What’s on you plate? National Vegetarian Awareness Week Showcases some Yummy Veggie Food, so why not get your Family Involved!
This years’ National Vegetarian Week is running from Monday 14th May until Sunday 20th May.
What is National Vegetarian Awareness Week
Organised by the Vegetarian Society, this week is all about eating delicious and exciting veggie food. It is a chance to highlight the benefits and pleasures of a meat-free diet. With more and more people looking to make lifestyle changes, eating veggie is increasing in appeal and National Vegetarian week aims to show to communities and schools across the UK that vegetarian food can be vibrant and exciting to eat. Don’t forget meat-eaters can still enjoy a vegetarian meal and many people have already adopted meat-free Mondays in to their diet, so this is an all-inclusive food focused week and grants are also available to communities and schools to help them stage an event to showcase National Vegetarian Week.
What is a Vegetarian
The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as: "Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter."
*Shellfish are typically ‘a sea animal covered with a shell’. We take shellfish to mean:
Crustaceans (hard external shell) large – e.g. lobsters, crayfish, crabs, small – e.g. prawns, shrimps.
Molluscs e.g. mussels, oysters, winkles, clams, and cephalopods such as cuttlefish, squid, octopus
There are Different Types of Vegetarian:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat both dairy products and eggs; this is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
- Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but avoid eggs.
- Vegans do not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other products which are derived from animals including honey.
There are different reasons people choose to follow a Vegetarian diet, for example for health benefits, the financial cost, animal welfare or because they don’t like the taste of meat.
Is it Healthy Being a Vegetarian
The Vegetarian Society confirms that research has shown that in many ways a vegetarian diet is healthier than that of a typical meat eater. Compared with omnivorous diets a varied vegetarian diet contains less saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and more folate, fibre, antioxidants, phytochemicals and carotenoids. Research studies have found that vegetarians have a lower incidence of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and type II diabetes.
A balanced vegetarian diet is likely to exceed the recommended intake of five-a-day fruit and vegetables which is linked to lower rates of colon and some other cancers. A vegetarian diet is sometimes recommended for people with chronic conditions such as arthritis and kidney problems.
Ways to Involve Children in Vegetarian Week
National Vegetarian Week offers a chance to dismiss any lingering myths around vegetarian food and its limitations. Here are a few fun ideas of how you can get your kids involved in Vegetarian Week and increase your family awareness:
- Talk Food – It’s so important to explain to kids where their food has come from and they will enjoy learning about food’s journey to their plate. We have listed some Top Tips on how to teach kids where their food comes from, Click Here to Read them.
- Play Games – There are plenty of fun games around and Food Champs is just one of our Family's favourite, it’s an online children’s website that has games designed for children 2 – 5 years old and 6 – 8 years old, that teaches them about fruit, vegetables and healthy eating. It also has Colouring in sheets and activity pages. Click Here to Visit
- Colouring Sheets – Get creative and Download our fun Colouring in Sheets Here
- Read Books – There are loads of Vegetarian Focused Children’s books, which are fun, help with their reading skills and also helps explain differences around being Vegetarian. We have listed some of our Family Favourites, Click Here to see them
- Cook Together – Seems an obvious one, but get in the kitchen and cook together. From Snacks, Full Meals and even deserts the Vegetarian Society has loads of recipes for you to choose from which you can see Here
How Your Family Can Help National Vegetarian Week
Each year, the Awareness about National Vegetarian Week is growing and one simple way your family can help with, is if you are going to share how your family has got involved with National Vegetarian Week on Social Media, e.g. posting what you are eating, or an awesome picture your little one has made about veggies, then you could use the hashtag #NationalVegetarianWeek and make the post public.
For More information about National Vegetarian Week you can Visit their Website Here