Veg out! How to make the switch
Step 1: Make sure it’s really what you want
There is no reason to upset or confuse your parents if you aren’t even positive that you want to become a vegetarian. Make a pros and cons list, then ultimately just make the decision for yourself. You’re the one who has to eat the food, so don’t make the decision based on what anyone else.
Step 2: Do some research
Before you take the plunge and remove meat from your diet, ask any friends who are vegetarians what it is like, how they do it and some of their fave recipes. Look online and search for some veggie dishes that you think you would like. Make a list of some of your fave, easy-to-make recipes. Find out what vegetarian options they have at your school and your fave restaurants.
Step 3: When to have The Talk
Your parents might feel betrayed or sad if you are straying from how they raised you, so this conversation isn’t something that should just be blurted out. Don’t just come out and tell them you want to be a vegetarian when you’re in the movies, walking through the mall or at a block party. Think about when your parents seem to be the most calm and relaxed. Maybe it is when your parents come home from work and they can relax for the rest of the night. Maybe it is during the weekend. Maybe it is when they first wake up and have their coffee. Whatever the time or place, just make sure they seem like they are in a good mood.
Step 4: What to say
Now that you know when and where you are going to talk to your family, you have to figure out how exactly to tell them. As said before, don’t blurt it out and completely surprise your family. Perhaps butter them up a first with complements. Tell them how much you love their cooking, but that you don’t think you want to eat meat any more. Tell them that it is nothing against them, just that you just have to make this change for yourself. Explain that you don’t expect them to change, but that they should accept that you want to change. This is where all your research will come in handy. If you show your family that you have done the research and really thought about this decision, then they will look at you as an adult and they will realize that you put a lot of thought into this decision.
Step 5: Live it
Ask Mom and Dad if they can incorporate a veggie dish into every meal. Keeping some go-tos in the fridge or freezer, like a batch of soup or black bean burgers, will help get dinner on the table without stressing ‘em out because of your new diet. Eat up, encourage your sibs to sample your new faves and soon being vegetarian won’t be alternative or weird—it’ll be just another option for family din. Yum!