much younger than I was is highly possible and even more probable if she has the encouragement of her mother. My parents and family never got into the vegetarian thing so it wasn’t until I was older that I could take a stand. But anyway just my two cents on the subject.

  • Tiffany

    This is funny. A 2 year old child is not exactly running out to the store to buy their own food. Bethany is a vegetarian, naturally her child is. A child becomes accustomed to what they are given. They aren’t making any ‘choices’, they are being fed. Every time I read that she ‘chose’ to be a vegetarian, I lol.

  • georgi

    not sure if it is possible for a 2 year old to choose to be vegetarian, I doubt she even knows what it means ! however, on bethenny’s defence i think she just means that Bryn chooses to eat the vegetarian option just because she doesn’t like the flavour or texture of meat.
    I think bethenny tries really, really hard with Bryn and seems to be a great Mom. I just don’t think i’d have the patience to cook all vegetarian stuff for miss 2 ! I take my hat off to her !!

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