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Does Your Teen Want To Become A Vegetarian

Does Your Teen Want To Become A Vegetarian
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If your teenager has announced she wants to become a vegetarian, your first reaction may be dread of cooking separate meals and making sure she gets all the nutrients she needs. However, if she’s serious about giving up meat, it’s important to respect her decision and offer support, even if you stop short of doing all the additional cooking yourself.

Ask why

There are many reasons why teenagers opt to become vegetarian. From an act of rebellion, asserting control over their own bodies, right through to environmental issues, religious reasons and health factors. It may even be as simple as not liking the taste or texture of meat. Food intolerances may also be an issue that has prompted the decision. Once you’ve established why your teen wants to go veggie, you’ll be better able to understand her point of view and respect her choice.

Find out what she’ll eat

The term ‘vegetarian’ is often used to cover a range of similar diets. For example; some people call themselves vegetarian but still eat fish or poultry. Finding out what your teen is willing to eat, also what she wants to cut from her diet will help you plan healthy meals and snacks.

Work together

Does Your Teen Want To Become A VegetarianWorking together to create and prepare a balanced diet will show your teen that you respect her decision. It will teach her how to plan healthy meals, without missing out on key nutrients often found in meat. Use this time to teach your teen about healthy eating. Encouraging your teen to take part in food preparation will also take some of the workload from you, if you are planning a different meal for other members of the family that is.

Is it healthy?

There is absolutely no reason why being a vegetarian can’t be healthy for teenagers. In fact, veggie diets can be even healthier than ones that include meat. These diets can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. A balanced veggie diet include; plenty of fruit and vegetables, protein-rich foods such as beans, lentils, nuts or meat substitutes, starchy foods with carbohydrates and fibre, dairy products (or alternatives if your teen is going vegan) and healthy fats.

Experiment

Discovering what works best for your family will take some experimentation. You may choose to make a separate meal for your veggie, or you may decide that most of your meals will be vegetarian. Buy a vegetarian cookbook or download some recipes for ideas. Encourage the whole family to eat at least two or three veggie dinners every week.

Keep an open mind

If you’re still unsure about your teen’s decision, it’s important to discuss it with her. Express your concerns, but allow her to respond to them. Before you pass vegetarianism off as a teenage phase, give it a chance. You may be surprised and find that the whole family ends up eating healthier as a result!

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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