Supporting Vegetarian/Vegan Teens

by Scully 24 Replies latest social family

  • La Capra
    La Capra


    I went mostly vegetarian for the bulk of my high school years. No missed, late, or lighter periods (I would have considered that as relevant to my nutrition, I was geeky about that). But, at the end of my junior year, I went off it, started eating a little animal protein like beef, chicken and turkey nearly every day. At seventeen and a half, I grew an inch and a half in like 6 months. Incredibly unusual for a girl, particularly since I had put on no height since I was in eighth grade.

    I am sure it was related to returning to the meat. (Since the girls in my family tended to reach full height at about 13 or 14.)

    I also no longer needed an hour nap after school every day.

    That's my anecdotal evidence, for what it's worth...


  • Stephanus

    Just chop her meat and cheese into cubes, paint it white and call it tofu. The only difference she'll notice is that "The tofu's been tasting a lot better, lately"

  • SPAZnik
  • DanTheMan

    I'm not a vegetarian but I am lactose-intolerant, so to get calcium in my diet I buy orange juice that has calcium added, and also the rice milk that I use on my cereal has it added also.

  • barry

    A vegan diet is much more challenging to get a good diet as there was a study done on vegans and it was found they all lacked in vitamin B12. This vitamin is only found in animal foods.

  • BlackSwan of Memphis
    BlackSwan of Memphis

    Scully I don't know about where you live, but here in the states a few years back McDonalds was sued over their french fries. I think it was a religious group. Apparently, McDonalds uses animal fat to deep fry the french fries, so that it would be on the un-vegan food list.

    Maybe she could start vegetarian and work her way into being a vegan. PETA has some good recipes on their website. In fact, they seem quite balanced.

    I've used their recipes before and they're pretty good. PETA strongly advocates not just vegetarianism but a vegan lifestyle as well. There might be a good alternative health food store in your area they would carry many alternative meal items. Or possibly an online store. In my area there is one Krogers that has a large supply of vegetarian and organic frozen foods. Everything from pizzas made with soy cheese and veggies to bean burritos made with soy cheese and products. You might also request it at your local store.

    Hope this helps


  • LDH

    I recommend UTNE magazine as a good resource for anyone considering this lifestyle, and a lifestyle of 'minimal impact.'

    you might consider subscribing in her name as a way to show your support....

    What's a good way to go about accommodating a teen who wants to go vegetarian/vegan when the rest of the family wants to remain omnivorous?
    This lifestyle choice is about personal responsibility, so give her a food budget --$50/week and let her do the rest.
  • lowden


    There is really nothing wrong with a vegan diet but coming from a teenager it may well just be a phase.

    Calcium has been mentioned.

    Did you know that the Chinese consume NO cow's milk or dairy products and yet have among the lowest osteoporosis rates in the world?

    Dairy products simply don't present the most readily available source of calcium for humans because it is bound up with a substance called casein ( a type of glue) which needs certain digestive enzymes present in the stomach to break it down and thus release the calcium. Humans stop producing those enzymes at 3 or 4 years old. Dairy products aren't going to KILL us but they do play a part in lowering the immune system.

    Greens are a VERY good source of calcium (paricularly broccolli/calbrese) as are brazil nuts, oily fish and chickpeas.

    A vegan diet is hard to maintain though, with only a surface knowledge of nutrition.

    Good Luck


  • unclebruce

    It's about time McDonalds produced a Popeye burger loaded with spinach and mayo for all the scarey vegans out there

    I put my little girls off meat one day by making baaaaa noises when I stuck my fork into roast lamb. That was nearly 20 years ago and the poor things aren't over it yet.

    bad unc


  • dobbie

    Hi i turned vegetarian when i was 12 and still am 20 yrs later.I really think seeing a nutritionist is a good idea for a vegan diet, i did try that myself for a year as a teen but turned anaemic and ended up seeing someone which really helped as she could give me and mum all the info we needed on dietary requirements and recipe ideas. I am just a normal veggie now though cos i could'nt live without chocolate and soya choc is horrible! I now have my own family of meat eaters and to save time i cook batches of my meals ahead and freeze them, that way you're not always cooking two separate meals at one.It also taught me how to cook and helped my poor mum out(feel really sorry for my parents my dads a butcher and have had a vegetarian jehovahs witness daughter to put up with-don't know which he hated more!)So long as she gets the right vitamins and minerals she'll be fine, red lentils are v healthy you can make lentil bolognese instead of meat my family loves it.Also veg stew with mixed pulses am getting hungry now!There is soya milk as well of course and i've been told soya ice cream is v nice also soya marg is ok. There are loads of cookbooks now that you can get and of course info on the internet. Hope this is of some use to you.

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