Is it OK for Kids to Go Vegetarian?
Avoiding the Common Pitfalls of Vegetarian Diets
While it is important to allow your child the freedom to make this choice, you have full parental rights to exercise some strict guidelines! Don't be afraid to tell your child that while they can pursue this diet, they have to follow a few ground rules. These guidelines will help them to avoid the common pitfalls of a vegetarian diet:
- A vegetarian diet MUST not rely solely on French fries, pizza, boxed macaroni and cheese, iceberg lettuce salads and chips.
- Make cooking together and experimenting with new recipes a family affair.
- While it's helpful if you are supportive and voluntarily offer meat-free options at meal times, it's perfectly reasonable to ask the new vegetarian to contribute to creating meals. This will also teach them how to determine what goes into a balanced diet.
- Meat substitutes shouldn't be an everyday thing, as they have high sodium content. Instead, make your own veggie patties with canned beans and oats; it's cheaper and much healthier.