8 yr old goes veg, Mom worried about calories

Prevent skinny vegetarian children with kid friendly recipes and multivitamins

Kid Vegetarian

My 8 year old daughter became a vegetarian two months ago. My husband and I who are not vegetarian are trying our best to support her choice.

She is also an avid dancer training two to three hours a day. This is HER choice, we are NOT pushing this on her. (I have 4 daughters and K. truly is her own unique little person) ;-)

We also home school so before she started she had to do her own research and decide what level she would be – lacto-ovo vegetarian.

I am concerned about her not getting enough calories. She has lost a few pounds and doesn’t have them to lose. How can I make sure that she is getting enough calories with her growth and her intense dance schedule? She will be training even more next year.

I’m sure we are going to be regular visitors to your site. We had the quinoa black bean salad for lunch today. Yummy!!!

Thank you for your help. Smiles, J. H.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

It’s not easy to keep active, growing vegetarian children from being skinny. They’ll plump out, then shoot up and get skinny again and so on. At least that was my experience. But losing weight isn’t so great!

My advice is to go heavy on the carbs and fats – no more than 50% whole grains, oatmeal and rice are good – lots of nuts and seeds, dried fruit, beans in whatever form she likes them. She should be eating a kid vegetarian diet, not a grown-up vegetarian diet.

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Kid friendly recipes my kids loved to eat (over & over): refried beans & hummus in burritos, quesadillas, wraps, sandwiches or as dips, vegetarian chili, pasta tofu & veggies, tofu burgers, pizza bagels, mac’n’cheese, endless bowls of cereal, scrambled eggs, toast & nut butter, blanched almonds, tons of fresh fruit, juice, yogurt, pancakes, muffins, chips, cookies (I made healthy ones, preferably with oatmeal – the only way I could get them to eat it without a fight. That and granola. Moms have to be pro-active!).

Quinoa Recipe Ebook

They ate veggies of course. Potatoes were always good, carrot salad, broccoli & carrots, peas, corn, green beans, baked yams & winter squash, raw veggies & dip often. They weren’t fond of leafy greens, but I could sneak them into soups, quiche, stir fries.
A childrens multivitamin could be helpful. Rainbow Light Vitamins is a good one – Vita Cost has the best prices.

Helpful articles and advice letters:

9 yr old goes veg, Mom worried

Veg Protein Sample Menus

A Week of Menus for Vegetarian Kid-Friendly Meals

I highly recommend the book “Becoming Vegetarian” as a 1st class vegetarian nutrition guide. It has an excellent chapter on child veg nutrition.

All the best, Judith Kingsbury

Medical Disclaimer: Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and responsibility. Savvy Vegetarian and its employees do not claim to be health care professionals, dietitians, or nutritionists. We do not treat, or recommend treatment, for any illness or health condition.

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One Response to “8 yr old goes veg, Mom worried about calories”

  1. Judith, I totally agree with your suggestion re fruits, wraps, etc. Wraps are a wonderful choice because the fruits and veggies can be pre-chopped by Mom for younger kids or sheer convenience, and the children can then make their own.

    And to prevent boredom, they have only to change up the ingredients to easily change the flavor, for instance, different fruits, dried fruits, seeds and nut butters.

    Plus wraps are easy to eat on the go. They’re a good habit that can be easily started and last a lifetime.

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