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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!

My daughter’s favourite chickpea salad

My daughter’s favourite chickpea salad

How can I say no when my daughter asks for her favourite chickpea salad? This salad has morphed into a staple in our house. It is quick to prepare, a great school lunch option (though not ready to go there yet) and is a very satisfying mix of flavours and textures.

Transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet

Transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet

In the news last week was a story about an infant who died from being fed a vegan diet. It is very sad that parents who think they are doing something good are not well informed. You can read more about the incident here http://tinyurl.com/j4wmmfy.  Growing bodies need proper nutrition. If you or your child decide to remove meat, chicken or dairy from their diet, notify your healthcare provider and get informed.

Here are some tips for transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet:

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

I have had vegetarian protein on the brain these days as I look for options to share. I know it can be difficult for those who are not accustomed to vegetarian diets. Just the other day my neighbour asked me how my daughter gets her protein. But as you can see, there are so many great non-meat options. And protein is so important, especially for growing bodies. Our cells need protein and without it our organs would not function.

As I was preparing a Caesar salad for a pot luck dinner with some friends, I realized the dressing was a good option for kids who like Caesar salad. This recipe, published in Vegetarian Times in February 2003, has been a staple of mine for years as I never liked making Caesar salad dressing with raw eggs.