segunda-feira, 30 de novembro de 2009

Raising Vegetarian Children

How do you explain meat to hildren? If you don’t eat it, are you raising your children as vegetarians, too?

Surrounded as we are this week by yams and brussels sprouts and cranberries and turkey (and those mini hot dogs that have somehow also become a tradition at our family’s Thanksgiving table), the moment seems right to write about vegetarian parents and children.

My two sisters-in-law are vegetarians, along with my husband’s first cousin, which means there are a lot of vegetables included in our yearly feast. As it happens, none of the parents in this group expect that their children will refrain from meat, allowing them to make that decision for themselves when they get older.

Many vegetarian parents do expect their children to eat as they eat, though, and The Los Angeles Times ran a story earlier this month about the challenges of raising vegetarian kids. The writer, Emily Sohn, points out that it becomes tougher as the children get older because:

Resentment can build up if foods are forbidden completely. School-age children in particular can become anxious when anything about them is different from their peers, including what they eat for lunch.

The experts she quotes strongly suggest that parents allow some leeway, such as “allowing kids to eat meat at friends’ houses or restaurants or packing snacks and lunches that look like chicken nuggets or hot dogs but are actually made from soy or wheat gluten.”

But while compromise works for some parents, it is not in the plan for Cindy Waxer, who wrote an essay for Babble recently about raising her 3-year-old on a vegetarian “cruelty free” diet. Her problem so far, she says, is partly the temptation presented by other children. (“What sort of chance does marinated tofu and mango-flecked quinoa stand against deep-fried chicken fingers?” she asks.)

Most of the challenge, though, comes from adults. Her husband, “a committed carnivore, agreed to go along for the ride, sanctioning Chloe’s meat-free existence on the condition that she be free to switch to the dark side if the urge arose.” But others in her child’s life have been less accommodating:

When I informed Chloe’s preschool teacher the very first day of class that my daughter is a strict vegetarian, she snapped her gum and responded: “Oh, O.K. But she can still eat chicken and fish, right?” I almost fainted.

And, she continues:

I spend my days fielding e-mails from my father containing links to articles entitled, “Iron Deficiency Anemia.” Even the normally stone-cold nurse at our pediatrician’s office burst into gales of laughter when a routine check-up revealed that Chloe is a die-hard vegetarian — as if it were a role reserved for hemp-wearing, patchouli-loving adolescents.

The complications are not only faced by parents who don’t eat meat, of course, but also by those who do. A reader, Erika Edwards, sees one of those complications looming on her parenting horizon. In an e-mail message she explains:

My son is 17 months old and loves farm animals. Last night, he was eating chicken, and I thought: “I wonder when he’s going to figure out that the chicken he is eating is the same chicken that he sees in his books, at the farms and petting areas that we visit, etc.? I wonder how he will react? And I wonder what we will do about it?”

How do you explain meat to children? If you eat it, what’s your answer when questioned by your animal-loving kids? And if you don’t, are you raising your children as vegetarians, too?

112 comments as of now ;) The NYT. Illustration by Barry Falls

domingo, 29 de novembro de 2009

quarta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2009


  1. 1 - “Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.”
  2. 2 - “Anything that’s invented between when you’re 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.”
  3. 3 - “Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.”
Douglas Adams

segunda-feira, 23 de novembro de 2009

The Story and Storytelling Museum, in Oxford

From Lewis Carroll's Wonderland to JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth, CS Lewis's Narnia and the parallel universes of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, Oxford has played host to some of the UK's most enduring literary creations. Now a £2.5m donation from an anonymous private benefactor means the first steps have been taken towards the creation of a museum dedicated to storytelling in the city.
The Story Museum has existed online for the past four years, holding events across Oxfordshire and running storytelling pilots in schools, but the donation enables it to start constructing a permanent home in Oxford. It has just signed a lease on Rochester House, a Victorian building a stone's throw from Christ Church College – where many scenes in the Harry Potter movies are filmed – on Pembroke Street. It now needs to raise a further £11m to transform the building into a museum, which will aim to attract 100,000 visitors a year when it opens in 2014.
Children will be able to listen to stories at the museum, to "walk through" them, to create stories of their own and to "open windows and go through doorways into other worlds", according to the team behind the museum, described as a cathedral to the children's story by trustee and children's publisher David Fickling.
"Dreams do come true: we are absolutely delighted to have a real home at last," said the museum's director Kim Pickin. "Rochester House has its roots in the Victorian era, when Oxford began producing children's stories that are known and loved across the world. Lewis Carroll himself would have known the building." Spokesperson Cath Nightingale said the donor wished to remain anonymous.
Pullman, who lives in Oxford and set his bestselling fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials in two different versions of the city, is a patron for the museum, along with fellow former children's laureates Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson. "The Story Museum will be a wonderful gift from Oxford, where so many stories have begun, to the whole world," Pullman said. "The whole atmosphere of the city is rich with fantasy. Indeed, the very idea of having a museum devoted to story is itself such a fantastical notion than no other city in the world could have given birth to it."
Carroll wrote his Alice books in Oxford in the 19th century, Tolkien and Lewis would meet to discuss their work in the city's Eagle and Child pub in the 1930s and 40s, and Kenneth Grahame wrote The Wind in the Willows in Oxfordshire. "There must be something in the waters of the Isis that gets into the system of Oxford residents, magically causing them to think of and bring to life unforgettable characters and plots," said Oxfordshire-based children's author Mary Hoffman.
Oxford resident and Duncton Wood author William Horwood said there was "clearly something going on in Oxford which doesn't happen in other cities". "From where I'm sitting at this moment I've got within a radius of less than two miles Kenneth Grahame, Charles Dodgson [Carroll], Tolkien, Philip Pullman and CS Lewis," he said. "There is a literary tradition associated with Oxford going back to medieval times. People read here. The spirit of the word is here. Also there's the fact that the colleges are basically monastic institutions – you've got corridors within corridors, staircases within staircases, doors which open onto magical gardens. It's hardly surprising that something like Alice in Wonderland came straight out of Oxford."
The museum's team is now planning a feasibility study to establish how to create the Story Museum, and is also putting together a "major public campaign" for 2010 to raise the £11m it needs if it is to open by 2014, in time for Oxford's bid to become Unesco's World Book Capital that year.

sexta-feira, 20 de novembro de 2009

quinta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2009

If only...

The Pet Dragon, by Christoph Niemann - como é possível um talento destes?

Um Livro sobre Livrinhos ;) Illustrated Children’s Books

Illustrated Children’s Books is a detailed look into the design and stories of children’s books, focusing on the well-known illustrators and characters that have influenced readers of all ages.
Illustrated Children’s Book goes back and visits the history of children’s books, looking at the design and characters of these well loved tales. It takes us on a visual journey of the development of children’s illustrations throughout the ages, the ‘notion of childhood’, historical facts and the design and illustration of these memorable books. Includes a foreword by the current Children's Laureate Anthony Browne.
From classics such as John Tenniel’s Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, to well-known illustrators such as Quentin Blake, this book explores the cover design, character illustration and interiors of these well-loved stories. With commentary from some of the most renowned illustrators of the day, the book examines the iconic design of children’s illustrated storytelling and provides background information on the authors and illustrators.
Illustrated Children’s Books features perennial favourites such as Dr Seuss, Miffy, Eric Carle’s The Hungry Caterpillar, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are as well as recent successes such as Oliver Jeffers’ The Incredible Book Eating Boy.
With essays from Peter Hunt and Lisa Sainsbury. Peter Hunt is the Professor Emeritus in Children’s Literature at Cardiff University and awarded the International Brothers Grimm Award for services to children’s literature in 2003. Lisa Sainsbury is based at the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University.

segunda-feira, 16 de novembro de 2009

domingo, 15 de novembro de 2009

sábado, 7 de novembro de 2009

quarta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2009

Wallace & Gromit - cracking new website ;)

Funny Parenting

Here's a funny story for dads and kids to enjoy.
An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard; I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.
He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.
An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.
The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: ' I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'
The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'

Wallace & Gromit - 20 Anos, com os Parabéns do Google

Pequeno resumo dos Google Doodles no Guardian

How to Train your Dragon - trailer

terça-feira, 3 de novembro de 2009

Direito à educação desde o nascimento

1 - Introdução
O texto que aqui apresentamos baseou-se em investigações actuais e conhecimentos empíricos sobre educação na primeira infância e visa constituir-se como um ponto de partida para outras reflexões sobre o DIREITO À EDUCAÇÃO DESDE O SEU NASCIMENTO.

A APEI pretende alargar a reflexão e a discussão em torno de questões fundamentais para a educação.
Por outro lado, a visão da associação pretende diversificar o espaço de participação no debate público, de forma a assegurar um crescimento sustentado dos serviços e o reconhecimento social da educação de infância e do seu valor para a sociedade.
O presente documento será a base para o debate, que decorrerá até ao final de 2009. No primeiro semestre serão integrados os contributos resultantes do mesmo e, com o apoio de juristas, a APEI preparará um projecto de lei, recolherá 15000 assinaturas e que apresentará à Assembleia da República para discussão e votação.


LEGO Builders of Tomorrow