Don’t look at your child like they have 3 heads, even if you know their favorite food was bacon. After all, the gorilla, the king of the jungle is a vegan! This is a time to support their decision. Your child is beginning to make more and more decisions on their own.
A vegetarian is a person who chooses not to eat any flesh of the animal, this includes fish. A vegetarian who consumes milk and eggs from animals is referred to as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. A vegan is a vegetarian who does not consume any animal products. That means no milk products like, cheese, yogurt and ice cream and no eggs from the animal. A vegan consumes only vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts and seeds and oils. Georges Laraque is a vegan and he played in the NHL for 13 yrs.
A vegetarian youth Ice hockey player can be just as strong and fast as the player who chooses to eat meat. To help you help your child here is a list of plant based protein sources.
Sources of Vegetarian/Plant Protein:
· Seeds, pumpkin and sunflower
· Legumes (kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo, Navy etc)
· Nut butters
All youth athletes need to make sure they are eating enough calories to support their sport and their growth and development. Below is a list of nutrients you want to make sure you child is consuming daily.
Meat contains protein consisting of all 20 amino acids. A vegetarian must combine fruits and vegetables with nuts, seeds, legumes (black beans, lentils etc.) and grains to make complete proteins in the body. Soybeans and quinoa are 2 non animal sources which contain all 20 amino acids just like meat.
Milk, yogurt other dairy products. Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, carrots, green beans and potatoes (all cooked)
Very important especially for vegetarian girls who need 26 mg/day once they reach puberty. Excellent sources: spinach, pinto beans, sunflower seeds, tofu, peanut butter, whole wheat bread, oatmeal.
Important in growth and development of children, brain functioning and immune system. Boys need 8-11mg/day; girls need 8-9 mg/day. Whole wheat bread, avocado, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, spinach, corn tortilla, spaghetti noodles.
Needed to make thyroid hormones. Boys and girls need 120-150 mcg/day. Buy iodized salt.
Vitamin B – 12
Used to make red blood cells. Non-fat milk fortified and cheddar cheese. This vitamin is only found in animal products with the exception of nutritional yeast.
Important for bone health. Sunshine!! Milk, eggs, some breads and orange juices are fortified.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Memory, focus, heart health. Flaxseeds, canola oil.
Remember "Great nutrition leads to Great Performance" on and off the ice. If you would like to explore how an individualized youth sports nutrition plan will help your player level up and get more ice time complete my Power Play Nutrition Survey by clicking on the link.
Have a great Friday!
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