Ah, the most common question asked, and most common concern for parents whose children want to go vegetarian or vegan.
I selected some of the foods we eat, this is by no means comprehensive! I want to reassure people that it is very possible to thrive on a vegan diet, and if your child wants to go vegetarian, they would be adding cheese, egg and other items.
For an average sedentary man, 56 grams of protein is the daily requirement, for women it is 46g.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that 10 to 30 percent of the calories a child over age 3 takes in should come from protein. On the average, this equates to 19 grams of protein daily for boys and girls aged 4 to 9 and 34 grams of protein per day for kids aged 9 to 13. As they reach adolescence, boys need more protein than girls. Between the ages 14 to 18, boys should get about 52 grams of protein daily, while girls need approximately 46 grams of protein per day.
I didn’t include a lot of fruit and veg on this chart, even though they do have protein, focusing on ones that have at least 5g. I also didn’t include some which are real powerhouses, but are more obscure- like amaranth. All of these items are easily found in our local grocery store (granted we live in Portland, OR so it is much more accessible for things such as tempeh, seitan, etc). I also didn’t include protein shakes, which are a really easy way to get a boost, and many athletes use them no matter what their diet.
Interestingly, while there is much concern about not eating enough protein, the truth is we may be eating too much protein. Especially teenage boys.
Let me know what you’d like to see included in this chart, or other illustrations that would be helpful! I think I have some space left, I plan to add pasta… and hummus instead of garbanzos. What is your favorite plant-based protein?