No, Bethenny Frankel, Your 2-Year-Old Did Not “Choose” To Be Vegetarian

Bethenny Frankel and daughter Bryn Hoppy at a playground in NYC's West Village

Is it absurd that Bethenny Frankel is talking about how her toddler daughter “decided” to become a vegetarian? It seems absurd to me. Frankel says she and 2-year-old Bryn Hoppy will be having a turkey-free Thanksgiving because the little girl does not eat meat.

In an interview with Scholastic, Frankel shares Thanksgiving recipes and explains how her holiday cooking has changed since Bryn went veg:

“… one thing that has changed is the focus on what I make, because my daughter, Bryn (age 2), is a vegetarian. We still have a turkey because my husband wants one, but I’ve adapted a lot of our dishes for her. I used to make this incredible turkey sausage and morel stuffing, but now I make it with veggie sausage and whole grains, and it’s unbelievable.”

When asked whether she chose to raise her daughter vegetarian, Frankel said:

“No, it’s actually been her choice. She just never wants meat.”

It’s like a bizarro twist on those people who are like, “My kids won’t eat vegetables, only Cheetos, and what can you do?”

Not to imply there’s anything wrong with choosing to raise a kid vegetarian. But it is something you choose, because kids eat what you feed them. Like, they have to. At least to a certain extent. And especially 2-year-olds. If your 2-year-old won’t eat anything but broccoli or won’t eat anything but white bread, that’s on you. One may be more acceptable than the other, but it’s on you.

Frankel says her daughter doesn’t like to eat meat, which is plausible. My friend’s two-year-old wants to eat nothing but mangoes and peppers for stretches of time. I get it, kids have preferences. But that’s just … a kid having preferences. A two-year-old might not like to eat meat, but that doesn’t mean they chose vegetarianism.

“My 4 year old doesn’t like meat that requires a lot of chewing,” comments one mom on a blog post about Frankel. “I’ve often said he could be a vegetarian if I was one or willing to cook that way.”


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    • RDolph

      I understand what Bethenny is saying. I have never really eaten meat. It is not that my parents didn’t serve it, or didn’t try to get me to eat it, I just refused. I am still that type of vegetarian. It does not have to be a political, animal rights based choice. The fact that her daughter doesn’t ever choose meat does indeed mean that she has chosen to be vegetarian. Just because she doesn’t use, or even know, the word doesn’t mean that she hasn’t chosen it.

    • lmd2

      I don’t think she’s necessarily wrong. I’m 34 and have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I never liked meat, chicken, or fish as a child, and have not eaten any of that since I was 13 and able to make my own choices and cook a little for myself. (Before that my mom would hide or disguise the meat in dishes, mostly out of concern that I wasn’t getting enough protein). I’m not a picky eater otherwise – I’ll eat pretty much anything that’s not meat. I’ve just never liked it, and I think that that’s the way it is with some people.

    • mms131

      I’m assuming the author does not have kids. Children often choose to stay away from meat and certain vegetables simply due to texture. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Bethenny embracing her daughter’s preferences. It seems as though the author is implying vegetarianism is an unhealthy lifestyle.

    • Camilla Bech

      She doesn’t say her daughter is a vegetarian because of ethical reasons, but because she doesn’t like meat.. Some people just don’t like meat. I have a friend who has never eaten meat because she just doesn’t like it, so she also chose to be a vegetarian at a very, very young age..

    • soulthatisloved

      Little Bryn hasn’t reached the age of accountability yet, meaning Bethenny can’t believe everything the little girl says is accurate or believable. But it would be a sad Mother/Daughter relationship indeed if Bethenny treated her girl like a robot where the programmer has the control and the responsibility, not the robot. Keep believing in your daughter, Bethenny: adorable Mom.

    • Mae Shirlie

      Bethenny needs to learn one valuable lesson…don’t talk about your children to reporters. Bryn’s eating habits and other habits are private. What children do not sign up for or choose is the media prying into their every like or dislike. Mom needs to STFU about Bryn. Enjoy the spotlight and success. You and Jason are adults and have managed to rise to unimaginable success, unlike any of the housewives. We saw how hard that was on Jason so why would you start to bring that light on Bryn. Bryn did not ask for this so leave her life out of this. Talk about your eating habits. Bring Bryn to her grandparents when you have an appearance before cameras. In short, leave Bryn out of this!

    • Broseph

      My fiance’s sister has always been a vegetarian because since she was three she has literally gotten sick every time she eats it.