Help, please? I'm really worried about my vegetarian sister's eating habits. (read details)?

Don't cover your answer with anti veg or pro veg stuff, this isn't about your beleifs, whatever side you come from, this is about my sister that I'm worried about, so if you're just going to spew crap about what you eat or don't eat, don't bother posting.

My sister (13, 1 year younger than me) has been a vegetarian for 5 and a half months now.

My parents and I (omnivores) don't mind that she's a vegetarian, and at first, thought it would be good for her health with all of the healthier foods she'd have to eat to replace animal products, since she's always been a little overweight.

But she hasn't been eating healthy, in fact, her diet's worse than before she went veg.

All she eats is french fries, chips, mostly greasy, fried things.

I've been making a lot of healthy vegetarian recipies using things rice, beans, noodles, and differant fruits and vegitables, in hopes of introducing her to a healthier veg diet, but she won't eat it, because she says she doesn't like it.

My parents are worried, too.

We think it's nice that she's doing something she can feel good about, but she's gained a couple pounds, and she's breaking out in acne, also.

When we tried talking to her about it, she just ran off into her room crying because she said we said she was fat. (Which we didn't, we were explaining how she should eat healthier because all this fried food isn't good for her.)

Seriously, she won't listen to anything we say, and I'm getting really worried about her.

What should I do? I'm really worried about her, and I'm starting to get frustrated watching her shove this greasy food in her face, then complaining about why she's overweight.

Update:

Saturn, what do you mean?

20 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    i was exactially the same when i was her age. when i was 12 i decided it was cruel to eat animals and have been vegetarian ever since (im now 19).

    for the first, oh, say 5 years i was vegetarian i ate nothing but junk food! it was allways chips and pizza and no green veges and nothing healthy at all. my parents went nuts trying to get me to eat healthy! we went for a holiday in italy for 2 weeks, and all i ate for lunch and dinner for those 2 weeks was cheese pizzas! Seriously! i was a very stubborn teen. and yes my size suffered too, i was a 90kg 15 yr old! it wasnt untill i was 17-18 that i finally developed a taste to veges and more healthy things, and became delighted with the vege options opening to my taste buds.

    i can fully identify with your sister, and at the same time know how you feel. please dont worry. ITS JUST A PHASE! all teenagers go through phases. some dye their hair and listen to grunge music, some smoke and binge drink. some eat only bad food..... as weard as it sound its true. ive done it :-)

    i agree that your sister needs to eat better. chips and fatty foods arnt healthy and you need other things in your diet, especially when your vegetarian. try getting her to eat more healthyer fatty foods (it sounds crazy i know) like for example falafels, they are chick pea patties, which you fry, but are very nutritious and very tasty! the sad fact is that fat tastes good. thats why people like to eat french fries etc. the fat makes them taste so so good.

    something that i found was that after school i was really tired. i would fall asleep on the ride home from school, and my parents thought it was a iron deficency. i started taking iron tablets, but it didnt help. i then figured out that it was all the high GI food i was eating! she is probibly feeling the same. hungry all the time, and never having energy. its a bad mix.

    (GI stands for glucose index. its a scale used to define the time it takes your body to process the food you eat. food which takes a while for your body to digest has a low gi. these are the foods you want to eat because you get energy from them for a long time. fatty foods have a hi GI. they only give you energy for a short amont of time(the scale is on a scale of 1-100 (100 being pure sugar and being digested almost instantly)) sory for the long explination :-) )

    your sister will eventually realise that the food that tastes bad to her now, isnt really all that bad, and she will come right in her diet. this will either happen because of time, or because she gets quite over weight and realises what she has done.

    what ever you do dont put her down for anything she is doing!!! she is probibly really insecure now because she is trying something unknown, she is a teenager and really self concious and because she probibly knows she is overweight but dosent know what to do about it yet! if someone tried to confrount me about my size when i was her age i probibly would have done the same thing...

    give her time. forcing her to eat healthy wont help anyone in the long run as she will resent you for it. she needs to realise for herself that what she is doing is wrong for her body.

    if you want to talk to me about it further, feel free to email me.

    Source(s): 2007 diploma culinary arts AUT NZ vegetarian for 7 years have been there, done that!
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That's definitely bad. I went from eating lots of meat to vegan in a day. At the start I was a little like your sister I guess, eating lots of foods like French fries and I ate heaps of toast or got hungry. It is good she is doing something she believes is right, theres so many vegetarian meals that are good and healthy. Just sneak stuff into her food and see if she notices and keep making her diffrent foods you think she might be interested in. You can always put stuff in it and say it's not there to, sometimes it's all in people's head. Get her to take multi-vitamins, they shouldn't replace eating right but it is better than nothing. Hope I helped a little.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm a vegetarian, and have been for 3 years.

    I eat Quorn, as a meat substitute.

    This is great becauae it has very little fat, in it, but still get all the nutrience you need from it. You could see of you sister will eat it because it will help her in getting more healthy.

    If you have a meal as a family e.g. spaghetti bolonaise, or Roast dinner, make the same for her, but just use a vegetarian substitute.

    Also eating later in the day is a bad idea, because you body has less time to digest it.

    Another vegetrain problem is turning to dairy, which is high in fat, but making basic changes like dairy milk to soya milk can make all the difference.

    Hope this helps.

    Source(s): Vegetarian for 3 years
  • Okay, so your sister's new dietary choice was a bad move, if she didn't become a vegetarian for moral reasons then maybe she'd consider going back. Also, at 13 years old she's not buying her own food or driving herself to go get it, so her choices are in part your parent's fault for allowing it. Why not try some healthy but tasty vegetarian recipes? Eggplant lasagna, veggie stir fry, even homemade veggie pizza once in a while isn't that bad for you.

    She should see a dietician or even talk to her regular physician about it, check out some books at the library and maybe preparing vegetarian food and making healthier choices is something that you and your parents can help her with or even do together.

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  • 4 years ago

    Hmmm. Who does the grocery shopping? who is bringing in those TV dinners, fried foods, and junk? Your hubby'll have to resort to eating veggies if you don't buy anything else ;-) Frankly, "he gets mad" isn't a good reason in my eyes. Which is more important, your child's health, or your husband having to face the fact that he's presenting an unhealthy lifestyle to his kid? Grandma, I'm sorry, but you're not to feed <insert name> food unless it is healthy. I'm sorry that you may not do something that you enjoy, but my child's health is far more important to me than your satisfaction. Teach your child moderation. Ice cream, fried foods, TV dinners are okay now and then. Tell your husband he is NOT to voice any negativity about healthy food regardless of what he thinks, and you then get to be the "Oh, veggies are yummy" person and lead by example.

  • 1 decade ago

    I understand your concern. Just because someone isn't eating meat doesn't mean they are eating more healthily. I'm not a vegetarian myself but have family members who are veg & vegan.

    There are a lot of recipies online for really good veg meals. Vegweb.com has some good ones, as well as a whole community for vegetarians to make friends who feel the same as they do. Maybe you will be able to find some recipies there that she will be willing to eat. If she is outright refusing to eat healthy, maybe you could encourage her to take a multi-vitamin.

    I understand her sesitivity to the subject of weight. Maybe you could fix some of the veg meals that you find on vegweb.com for the whole family and have dinner as a family. That way you will all be eating the same things. You can fix a meat dish as well, and she can just have the veg part of the meal. Maybe if she isn't being singled out as being different from the rest of the family, she might be more willing to eat good food. It's easier to influence someone by our actions than our words. Instead of saying "You should eat more veggies" or "You shouldn't eat that fried food" just encorporate that healthy food into your own diet.

    Doing healthy things as a family can be very beneficial, both physically and emotionally. (example: eating healthy together, exercizing or doing activities together)

    I wish you the best of luck.

    Source(s): Life experience
  • 1 decade ago

    She is not eating right and has no proper balance to her diet. There is too much fats and oils and no complete proteins. You should all sit down together and look at what is essential in the diet. Rice and grains are great but you need to compliment them with legumes/ beans to get all the amino acids that form complete protein. She needs that to grow properly as she is still developing, especially her nervous system. Salads are great, but lets not over do the fruits as that can be too much sugar. Veggies of all colors need to be eaten for a good balance of vitamine and mineral but need to be second to grains in quantity. She needs to consider also some cheeses unless she is so dead set against it, in which case I would suggest goat milk cheeses. Those oils she is consuming are obviously bad choices but it is a signal that she is unhappy with her diet and needs to find more food recipies that are both healthy for the body, but that also make her happy, to eat. This is a tough time in her life with a lot of physical changes happening, and self esteem issues will not help, especially when she tries hard to do the right thing and she just has weight probs and poor health. You two need to sit down and really research good diet. Take a look at material designed for people to learn how to eat with low blood sugar issues as well as proper non meat diets. You need to learn to eat right because society doen't know how any more, and she needs your help not to feel alone and isolated in her endeavors.

  • 1 decade ago

    She's thirteen. She likely doesn't have a job or buy her own food. She can only eat what your parents supply. If you (and your parents) are truly worried about her diet, then convince your parents to stop buying crap for food. You can't eat what isn't there. Donate all the junk food to a church/shelter/etc.... just get it out of the house.

    It doesn't matter what your diet is, if you live on junk food its not good for you. But I don't think its mostly a diet problem. Because of her age, her wellbeing is completely dependent on your parents. They need to step up to the plate.

  • Luna
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    keep greasy fried food out of the house first of all. it might suck for everyone else for a bit, but it's better for all anyway and then she can't have it if it's not there. your doing a wonderful thing cooking new foods and that's exactly what iw ould suggest doing. she needs to eat better or she can't be a vegetarian. did she eat that way when she ate meat? becuase really you shouldn't eat like that even if she eats meat. maybe buy her a cook book, or see about setting her up with a nutritionist. let her go food shopping and pick things she likes. she'll find a lot of new foods she likes but she really needs to try them- multiple times, tastes change!- and be open to them. she'll be very sick and unhealthy if she continues that way.

  • 1 decade ago

    Unhealthy diets are a major problem these days. Try giving her healthier versions of junk food and easing her into the more healthy food options in general. Most people do not want to drastically change their diets and start eating "weird foods" overnight. Gradually introduce these to her so it will not be such a shock to her system.

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