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Teen Wants To Go Vegetarian

Pre-teen wants vegetarian diet, Dad won't become vegetarian

My son is 2 months shy of 13. He recently decided to become vegetarian.

I know people have different issues on what you can and can't eat on a vegetarian diet. He wants to know what he can eat... Can he eat fish or fowl or are they a no no???

I want to support him in this BUT I am not changing to a vegetarian diet - R. T.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice

Dear R. T.,

Fish and fowl are not considered part of a vegetarian diet.

The vegetarian nutrition report should help answer your questions. My advice is that your son go vegetarian gradually, and maybe not become completely vegetarian until he's able to do his own cooking and clean up, and contribute to the food budget. He should aim for a five year vegetarian diet plan. That would accomplish a few things:

  • It wouldn't put him at risk for malnutrition, which is what often happens when young teens who are still growing suddenly go vegetarian.
  • It wouldn't put you under a lot of stress about his vegetarian diet.
  • It would give him time to learn about vegetarian nutrition, cooking, social adaptation and so on.
  • It would give his body time to adjust to a vegetarian diet. Bodies don't do well with dietary 180's.

I don't blame you for not wanting to become vegetarian, but if you keep an open mind, you could learn a lot about nutrition in general, and perhaps find your diet improving, which couldn't do any harm - right?

Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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