Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To Be or Not to Be...Vegetarian?

Katherine wants to become a sort of vegetarian.  "I don't want to be a vegetarian," she tells me.  "I just don't want to eat meat."  This doesn't come as a total surprise to me...she's my child who swore off fast food years ago after reading Chew On This and hasn't set foot in a McDonalds since. 

I don't have any issues with Katherine's choice, except that I want to go about it the right way...

Being educated:  The biggest concern I hear about eating vegetarian is the lament of the loss of protein.  Is this a misconception or is it a real issue?  In lieu of becoming a registered nutritionist by Friday, I wonder if there is a good book that Katherine and I could read together so that we are both more knowledgeable on the pros or cons of avoiding meat.

Being healthy: Bagels, pasta, and chips are all easy meatless options.  I need to make sure we have some good options for breakfast, lunch and snacks. 

Being understanding:  I want to make sure I am clear on Katherine's choices and reasons.  Are eggs OK?  Fish?  Does she want to avoid meat for an ethical reason or is it a matter of taste?  Vegetarian, pescetarian, vegan? 

Being together: We eat together as a family as often as we can and this tradition remains important to me.  Lately, I've been cooking with more meat and less starchy foods.  How do I satisfy the varied desires of all the family members without spending the entire day in the kitchen?  (Well, I already fall short on that since Jack prefers a diet of pizza and Chipolte.) 

Being involved...but not too involved: I want to be supportive and helpful but I want to give Katherine space to figure this out on her own.  Maybe she would like to cook dinner once a week?  Maybe we could prep together on Sunday afternoons?   I could do nothing and let her figure it out?

 Or should I wait and see?  My fickle teenager might just be back to bacon by next week