How to Talk to Your Kids Honestly About Meat

A friend recently emailed me about her three year old, saying, “Help! My son has just found out that we eat animals. He’s sworn off meat until I promise ‘they’ won’t kill any more animals.”

I had to chuckle, but it’s a common quandary. Children tend to clue in at a certain age to the reality that their bacon and burgers once had tails and ears. Because I believe that (grass-fed, pasture finished) meat is part of a healthy diet, Danny and I have talked honestly with our kids about meat since they were two years old.

“Why?” is usually the first question from concerned (or just curious) little people. “Why do we kill animals?” or “Why do we eat meat?” Like any sensitive topic, it’s best to be straightforward and honest with your answers. Tell them the truth, and then let them decide. And decide they will!

I suggest beginning with a conversation on “food as fuel”, because it’s an easy concept for them to grasp. “Everybody eats” is another good approach, starting with the robin and the worm and moving up the food chain.

Children conjure up storybook settings for farm animals, and I believe these are the best images to encourage. Cows grazing on pasture, hens scratching in the yard – these are the kind of establishments we should be supporting anyway. If you can assure your children that the locally raised animals you choose to eat have led happy lives, that is a step toward earning their trust. Animals are not suffering for us; but when their time is up, well, such is the cycle of life.

One of the reasons we abstain from fast food chains is because the animals used for meat and eggs are often kept in inhumane conditions. As our children grow older, we will tell them more about feedlots and factory farms, and further introduce them to the farms and conditions we support instead.

aimee

Take time to convey your respect and appreciation for the animals. We’ve done so by explaining why we only eat meat 3-4 times a week and balance out our diets with legumes, eggs, and other proteins. We also use as much of the animal as possible. My boys see me making stock from bones, and as soon as they were old enough to understand, I explained that this was to ensure there was no waste on an animal that was harvested for our needs.

Read about others who raised food for basic survival, such as the Ingalls family in The Little House on the Prairie series. Explain that we just go about it in a different way now. Learn about how many people in other parts of the world hunt or fish for their basic needs. It doesn’t have to be such a foreign concept.

Don’t leave out the middleman, the butcher (when they are a little older you can explain about the abattoir). To my kids, this is the person who really turns the pig into bacon.

Children are naturally drawn to animals, especially the cute ones, so for some it may be a mindbender to find out we do indeed eat them. I’ve always explained that God made some animals as pets to love (cats, dogs, etc), some as wildlife to observe and marvel at (polar bears, elephants, etc) and some for our food needs. It helps to an extent, but kids will still put their own spin on things.

I still laugh about the time when we were expecting some very important company from out of town and I wondered aloud what to cook for dinner. Mateo practically leapt from his chair at the dinner table, waving his arms in the air and saying, “I KNOW! I KNOW! We could harvest a chicken for them!” Laughter rippled around the table as I thanked him for his suggestion, but advised him that we needed to keep ALL of our hens around for egg production.

His sentiment was not overlooked, however. For him, killing a chicken was an act of honour, for both the guest and the bird. Isn’t that a noble way to approach eating meat?

Reading Time:

3 minutes

 

 

 

283 Comments

  1. Jennifer M

    I am so excited about Aimee’s book! It is coming as an early Valentine’s Day gift from my husband. Our oldest is just two and already knows that milk comes from cows so it will be good to start discussing meat more too.

  2. Kristy E.

    Would love to win this. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

  3. Angie

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  4. Rachel C

    What a kind thought. My oldest is 3 and we have always told her that meat comes from animals, but I think it will ‘click’ for her someday soon and we will have to be more thorough in our explanation 🙂

  5. Sarah

    How sweet! My son (4) is very curious about what animals eat and has even seen some semi graphic nature shows. He’s very sensitive so I thought he would be upset about it, but he was just accepting of the circle of life. I’m a former vegetarian (and I’ll probably go back one day) so we will see what he thinks as he gets older!

  6. Kristin

    I’m so excited for this cookbook!

  7. Jenn

    Would love to have a copy of this cookbook! Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Sara S.

    So excited to check out her new book! Looks great!

  9. Anna

    We started eating a mostly paleo diet last year and I anticipate these questions will be coming soon from my 3 year old. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Faith

    I love this insight, especially since I don’t recall ever struggling with this concept as a child and would love for my children to experience the same peace of mind. I’m also really excited about this new cookbook!

  11. Alison

    This post really resonated today as I was discussing different foods with some 10/11/12 year olds today and they were very deceptive in what they ate and enjoyed. They then moved onto Different meats and all of these boys were quite comfortable and forthright about meats and several helped hunt for their meat at times, or had family who did.

    It was a very interesting conversation.

  12. GinnyLou

    Wluld love to read this! We talk some about the animals we eat, many times to keep the kids with an appreciation that something had to die for their chicken nuggets. Not in macabre way, just to remember that something gave its life for them and to be appropriately respectful.

  13. Ruthie

    Would love a copy! Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Ashley

    Good life lessons. 🙂

  15. Heidi

    So excited to get my hands on Aimee’s book. Congratulations!!

  16. Jen

    Really interesting article – thank you. My husband and I have decided we will raise our son vegetarian until he asks not to be. Having been veggie myself for nearly 30 years this helps me think about how we would discuss meat with him if he asks!

    • Ashlee

      We are raising our kids vegetarian, it’s a hard balance to try and explain it to them and why we made the decision we did without making those that make the opposite decision into the enemy. I took an approach similar to Aimee and it’s been really successful. My (almost) 6 year old can explain why she doesn’t eat meat in a very respectful manner and does not speak poorly about or to those that choose differently.

      • Ashley

        Our four-year-old is a vegetarian like us and he’s so cute about it. (I always tell him it’s his choice if you want to eat meat, but so far he’s opted not to) I definitely don’t want him to be like the kid on the playground he tells everybody Santa’s not real, though! So we try to emphasize a lot that other people eat meat (including people he loves like my parents!).

        • Elena

          I find that quite interesting that he still hasn’t asked to consume meat. That sort of solidifies my thought that if our children are uncomfortable consuming others (animals), that maybe it isn’t as natural as we would like to think. I myself am also a vegetarian if that wasn’t already apparent haha.

  17. Sarah

    A good approach! Our two year olds vaguely get that meat comes from animals (they gobble or cluck or moo when we tell them what kind of meat they’re eating) but they’re not old enough to really make the connection yet. Thanks for hosting the giveaway – that cookbook looks wonderful!

  18. Sasha

    This looks like a fantastic cookbook. I have a 6 year old vegetarian in my family… He made his choices. My other one loves meat and is totally fine with it.

  19. Cheryl

    I had the chicken conversation with my son yesterday – he’s 15 and reasonably active in looking after the chooks – because we have 6 roosters right now, which is 5 too many. He knows the plan is to eat them, always has been for any extra roosters, he just doesn’t want to be the one doing it. Which is fair enough – I don’t want to either! There’s still a disconnect though, between our fluffy chirping chickens and the nuggets he’s so fond of.
    Vegetables and fruit have always been easy – you can grow most of it and see where it comes from, but this is our first try at chickens, and we have pigs too – he’s less attached to them now they’re not small and cute. And they’ll be slaughtered and butchered by someone else, which makes it easier.

  20. Karen

    I love that your son wanted to harvest a chicken for guests! What an amazing thing you’re doing as urban homesteaders. I would love a copy of this book!

  21. Betsy

    I’ve been looking forward to Aimee’s cookbook and would love to win a copy! Thank you!

  22. Margaret

    Really looking forward to this book!

  23. Kris

    This looks amazing. I cannot wait to check this out. Congratulations! 🙂

  24. Amy

    I appreciate your advice about discussing why and how we eat with our children. The book looks lovely!

  25. Tammy

    I would love to win, I’m excited for Aimee, and can’t wait to see the book for myself.

  26. Jessica

    I love your honesty with your kids. As a vegetarian who has no problem with people eating meat I find it very frustrating when parents lie to their kids about where the meat came from, especially when the kids start asking specific questions. Just wish more parents would tell the truth in an age appropriate way and also be accepting of older children who are capable of making an informed decision to stop eating meat. I’m so grateful my parents respected my enough to do that when I was ten years old.

  27. Kym

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting this cookbook! Thank you for the giveaway!

  28. Heather

    I’d love for a chance to win this book!

  29. Erin

    Thank you for offering this giveaway!

  30. Stephanie

    I’m so excited to read this book!

  31. susan

    Thanks for this! my nephew is really struggling with this topic and it is a timely article for my in-laws.

  32. Jennie

    Would love this book, looks wonderful!!

  33. Danielle

    This so closely mirrors our philosophy, I would love to read this book!

  34. Rebecca

    This looks absolutely amazing! I dream of homesteading after some fashion one day and look forward to both living vicariously through “Brown Eggs and Jam Jars” as well as using it as I guide to take the small steps I am currently capable of (like canning more and cooking more with my kids). So excited to pour over this gorgeous book!

  35. Sara

    Thank you for sharing your new book with us!!

    I would absolutely love the chance to win a copy.

  36. Gina

    Would love to win a copy!

  37. Liz M

    What a great way to discuss this with children! And that cookbook is absolutely beautiful.

  38. Sarah

    This is such a great giveaway! I love Simple Bites and Aimee.

  39. Angela

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  40. Sunni

    My daughter only eats fish….interesting way to explain the cycle of life…

  41. Lydia

    I can’t wait to read and cook my way through this one!

  42. Jenn

    Kids can be wildly different too. My daughter won’t hardly eat meat. My son picked up on the fact that the ground beef was cow at age 2 and has no problem eating it.

  43. Sara R

    This looks like a fabulous book not just for cooking but for reading as well. Nourishing both body and mind, I love it. Thanks for the opportunity to win one.

  44. Valerie W.

    Thanks for the chance. Looks like a lovely book!

  45. Angie

    great giveaway!

  46. Krista

    We’d love to have this book for our family, as it would give us another resource to use in talking to the kids about healthy eating and care for the earth. Thanks for the giveaway!

  47. Miriam B

    I added this book to my Goodreads “to read” list. I am so excited about this giveaway!

  48. Alyssa

    Congratulations on the new book!

  49. Missy Robinson

    I love this fabulous perspective of respecting animals and yet allowing for the benefits of animal products. I would be thrilled to win a copy of her book.

  50. Danielle

    I just listened to the podcast interview and would love to win a copy!

  51. Steven

    Great post! And what a simple way to introduce the topic.

  52. Beth

    This book looks beautiful!

  53. Heidi

    Would love to receive this book!

  54. Caroline Starr Rose

    I ate your wonderful apricot corn muffins for breakfast!

  55. kristen

    Would love to win a copy. Love how they teach their kiddos young and we have similar beliefs regarding what food to eat and support so is helpful to hear that perspective

  56. Cortney

    I love this! Thank you for sharing!

  57. Adrienne

    I would love to win a copy! Thanks for the giveaway!

  58. Bethany Turner

    The cover of Aimee’s new cookbook makes my mouth water. I am sure the recipes in it are fantastic!

  59. keijo

    Thanks for giving away a copy of your book! It would be a gift to win. 🙂

  60. Kaelin

    What a great article! Educating kids on where their food comes from is extremely important. a quick trip to a dairy after “Milk comes from the store” is also very helpful. 🙂

  61. marilyn

    Such an important thing to teach children – respect for animals. It carries over to respecting all humans and all life.

  62. Teresa

    Excellent words and ideas! Would love a copy of that book!

  63. Becky

    My son struggles with this issue. Would love to win the cookbook!

  64. Gwendolyn O

    Love Aimee and would love to win a copy of her cookbook.

  65. cathy

    I’d love to win this cookbook! The cover looks fantastic–makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook something!

  66. Laura

    Oh, wow. I’d been kind of on the fence about this cookbook, but that excerpt moved it to the must-read column. I’d love to win a copy!

    My daughter is 3 and it’s just starting to click for her that “chicken” and “a chicken” having the same word is not a coincidence. We rarely eat meat anyway, but I can see the conversation coming. I’m going to tuck this post away for when it does.

  67. Lisa

    This sound like a great book to read. My 4 year old is just starting to ask about where her food comes from. She’s becoming interested in the difference between healthy foods and junk. It’s a start and my husband and I have been encouraging her to ask lots of questions. (and she is asking lots of questions!!) But it’s all good. 🙂

  68. April C

    I would love to win a copy of this! Love this passage on teaching your children about where their food comes from. Aimee does a great job of keeping her kids in the kitchen!

  69. Lori

    I would love to win! What a great book. The day is going to come when my little girl and I will be having this conversation..

  70. Amy

    We haven’t had too many questions about this yet (my boys are 3 and almost 5), but I think one thing that helps us is to do the best job we can to remove all the middle people so that my kids are more connected to at least some of the animals we eat. At some point, we will probably buy half a cow and maybe raise chickens, but for now at least, almost all the fish we eat is fish that we or someone else in our family has caught.
    Because they’ve seen it, the boys intrinsically understand that the fish was alive, and swimming in the water, then we caught it, daddy filleted it, and it was our supper. We also have a lot of friends who are avid hunters and feed their families, often for an entire winter, off the venison they get during hunting season.

  71. Elizabeth S

    How awesome! I’d love a copy 🙂

  72. Jessi Lamb

    We had a similar situation when my eldest realized that a chicken leg was, in fact, a leg from a chicken! She cried mid-bite and swore off meat for 3 weeks. Ultimately, bacon brought back her carnivorous side! Looking forward to the book, thanks for the contest.

  73. Adelle F.

    Love this! We have similar conversations with our kids, particularly because we buy a side of grassfed beef from a local farm, which we pick up at the farm. Can’t wait to read the book!

  74. Rachel Snowden

    I am very intrigued by this book! We live in a developing country, and I am always looking for ways to do food well and enjoy it but also simply and sustainably.

  75. Sarah M

    Yes, please!! Simplebites is my favorite foodie blog and I can’t wait to get a copy. 🙂
    Sarah M

  76. Traci

    This is great. I’ve been a 7-year vegetarian who is slowly starting to incorporate small amounts of meat into our family meals; I feel like this post really encompasses a lot more than just what kids need to know about meat, but what they should know about life in general. We use things with purpose, with intention, not mindless consumption.

  77. Christine

    Great giveaway, I’m excited for her book. Thanks!

  78. Emily

    I will definitely check this book out! I need to try harder to reduce our meat consumption & make sure we’re getting it from ethical sources.

  79. Shannon McMillan

    Thank you!

  80. Tricia

    This article was so helpful! Thank you, Aimee!

  81. Joyce

    We raised rabbits for meat to eat and sold their hides to others. We knew early on what happened to them and saw deer hanging in our tree out back. So when I had children, and ended up with a non-hunter it did make it more difficult. We talked to Grandpa about it and it definitely helped. I would love to win this book. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

  82. Jennifer

    Our family is sensitive to this discussion as well, but from the other side of the coin. Our family hunts and fishes so the food chain and respect for life has definitely been part of the conversation.

  83. Kristin

    Looks like a great book!

  84. Mo

    Being raised on a farm and then raising my own kids in a city, I have always felt this was an important issue. We have talked about a well-balanced diet for all food groups. We typically only eat meat a couple times a week and we buy from local farms/butchers. This last year a family friend raised chickens for us and in return we helped butcher the whole flock, my four year old city boy did not miss a beat!

  85. annie

    Our family has a rather interesting perspective in that we know about animals that have taken over or been allowed to take over and became dangers to humans. That is one of the reasons that we eat deer. So we talk to our children about balance in life, that part of our job is to help with the balance on earth, that is why we don’t kill spiders and only kill wasps that are too close to our abode. But we do kill deer if there are too many, so that the ones that live will have enough food and relearn to respect humans. We also “recycle” plant parts back into compost and help keep our soil in balance.

  86. Jade

    I’d love to win this cookbook, thanks!

  87. Jessica VS

    I am so excited about this book! Congratulations, Aimee!

  88. Kristy

    ooh, would love to try this cookbook!

  89. Rachael M.

    This is great! Thanks for the insight. My 5 year old is just starting to ask some extra questions about meat, even though we’ve always been pretty open about why and how we eat it. I especially loved what you said about the three types of animals – one kind to love, one kind to observe, and one kind to eat. That will be extra helpful in further explaining this to our children!

  90. Jessica

    I love these tips! Thanks for sharing. This will also help keep me accountable when purchasing & preparing meat knowing that I’ve preached humane treatment and no waste to my child. I look forward to exploring this cookbook! (and now I’m craving jam…)

  91. Kathleen

    Looks like a great read!

  92. Anna M

    Thanks for these tips! I sometimes struggle to answer my 4 year olds constant questions around meat. I like how you phrased that there are different kinds of animals.

  93. Maggie Tate

    Yes an interesting discussion for sure! My daughter is very active in FFA and has been raising market goats. It’s definitely given us all an opportunity to think about and chat with all our friends about where our meat comes from.

  94. jannell

    That’s a great way of approaching this subject!

  95. Kristi Melton

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book! 🙂 I so enjoy Aimee’s blog and several of her recipes are favorites in our family.

  96. Beth S

    This looks so great! I’m a new mommy and as I start to think about the things I want to teach my son I need all the help I can get on how to explain it! This looks like a perfect cookbook to get some great ideas from.

  97. SebbieDue

    Very good points, thank you! Kids are such black and white thinkers. Introducing those areas in between where we have freedom and where we will inevitably disagree with others and then how to disagree with respect are on-going life lessons. This is yet another of those “freedom to disagree” discussions. I appreciate hearing how you handled it.

  98. Amy U

    Would LOVE to win! Looks wonderful.

  99. Mari

    I’d love to read the book!!

  100. Jessica O.

    Looking forward to reading this cookbook and trying new recipes…

  101. carolyn

    Good read -looks like a great book

  102. Samantha

    Oh my goodness! How true and funny this all was. I’m pregnant with out first and due to a ton of allergies I have to eat paleo, while pastured, organic meat is second nature to me and my husband I will one day have this conversation with my little one! What an exciting thought that they will make their own informed decisions from information I give them. 🙂 Love this post! Also love the cookbook! I looked it up on Amazon and it’d be an amazing addition to the few cookbooks I own 🙂

  103. Sarah D.

    Really enjoyed your podcast with Tsh and admire
    your commitment to minimize food waste during the development of your book. Congratulations on its release!

  104. rachael

    I would love to win this book!

  105. Laura Anne

    This is very similar to how we approach meat at our house we slaughter our own chickens, and try to provide a “happy” place for them while they are here. We hope our children understand and we talk to our 8 year old about the meat that doesn’t come from happy places and shopping locally for food to encourage a know where your food came from attitude.

  106. Julie

    We are getting ready to make some radical living changes and this book looks like it would be a helpful addition!

  107. marna

    Yes please;)

  108. Jamie Siebens

    I love this! It’s so easy in this day and age to get disconnected from the sources of our food. These are great suggestions for gently addressing that in a loving way with our kids. I loved reading the comments here too! Looks like a book for my reading list.

  109. Emilia Biavaschi

    Great post and some really great comments, too. We are vegetarians with an almost 2-year old. We plan on raising our daughter vegetarian, but giving her the choice to eat meat if she chooses. We recently started looking into preschool/daycare and some of them serve food, including meat. We realized that pretty soon our daughter will understand that we eat differently than most people. I loved the comments above from Ashlee who emphasized explaining to little ones why we choose a vegetarian diet but in a way that is sensitive and respective of those who do eat meat. Understanding and respecting where our food comes from is ultimately the most important thing. Thanks for the opening up a discussion on this important issue.

  110. Abigail E

    I would love to win this book!

  111. danielle

    well said! I would love to get a copy of Aimee’s wonderful new book!

  112. Megan

    We are approaching teaching our kids in a similar way!

  113. AChamberlain

    Hello Aimee! This sounds like a fun book for several reasons. I married into a Canadian Family, my love for mason jars has sincerely come from my MIL who is a humble expert at living from the land and I honestly didn’t know about brown eggs until marriage! My parents ate very differently than my husband’s family and is has been a journey to weld the two together while thinking about how we want to raise our two kids. I am excited to listen to the podcast the next time I get a chance for a long distance run!

  114. kelly

    Thank you for posting this! I knew my kiddos would start this conversation soon!

  115. Deborah

    I love cookbooks and yours looks intriguing!

  116. Nicole

    This is so very helpful. My three year old just started asking questions about eating meat. Thank you!

  117. Theresa Corwin

    I have been a vegetarian for seven years but I am open to any one making the decision to eat meat. We’ll have to decide. My family included. Your article was a very good discussion on this matter I appreciate you adding to have respect for the animal

  118. Aaren

    Thanks so much for the opportunity – what a nice giveaway! The book looks great!

  119. Debbie Schwab

    With a title like that…this book has to be amazing!! Teaching our kids about our food is such an important topic.

  120. Catherine

    If I don’t win a copy, I’ll have to ask for it for my birthday!

  121. Carrie

    Thanks for the chance to win! I grew up having chickens and pigs and rabbits for the products they can offer, and any chance I get I help my own kids understand that their food does not “come from” the grocery store. I won’t get into details until they’re older (they’re 2 and 4) but they do know that there is a connection between the nuggets they eat and the feathery things at the farm!

  122. Karen

    I love reading cookbooks. And I love reading Simple Bites. Sounds like the perfect match.

  123. Tracy

    That cookbook looks great!

  124. Kris

    The excerpt above has convinced me I MUST own this book. This is exactly the way we approach meat. The next step is how to approach the whole feedlot and factory farming issue. My son wants to eat McDonald’s. Is he, at 6, ready to hear why that’s a bad idea?

  125. Katie

    I am so excited for this cookbook!

  126. Nicole

    As I try to teach – and learn alongside! – my five children about eating well and healthfully and respectfully, we would all benefit from a great resource such as this! I’m looking forward to reading more of your words, Aimee.

  127. Erica

    I’ve been foowing Aimee’ since UTHC was her primary blog. I love what she has to offer and can’t wait to check out the book!

  128. Cynthia

    Great article! The book looks beautiful and I’d love to win a copy. Thank you.

  129. Barbara Riley

    I would love to read this book. When my kids were the age to wonder about meat animals, we had chickens and goats and they learned about life by living on a farm. About reproduction, too, which was convenient.

  130. Emily C.

    I’d love to read more. Thanks!

  131. Gretchen

    What a beautiful book! I love cooking and the idea of feeding my family the best way I possibly can is very important to me.

  132. Stacey

    Yes! This is so important. We’ve been talking to our little guy (he’s almost four) about where his meat comes from ever since he started eating meat. By starting young, you “normalize” it and he has a deep appreciation for those animals and what they provide. Love this.

  133. Bethany

    This cookbook looks amazing! Can’t wait to get my hands on one. The perfect gift for my homesteading sister-in-law, too!

  134. Jessi Prentice

    I absolutely love this article! As a future mom, I enjoy reading the life experiences of other moms in their creativity re-solving over simplistic questions! I had already filed an answer for my future kids in my mind, influenced by Jonathan Safran Foers’ book “Eating Animals”; the food is a part of culture, food is a part of the worlds life cycle. And the choices we have offered today make deciphering where to buy foods all the more varied.
    In this article, I enjoy the simplicity of introducing kids to the chain of life. the robin eats the worm!? Of course! Something you could observe everyday from the kitchen window or the back porch. In my godkids eyes, they view food as central to life, happiness, and participating with family! Glad to know the world is full of new ideas! (thank god for kids to stimulate that!)

  135. Anna W

    What an interesting conversation – I have an 11 month old so the topic hasn’t come up yet but I suspect it will come before I’m ready. Good to think about now!!

  136. Jen

    What a beautiful book! And interesting topics! 🙂

  137. Kara

    This sounds great! Would love to win!

  138. Cred

    Great topic. We have a similar approach to talking with our kids about food. From a young age they’ve been connected to where their food comes from. Sourcing locally and naturally reared meat with my kids in tow and discussing why we do so has meant that they were raised aware of those ethics. As well as exposure to family where half of my siblings are vegetarian and understanding their choices gives them a greater appreciation for different food choices.

  139. Kat

    A gentle, honest approach.

  140. Lisa

    I can’t wait to get a copy of this cookbook! I love Aimee’s blog and know the cookbook is going to be amazing 🙂

  141. Shannon

    What a wonderful article and beautiful looking book. Thanks!

  142. Susan

    Aimee, we are right there with you! Our son is two and we have frequent conversations about what we are eating and where it comes from. We know our butcher and his meat is from a local farm owned by his mom. We also know folks that work at the farm from the community, so feeling connected and responsible with our meat choices is fairly easy. Thanks for your post. We would love to add the cookbook to our regular rotation, since we LOVE food. 🙂

  143. Stacy

    So excited to see this book is out! I love Aimee’s writing style and her delicious recipes!

  144. Sherry A

    I would LOVE to win a copy of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars!

  145. Meagan S

    That’s a great way to discuss things! Now that my older daughter is almost 3, we’ve been having a lot of discussions like these about different issues, because she always wants to know “why”. 🙂

  146. Molly

    I grew up on a farm and never questioned eating meat. I grew to respect what goes into raising all our food, learning more about it to make informed choices that would be good for environment and community. My kids also grow up on a farm and have never questioned eating meat and they also have grown up loving animals.

  147. Simone S

    I was at Costco on Sunday and saw this cookbook called Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, I had to flip through the pages as the cover and title looked fun. I loved the recipes and the premise of this book. When we went home I had to google this cookbook and will be returning to purchase this week..If I don’t win a copy.

  148. Andrea

    I love beautiful books about food and this one looks sure to please! Crossing my fingers I win!

  149. Jennifer R.

    My 4 & 6 year old eat meat, and get the concept. Sometimes my 6 year old decides she doesn’t want to hurt the animals, so I remind her that she would have to eat lots of beans for the protein, and she changes her mind quickly. Her palate doesn’t appreciate beans yet. I would love this book!

  150. Katie Andraski

    What a wonderful post about how to speak to children about eating meat and how they might be hesitant to eat animals because they have faces. It is important to support small, family owned farms. It looks like a great book.

  151. Lisa

    I enjoyed the podcast and would love a copy of her book!

  152. Mary

    Thanks for the giveaway! The book looks great!

  153. Beth Rudolf

    It is a mindbender when kids realize that the meat they’re eating came from animals. I can clearly remember when, over lunch one day and talking about our meal, he exclaimed, “This is chicken? We’re eating a chicken?!”

  154. Stephanie

    I am so excited about Aimee’s book and would LOVE a copy!!!

  155. Lindsey Clark

    I would love to win her book!

  156. Becky

    Great timing for this topic, and so many great ways to explain this! The book looks great too. 🙂

  157. Jennifer

    I would love to flip through the pages of this one and start cooking. Thanks for the giveaway!

  158. Louise

    Love these ideas. The book looks fantastic!

  159. RJ

    So important to explain things truthfully and incorporate kids into our decisions!

  160. Destiny

    This looks like a fabulous cookbook to add to my collection

  161. Merri

    What a beautiful piece! Our girls (7 & 4) understand that hamburger comes from cows and ham and bacon come from pigs. We fish and daddy hunts. We’ve had a few simple discussions about where the meat comes from, but they’ve been easy, matter of fact conversations. I hope it stays that easy!

  162. Kelli Robinson

    Great take on a sticky quandary for parents. Would love to win a copy of Aimee’s new cookbook.

  163. Beth Gillespie

    Love this article! Our kids are totally down with meat eating and understanding where meat comes from – but none of them like eating lamb – they don’t want to kill the baby sheep!

  164. Debbie

    I can’t wait to read this cookbook! Aimee inspires me to get my kids in the kitchen at a young age.

  165. emily

    Awww, this would be such a treat!!:)

  166. Catherine

    Great post about a sensitive subject sometimes. I still remember my oldest daughter’s face when she connected the fish in the frying pan with the fish in her aquarium.

    Excited about this new book!

  167. Ashley

    My husband and I have been vegetarian for some years now. Our 3 children are being raised vegetarian as well. However, we do eat fish and so this conversation, about food and animals, has come up in our home. We keep chickens and so we use them to portray the life cycle of humans and animals. The article was very interesting and I suppose, if we ever went back to eating meat, we’d handle the topic in much the same fashion.

  168. maggie

    would love to win the book!

  169. Elizabeth

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  170. Rachel Brown

    Thanks so much for the chance to win! 🙂

  171. Cortney

    We’ve had similar conversations at our house lately. Would love to win her book.

  172. Sarah Hunter

    Looks like a great cookbook! I love that it’s arranged seasonally.

  173. Julie Turner

    I’ve really been forward to this book from Aimee!

  174. Melissa Q

    Our biggest issue is getting our eldest to EAT meat period 🙂
    It’ll come, I know. I mean, we get to raise our own beef so it shouldn’t be much longer…

  175. Stephanie

    What a lovely, mindful way to introduce your children to thinking deeply about the food they put in their mouths!

  176. Martha

    Sometimes, when kids learn something new it is troublesome (we eat animals…the pig at the ranch is now my bacon?). Sometimes, they need time to process, talk and reach their own conclusions and the freedom and safety to change their minds later too.

  177. Kristy W.

    This looks like a great book!! There is something about the cover that draws me!

  178. Sarah Westphal

    Hope to win! Given I am a province below Quebec the shipping won’t cost much 😉

  179. Lorna

    Wish we could afford to eat pasture raised meat and eggs!

  180. Diana

    Beautiful post!

  181. Tammy M

    This seems like a great book. I’d love to win a copy!

  182. Bernice

    I love Aimee’s style and can’t wait to have a look at this new cookbook up close.

  183. Janice Vaillancourt

    I would love to win a copy of Aimee’s book. She shares her name with my own daughter.

  184. Liisa R

    Love this approach to food! 🙂

  185. Susie R.

    Would love this cookbook! Great ideas for the kiddos too.

  186. Jamie Mehaffey

    Looks like a book right up my alley!

  187. Jennifer

    Can’t wait to read her new cookbook!

  188. Bobbi

    I would love this book! 🙂

  189. Jennifer

    Loved this! Thank you!

  190. shawna Y

    Really looking forward to the cookbook! Would love to win a copy

  191. Anna

    We live in a place where it has been easy for the children to ask where the pigs have gone and explain that they are now your sausages from an early age. A lot of thier friends are farmers children and it is not unusual for them to arrive at a friends house and find a dead fox left in the drive for the farmer to prove to his wife that he’s shot the chicken killer. I have been a bit graphic and told them that they are eating pig, cow, sheep etc from the word go. We also occasionally refer to it as dead!!!! ( my veggie stepsisters word for it. This may seam a bit shocking but I was keen that it was never a surprise to them what they were eating. Thier father is a veggie so there is a vegetarian option at every meal and a lot of meals are completely veggie but we are keen that they eat meat while they are developing.
    This approach has worked brilliantly with them, they are 9 and 6. They love eating thier meat and are happy with veggie options too.
    Oh and we also have chickens and ducks, which we never eat (hubby would not cope) the occasionally cockerel has been eaten by friends and they are aware of the “circle of life” because they see it in thier backyard.
    I think it is a much easier thing to approach in the environment we live in. Than in avolace where the only meat is pre packaged and the only animals are cute and fluffy, who can speak.

  192. Lynn D

    We are working to teach our grandsons respect for life, and this is a great approach to teach about the food we eat. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  193. Melissa

    We live on a farm and raise all of our own meat and eggs, so our children have learned early on where their food comes from.

  194. Tiffany

    When we are eating meat for dinner, my daughter will often ask us what kind of animal it is that we’re eating! “I can’t remember, is this pig, or cow?” 🙂

  195. OFG

    This looks like a fantastic book! I’d love to win a copy!

  196. Troye

    When I get a new cookbook, I literally read it like a novel- cover to cover- before I begin pulling recipes from it. This looks like a fantastic read!!!

  197. Melissa Rank

    Thanks for sharing!

  198. Judit

    Congratulations Aimee! Looking forward to the cookbook as it is on my birthday wish list.

  199. Michele Cherie

    Your son’s idea to harvest one of your laying hens sounds like the definition of hospitality in much of the world. I’m always amazed at how generous people from other cultures can be towards strangers and friends alike! Helping children understand where food comes from is such a basic part of parenting. Thank you for your thoughtful perspective on teaching about animals and meat.

  200. Jo

    I have just discovered your blog Tsh and I am enjoying keeping up with it and listening to the podcast. Lots of food for thought and I am starting to slowly work out how to change some of our family ways in order to, well, live in mess less. Thankfully I think we spend a lot of time doing things that we value together, hence the mess, but a bit less clutter and stuff in our lives will help my energy and creativity I am sure. I enjoyed the podcast with Aimee, and loved hearing how she worked out how to share the food as she went, creating less waste. Such a gift. Also, I live in Australia and have spent many New Years Eves of my life sitting in prime firework watching positions on picnic rugs along with half of Sydney!

  201. Heather

    As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I really appreciate how you’ve broached this topic with your young ones. Very truthful and non-judgmental. Bravo. And bravo on the book, Aimee — very exciting!

  202. Lindsey

    My kids are just starting to realize this, especially bc we support a local CSA and the love those pigs he raises 😉 would love to win!

  203. Christine

    my partner and I are building The foundation of a farm right now. we have a two year goal to leave the rat race and start living off the land. I hope to share this lifestyle with my granddaughters and your article is definitely worth saving when they begin to ask the question.I’m so motivated by all the homesteaders who share their stories. I can’t wait to share mine.

  204. Sherrylynne

    really? sad. we help annually at calving time for a ranch. down the road is a german chicken farm. and more ranches. south dakota. big sky. miles and miles and miles of ranches. our parents in WI have miles and miles of dairy farms. our kids don’t live in dystopia about life cycles and nature. they’ve played in dirt. ate dirt. swim in real lakes. BWCA. etc. you cannot even watch a nature video anymore without them guilting you for being alive and killing the planet. balance and faith are needed. just my matter of fact take on it.

  205. Lori

    I can’t wait to see this book!

  206. Ann Marie Plumley

    It is like reading poetry! Thank you for your clear and sensible voice on the reality of our lives with animals!

  207. Kim

    I’d love to win this book! Excited to read it cover to cover:)

  208. Jody

    There is a little person in my life whom I would love to help understand where food comes from. This book looks amazing and will definitely be on my “must read” list.

  209. Nicole N.

    Thank you for the ideas for this tricky conversation, we aren’t there yet but I know the day will come. I like the idea of explaining the food chain and also that different animals serve different purposes.

  210. Elizabeth

    This is great! I love what you shared here. I would love to have a copy of this cookbook!

  211. Katy

    What a delightful title for a cookbook!

  212. AmyB

    I love this! Thanks for the helpful tips (and the book looks wonderful!)!

  213. Christyn

    Intrigued.

  214. Laura A

    Looks like a great book! We have had lots of conversations about where our food comes from and it’s tough on my 5 year old. She usually choses to NOT eat meat, which is fine, but I think it’s so important to speak openly and honestly with kids.

  215. Michelle

    I really enjoyed your podcast with Tsh! Looks like such a fun cookbook!

  216. Stephanie S

    We’ve entered phase 2 of this discussion with our daughter. She’s know for a while that all meat comes from dead animals. Just this week though she thought to ask how the animals died. It was an interesting conversation, but she’s still eating meat so we must have done ok.

  217. Erika

    What a great-looking book! I hope to read it soon!

  218. Char

    Would love a copy- looks like a beautiful book for our crew!

  219. Maria S

    I don’t have kids, but this makes perfect sense. I’d love to read what other nuggets of wisdom Aimee has to impart! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  220. Brooke

    I am totally intrigued by your book! I don’t read Simple Bites almost ever, but I have no idea why. It is right up my alley! Thank you for the reminder that you are just a click away!

  221. Corinne

    Looks to be a wonderful read

  222. Angela

    Aimee’s book looks great! Can’t wait to read it.

  223. Emily

    What a great article! My oldest (4 years old) has recently sworn off meat (except burgers and hot dogs) because he doesn’t like the texture. He’s never expressed any concern about eating it since it was once an animal, but this will help since I know that my younger two will be asking these questions someday given their love of animals!

  224. Erin

    This cookbook looks beautiful!

  225. Lisa Van Allen

    I would love to win this book!

  226. Karen B

    This would be a wonderful cookbook to have. My husband grew up as a farmer. One of our focus as homeschoolers is that our children will know were food comes from and to survive on their own with that knowledge.

  227. Pam in Missouri

    What a great discussion. The cookbook looks really yummy too.

  228. Meghan

    I love this approach to discussing where food comes from. My little girl is an animal lover so I know we will have these conversations as she gets older.

  229. Caitlin Mallery

    I think children that live in the country probably grasp this concept more quickly. Cows and chickens are part of everyday life. Hunting and fishing too! And the book would be fantastic!

  230. Rachel

    I have been reading Simple Bites for a long time and am excited about the new cookbook! Thanks for the giveaway.

  231. Joke

    As a vegetarian married to a meat-eater, this post struck a chord, as I am not sure how we will approach this with our future children… But I do know that I admire Aimée very much and would love to enter to win her book 🙂

  232. Christina

    funny, I was just reading this while the 4yr old looks through one of my cookbooks. she says she wants to learn to cook when she turns five. (of course she helps me out as possible in the kitchen. but would love to help her feel more in charge.) discussing our food is definitely something we do, thanks for your thoughts.

  233. Diana

    Would love to read this book! Great excerpt too–so helpful 🙂

  234. Ann Marie

    Yay! I love it when children are given the truth — they are so much wiser than we often realize!

  235. bdaiss

    Having grown up on a farm, this is one I live fully. I was completely flabbergasted when a friend told me she couldn’t bare to tell her kids where meat came from. We are suffering when folks think meat just comes from the grocery store. It’s time to get back to the farm! Can’t wait to get my hands on Aimee’s book!

  236. Megan

    So excited to get a copy of Aimee’s cookbook! I could spend days looking at the pictures on her instagram!

  237. Laura (Betula`Loo)

    Loved the podcast episode! Going to see if they have the book at my local bookstore but will hold off buying in case I win! Thanks for the giveaway!

  238. Rachel

    would love to have this!

  239. Katy Johnson

    What a great way to talk to kids about eating meat. I know I have skirted the issue, but this gives me hope that I can talk to my kids about what is in their meal.

  240. Jen C

    This looks like a great book. Would love to win it!

  241. Kristy B

    This book looks like a great read!

  242. Jennai

    I’d love to win this book! Such a cute title and cover picture!

  243. Ashley B

    We love the Little House series and my girls learn so much about food from hit!

  244. Diane Rainbolt

    Thanks for the giveaway!! Just starting on this journey and looking forward to more great literature to help.

  245. Molly Jones

    Great book idea! Love to win this!

  246. Kristin

    What a great giveaway! I have had to cut several things out of my diet recently and am feeling as if I’ve lost my cooking mojo, maybe this book could help me get it back. 😉

  247. Patty

    saw your book on Pinterest and ordered it immediately. Will now add your blog to my blog reader. Would love to have a second copy of this book to give to my daughter.

  248. Sarah Shotts

    Love the tips and the story!

  249. Mindy

    I loved this point of view, and would love to win the book.

  250. Cheryl

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this. I enjoyed listening to your podcast and can’t wait to own this cookbook!

  251. Melissa B

    Thanks for the introduction and the giveaway!

  252. Kathy

    Thanks. What a treat. I always enjoy her creative recipes and look forward to checking out the cookbook.

  253. Alicen

    I would love to have a copy of Aimee’s book!

  254. Rebecca

    I’d absolutely love to win a copy of Aimee’s book!

    This is timely, as my son (7 years old) just came home from school and told me that everyone in his class was shocked to discover where meat comes from (city kids!). He was pretty proud of himself that he already knew about it and could help his teacher tell the other kids about it. We have spent a lot of time since he was small at our local market discussing where different types of meat come from and what parts of the animal they are, the importance of raising animals well. He is also lucky enough to have grandparents who live outside of the city and raise their own sheep.

  255. MichelleD

    This book looks fabulous! Thanks for a chance to win!

  256. Erin

    I never even thought of having to discuss this with my son, but he’s my first and only one year old – thanks for the perspective so I can be more prepared. The book looks beautiful. 🙂

  257. Chantel

    we had a great conversation with our oldest at thanksgiving a few years ago. She was wondering if our turkeys family would miss him! Oh boy!

  258. Katherine

    I love that way of explaining animals – some are for pets, some are for marveling, and some are for eating. Storing that away to teach my kiddos…

  259. Nina

    looks like a lovely book.

  260. Jessica W.

    I would love to win this book! I have two little boys and lately I’ve been thinking about our eating habits and how to explain them to our children. This couldn’t come at a better time!

  261. michelle

    Love to win the beautiful cookbook!

  262. Glenys

    This looks like a lovely book. Would love to have a copy.

  263. Bethany

    Loved this post and approach to food. Would love to win the book!

  264. Library Momma

    Would love to win!

  265. Karen C

    Great thoughts about this for talking with kids. And for considering how to choose what we eat and why….and how to explain that to our kids. Even more challenging in China where our control over what we eat is much less. Would love a good read!

  266. Allison C

    this looks like a great book!

  267. Mary Beth

    Great post! I was surprised that eating animals was a non-issue for my girls when we told them (it just came up at dinner one night when our oldest was about 4 and asked what beef was). They were fascinated, but not at all bothered by it. It is nice when you can tell them that the meat we’re eating comes from animals who were treated well and had happy lives. 🙂 And thanks for the chance to win the cookbook – it looks wonderful.

  268. Linda Cox

    Grateful for the opportunity to possibly win this book!

  269. Elizabeth

    We have tried to keep open the lines of discussion about where our food comes from — it’s difficult because I don’t recall having any concern over where my food came from growing up. We were ‘closer’ to the farm though and so many kids these days only see farms in books or on TV. The book looks interesting — hope to win!

  270. Selina

    So excited about this book. Especially the eating seasonally approach! What a great giveaway!

  271. Heather S

    Soooo excited about this giveaway! I’d la la LOVE to win! 🙂

  272. Rachel - De Ma Cuisine

    I love this. I don’t have kids, but if I do, I’d use some of these ideas when explaining. I love Mateo’s idea that it would be an honor to serve one of your chickens to an important guest. Smart kid.

    Also, so excited about this cookbook. 🙂

  273. Kanae

    I got to know about Simple Bites through Simple Mom (back then 🙂 ). I like to cook and eat real food and I use Aimee’s recipes often. My family’s favorite meal is Lentil Shepherd’s pie!

  274. Carey

    Looks like a lovely book, congratulations! My almost 7 year old is a vegetarian and my 5 year old is an omnivore. Thanks for the ideas on how to talk about eating meat.

  275. Shannon

    This cookbook looks great-thanks for the giveaway!

  276. Kelly

    I would love that book! Great post – from someone who’s 3 year old already tells hunting stories, including the meal after. 🙂

  277. lillian

    Would love to get my hands on her book! I have a friend that would love this book as it embodies many of the things she is doing at home too! urban homesteading, kids, growing hops, veggies and having chickens!

  278. becky j

    What a treat this book looks to be- wow 🙂 I would love to win such a good read…thanks and happy love day today and every day!

  279. Ashley

    im so glad that my kids never really seemed to care. We always talked about it and didn’t make a big deal of it.

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