“My child has decided to become a vegetarian” . . . it’s a story I hear more and more frequently. My own grandson, aged 7, recently became a vegetarian (“It’s not fair to the animals, Nana”). Thankfully, my daughter is a wonderful cook, and a vegetarian in the family does not pose a problem.
But for many parents, this can be a challenge. Newby vegetarians often gravitate toward a diet heavy in pasta and cheese . . . there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with pasta and cheese, but it should not be the main staple. Between trolling the internet and the large selection of delicious fake “meats” available at the supermarket, there are now many options for ensuring a vegetarian child’s optimum nutrition. And “complete protein” meals can be achieved with a combination of grains and legumes — or rice and beans — the main staple of many of the world’s cultures.
Try a Syrian Mujaddara, a combination of rice and lentils, seasoned with cumin, cinnamon and lots of caramelized onion, and topped with cilantro and a dollop of Greek yogurt.