Hey, I'm 15 years old and I want to start eating more healthily. I am happy with my weight and do not want to lose any or reach any goals. I just want to know what sort of foods I should eat to keep everything right and balanced. I find it hard to eat balanced because I don't eat alot of foods as I'm vegetarian and quite a fussy eater. I would like some advice on the sort of things I should be eating at this age and what's best for me.
Good for you to think about healthy eating, there's too few teenagers who think this way!
Nutrients to focus on for vegetarians
* Protein has many important functions in the body and is essential for growth and maintenance. Protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Combining different protein sources in the same meal is not necessary. Sources of protein for vegetarians include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers). Milk products and eggs are also good protein sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians.
* Iron functions primarily as a carrier of oxygen in the blood. Iron sources for vegetarians include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, turnip greens, molasses, whole wheat breads, peas and some dried fruits (dried apricots, prunes, raisins).
* Calcium is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone strength. Sources of calcium for vegetarians include fortified breakfast cereals, soy products (tofu, soy-based beverages), calcium-fortified orange juice, and some dark green leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, mustard greens). Milk products are excellent calcium sources for lacto vegetarians.
* Zinc is necessary for many biochemical reactions and also helps the immune system function properly. Sources of zinc for vegetarians include many types of beans (white beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas), zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ and pumpkin seeds. Milk products are a zinc source for lacto vegetarians.
* Vitamin B12 is found in animal products and some fortified foods. Sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians include milk products, eggs and foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. These include breakfast cereals, soy-based beverages, veggie burgers and nutritional yeast.
Read entire article of Susan Burke, ediets Nutritionist:
Also, you might want to take a look at a sample week of vegan eating. This menu provides an average of 1600-1800 calories per day:
Vegetarian diet support:
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