By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Lifestyle. At Friday, May 03rd 2019, 20:53:58 PM.
A vegetarian diet that includes dairy products and eggs (lacto-ovo) is the best choice for growing teens. A more strict vegetarian diet may fail to meet a teen's need for certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. If you are concerned that your child is not getting enough of these important nutrients, talk to your doctor, who may recommend a vitamin and mineral supplement. The good news for young vegetarians — and their parents — is that many schools are offering vegetarian fare, including salad bars and other healthy vegetarian choices. Schools publish lists of upcoming lunch menus; be sure to scan them to see if your child will have a vegetarian choice. If not, you can pack lunch.
People choose vegetarian diets for many reasons, including personal preference, health concerns, dislike for meat or other food from animals, or they believe a plant-based diet is healthier. Some adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for ethical reasons. Many vegetarians, for example, avoid meat because they do not want animals killed or harmed. These individuals may object to the treatment of animals raised on industrial farms. The environment is an additional concern for some vegetarians. Issues have been cited concerning all aspects of the environment, such as animal waste from factory farms polluting the land and water or forests that are cut down to make room for grazing cattle.
The Dietary Guidelines state that most people should replace at least two servings of meat per week with fish and seafood. Replacing all meat and poultry in a semi-vegetarian diet with fish and seafood helps to accomplish this. In addition, this serves as your second step toward adopting a fully vegetarian diet. With only one animal food group remaining, you can now drop the "semi-vegetarian" label and identify yourself as a "Pescatarian" or "pesco-vegetarian." This step has the added benefit of reducing your fat and caloric intake, as fish and vegetable protein sources are generally leaner than meat and poultry.