Where's the protein? It's a myth that vegetarians do not get enough protein. A proper vegetarian diet isn't all fruits and vegetables. The protein in a vegetarian diet comes from those sources, but it's also found in legumes (beans and ground nuts) and tree nuts. There's also protein in the whole grains prevalent in a vegetarian diet. Incidentally, protein should make up less than a fourth of your dietary intake, not the nearly half that most Americans consume.
Where's the iron? Vegetarians who eat balanced diets, high in antioxidants need not fear for a lack of iron. Look to Popeye for the answer. Dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach contain plenty of iron. If your child wants to be a vegetarian, but hates spinach, there are other plenty of other green vegetables that contain iron. There's even iron in some beans and nuts.
Where's the calcium? There's plenty of calcium in dairy products. What do you do if your child has opted for a dairy free vegetarian diet? Don't panic. There are vegetables high in calcium too. Once again, be sure your child includes those dark leafy greens to get her share of calcium. That's right, spinach is a vegetarians best friend. It's chock full of both iron and calcium.
Where's the Omega3? We've all heard about the healthy benefits of Omega3. Doctors tell us to get it from oily fish. What if your child has decided not to eat meat or fish? Where will she get her Omega3? Luckily, Omega3 has several vegetarian sources. Two of the best are walnuts and flax seed. Don't worry if your child decides to go vegetarian. With a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, she's making a smart choice.
Where's the Vitamin B-12 in a vegetarian diet? The main sources of Vitamin B-12 are meat and fish. If your child eats neither, she should be taking a Vitamin B-12 supplement regularly. You will hear rumors that there are no vegetarian sources of B-12. This is false, but it's true that vegetable sources of vitamin B-12 are few and far between. Your child will be happy to know there are Vitamin B-12 supplements made from vegetarian sources. In fact, I take them every day.