Vegetarian help needed

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lythande1, Dec 31, 6:34pm
Really? Unless she eats a jar a day, it will be.

ruby2shoes, Dec 31, 6:53pm
is there some iron-y here? *chuckles*
anyway, mussels, if your daughter eats those, have loads of iron. Silverbeet! love the stuff.

gaspodetwd, Dec 31, 7:46pm
So do most people track their foods? Are all vegetarians nutrition gurus?
And can anyone post a recipe for a good nut roast?
No soy.

motorbo, Dec 31, 8:48pm
Serves 6-8
250g raw mixed nuts of your choice (not peanuts)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium carrot, grated
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1 cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
100g gruyere or vegetarian cheddar cheese, grated
1-2 Tbsp sage, rosemary and thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
extra toasted nuts and herbs, to garnish
I like to use hazelnuts, brazils, walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamias and pecans. Instead, you could use a packet of unsalted mixed raw nuts. Spread the nuts out on a tray and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. When cool, chop the nuts in the food processor until well ground. Heat the olive oil in a frypan and gently fry the onion for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato and seasoning. Tip the vegetables into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.
Brush a loaf tin or terrine with oil or butter and line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced. Add the nuts, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, nutmeg, seasoning and eggs to the vegetables and mix together. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin or terrine and bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out. Garnish with extra toasted nuts and herbs - as used in the dish. Serve with vegetables and salad.

buzzy110, Jan 1, 12:37am
Different strokes for different folks. I was a pesco-vegetarian for 10 years, eating plenty of haem rich green lipped muscles, leafy green vegetables with eggs for B12. I became extremely anaemic. Meat made me well again but now, if I don't get red meat at least 4 times a week I can feel my energy levels dropping and I want to sleep my days away.

If I did it again I'd eat fewer whole grains, sticking more to white rice and white flour. Wholegrains bind with iron and other minerals in the digestive system and just excrete them rather than allowing them to do their work in the body. The better solution imo would be to not eat grains at all as eventually most vegetarians probably end up eating more grains than they should because they are easy food.

buzzy110, Jan 1, 12:44am
If it were me I'd give her supplements and not let her iron levels become low. B12 is the most important and it can only be obtained through supplementation. Vegetarian B12 is derived from a fungus or spirulina or something else, not from animal products so should be OK for your daughter. Without B12/folate the body cannot process iron. Fortified food is a form of supplement but I think it is inadequate.

Give up your dream of using just food and do what works and if that means supplements, then do it. Your daughter can make her own mind up later on about supplements when she is an adult. Your job is to keep her healthy until then.

gaspodetwd, Jan 1, 8:06am
The problem with supplements is that it's easy to over-do the iron (according to the Doctor) which in children is extremely dangerous. So I'm unwilling to supplement. I did talk to our GP about it and she recommended everything through diet. But I would just like to hear from anyone who has 'been there and done that'.

suzannelg, Jan 1, 9:55am
I've been a vegetarian since I was 16, and I still am today.
I've always had to supplement (in fact, when my parents came round to me being a vegetarian i had to take a supplement as a condition). I still take iron now on prescription (to help rebuild my ferritins) but my B12 and haem iron have always been ok.
One of the big things for young vegetarians is to have someone who can walk you through cooking as a vego and making sure you are eating balanced meals. Some areas have quite active vegetarian society groups which meet monthly.
Magazines, blogs, websites, and books are a good place to start for recipes. It is really important that your daughter is involved in menu /recipe planning as there is nothing worse than being forced to try stuff that she doesn't like the idea of. Make it a fun experience for her, and don't punish her for her decision.
Good luck!

ETA - I don't touch soy either!

cgvl, Jan 1, 10:59pm
Sometimes a 7th day Adventist Church will run a vegetarian cook class. Ours does once or twice a year for those who want to learn about it.
I prefer vegetarian foods but have to be very careful I still get some meat as I have very low B12 resulting in regular injections, my iron is fine. B12 is only absorbed through the gut and only available via red meat unfortunately (I have pernicious anaemia), while it maybe available in other forms it isn't readily absorbed a bit like some iron needing vit c.

Go with what you can at the moment she may decide to have some meat from time to time and fish is great, I love fish and shell fish and have it as often as I can.

gaspodetwd, Jan 2, 3:12am
Thanks for the help, everyone. I've told her that she has to do things properly. She can't tolerate oats and is off soy. Fortunately she loves food and is very adventurous with her tastes. I'm just trying to educate myself as much as possible so can help her as much as possible, as she is only 9.

vmax2, Jan 4, 11:42pm
Good grief only 9 and still developing. In my opinion she needs to eat meat. If this was my daughter I would over rule her and make her eat meat. She needs it. If after she has left home she decides to be vegetarian then that's her business. She's too young to make a responsible decision at the moment.

gaspodetwd, Jan 5, 4:32am
I did wonder - but the Doctor was fine about it. It's an exceptionally healthy diet - as long as she eats dairy and fish (apparently) and doesn't reduce other nutritional areas.

What is good in stuffed courgettes, please?

kay141, Jan 5, 4:37am
Rice, small pasta or breadcrumbs, herbs, onion, tomato, cheese. Make a stuffing with rice, small pasta or breadcrumbs, herbs, onion, tomato, cheese, an egg to hold it together and top with grated cheese. Feta would go well on top.

suzannelg, Jan 6, 9:54am
slice in half and scoop out the flesh leaving a 1.5cm margin, and use the flesh + onions, garlic, herbs, cheese,breadcrumbs,egg & creamed corn as a stuffing.

wendalls, Jan 6, 10:29am
Hmm, my first thought about her being 9. was she's too young but actually if she's eating lots of veges then she's better off than most. Haven't been there myself but good luck with the knowledge journey!

suzannelg, Jan 7, 10:34am
Bumping for Tania

gaspodetwd, Jan 1, 3:36am
My preteen daughter has become Pesco-vegetarian. I'm perfectly happy with this so long as she takes her health seriously. She loves marmite and so I don't think b12 will be an issue. She obviously will be okay for protein and her omega 3 balance.

But I do worry about iron. I've heard conflicting reports about spinach and leafy greens. I know it's important to combine nonhaem with vit C. Is there anything else I should know?

Soy is out as she was completely intolerant as a young child. I would rather give proper foods than convenience type.

rockie6, Jan 1, 3:47am
What is a pesco vege.

gaspodetwd, Jan 1, 4:04am
Vegetarian who eats fish. My choice not hers. I told her I would cope with that but not purely vegetarian at her age.

chatsmom, Jan 1, 4:55am
I give my teen Floridix/ Floravital, both in liquid and tablets to ensure she gets her iron and B12., Jan 1, 6:13am
My son was a meat and veg eater and when I had his bloods tested he was extremely low so doc put him on iron pills for 3 months. Just mentioning this as you shouldn't presume levels are not optimum if not eating haem rich foods. My daughter was a pesco vegetarian for nearly two years but I decided not to worry about anything in the end and now she is eating meat again as she said she was hoping to 'feel' different and didn't. Good luck. I am at home during the day and love cooking so I didn't find it a chore cooking separately or just giving her the veg portion of meal whilst we ate meat, in fact we ate less meat because of it. Sorry probably not very helpful to you. If you are concerned I would opt for the Floradix option although it can get quite pricey.

motorbo, Jan 1, 6:19am
totally agree

lilyfield, Jan 1, 6:20am
I have been vegetarien for years and years and years, never taken iron suppliments and never been anemic. I think the body takes all available iron out of green leafy vegies and pulses more efficiently for us than meat eaters.

gaspodetwd, Jan 1, 7:29am
So. spinach?
I've heard it is high but the body can't actually take in the iron from it,

She is on a fortified cereal (3mg) for breakfast and likes eggs, spinach, whole grains, pulses, beans. I would rather manage her iron through diet than supplements if I can.

She is supposed to have 8mg per day.
Any good iron rich recipes for a novice vege cook?

michellew2k, Jan 1, 8:07am
Have you done research online about vegetarian diets? Is a good place to start. Why is your daughter a vegetarian? I don't really think if you eat fish you are a vegetarian, but her body, her choice. I have been a vegetarian for 2 years now after going off the taste and texture of meat. I am not low on iron or other vitamins or minerals. I eat tempeh, haloumi, falafel, beans, tofu, Brewers yeast, as well as as many different types of veges as possible. I do eat yoghurt, and cheese, but not milk. Soy milky is a great alternative. Anyway good luck to you and your daughter.