Are you looking for the best tips for veggie kids?
When a child announces their decision to become vegetarian, parents can experience a range of emotions, from worry and fear to pride. While vegetarianism may be more mainstream that it was thirty years ago, many people still believe one needs to eat meat to have a well-balanced, healthy diet.
Parents may worry that their newly vegetarian kids won’t get all their nutrients, or enough calories, picturing monotonous meals of salad, mashed potatoes, or peanut butter sandwiches. It may feel like your child is rejecting the meals you have so lovingly prepared, or that dinnertime has now been split into “us” and “him/her” and you must now make two separate meals.
You have spent your life cooking meatloaf, chicken, and pork chops; you don’t have a clue what to do with tofu and bean sprouts! Happily, incorporating vegetarian food into your everyday meals is easier than you think, and your child’s choice of vegetarianism can even bring you together as a family and positively impact the entire family’s health. Use the following steps as a guideline to accepting and embracing your child’s choice:
Tips for veggie kids
1. Inform yourself about vegetarianism by scouring for tips for veggie kids.
There are a number of excellent sources of information of vegetarianism; books, magazines, and websites can all help you be better informed. Find out what you need to know.
2. See this as a positive health choice
If you are nervous about your child’s choice and how it will impact their health, it may comfort you to know that, on average, vegetarians have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and have less risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity than those who eat meat on a regular basis. Read up on the myths and the facts about being vegetarian before you discuss the issue with your child.
3. Talk to your child about their choice
Pick a time when you both have some free time and the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. Ask your child what led to their decision; why have they chosen to become a vegetarian? Perhaps they are opposed to animal cruelty, or they may feel that not eating meat is a responsible ecological choice.
Make a quick and easy veggie burger
4. Don’t fight it
Respect your child’s opinions, and don’t turn the issue into a battle of wills. (This means you should refrain from pointing out that they are still wearing leather sneakers.) Vegetarianism may be a “phase,” or it may be a lifelong choice; either way, it is a valid decision. Some people take vegetarianism one step further and become a vegan.
Vegans do not consume any animal related products, including milk, butter, cheese, and gelatin. Veganism is generally more difficult to integrate into “regular” life: restaurant choices are even more limited than vegetarian options, and more care must go into planning meals to make sure one is getting the proper nutrients. This article will deal primarily with a vegetarian choice that includes dairy and eggs.
3. With your child, investigate the nutritional aspects of vegetarianism
A well-balanced, healthy diet does not need to contain meat. In fact, vegetarian diets are often healthier and more varied than meat-based diets. While eating vegetarian may not be difficult, there are some basic ideas that need to get adjusted to. It is not wise (or healthy) to simply eat what you used to eat and just remove the meat.
Meat serves as a good source of protein, vitamin B-12, and iron, among other things. Foods such as nuts, eggs, and beans can be an excellent protein source, as can more “stereotypical” veggie foods like tofu, tempeh, and soymilk. There are a number of “fake meat” products on the market, as well as veggie burgers made with rice or bulgar wheat. When planning a vegetarian diet, many people focus on four major food groups: fruits, veggies, legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils) and whole grains.
Discuss vegetarian foods your child is thinking of eating, and whether or not those foods will provide a nutritious, balanced diet.
4. Consider meeting a nutritionist
If you remain concerned that your child won’t be getting proper nutrition, there are a number of books and articles on vegetarianism that can help, or you can consult a nutritionist and express your concerns. (Especially when considering a vegan diet, meeting with a nutritionist or a knowledgeable older vegan can be incredibly beneficial.)
5. Think about how to integrate vegetarian foods into your everyday meals.
In some cases, this may be easy. In all likelihood, your family already consumes vegetarian or nearly-vegetarian meals. Breakfast foods like waffles or scrambled eggs are fine; if your child likes, there are vegetarian breakfast sausages and bacon as well. Pizza, sandwiches, eggplant parmigiana, and baked ziti can all be easily made without meat.
Experiment with grilled veggie or hummus on sandwiches, or sesame seed butter and jam. Stir fries and spaghetti sauce can be made without chicken or meatballs; simply cook and serve the meat separately, or separate a portion out before adding the meat. Making a few vegetarian meals a week for the entire family can be beneficial to the family budget; a simple dish of rice with a can of black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes can be enjoyed by everyone. (Serve it with a side of cornbread.)
6. Keep it quick and easy
Like meat-based meals, vegetarian meals can be quick and easy, or they can involve hours of prep time and a list of ingredients you have never heard of. There are a host of vegetarian cookbooks to pick from; choose one that appeals to you and your child, and try new recipes from time to time. You may find a few new family favorites! If your concept of vegetarian food is stir fried tofu and veggies, you have a whole new world to explore: from spicy Indian food to Thai, Asian, and Middle Eastern food.
7. Make it a family affair
It shouldn’t take long before you have at least half a dozen vegetarian recipes that the whole family loves. For meals like pork chops with side dishes, try substituting a veggie burger patty for the pork chop. Heat up some beans when you make tacos; family members can choose to add beef, beans, or both.
8. Dine out – Tips for Veggie Kids
You can still eat out , most restaurants offer at least one vegetarian option; if not, you can usually ask them to make something without the meat.
9. Conuider meat free Mondays
This will show tremendous support to your child and will be you doing your bit for the environment too.
10. Cook with your child
Involve your child in batch baking snacks for the ir school lunch or plant based bologneses. It si a great way to educate them about food and spend some bonding time together
11. Be proud of their choice
Remember, being vegitarian is a healthy, positive choice. Not only can it impact your health and well-being, but it can also have a positive effect on the environment. As a parent, try to support and understand your child’s decision, and look at it as a choice that can also have a positive impact on your family as a whole.
12 Tips for Veggie Kids – Grow your own
Not much is better for mental health than time spent in nature and being creative. Will all the extra veggies you will be consuming growing your own could be a good shout. And kids love to get involved with this.
13. Be veggie savvy
Know a few sound nutritional hacks like having a satsuma after a meal . Vitamin C aids iron absorption which is great news for a veggie. A diluted glass of orange juice would work well too.
14. Consider supplements
Include vitamin drops in your child’s diet daily until age five and beyond if they are a picky eater. talk to your health provider about the right does for your child.
15. Keep food fun – top tips for veggie kids
Your newly vegetarian child does not have to miss out because they have a planet-based diet. You can get veggie Easter eggs, vegan marshmallows for hot choc and even vegan advent calendars and vegan gingerbread.
Final thoughts on tips for veggie kids
So there is absolutely need to panic, there are, as you can see lots and lots of ways you can support your child. Make this a positive experience for all of you – it can be a great way to motivate kids to eat healthy foods.