Today the number of vegetarian teens is constantly increasing. And it is not fortuitous. It is in teenage years when most of people become vegetarians. Very often meat-eating parents can be horrified by the decision of their child. They shouldn`t be. In fact it is not that difficult to accommodate a vegetarian member in a non-vegetarian family. Vegetarian teens can be happy to have such dishes as lentil loaf, vegetable bake and casserole instead of some meat dishes. There are a lot of vegetarian dishes that are quite easy to prepare at home and even tempt non-vegetarian members of the family. For example, it is necessary to mention such dishes as chickpea curries, stir-fries with nuts or tofu. It is also possible to add some meat to the dish for non-vegetarians.
It is necessary to remember that during teenage years about 50% of the calcium in skeleton is formed. That is why it is important for vegetarian teens to get enough calcium in their diet. Milk is considered to be one of the most important calcium sources as well as all the products made of milk, like ice cream and yogurt. It is quite easy to find vegetarian cheese which is made of vegetarian rennet. As for vegans, they consume tofu, different types of cheeses and milk that are enriched with calcium. It is also possible to get calcium from such products as white bread, lentils, figs, different dried fruit, green vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, chickpeas, tahini which is made of sesame seeds and others.
It is very important that a healthy vegetarian teen diet should include such a component as iron. It is especially important for girls who start their periods and thus need a larger amount of iron. The lack of iron can entail such a condition as iron deficiency anaemia. The most common symptoms of the condition are lethargy and tiredness, which may affect the ability of vegetarian teens to enjoy life.
It is also necessary to mention about such a valuable product as eggs which represent a powerful source of iron. It is possible to include eggs to such dishes as quiches, pancakes, vegetable loaves and savoury custards. Such desserts as meringues, mousses and sponges are cooked with eggs and are extremely popular with children.
Iron is one of the most important vegetarian teenagers nutrients. That is why it is extremely important for the growing body. It is recommended to consume such dishes as flans, bakes, risottos, pasta dishes that contain chickpeas, seeds, nuts and lentils. Special attention should be devoted to such seeds as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseeds because they are able to provide the body with iron and calcium and represent a tasty and useful component of vegan and vegetarian diets. Moreover, they can be used not only for snacks but also added to biscuits, breads, stir-fries and salads.
It is possible to add variety to a vegetarian diet with the help of vegetarian grills and sausages as well as with dishes made with TVP. But it is necessary to be careful with them because some of them can contain high levels of fat. Some of the products are able to imitate the taste of meat.