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My daughter has decided she wants to be a vegetarian, I am not against it but she eats so little anyway I am worried and I don't want to have to go out of my way to make sure we always have something she can eat at dinner. What would you do?

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Asked by mellogal at 8:18 PM on Mar. 22, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (20)
  • Take her to a registered dietitian.  They will explain what she needs to grow strong.  It's up to you how to compromise with her and still make family dishes everyone will like.


    Answer by timelessglass at 8:21 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Support her in the desire to eat a better diet. I think if you do you will also find others in your family eating more fruits and veggies as well. Find out if it is just a desire to cut out meat..or is it something else. Some vegatarians eat no dairy or fish...some do. Most eat no jello products . It might take a little adjusting...but I think it's good thing. Make sure she is getting protein from nuts, beans, soy etc.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:22 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • You can make her a big salad every day. If she eats eggs and dairy it should be pretty easy. Chop up an egg and cheese into the salad. Nuts, and other cooked and fresh vegetables. Beans are allowed on a vegetarian diet (not pork and beans, but there are baked beans by the can that are called vegetarian. There are canned vegetarian foods by Loma Linda that are made to look and taste like meat- hotdogs, hamburgs. It would be a good time to learn about tofu and how to cook it- google tofu recipes. Whole grains- whole wheat bread, brown rice. Peanut and other nut butters.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:42 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Tell her to substitute with lots of fiber, soy and beans for protein she wont be getting with meat.

    Answer by Vivian63 at 8:50 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • I'm okay with vegetarians but not carbatarians lol.

    So my rules would be that she needs to help with the grocery list/shopping, take the proper vitamins, make sure to eat the beans / nuts / cheese for protein and not just carbs.


    Answer by Praying at 8:57 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • I'd either take her to a regiestered dietitian as suggested or at least make her provide you with a full and detailed report on exactly what SHE will have to do to make sure she gets the proper nutrients. If she is old enough to make this decision, she is old enough to do the research to find out what it will take to stay healthy. She is also old enough to plan her meals and stick to a food budget.
    If she's not old enough to do all of those things, then she is not old enough to make such a life decision. In the future, yes. Now, no.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 9:38 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • You say she eats little now..I would be concerned that this might be a way to further a decent into an eating disorder. Many girls with eating disorders claim they are being vegetarians for "health" reasons when really its just a cover to be able to restrict their intake more. I would definintly take her to a dietician & have them work out a real vegetarian friendly meal plan..and make sure she follows it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:55 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • my daughter went vegetarian several months ago. She has lost some weight. We researched this together and she has agreed to still drink milk and eat eggs and cheese. We do make sure she eats at least 1400 a day. It's hard and I do buy her special food though usually she'll eat what we have except the meat.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 10:55 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • oh I fogot to mention that we expected some weight loss and we are backing her up 110 percent but we also told her if her weight continues to drop she will drop the veggie only act. Good luck and your an awesome parent for supporting her in this. If you want an ally I'm here.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 10:57 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • honestly, i doubt this will stick. when i was a teenager i went through a phase where i was a vegetarian but later changed my mind. (along with the vegetarian phase came dressing in all black, silver bangles, and blue hair and calling my dad by his first name).

    she can have whatever you're having for dinner, minus the meat. if she's getting enough, she'll find something else to eat.

    unless there's some underlying issue, like an eating disorder, teens eat when they're hungry.. let her do her thing.

    Answer by metalhealthmama at 11:42 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

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