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Diet tips for pre-teen thin vegetarian girls?

Feb 2010

Can anyone recommend to me diet tips for vegetarian preteen and early teen thin girls? Danger signs for nutritional deficits, sources for reading up on this and particularly good and/or easy recipes also welcome. Replies can come to my e-mail or the newsletter. Thank you.

Our kids went vegie at 7 & 4. Both are very healthy now, at 22 & 18. We parents are not vegetarians, The kids are out of the house, now, but our diet is much more veggie than it used to be. I think we are healthier for the change.

Here are some recommendations & ideas:

Use a cast iron pan whenever convenient -- a good source of iron!

Try brewer's yeast, as a topping for pasta or as a breading for sauted tofu slices dipped first in egg + a little oil & salt. Brewers yeast is a good source of vitamin B.

Quiches w/ veggies in them. I do a tomato quiche that tastes a lot like salmon and has very little cheese, only a sprinkling on top.

avocados. (protein!)

beets baked whole, wrapped in foil, 90 min @ 400, drizzled w/ salad dressing & perhaps goat cheese. (iron again.)

Morningstar vegetarian sausages, bacon & chick patties. (I cut these up & cook in recipes as a meat substitute, like chick patties in fried rice, or sausages with shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots & garlic. All good in sandwiches, too, w/ avo and/or tomato & lettuce.)

Trader Joe's Mintz's tofu blintzes

canned garbazo beans, lots of ways, saut\xc3\x83\xc2\xa9ed w/ curry spices, plain in salads, in a veggie cous-cous w/ lots of tomatoes, etc.

Pasta Plus, includes lentils, not as heavy as whole wheat pasta, but has protein.

Buckwheat pasta (Japanese).

Butternut squash soup w/ garlic.

Lentil soup

Lentil salad w/ avo slices & lime juice, on a bed of lettuce.

Fresh beans in season, in soups. Esp cannellinis & favas.

Nicoise salad w/ avo instead of tuna.

Roast nuts, including pumkin seeds & blanched almonds.

Brown rice. Try tossing w/ a little mozzarella & grated cheese + basil.

Olive-oil-sauted tofu cubes added (hot) to (cold) tomato chunks & basil, w/ salt & pepper.

Save all vegetable water for broth (& water soluble vitamins). Make broth with corn cobs & asparagus trimmings.

Explore Chinese recipes. and Mexican -- burritos, quesadillas, beans, chips & cheese. Home-made salsa, great for cooking rice.

Check out Chez Panisse Vegetable cookbook. Simplify stuff if necessary. Good ideas. bon appetit!

Read John Robbins excellent book Diet for a New America. It is very well researched and dispels many wacky myths that people have about vegetarianism. Most of these myths seem to be along the lines of ''my daughter will starve to death'', or the one that really drives me crazy, ''How will she get her protein?'' All your daughter needs is for you to support her and follow her lead, and maybe have her take a multivitamin just for B12 in it. If she is eating a healthy (as opposed to unhealthy) vegetarian diet (meaning she is eating fruit and veggies and grains, and not trying to live on potato chips) then she is getting all the vitamins and minerals she needs (more than omnivores get), but may need a supplement for B12 that is hard to get on a veggie diet. You would be wise to put the whole family on a veggie diet for your longterm health and well-being. Sean