Are vegetarian diets healthy?

Vegetarian diets are healthy if you follow the general rules of a nutritionally-balanced diet. Not eating meat or products that contain meat, won’t keep us healthy if we also eat processed food and unhealthy snacks like chips and chocolate bars.

Though diet is important, vegetarians must also lead a healthy lifestyle to benefit from their plant-based eating. It does little good to eat kale chips and a veggie burger if your daughter is not physically active and sits on her phone ‘Snap Chatting’ late into the night.


Egg-allergy sufferers and vegans can now have their cake and eat it too. Aquafaba, the liquid found in canned beans, serves as the unlikely base for a whipped ingredient gaining popularity as a substitute for egg whites. For the first time ever, vegans (or anyone else who does not eat eggs) can indulge their sweet tooth for marshmallows, macarons, ice cream, brownies and of course, lemon meringue pie.

Vegetarian Meal Plan

Now that we are back into our fall routine, life gets busy. I know sometimes we scramble for lunch and dinner options. In an attempt to simplify our lives and hopefully others, I have created this 7 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan. It really takes the stress of ‘what are we going to eat tonight?’ My kids actually text me on their way home from school to ask me what’s for dinner? Do your kids do that? So much for the days when we ate what we were served no questions asked.

The recipes I have included are some of our favourites. I can’t tell you how many times we have had Tofu Moo Shu or the Chilaquiles.  The Pizza Muffins are a school favourite, too. They taste great at room temperature.  Make a batch and freeze the leftovers.

The file is a quick download so you have instant access to a week’s worth of recipes:

Let me know how your family likes these recipes.

Ok, no meat. Now what?

Ok, no meat, now what? Your daughter has told you she doesn’t want to eat meat anymore. She can’t just remove meat, chicken, fish and/or dairy from her diet without replacing them. Her growing body needs proper nutrition.

Here are some tips on how you can help your child transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Soft and Chewy 7-Seed Bars (GF/Vegan)

I have never been a big fan of the granola bars found in the grocery store. If you ever stopped to read the ingredient list you’ll know what I mean. The recipe below is simple to make and I promise you’ll be able to pronounce all the ingredients! You might even have them all in your pantry.

These nut and seed bars are filled with not just clean vegetarian protein but vitamins and minerals. This is why nuts and seeds are a very important part of a vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Foods That Really Aren’t

Do you read the ingredient lists when you shop? Did you know that there may be animal products lurking in those foods you thought were vegetarian.  Believe me, I know! I was very disappointed one day…..

I really like dark chocolate and used to buy chocolate covered ‘superfood’ snacks at the grocery store. You know the kind with goji berries and blueberries. Well, I don’t buy them anymore. One day I was reading the ingredient list very closely list and noticed one that I was not familiar with called ‘confectioner’s glaze.’ I googled it and this is what I found out:

‘it is a resin which is secreted by the female Lac insect after it consumes tree bark.  The raw resin is collected, heated, filtered and mixed with an alcohol solution to create the food glaze’

Not only will you find confectioner’s glaze on chocolate but it is also used on prescription drugs as well as vitamins and other supplements.

20 Meatless Ways To Get Your Protein

Do people ask how your vegetarian child gets enough protein?

It is really quite simple on a vegetarian diet, even if meat-lovers don’t believe you. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and, yes, even vegetables have protein, too!

Open your mind to a whole other world of protein with my new e-book, 20 Simple Meatless Ways to Get Your Protein.

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.

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.

Does your daughter eat lots of pasta?

If your vegetarian daughter is anything like mine she loves her pasta. I think my daughter would eat pasta for every meal if I let her. Not that pasta is bad for you but really the concern is whether or not it provides her with the nutrients she needs as a vegetarian. Most pasta today is fortified so is contains iron, folate and niacin and depending what you add to the sauce, whether it be veggies or beans, can be part of a healthy vegetarian diet.