Should you jump on the Meatless Monday trend?
You’ve probably heard the hype about Meatless Monday. It has been highly talked about since its inception in 2003. How did it start? you ask. It was born as a global initiative, first launching in 2003. The messaging of Meatless Monday is simple; once a week, cut meat out of all your daily meals and snacks. No, it doesn’t HAVE to be on Mondays … but it does have a nice ring to it.
There are three main reasons why we should incorporate vegetarian meals into our routines. Having meat-free days is good for your health, the environment and your wallet! It’s hard to argue with that. It’s a great way to familiarize your kiddies with new foods that are nutritious and delicious while also reducing your family’s ecological footprint.
Including meatless meals into your routine can improve your health so that you may live longer and improve the nutritional quality of your diet. Several studies have shown that people on plant-based, vegetarian diets tend to have lower body weight and body mass index. This may be in part because plant-based diets are rich in fiber, which is not found in animal products. Fiber contributes to feelings of fullness, resulting in lower calorie intake and less overeating. Going meatless also encourages consumption of plant-based sources of protein like beans and grains. Consuming beans and grains leads to a higher intake of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium. Plant-based lifestyles are also associated with lower intakes of saturated fat.
Health reasons aside, going meatless is good for the environment! The water needed to raise livestock is much greater than the needs of vegetables and grains. Approximately 1,850 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pound of beef, whereas approximately 39 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of vegetables. Lowering meat consumption also reduces greenhouse gases and fuel dependence.
By incorporating meatless meals to your weekly menus, you can also save money! Since vegetarian diets are built around vegetables, beans and grains, you can save money on meat, which tends to be more expensive. Though it can be challenging to serve healthy meals on a budget, going meatless once a week can help save money for more fruits and vegetables. If you want to learn more about the Meatless Monday movement check out this website which has lots of interesting information about the global movement.
Your kiddies love our vegetarian meals at Kids & Company and all the simple family-sized recipes are on our Kidco Kitchen website. Why not try our Bean Enchiladas? I promise, by the time you taste how delicious they are — you’ll forget that they’re meat-free.
Follow us on Instagram @cheflisaruscica and @kidcochildcare and on Twitter @kidcochildcare!
Chef Lisa Ruscica
Chief Food Ambassador