Is your high schooler a vegetarian or thinking about switching to the diet? Check out our one-day teenage vegetarian meal plan to maximize nutrition!
First, it’s important to know there are different types of vegetarians. Lacto-ovo means they include milk and eggs, vegan means that nothing that comes from an animal, and pesco-vegetarian (not truly vegetarian) includes fish. Whatever variation they may choose, you might be concerned that they will not be getting all the nutrients they need. However, vegetarian foods like fruits, vegetables, unprocessed whole grains, and legumes can actually help prevent heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. This teenage vegetarian meal plan can help your teen get all of the nutrients he needs!
Does vegetarian always mean healthy?
No, not necessarily. Some pizza, ice cream, and cookies are all vegetarian, and certainly not good to consume in large quantities! If your child follows a diet rich in a variety of foods, specifically fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy and nuts/seeds, he or she should get all the nutrients needed for a healthy, balanced diet. A little planning is all it takes for a nutritionally adequate, vegetarian diet. Here is a teenage vegetarian meal plan with delicious, dietitian-approved meals for a high school student. Don’t worry – we made sure there is plenty of protein! Check out the Vegetarian Flavor Bible for more veggie inspiration.
Vegetarian Menu for Your Teen
Breakfast: Cinnamon-Banana Oatmeal with Eggs
- ½ cup steel cut oats
- 1 tsp. honey
- 2 hard–boiled eggs with a little bit of salt and pepper
Or, if you’re on the go, just spread 1 tbsp. nut butter on whole-wheat toast, sprinkle with cinnamon and bring the banana and eggs along with you. Easy, tasty, healthy and quick!
Snack: Yogurt with Fresh Fruit and Nuts
- Non-fat or low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 cup berries or 1 serving from the seasonal fruits list (below)
- 10 almonds or 16 peanuts or 9 cashews
Lunch: Crunchy Veggie Burrito
- Whole wheat tortilla wrap
- ½ C. lentils
- 1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
- ½ C. chopped purple cabbage
- 2 Tbs. shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, or other low-fat cheese
- Tahini sauce
- 2 Tbsp. tahini
- 1 garlic clove
- Juice of a half of lemon
- 1 Tbs. honey mustard (Whole Foods 365 brand or another brand without added sugar. You can also make your own!) or regular mustard
- 1 C. carrots, cut into sticks
- 1 apple, cut into slices
Spread tahini sauce on the tortilla. Top with lentils, cabbage, shredded cheese, and sunflower seeds, and roll to make into a burrito. Enjoy with carrot sticks and apple slices on the side for this delicious dish on the vegetarian menu!
Snack: Banana Nut Toast
This toast is simple to make and full of flavor. Vegetarian meal plans don’t have to be boring!
- 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
- ½ banana or half a serving from the seasonal fruit list
- 1tsp. honey
- ½ Tbs. almond butter
Top the piece of toast with almond butter, banana or other fruit, and honey. Enjoy!
Dinner: Tempeh Bowl
- 2 cups mixed green salad
- 1.5 tsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/3 C. cooked quinoa or 1/3 C. cooked brown rice
- 1/4 avocado, sliced thin
- ½ C. chopped red pepper, cooked
- 1 cup green beans, cooked in ½ tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil for flavor with minced garlic clove
- 3 oz tempeh, marinated and cooked in 1 Tbsp. Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice, ½ tsp. ginger and ½ a minced garlic clove
Layer cooked green beans, red pepper, avocado and tempeh over quinoa or brown rice. Serve with a mixed green salad on the side.
Dessert: Yogurt Parfait
- ½ cup low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 serving of seasonal fruit
Total Daily Calories: Calories: 2,000-2,200
Seasonal Fruits for Teenage Vegetarian Meal Plan
Use the chart below for seasonal fruits to add to your high-schooler’s vegetarian menu.
|Pear 1 small pear or ½ cup sliced or diced, raw cooked or canned, drained||Clementines 4oz||Apricots 4 or 5.5oz||Apricots 4 or 5.5oz||Apple 1 small or ½ cup sliced or chopped, raw or cooked|
|Persimmon 4oz||Grapefruit 1/2 medium (4″ diameter) or ½ cup sections||Honeydew 1 medium wedge (1/8 of a med. melon) or ½ cup diced or melon balls||Asian Pear ½ or 4oz||Bananas 1 small (less than 6″ long) or ½ cup sliced|
|Pineapple 1/2 cup chunks, sliced or crushed, raw, cooked or canned, drained||Dates 3 small||Lychee 3||Blackberries 1 cup||Papaya 1 cup, 8 oz or half of one|
|Guava 2 small or 2.5oz||Kiwi 1/2 c sliced||Mango 1/2 small or 1/2 cup or 5.5 oz||Blueberries 3/4 cup|
|Grapes ½ cup whole or cut-up, or 16 seedless grapes||Oranges 1 small (2-3/8″ diameter) or ½ cup sections||Oranges 1 small (2-3/8″ diameter) or ½ cup sections||Cantaloupe 1 medium wedge (1/8 of a med. melon) or ½ cup diced or melon balls|
|Kumquats 17 or 3oz||Persimmon 4oz||Strawberries 1/2 cup whole, halved, or sliced (~4 whole berries)||Watermelon ½ cup melon balls or diced (~6 melon balls)|
|Pomegranate ½ C||Pear 1 small pear or ½ cup sliced or diced, raw cooked, or canned, drained||Pineapple 1/2 cup chunks, sliced or crushed, raw, cooked or canned, drained||Raspberries 1 cup|
|Cranberries ½ cup fresh or ¼ cup dried||Pomegranate½ C||Nectarines 1 medium or 5.5oz|
|Peaches 1 small (2″ diameter) or ½ cup sliced or diced, raw, cooked, or canned, drained|
|Plums 1 large plum or ½ cup sliced, raw or cooked|
|Cherries 12 or 3.5oz|