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“Am I Wrong to Ignore My Ex’s Strict Vegan Food Rules When My 2-Year-Old Stays With Me?”

One recently separated dad has asked the internet if he is wrong to allow his 2-year-old son to eat the same things he eats when he is in his care, despite his ex wanting the boy to follow a strict vegan diet.

I (29m) have a 2.5 year old son that I have for one night on the weekends (so far, trying to get him for a couple nights in a row) and I have been allowing him to eat what I eat and try new foods. His mother (24f) has been, since his birth, very strict with him being a vegan. That means nothing that may have animal products, so no meat, dairy or anything made with dairy, anything that may have anything in the ingredients that sounds like alcohol was used (vanilla extract) or anything that is not marked organic on the packaging.

While we lived together (separated Oct 5th, I moved out November 8th) I was not allowed to eat anything I liked that was non vegan near our son. Which ment I usually had to wait until he went to bed at 8-9 to be able to eat anything non vegan. I personally was not a fan of eating very similar meals for lunches and dinners. A compromise was allowing vegan chicken nuggets and sandwiches patties to be eaten with him so he could feel included in eating foods similar to me on occasion when I wanted neat. After a while she stopped that necause of fear he may want to actually eat meat.


After she broke up with me, I have been allowing my son to try anything reasonable that he sees me eating. Naturally he tells him mom about the new foods he tries and she gets upset about how I’m not following her rules.

Am I wrong for feeding my son similar foods I eat? Should I be adhering to her strict rules in my home?

Is fact that he’s only just started allowing his son to eat meat or other non-vegan foods since she broke up with him a sign that he’s trying to antagonise his ex, or simply practical?

On the whole, commenters agreed that as the father, he was well within his rights to feed his son whatever he wants to.

Unless their divorce agreement includes him feeding the child vegan, she doesn’t have any control over this. That’s what sucks about parenting with your ex – they don’t have to listen to you anymore! (21stCenturyJanes)

He’s your son, you feed him what you want in your home. (lovinglifeatmyage)


Not wrong. She can’t impose her own moral choices in your home. (mutualbuttsqueezin)

One commenter, a vegan herself, explained how things work in her home with her non-vegan husband and their children when it comes to food.

NW I am a vegan and my kids are exposed to everything. Do I cook meat for them? No. But my husband does and we order normal kid foods for them at restaurants. They do also eat vegan food but nothing over the top: vegan burgers, beans and rice, fries, fresh fruit, normal stuff.

Veganism, like religion, should be a choice. Your kids should know all their options before making their choice. (hairy_hooded_clam)

Many commenters felt that a vegan diet lacked many of the essential calories and protein that a developing child needs unless heavily supplemented, and questioned whether the mother had actually done her research before imposing such a struct diet on her toddler.

Vegan diets take a looooooooot of work to adequately meet the needs of growing children.

As long as you’re feeding him with qaulity foodstuffs and NOT food or gas station food then he’s probably getting better nutrition that one night a week. (idonocoulou

Did you and/or your wife talk to your pediatrician or nutritionist about what a vegan diet should include for a growing toddler? If you haven’t, you might want to give them a call.

Infant and toddler nutritional needs are different from an adult’s.

You are not obligated to feed your child a vegan diet based on a choice your ex is making. (Janepublic151)


There is tons of research that supports a vegan diet is safe for children as long as its planned and maintained properly. Talking to the doctor is part of preparing that meal plan so I do agree they should talk to their doctor if they haven’t already. (Mr_Bisquits)

NTA. Your kids body is developing and meat will help that happen healthily (former vegetarian myself) some people need meat to be healthy. Its your son you have rights too. (Coleslay)

Other people cautioned the dad that changing the child’s diet abruptly to foods his system is not used to could cause him to experience stomach issues.

All I would say is, gut bacteria acclimatise to what you eat regularly so if little one never ever has dairy and then suddenly eats ICECREAM or a cheese sandwich it could cause a lot of digestive discomfort. Totally up to you what the little one eats with you and hopefully weekly is frequent enough for them to maintain a good gut balance. (goodluckbuttermug)

As long as he is not getting digestive issues from the change in diet it is fine to feed him what you eat. He is a child of 2 homes and each home will have different rules. When he is older he can decide if he wants to be vegan or not. (FairyFartDaydreams)

What do you think? Should this Dad continue to feed his son any foods that he sees fit, or should he respect his ex’s strict food rules for his son?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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