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Kids Health-Vegetarian?

Teens Eating Salads

From birth, parents worry about their kids health. Making healthy food for kids is a top priority.

But, one day you may have a teen vegetarian. Your teenager, or pre-teen, may decide to be vegetarian. This may surprise you since she just ate a Big Mac yesterday. Vegetarian eating is growing in popularity and teenagers are known for wanting to be like their "heroes".

If you are a meat eater, all kinds of questions may pop in your head. What does that mean? How will my child grow and stay healthy? What am I going to cook? What is the problem with meat? Will my kids health suffer?

The Veggie Detective

Now What?

The best advice is to read as much as possible about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. Children rarely understand how this decision will affect them. As with most everything, it is up to the parent to help their child to understand how to eat responsibly and stay healthy. And, of course, if you try to talk them out of it, you will probably fail. As a parent, your kids' health is your responsibility

Communication is vital. Find out why your son or daughter wants to be vegetarian. To save animals? The planet? Or, because they want to take control. Vegetarian eating is a form of food restriction just like other diets. Look for eating disorder red flags.

Again, help your teen to eat a variety of healthy foods, and in enough quantity to promote growth. Parents need to teach kids to take care of themselves. One idea is to serve food on divided plates made for kids. So, at least three food groups are represented. 

Teens Do Change

My daughter is not vegetarian, but won't eat any meat with a bone. She doesn't want to be reminded that it once was an animal. So, my granddaughter never saw a whole chicken; until one day a friend had rotisserie chicken. She decided then and there to never eat meat again. She was 6.

As time passed, this idea was abandoned, but there is still no "meat on the bone" in the house. Since my granddaughter has many pets and works with the humane society, I see a vegetarian in the making. Peer influence is great at school. And, sometimes the schools don't help by tempting your kids with junk food in the schools. Get involved with your school and influence your school menu.

Healing Beyond Nutrition

Nutritonal value is sometimes only a part of the healing process. Sometimes the family needs more.

Michael at Child's Play Healing states:"Since I began teaching kids Reconnective Healing, I've seen how kids from age four to twelve can learn to use these new "feelings of healing" to learn how to feel better themselves, how to help with pain after an injury and how to help others with their healing."

Eating right provides the child with the ability to grow strong. But, there is more to feeling good.

National School Lunch Program

As part of the reauthorization of the National School Lunch Program
(NSLP), schools are now required to offer different portions of fruits
and vegetables, as well as different types. They’re also required to
use whole grain options.

New school nutrition regulations from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture are not final. There are now minimums of what we have to offer per week.

Schools are offering a wider variety of fruits and vegetables and working whole grains into muffins and breads.

Learn More About Eating Disorders

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