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Help! My daughter's gone vegetarian

Karen GilmanHi, I am Karen Gilman and I am here to celebrate with you your daughter’s choice to ‘go vegetarian.’ You are here because you worry your daughter will not get the nutrients she needs or you are looking for tips on how to make healthy vegetarian meals. I can help put your mind at ease and give you the tools to support this vegetarian journey.

My daughter's a vegetarian... Now what?

Your daughter has declared she no longer wants to eat meat.  How is she going to get enough protein, calcium or iron? Can her growing body get enough of these nutrients and the calories its needs if she does not eat any meat?

Not to worry. She’ll be fine as long as she eats the right foods. I know only too well how challenging it can be to get kids to eat properly.  Boys, too, can be picky eaters, though they don’t face the same nutritional challenges as girls.

You don’t want her to become dependent on multivitamins to bridge the gap. Ensure she gets the nutrients she needs from the food she eats.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Let's get started!

Eating Out On A Vegetarian Diet

Eating Out On A Vegetarian Diet

We are only a few weeks away from March break and you may have some travel plans. Is this the first time you’ll be travelling with a vegetarian or as a vegetarian? If so, not to worry there are so many options for eating out you needn’t be concerned. More and more restaurants are making vegetarian and vegan options available. Even if they don’t appear on the menu, many restaurants will create a special meal for you, if you request one. In addition, there are now many restaurants that are completely vegetarian or vegan. A great online resource for searching for vegetarian-friendly restaurants is Happy Cow.

I bet you probably have more vegetarian options in your neighbourhood than you realized. If you live in a multi-cultural city you can most likely choose from the following:

Mexican food options include refried beans (make sure there is no lard), black beans, guacamole, Mexican rice and nachos.

Chinese food offers a variety of vegetable dishes. You can ask the restaurant to add tofu to any of the dishes instead of meat or chicken.

Thai food, like Chinese has lots of vegetable dishes and tofu option. If you choose soup, make sure it isn’t made with chicken broth and ask if they use fish sauce in your dish. These are both common practices in Thai cuisine.

Japanese soups and salads are usually vegetarian or you can choose from a selection of vegetable based sushi or stir fries.

Indian food also has a variety of vegetable dishes to choose from from eggplant to lentils as well as samosas and pakoras.

Middle eastern food has become a favourite of ours. We always have hummous in the fridge and we often stock up on babaghanouj (eggplant dip), Mujadara (rice and lentils) and falafel.

And last but not least.. Italian food has always been a favourite of vegetarians as pasta and pizza are very vegetarian-friendly.

 

Good luck with dining out and let me know what you find on the menu at your favourite restaurant.

 

The challenges of a vegetarian diet

The challenges of a vegetarian diet

Being a vegetarian has several advantages both from a health and environmental perspective. However, the perceived challenges of being a vegetarian sometimes discourage people from making the switch. These so-called ‘concerns’ are easy to overcome and should not stand in the way of choosing to become vegetarian.

Meal Planning Made Easy

Meal Planning Made Easy

One of the best ways to ensure you and your family eat healthy is to plan meals before you go grocery shopping. I know it can seem like a daunting task but just writing out a list of dishes you would like to prepare for the week will help you stay on track and eat healthy. There are many online resources available that can help simplify this process. You can subscribe to a service that emails you recipes and shopping lists weekly or you can sign up for Meal Garden, a new meal planning website I have recently started working with, where you can plan your own meals and get recipes and shopping lists.