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Enjoy Vegetarian Meals

Enjoy Vegetarian Meals

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Healthy eating is important at every age. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. When deciding what to eat or drink, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Start with these tips:

Make simple changes

Create main dishes such as pasta primavera with vegetables and chickpeas, pizza topped with vegetables, veggie lasagna, tofu-vegetable stir-fry, and spicy bean burritos.

Think about plant-based protein

Eat a variety of plant protein foods such as black or kidney beans, cooked split peas, and yellow or green lentils. Nuts and seeds are also great options to help you meet protein needs.

Build strong bones with calcium

If you skip dairy, get calcium from fortified products like soy beverages, tofu, and some breakfast cereals and orange juices. Dark-green leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach, and kale are sources of calcium, too.

Add nuts to your day

Choose unsalted nuts as a snack, or use them in salads or main dishes to bump up your protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fats. Slivered almonds or crushed walnuts are great on a green salad.

Have beans for dinner or lunch

Try a bean-based chili, three bean salad, or split pea soup. Beans, peas, and lentils, which are excellent sources of protein, fiber, folate, and several minerals, are recommended for everyone – vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike – because of their high nutrient content.

Enjoy a vegetarian snack

Snack on raw veggies and hummus – a Middle Eastern dip made from blended chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Hummus is rich in protein, dietary fiber, and several important minerals.

The benefits of healthy eating add up over time, bite by bite.

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MyPlate.gov is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025