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Teenager Vegetarian at home! Help!!

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Old 07-27-2005, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Teenager Vegetarian at home! Help!!

My daughter (15) decided to become a vegetarian a few months ago.. She is still eating dairy. How can you be a vegetarian if you don't like vegetables! She will eat broccolli.. and the generics.. (peas, corn, green beans) other wise she is living off of cheese pizza, macaroni and cheese, quesidillas, Macaroni and cheese, cereal and PB&J's! Help!! She has gained probably around 15 pounds in the last 3 or 4 months and is eating nothing but carbs.. any good ideas for a fussy teen that doesn't include "anything with a face or a mother" and will help me to get some nutrients into this child??
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:12 PM   #2
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Fake meat! It isn't cheap, but it's how she can get a lot of protein (not just from cheese). My favorite brand is Morningstar Farms, they have grillers (like hamburgers), corn dogs, sausage links, sausage patties, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, buffalo wings and all of it is delicious! Also, you might want to look into some tofu recipes--they have TONS online, maybe pull some up and ask her if any of them sound good. Beans are also a good protein, I especially like Busch's vegetarian baked beans. You can also make tofu salad (like egg salad but eggless--recipes are also online for this).

Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, ask away, I've been a vegetarian since I was born and know how hard it is to just turn to the carbs because it's easy.
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Old 07-27-2005, 09:14 PM   #3
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Oh boy, do I know of what you speak! My DD is 15 also and I just went through that phase after she made a project on animal slaughter houses .... It didn't last because 99.9% of her friends eat at burger joints and she hated to be left out. But when she was serious, for about 2 weeks , I experimented with tofu. I like tofu and so does DH -- he'll eat anything as long as he doesn't have to make it -- I made a really nice tofu recipe that tasted like lasagna if I find it I will post it...

I made a vegetarian chili with the fake ground meat that haley was talking about. Very easy to make all I did was saute some vegetables onions, green and red peppers, take some plain tomatoe sauce, kidney beans, can of corn too was good, throw in that ground fake meat with some chili powder. Add that with some nice brown rice and a salad, perfectly healthy meal.

I make myself a protein drink with whey powder, soy milk and frozen strawberries after each workouts and that's very vegetarian. And super delicious too....

When my DD decided to become vegetarian I sat with her and explained that being vegetarian didn't just mean cutting out animal meats, it meant a 'healthy lifestyle'... My DD knows I'm a bit of a health freak -- that's what she calls me anyways, because I don't eat at fast foods and ask for dressing on the side and eat veggies and fruits regularly -- anyways I digress .... I felt that she needed to know that it's not just cheese pizza and mac and cheese because that's what she was getting into also. I sat with her and explained that we need protein, carbs and fats and that we need an healthy amount of each to stay healthy....Too much of any of these nutrients is not good. In the end she just found it too difficult to incorporate into her lifestyle of the moment but I can see her doing that in the future.

It sure isn't easy though it takes a LOT of planning. Maybe you can get her to help you with the planning of her vegetarian meals...
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:17 AM   #4
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if you can get her off of dairy, that may put an end to the rapid weight gain. other than tofu, veggie burgers/crumbles/fake bacon, etc., and broccoli, i'm not sure what she could eat, but along with fruit, that's not an unhealthy diet, just boring. you can get some ideas for vegan foods at the peta web site (i'm no activist, but they do push veganism, so they have all the foods listed). also, peta could convince your daughter how dairy production is just as cruel to cows as killing them for meat. that would probably put an end to the cheese pizza. a good friend of mine is an animal rights activist, so she is always telling me about this stuff, like how my clam chowder has mommies and daddies. another good thing would be plenty of vitamins and meal replacement shakes with plenty of protein. good luck to you!
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:46 AM   #5
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Hi Dona! This thread from the veggiechicks may help you out with some general information, cook book suggestions and recipes. Two areas that may be of interest under the recipe section are the Family Friendly recipe thread and the Cooking for One thread.

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/vegetarian-chicks-121/
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:33 PM   #6
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Great ideas ladies.. Thank you so much! I will be copying this out along with some of the recipes and having a heart to heart vegetarian health chat with my DD.. We don't have the Un-meat products where we live but we are heading to the coast this weekend so we can stock up.. Actually some of the non-beef options I think might be good for our whole family as my DH has high blood pressure and high cholestoral..

Ilene.. mine tried being vegan lasted one week.. she has actually been true to the vegetarian lifestyle though for almost 3 months now.. I thought it was a phase but if she is going to stick with it I'll support it.
Thank you again ladies, very much!
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Old 07-28-2005, 10:27 PM   #7
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Glad we could help!
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:07 PM   #8
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Dona,

I am 31 and have been a lacto ovo vegetarian since I was 14. I'm the only vegetarian in my family and my mom really resisted at first (cooking my fav meat dishes every night, etc.) but then realized that it was not a phase. She started experimenting with cooking and I think it benefited the entire family, health wise.

Typically, ethnic cuisines are waaaayyy more vegi friendly and exciting to cook and eat. Standard "American" fare is meaty, fatty and generally not healthy. For example, rice (preferably brown) and beans eaten together make a complete protein. What can you do with rice and beans? Think Mexican, East Indian, Creole, etc. There are LOTS of possiblities. You can even go Italian with a short grain risotto rice (arborio rice) slow cooked with veg broth, veggies and cannelli beans. YUM!

Even if your daughter goes back to meat, that does not mean you cannot continue cooking vegetarian meals for your family. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2005, 07:45 PM   #9
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Like Genesis, I've been a veggie for a long time - I'm 25 and havn't eaten meat since I was 13. I too wasn't much of a veggie-lover when I started either, sounds like your daughter!

My favorites then were:
--broccoli and carrots roasted w/ olive oil and herbs
--beans and rice or steamed veggies and rice
--veggie burgers
--homemade stirfry - I'd even take a bag of mixed veggies, you know with lima beans, etc, and strifry with that!
--ff yogurts
--fruit - my mom always had an assortment of fruits, including tropical fruits for snacks
--Make sure she's getting a multivitamin too

Nowadays I pretty much live on the fake meat (veggie burgers, soy "chicken" breasts), ff yogurt, and I actually love veggies, especially raw or grilled with some herbs!
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Old 09-24-2005, 10:56 AM   #10
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vegweb.com has TONS of recipes - I get so many of my recipes from there.

I've been a vegetarian since I was 14 (now 19), and I definately used to eat like that when I first started. Recently though, within the past year or so, I've been getting way more into veganism. I've been getting more into stirfrys and brown rice, black beans and rice (when I have hot sauce around, which hasn't been for awhile for some reason!), PB and banana sandwiches, oatmeal, pot pies, lasagna (no cheese at all), and good stuff like that. Try to help her realize that cheese shouldn't be the main staple of her diet. It's not healthy for anyone. If she doesnt like tofu, try draining it, freezing it, then thawing it. It gives it a better texture, IMO.

As a side note, even if you think that this is "just a phase", don't tell it to her. My dad is FINALLY realizing that this isn't just a phase for me. It's been really obnoxious these past five years explaining to him that I'm simply not going to eat meat again. Hah.
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Old 09-27-2005, 01:37 AM   #11
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Something I started doing was tacos-- cook the meat separate and it's easy to make a veggie/omni meal like that.
Speghetti was cool too- soy crumbles instead of meat.
I gained weight when I first went veggie (and then more when I went vegan, so I'm back to veggie) and it might have been because of the junk food I started to eat. So make sure she watches that.
For veggies- try stir frys with cashews over rice- so good! Teriyaki is nice and vegetarian, I never tire of it. Garden burgers work good in a pinch. I'm also a big fan of veggiewursts (vegetarian bratwursts) they're awesome.

It's hard at first to take the plunge, but once she's been at it (if she likes it) then it gets easier and easier!
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Old 09-27-2005, 01:24 PM   #12
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My suggestions are "hiding" vegetables in foods or finding ways you mask other veggies. Stuffed shells with veggies and ricotta...veggie fajitas with ff sour cream and cheese. Cottage cheese, spaghetti sauce with grated carrots or zucchini in it or cheese pizza with grated vegetables hidden in the sauce. use whole wheat crust...good luck
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:21 PM   #13
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Yes... the vegweb.com is a good resource.

Also, if she insists on eating such an unbalanced diet, maybe take her to a nutritionali consultant and have a well-balanced diet shown to her. It's perfectly possible to be vegetarian and be very healthy, but it sounds like she needs to broaden her horizons in the veggie department.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:10 PM   #14
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Here is a site that has tons of recepies so you might can get some ideas from there. vegfamily.com
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:08 PM   #15
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eggplants and mushrooms are also pretty "meaty" veggies and can be adapted into meat recipes -- my fave is a grilled portobello-spinach sandwich with a dash of balsamic & slice of jarlsberg (or pepperjack) cheese.

Tree nuts may also be some thing to consider--they have lots of healthy fats and are pretty filling (just be sure to get the light/no salt varieties)
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