In 2015, a Harris Poll National Survey of 2,017 adults aged 18 and over found that eight million Americans, or 3.4%, ate a solely vegetarian diet.
Why do people become vegetarians? Some feel more connected to their Higher Power, while others are trying to get into the acceptable range for cholesterol. If you love animals it can be difficult thinking of them going to the slaughterhouse.
There are different types of vegetarians with some still eating eggs, milk, chicken, or fish. This post will deal with those who are still eating eggs and milk. This gives you a lot of choices and you can still have your favorite omelet for breakfast, and drinking milk will keep your bones stronger.
You have taken the plunge to eat healthier but you family may have other ideas about what they want to eat. Some may want to join you while others still crave those delicious hamburgers and hot dogs. You can’t just go on strike and not cook dinner, but with a few tips and tricks you may be able to satisfy everyone.
Here are four tips to introduce vegetarian meals to family:
When you start something new, there is a tendency to overdo it at first, and if you suddenly announce that the dinner menu will consist of tofu and kale salad, family members may race for the car and hit the nearest drive-thru.
Serve your family one vegetarian dish and see how they react. This will let you know if this dish will be in the weekly rotation, or kicked to the curb.
Ask for Requests
You want to involve the family in your meal planning, so ask if there is something special, they would like to see you serve, get the ingredients and make it for dinner. Macaroni and Cheese is usually a hit and while it is not the healthiest dish in the world, it can allow you to sneak in a vegetable or two without hearing everyone complain.
There may be picky eaters in your house, and despite your best intentions, they may just turn up their noses to new foods, so don’t force the issue. You may stop short of fixing a second meal, but they can eat other parts of the meal such as salad and bread.
Serve Tasty Snacks
It can be way too long to wait before dinner is served, so healthy vegetarian snacks will help that rumbling tummy. Cut up some fresh fruit in a bowl and put it at eye level so it’s the first thing you see when you open the refrigerator.
Cut-up vegetables by themselves may not get much play, but when you dunk them in a tasty dip they may disappear a lot faster. If you want to make it really easy, buy prepared Ranch Dressing.
String cheese is tasty and filling and less than 100 calories a stick. Cereal is another way to keep nutrition up without spoiling your dinner. Add a small glass of milk, or eat plain from the box.
Changes may not come as fast as you would like, but stick with it. Change is never easy, but over time you may find that some vegetarian dishes have become family favorites, and you can feel proud for being proactive about your family’s health.