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I hope y'all can give me some good advice. I have a 15 1/2 year old niece who has decided to become a vegetarian. SHe will eat dairy and eggs, but no meat. I completely support and respect her decision.<br><br>
She has always had a hard time putting on weight and she is very involved in her gymnastics. Nobody else in our entire family is a vegetarian. What is some basic fundamental knowledge she should have about staying healthy during these important years of puberty.<br><br>
I have already mentioned she should be vigilant aobut taking a multivitamin, preferably one geared towards women with extra iron and calcium. Is there a vegetarian primer you could reccomend? Any and all advice you have for me is welcomed.<br>
Gossamer
 

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Hi Maureen,<br><br>
You can visit, and have her visit <a href="http://www.vegfamily.com" target="_blank">http://www.vegfamily.com</a> for good information and a message board with a teen section that she can post on and ask questions of other veggie teens, as well as veggie adults.<br><br>
Even better for her is <a href="http://www.vegetarianteen.com/" target="_blank">http://www.vegetarianteen.com/</a><br><br>
There are many multivitamins made for vegetarians (and vegans). She should look at her local health food store to find one that is right for her. Particularly for teens, the "right" vitamin is probably going to be a one-a-day so that it's easy for her to remember to take it. I had trouble remembering some of my medications as a teen and once a day ones were easy to take.<br><br>
THe biggest advice I would have for her is just to make sure her diet is balanced, as all of us should do. She'll need to think a bit more in advance about balancing the amount of veggies and fruit she has versus carbohydrates. As an adult, I would just make sure she doesn't fall into the "pizza and bagels" vegetarian and be missing out on whole grains, raw vegetables, and beans. She'll be getting plenty of protein as a vegetarian, so no one needs to worry about that. If she's the type of gal who likes lots of leafy greens like romaine, chard, kale, dandelions, etc. then she'll be getting enough iron, particularly if she is taking a vitamin.<br><br>
She will probably want to try out some of the many different meat substitues out there to see which ones she likes. While I don't advocate an entire diet based on them, they've made my life much easier, particularly when taking food to work. There are quite a few good frozen meals, various types of burgers and chicken substitutes, and lots of fake deli meats and bacon, sausages, etc.<br><br>
I'm glad the family is so supportive! I know I was when I was a vegetarian teen.
 

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Variety! Eat a wide variety of food. Also for extra fat avacados are great, as well as nuts that don't need to be cooked before eating, like walnuts, pecans, almonds. vegetarianteen.com is a great site also, as is vegsource.com .
 
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