Monday, July 21, 2008

Whatcha mean no meat, thank you?!

We are generally a family of carnivores. It would take an awful lot for us to pass up a good burger or a steak done to perfection. Chicken done just right? Bring it on. Until last week, that is, when my 13 year old announced she didn't want to eat meat anymore. Okay who are you and what have you done with my daughter? After sitting down and really drawing out from her what brought that on, I feel I should support her if that is what she wants, even if it ends up just being a phase she is going through. I'm really trying to respect her heart on the matter.


So, HELP! WHAT NOW? This is where you all come in. How do I get protein to this child now? I know being vegetarian is more than just cutting out the meat. If you've got a teen vegetarian in your family or know what to do, please talk to me! A few questions have immediately jumped to mind. Other than what to give her for protein, that is. Like how do I not tear my hair out cooking two seperate meals all the time? Suggestions for keeping the family meal basically the same but just switching some things just for her portion would be nice. How was it handled in your family if you have a teen that desired this? How do you handle it when well meaning family members, ie: grandmas, want to insist they eat meat and lecture them in front of everyone. (Not that that has happened yet, but I see it coming on the horizon). Tips for ordering from restaurants. Any hints or suggestions, guidelines, recipes or thoughts are welcome. Comment away.

18 comments:

ellen b. said...

A group of my friends have "gone vegetarian" Read Romans 14 :0)
So many restaurants are offering vege options these days. Is she not eating eggs either? Beans, beans, beans, then there's tofu. Some good vegetable soups with kidney or garbanzo or other beans thrown in. Have fun with that...

Mountain Mama said...

I am wondering what encouraged your daughter to make this change. If it's because some of her friends are doing it then I would be a bit concerned because she needs to follow the Lord's leading in all things, not friends. That can get her into trouble.
There are other sources of protein and iron, lots of green veggies and beets and spinach of course for iron and beans as well as other legumes are good sources of protein. Of course there is the gas issue to deal with which may discourage her.
I hope you can work it all out. I think you are wise to take her seriously and to respect what she is doing. As Ellen said, Romans 14 tells us it's the right thing to do.

Beck said...

Hi Susanne! I was a vegetarian for five years. One way to handle this is to make a side dish that is also a MAIN dish for her, like a lentil salad, baked beans, or so on. Also remember that smooth tofu can be made into delicious fruit smoothies and is an excellent source of protein.
Actually, this is turning into a mini post. Check out my food blog - I have a few friendly vegetarian recipes up!

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

The first things that come to mind are beans and cheese. Afraid I'm not much help. Sorry! :-(

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

My SIL is a vegan. Will ask her and get back to you.

Chappyswife said...

Best wishes, Susanne. That's a tough one. :0) But if anyone can handle it, I know you can, and with grace! :0)

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

I'm interested to see the replies you receive. I would like my family to go meatless more often. One thing we do that is liked by all at our house is black bean burritos...we fill the tortillas with black beans and rice and whatever other burrito fillings you would like. We do these without meat, but you could easily add meat for those who want it. Keep us posted!

FlipFlop Mom said...

My in-loves have gone vegetarian.. and I actually made my mother in love a GREAT veggie sandwich monday...
But it depends on what your daughter plans on eating... is she going vegan or just no meat?

I made a dish called apple brie and chutney sandwich... it was GREAT!!

annie said...

My son Bailey has been almost vegetarian his entire life. Not sure why... anyway, we keep a lot of peanut butter and cheese on hand. He's also picky which doesn't help. But, he is very healthy and all his blood work and dr. appointments have shown he is getting everything necessary.

Sandra said...

Oh wow, I have no clue and I couldn't help you even if I wanted to. I hope you are able to get some good ideas from the rest of the readers. :)

Hugs,
Sandra

Kendrawolf said...

I went through that as a a teen. Hopefully it is just a phase.

Barb said...

Boy, Susanne, I've never encountered this, so I haven't got a clue. But....if it were me, I know I'd be doing some research on the Internet.

I'd also be keeping in mind that she's 13 and old enough to help in the preparation of her own meals if they're radically different from what you're making for the rest of the family.

My first thought was, pasta, pasta, pasta. They're are a lot of really good meatless sauces on the market these days.

Org Junkie said...

I agree with Barb, I would definitely support her decision but tell her she is responsible for researching recipes and preparing her own meals. She might even really enjoy the challenge.

Good luck!

gail@more than a song said...

I like to have meatless meals more than the rest of my crew does! The things I can think of have already been mentioned...beans, eggs, pasta, lentils along with fruits & veggies. Sometimes she could probably eat almost all of what the rest of you are having and she may want to add a little something else. But if it needs to be something with more preparation, I bet it would be a good time for her to help out too! She might like it and learn a lot from it....I used to have mine cook meals once a week during the summer.

Barbie@ Mamaology said...

What a wonderful Mama you are Susanne to hear your daughters heart in this:). I can see what a good friend you are being to her in this.

Jenny in Ca said...

wow Susanne, I feel for you- with a pre-teen growing up, I wonder if I will face this situation soon? I think I would work with my dd, teaching her to cook along side me, so she can eventually cook her own vegetarian meals. This will come in handy for her when she is visiting, living on her own in college, ect.

good luck! Let us know if you find any really unusually big hits with her.

Shalee said...

Do NOT let your daughter tell my daughter. It will be the death of me...

Oh, but we are trying to cut back. Mr. Right's cholesterol is out the roof, so we have to make some serious decisions on our part.

Barbara H. said...

I'm on Spark People -- though I am really not doing anything with it right now, to my shame, except reading some articles -- but one of the articles that popped up today was this one about making meals for vegetarians, which I thought might be helpful:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1152