There’s no better time to try meatless meals than National Vegetarian Week! It is a UK movement that is quickly growing around the world. Just because America doesn’t have it’s own Vegetarian Week doesn’t mean we can’t get in on the action! This is a week to explore foods you never thought you would enjoy.

Are you wondering why you should go vegetarian for a week? It can seem like a daunting task, especially with picky young kids. But the benefits are endless. You’ll get to experiment and get creative with your meals. There are also so many options these days if you’re looking to make a meat free dish.

The nutrients you find in meant can also be found in other foods. You can get iron from leafy green vegetables, dried fruit and nuts. Protein can be found in beans, cheese and pasta.

Going vegetarian is also a great for the environment Livestock accounts for over 18% of world greenhouse gas emissions. That’s even more than what comes from transportation! The world is facing some serious water shortages and animals require more water than grains that produce the same amount of protein.

Much of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down to make way for land for livestock.

You don’t have to commit to a lifetime of no hamburgers but a week can be a fun family challenge. Make it a game for your kids to name foods they enjoy that aren’t meat (remember you’re only going vegetarian, not vegan. So you can still eat products animals produce, such as eggs and cheese. We encourage you to try to go organic with those!)

Make dishes you already enjoy but replace the meat components with products such as beans or tofu.

You can start simple with things like veggie burgers and frozen tofu chicken nuggets. You’re kids might not even notice the difference!

Visit the National Vegetarian Week website for more tips and recipes! http://www.nationalvegetarianweek.org/page.aspx?pid=1066