Two Square Meals left a comment on my post about vegetarian recipes for Lent that I thought was worth addressing in a post. It boiled down to: what about the kids? How do you make sure they get enough protein if you do a vegetarian fast for Lent?
I don't know what everyone does, but here's why it works for us:
1) My kids all willingly eat eggs, cheese, milk and beans. If they didn't, I'd probably make sure they had meat during our Lenten meals. They're growing, and I'd make sure they had what they needed.
2) At least a night or two a week, we eat dinner at my folks' place or with my mother-in-law. They almost always fix meat, and we follow the rule that if someone offers it, you eat it, because you don't impose your fast on other people. So the kids get meat during Lent when they visit their grandparents. :)
3) We don't fast at all on Sundays, because that's the day we celebrate the resurrection, even during Lent. So the kids eat meat then.
4) This should maybe be a sub-category of #1, but I think that a well-balanced vegetarian diet has plenty of protein for a growing child. Again, if you have kids who will eat the big veg. protein sources (eggs, dairy, legumes).
As you can see, with our exceptions (Sundays, other people's homes), the fast from meat isn't really that strenuous. So, it seems to me like it's a good way to introduce the idea of fasting to children, without worrying that it'll do them any harm. Kids (or "those who are attaining their growth" as they used to say) shouldn't do any true fasting. They shouldn't go hungry or be undernourished. If they're hungry for it, they probably need it. (Unless "it" is five bowls of ice cream a day.) But, at least the way we do it, I don't think going vegetarian for Lent is anything that will do them any harm. Frankly, I'm not even sure they'd notice unless we pointed it out. :)
peace of Christ to you,