Vitamins for a teen vegetarian?!

Question: Vitamins for a teen vegetarian?
I am a fourteen year old female vegetarian and eat pretty well, at least i think so. This morning i had diced potatoe and veggies fried together. for lunch I had two slices of toast and for dinner I had spinache salad, broccoli (a heaping pile) and a few potatoe wedges. I do not eat eggs. I know that there are gaps in my diet but I dont know if I should be taking vitamins, and if i should, where do i find ones without animal product or anything like that in them? Also, any input or tips are super great if you have them.


Hi Kaylee. I think your breakfast and lunch are the wrong way round! Toast is perfect for breakfast as it is slow-releasing and you can have various toppings on it, you can have a soy margarine or you could have a tasty fruit jam. The potato and veggies can be a great meal for your lunch as it is hot and it is full of flavour. Your diet is very healthy and it is great that you have such a great knowledge of nutrition at only fourteen years of age. You do not need to take vitamins, as you can obtain all the vitamins you require through your fruits and vegetables. Aim for a rainbow of fruit and veg, as different coloured fruits have different nutrients. Iron is one nutrient you specifically have to be wary of because iron deficiency is common. Dark and leafy green vegetables contain lots of iron, such as kale, broccoli, and spinach. Iron would also be added to some breakfast cereals. Vitamin B12 is the only nutrient which cannot be obtained naturally in a vegan diet. You probably do not need supplement for vitamin B12 if you consume dairy products. Vitamin B12 can be added to margarine and butter or it can be obtained through plant milk such as soy or rice milk. I hope this helps you:)

No, you shouldn't be taking vitamins.

Calcium,Zinc,Magnisum for bone growth


I don't see a mention of dairy products? If you're not eating eggs or dairy or milk, you definitely need a Vitamin B12 supplement. Probably a calcium supplement. Be sure to get one that also contains Vitamin D(3) to help your body absorb the calcium. D(3) is much more effective than the Vitamin D(2) from plants.

"New research shows that vitamin D3 is more effective than D2 for treating vitamin D deficiency, which is often caused by lack of sunlight or dietary insufficiency."

"In summary, then, it is clear that vitamin D3 is the preferred form of supplemental vitamin D; vitamin D2—in spite of longstanding medical dogma—should not be regarded as an acceptable source for supplementation."…

I'll add the link to Jack Norris' VeganHealth site. He's a registered dietitian (a vegan himself) and has lots of good stuff there about supplementing plant based diets:

Hello Kaylee, sorry people are just one-sided about issues like this. I think you have a good idea with the greens though, like spinach and broccoli. Those have iron in them, which vegetarians need. You can get Omega 3s from eating flax seeds or flax meal. Those have the equivalent amount of Omega 3s as fish does, which is really good.

Protein really isn't that big of a deal. Protein is in everything, but high amounts are in beans, lentils, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, soy products, and the best amounts of protein are in sea vegetables. Sea vegetables are sea weed, kale, and other veggies like that. Those are really healthy and full of protein and iron, which is great for vegetarians and vegans.

Substitute all your breads, pastas, and cereals for whole-wheat kinds.

I'd recommend a multi-vitamin. They have the women's version, but they require you to be an adult to take those, because teens need different amounts of vitamins than adult women. The only teen vitamins I know of are One-A-Day teen vitamins for girls, but I'm not sure if they have gelatin in them or not. Believe it or not, even people who eat meat don't get all the vitamins and minerals they need daily. They may act like they do, but they don't. Anyone from both vegetarian and meat based diets can be unhealthy. One or the other doesn't just make one healthier than the other. It's all about getting proper nutrients.

Vegetarian for 5 years and 7 months.

Daisy, I know you're reading the messages directed to you by user, especially me. I've been saying milk and other dairy are the COMMON cause of iron deficiency anemia for weeks and have been listing conclusive evidence. The FDA has even come out and said milk poses a major risk in iron deficiency. Vegetarian who eat dairy are at major risk. Either, you lack adequate reading comprehension skills or you're a ********.

1. There is a reason why the FDA and the APA advises parents with babies years 0-2 years to not give babies cow drink. Cow’s milk is a COMMON cause of iron deficiency. It contains less iron than many other foods and also makes it more difficult for the body to absorb iron from other foods. Cow's milk also can cause the intestines to lose small amounts of blood.

The risk of developing iron deficiency anemia is increased in:

* Infants younger than 12 months who drink cow's milk rather than breast milk or iron-fortified formula
* Young children who drink a lot of cow's milk rather than eating foods that supply the body with more iron

Iron deficiency anemia most commonly affects babies 9 - 24 months old. All babies should have a screening test for iron deficiency at this age. Babies born prematurely may need to be tested earlier.

2. Cow milk also inhibits the absorption of non-heme iron (iron in plant foods).
3.Caseins from milk and certain forms of calcium inhibit iron absorption.7 In addition, infants who are allergic to cow's milk may be particularly susceptible to intestinal blood losses due to the irritating effect of dairy products.5 Iron status measured as serum ferritin is inversely associated with greater consumption of dairy products in toddlers, particularly when they displace foods that contain iron or that facilitate iron absorption.……

Beans are an important part of a vegetarian diet. They are a good source of protein and make a complete protein in combination with rice, corn, or another grain. You should eat a variety of different beans. Go to any large grocery store and look for canned beans in the canned vegetable aisle and start trying different kinds. Black, pinto, kidney, chick peas, etc.
Dark green leafy vegetables such as: spinach, broccoli, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet greens, etc. are also important. They are good sources of calcium and iron.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try to eat every color of the rainbow in fruits and veggies every week.
Go easy on high fat proteins such as peanut butter and cheese. Also remember that many cheeses, esp. hard cheeses are made with animal rennet which is a slaughter byproduct. Research the internet for more information about that because most cheese packages will only say enzymes in the ingredient list without telling you if the enzymes are a slaughter byproduct or not.
If you are not drinking milk or eating any milk products in addition to not eating eggs, you will need a B12 supplement..

Look at your teeth. Your mention to eat meat. Don't try to play with mother nature. It sounds noble not to. We are not different then other creatures. We need meat.

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