Can a two year old understand, and decide on his own to become a vegetarian?
Generally if someone is able to get all of the nutrients they require through a vegetarian diet with supplements, I think it's quite a good idea.I think two is a very young age to make such a decision though.
Two year olds do not have an appropriate knowledge base nor the experience to make any sorts of decisions for themselves.
How then can I explain my two year old nephew's refusal to eat anything meat-based? No one around him is a vegetarian.
No. But you can ask same question about his becoming a non-vegetarian. The parents have to decide it.
No, their brains are not yet developed in that area of reason. They may prefer certain foods and not care for meat etc. but it would be a taste preference rather than the choice to be a vegetarian. Your nephew may not like the texture or taste of whatever meat he is served. Just make sure there are lots of good food choices for him and his body will get what it needs.
No........they do not even understand the terms, or their meanings.
They DO, however, know what they have liked to date.
A two year old knows what they like and what they don't like but they cannot make the decision to become a vegetarian. Children go through stages of liking or not liking certain foods and sometimes refuse to eat certain things. Most usually this is just a stage, and they will go back to eating a regular diet when they are ready. One of my grandsons is going through this stage right now - he will be two in March. My daughter just talked to her doctor and was told just to make sure he was getting some kind of protein in his diet, whether it be eggs or peanut butter or some sort of soy products. I wouldn't worry too much about your nephew if he is otherwise healthy.
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