One of the challenges of being a teen vegetarian is making the switch from omnivorous diet to recipes prepared according to the prescribed vegan food list.
There’s the pressure coming from two sources: your parents and your own inner self.
I remember quizzing a vegan friend way back when we were fifteen about her food choices because she firmly rejects meat.
Although she would inspire me to become a vegetarian years later, I’m already convinced then that becoming a vegan is a serious decision that one would make at such an age.
Fortunately, with the endorsement of nutritionists and other health sectors, it is not really that difficult to follow this way of life.
Getting The Necessary Nourishment From The Vegan Food List
Teens undergo a period where physical and hormonal changes are a commonplace.
Hence, you should not just eat plenty of vegan food for sustenance; you should also make sure that they contain the required nutrients for your age.
The nutritional needs of 13 to 19 year old are essentially high.
Still, they are not hard to acquire since most of the vegetarian foods are naturally good sources of vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of them:
- Beans and Soy Derivatives – A common misconception about vegetarianism is that it lacks protein source which is typically found in animal meat. However, nutritionists have proven that several plant foods, particularly beans, are very high in protein content necessary for fueling body functions. Soybeans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas are ideal substitutes for meat.
- Green Leafy Vegetables – A vegetarian on your age must ensure a sufficient calcium intake for bone development and growth. Natural sources of this mineral include collard greens, mustard leaves and kale.
- Citrus Fruits such as Broccoli, watermelon, oranges and tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C and iron. Girls are required to take more servings of these foods to replenish iron loss due to menstruation.
Vegan Food List For Fortified Products
Teens love snacking and there’s no reason you should deprive yourself of this pleasure just because you’ve chosen to become a vegetarian.
There are vegan snacks that are especially manufactured to incorporate essential nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin B12.
I suggest you try calcium-fortified fruit juices and especially-prepared yeast rich in B12 content.(or you can take this Vitamin B12 supplement)
The Role Of Your Parents
Like proms and dates (you know, “teenage stuffs”), going vegan is something that you should talk about with your parents.
It is important that they know you are shifting to an all-veggie diet, so they can better help in planning your meals.
At first, you may receive disapproving comments but that’s normal especially if you’ve been raised in a family that follows a food tradition.
They’re just concerned about your health, that’s all.
You need to convince them that veganism is not about dieting but getting the same nourishment through ethical means.
You Are Not Alone
Sure, we may not outnumber the non-vegan population, but at least many teens and mature individuals are joining your cause.
Do not let others sway you into reconsidering your decision.
As long as you remain honest in your pursuits and faithful to the recommended vegan food list, you should never have any problems following this veggie diet.