Parents often encourage their teenagers to be independent and to make their own decisions, but sometimes those decisions don't fall in line with the rest of the family. The choice to try a vegetarian diet is likely to be one of those decisions.
A teen's decision to become a vegetarian need not upset family meals. Try not to over-react, talk with your teen about his interpretation of a vegetarian diet.
There are degrees of vegetarianism. A semi-vegetarian diet will exclude red meat, but might include fish or fowl with grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, milk and eggs. A typical vegetarian diet excludes all meats, including fish and fowl. A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) diet excludes all animal meat and animal-based products, including eggs and dairy products.
Teens who choose a vegetarian diet will need to think beyond a vegetarian pizza or grilled cheese sandwich.
The teen years are a time of rapid growth and development and not the time to exclude protein, or any other nutrient, for optimum health.