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October is Vegetarian Awareness Monthhealthyfood

Two years ago my daughter decided to become a vegetarian. Before I agreed to this lifestyle choice, our family doctor gave her a physical. He also took the time to talk to her about nutrition and suggested we have blood tests done to make sure she would not need to start taking supplements. Once she was cleared from the doctor, I started having discussions with her about eating more than just sweets. She also started grocery shopping with me each week. She picks out items for her lunch and snacks that she might need after school. During her freshman year in high school she started playing sports. My daughter and I also had another conversation about how food can fuel her energy levels when playing sports.

When making a lifestyle change such as becoming a vegetarian, take the time to talk to your health care provider first. Successfully moving to a vegetarian eating plan can be achieved if you take the time to educate not only yourself but your child also. Even though there are many resources on the web, make sure you take time to be sure they are credible resources. Visit this link for USDA resources.

When thinking of changing to the vegetarian eating lifestyle visit the ChooseMyPlate website.  Check out their “Top 10 Tips for Vegetarians”

  1. Think about protein
  2. Bone up on sources of calcium
  3. Make simple changes
  4. Enjoy a cookout
  5. Include Beans and Peas
  6. Try different veggie versions
  7. Make some small changes at restaurants
  8. Nuts make great snacks
  9. Get your Vitamin B12
  10. Find a Vegetarian pattern for you

Do not let the thought of changing to a vegetarian diet overwhelm you. You just need to plan out your meals in advanced. My daughter and I have realized that a lot of meals that I make with meat can also be made with extra vegetables.

Sources:

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGTipsheet8HealthyEatingForVegetarians.pdf

http://www.nutrition.gov/smart-nutrition-101/healthy-eating/eating-vegetarian

Written by: Brenda Sandman-Stover, Extension Program Assistant, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County, sandman-stover.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

 

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