Children eating meat and chicken during the Nine Days

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Children eating meat and chicken:

A child who is below the age of Chinuch may eat meat, poultry and wine during the nine days.[1] A child who is above the age of Chinuch may not eat meat or drink wine during the nine days.[2] The age of Chinuch in this regard is a child that has reached the age of understanding the mourning period [which is not before age 9[3]].[4] Some Poskim[5], however, rule one should be stringent if the child has reached the general age of Chinuch of all Mitzvos [which is approximately from age six]. [Practically, the custom of many is to be stringent in this matter.[6]] One may be lenient to give children [below Bar and Bas Mitzvah] to eat meat on Erev Shabbos after midday.[7] [Some Poskim[8] however limit this ruling only to those areas in which Shabbos begins late and one desires to feed the children before Shabbos.]

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[1] M”A 551:31 “One may give meat and wine to a child, however only if he is not of age of mourning”; Implication of Rama 551:10; Makor Chaim 551:9; Chayeh Adam 133:16; Divreiy Yatziv 2:236; Chanoch Lanaar 21 footnote 5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 551:41 [that this applies even according to the M”B brought next]

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one may not give children meat or wine during the nine days. [Elya Raba 551:24; M”B 551:70; Shaareiy Teshuvah 551:30; Kaf Hachaim 551:155] Some Poskim rule that this applies to children of any age. [Degul Merivava 551 in his opinion of the Elya Raba ibid “Even complete children”] The Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 214 concludes that so is the custom of the world.

[2] M”A ibid; Makor Chaim 551:9; Chayeh Adam 133:16; All Poskim ibid

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that all children below Bar and Bas Mitzvah may eat meat until the week of Tisha B’av. [Chayeh Adam brought in M”B 551:82]

[3] Piskeiy Teshuvos 551:41 footnote 179 in name of Chavos Yair and Meiam Loaz

[4] M”A ibid; and so agrees: Or Letziyon 1:33; Yalkut Yosef; Divreiy Yatziv 2:236 regarding chicken

[5] See Divreiy Yatziv 2:236; Chanoch Lanaar 21 footnote 5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 551:41

[6] Piskeiy Teshuvos 551 footnote 214

[7] Elya Raba ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid

[8] Igros Moshe 4:21

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