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Tayamazer
Tayamazer asks:
Q:

What are some easy meals for a teen vegetarian?

for the whole month of August...i will not be eatin meat...but my family will....so i needd some suggestions on meals me and my family can eat, or maybe we could eat what we normallly do...but i just wont eat the meat... ???? one reason i did this was to get away from the greasy food...thats usually the meat. ha so i want to try to eat healthier...and i thought that i should just try this for right now. some of my friends said they did and it made them feel amazing! lol
In Topics: Nutrition
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Jul 29, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Tayamazer,

Eating well and eating vegetarian can be the same, but for a growing teen it requires work.  If you will eat fruit, vegetables, fish, eggs but not meat, you will need only a daily multiple vitamin supplement.  Don't forget calcium as a young woman.  Add yogurt and milk or cheese.  Many vegetarians make up for the lost minerals by eating nuts and beans.
 
Ask you mom/dad if you can grill, or cook without oil which may eliminate some of the "grease."
 
Ask your health teacher at school, or go on www.teenhealthfx.com for suggestions.
 
Wayne A. Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (4)

CreativeRachna
CreativeRac... , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
Congratulations on deciding to go vegetarian.  Sometimes the body does well with change to it's nutritional diet.  Education.com has a great nutrition section which details healthy recipies for children.  

http://www.education.com/topic/kids-recipes/

The fruits and vegetable quick tips are good in reference to knowing how many servings you need of each.

http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Nutrition_Quick_Tips/

I hope this helps,
Rachna
> 60 days ago

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ASimon
ASimon writes:
Hi Tayamazer,
   aside from trying some of the recipes mentioned in the response above mine, there are usually many vegetarian alternatives to typical meat products.If your family is eating burgers or cold cuts usually you can find garden burgers or soy cold cuts to replace the meat.

However if your main reason for cutting out meat is simply to loose weight make sure to consider other options! Lean meats are actually a great part of a healthy diet, and simply changing your food priorities (having a little meat to go along with your other dishes instead of the other way around) can make a great difference

Even non meat containing food can still be quite bad for you (for example plain white bread, sweets, fried vegetables, etc.) so just make sure that you pay attention to whats in your food (avoid too much sugar, sodium, and saturated fats)

Regardless of your choice, vegetarian diets can be very healthy but make sure you get your proper amount of protein. Meats are considered a "complete" protein since they contain all the necessary amino acids your body needs. While it definitely is possible to obtain such proteins as a vegetarian, these proteins must be obtained from a variety of "incomplete" sources such as vegetables, beans, soy, dairy, etc.

Here are a few protein guides to a vegetarian diet, hope this is helpful!
-http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm
-http://www.vegsoc.org/info/protein.html
> 60 days ago

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LouiseSattler
LouiseSattler , Child Professional writes:
Hello Tayamazer,

Many people are now becoming vegetarians, so the options available in and out of your home will be easier.

First, remember to read up on how to keep a healthy diet as a vegetarian.  Some people have unbalanced vegetarian lives and eat too may carbs or high in fat foods and forget about fruits and vegetables!  Libraries are now filled with recipe books (as are bookstores, of course).

Beans, cheeses, and rice have been a staple in our family.  Amazing products made from soy and chick pea products are readily available in most large supermarkets and are mostly great in taste.  Lots of fun meals can be made with a tortilla, lettuce wraps and taco shells!

Good luck!

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families
http://www.SigningFamilies.com
> 60 days ago

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi Tayamazer,

In addition to the other suggestions you received in JustAsk, I would also recommend that you (and/or your parents) talk to your doctor about your plan to stop eating meat, and get his/her guidance for maintaining your health and well-being through diet. Your doctor will be able to examine and diagnose the state of your current physical health, and help you and your parents decide if a vegetarian (or meat-free) diet is the right option for you. Your doctor can also monitor your health after you change your eating habits and help address any issues that may arise from the change.

I think it's wonderful that you are focused on eating healthy, and urge you to involve your parents and doctor in this decision and in the implementation of the new diet. I'm including below some links to additional information your parents' may also find helpful.

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