Meal Plan Basics
Free meal plans for teenage vegetarians are great for busy families. For best results, be sure to plan your meals out at the beginning of the week in order to ensure you have all necessary ingredients. In addition, buying in bulk can save time and money, and can ensure nutritional adequacy.
Breakfast is considered by many to be the most important meal of the day. This is true no more so than for teenage vegetarians, who require adequate nutrition not only to make it through a long day of school and extracurricular activities, but who are require high amounts of protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat in order to support their growing bodies. A great example of a health, vegetarian breakfast for teenagers is a fruit and yogurt parfait. Yogurt is already rich in protein, and manufacturers recently have begun increasing the protein content of their products even further. Top these parfaits with a variety of different types of fruit in order to ensure that the teenager is getting all necessary vitamins and minerals. In addition, adding pecans, walnuts, or other types of nuts to the parfait increases protein content even further, while at the same time adding a little healthy fat to the meal.
Lunch can be very difficult to plan, especially for teenage vegetarians. Though a sandwich is one of the most popular lunchtime choices, creating a sandwich that does not contain meat can be quite difficult. Although a peanut butter sandwich is an old standby for vegetarians, a more nutritious choice is a black bean burrito. When combined, black beans and brown rice have been found to form all amino acids necessary for protein growth, thus this combination is commonly considered to be a “perfect protein.” For best results, use tortillas that are made from whole wheat, and which are as low in saturated fat as possible. Though whole wheat tortillas could once be found only in health food stores, they can now be found with relative ease in almost all grocery chains. Add some raw or grilled peppers and pineapple to the meal to round it out.
If you were to ask a teenager about their favorite foods, chances are that pizza would make the top three. Pizza is a popular choice for young and old alike—but in some cases, making it healthy for teenage vegetarians can prove to be a challenge. Instead of using traditional pizza toppings, such as pepperoni or sausage, consider making a veggie pizza, loaded with mushrooms, peppers, spinach, and a variety of other vegetables. If this just doesn’t seem like a traditional pizza, consider adding a small amount of tofu pepperoni or sausage. Like whole wheat tortillas, tofu is gaining in popularity, and now can be found in almost all grocery stores in a variety of flavors, sizes, and textures. Experiment with different seasonings in order to make a great tasting vegetarian pizza
Though creating free meal plans for teenager vegetarians can be difficult, the results are delicious and nutritious. Experiment with different non-traditional ingredients, like tofu and whole wheat tortillas, in order to create meals that are meat-free, while still being rich in dietary protein.