Mom Says Vegetarian Son Not Getting Enough Protein
My 19 yr old son went vegetarian 5 months ago, and he doesn’t seem to be getting enough protein or adequate nutrition
My 19 yr old son went vegetarian 5 months ago, and to me, he just doesn’t seem to be getting enough protein. Can you help me out with things he SHOULD eat. He eats no meat whatsoever, doesn’t eat fish either.
I’m worried that he will drop all kinds of weight, he’s 5’11” and weighs like 155 lbs. To me, that’s worrisome.
Could you please help me? I want to make sure he gets adequate nutrition. M. M.
Savvy Vegetarian Advice:
Your son might be on the thin side for his height, but I don’t know anything about him – he could also be completely normal.
How much protein he needs depends on how active he is, and whether or not he’s still growing. If he’s getting enough calories and nutrients to support his size, his growth, his health, and his physical activities (e.g. sports), and he’s eating a wide variety of whole foods, then he’s probably getting enough protein.
From what I know about teens, it’s likely that he’s NOT getting enough calories or protein and NOT eating right, just as you suspected. You’ve indicated that neither of you knows just what he should be eating as a vegetarian. So you and he should do some studying up on this.
Start with the SV Nutrition Report, for a general overview.
Take a look at these 4 articles about protein in a vegetarian diet:
Those articles will help you and your son figure out what he should be eating as a vegetarian. Plus, please buy and read this book: Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis It’s the veg nutrition bible that all vegetarians should own and know by heart.
Finally, I have to say, your son’s vegetarian diet is really his responsibility. He’s 19, he chose to go veg, and HE needs to learn how to do it right and avoid malnutrition, which is NOT FUN! If he’s too stubborn or not interested enough to learn, then you don’t have much choice but to let him do his thing and take the consequences.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian