Whats on the Menu

To make food preparation fast and easy, choose dishes that everyone—vegetarians and non-vegetarians-around your table will enjoy! This vegetarian menu was planned for a 2,000-calorie-a-day eating plan, using the Food Tracker from www.MyPyramid.gov.


  • cup oatmeal* (made with milk or calcium-and vitamin D-fortified soy beverage) with 2 tablespoons sliced almonds and 2 tablespoons raisins ] slice whole-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon jelly ]/2 cup orange juice Coffee or tea
  • or ready-to-eat breakfast cereal fortified with vitamins B]2 and D


1 ]/2 cups hearty lentil soup

  • 4 cup carrot and ]/4 cup green pepper sticks with
  • 4 cup salsa ] small whole-grain muffin ] cup fat-free milk or calcium- and vitamin D-fortified soy beverage


]/2 small bagel with ] tablespoon peanut butter Iced tea with fresh lemon Dinner

Rice and beans made with 3/4 cup kidney beans, ]/2

cup herb-seasoned rice, and ]/4 cup tomatoes 3/4 cup steamed broccoli with lemon juice and

] tablespoon sesame seeds V2 cup fresh fruit salad ] small slice Italian herb bread ] cup fat-free milk or calcium- and vitamin

D-fortified soy beverage V2 cup fruit sorbet beverage


Fruit smoothie made with V2 cup plain, fat-free yogurt or soy yogurt, and V2 cup sliced strawberries

You've chosen to follow a vegetarian diet-perhaps with health in mind. But are you making smart choices? Take this survey as a quick check. This is based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day eating plan. To see how many calories you need, check "MyPyramid Food Intake Pattern Calorie Level," in the Appendices.

Do you eat:

Yes No

- -


A wide variety of grain products (including whole grains), legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruits?

- -


About six ounces of bread, rice, pasta, and other grain products daily, of which at least three are whole grain?

- -


About 2V2 cups of vegetables daily?

_ _


About 2 cups of fruit daily?

_ _


A vitamin C-rich food with meals whenever you can?

- -


A day's meals and snacks that balance the calories you consume with those you use-in a lifestyle that's physically active?

- -


Mostly nutrient-rich foods, go easy on solid fats and added sugars, and eat just moderate amounts of total fat?

- -


About 6 ounces or an equivalent of legumes and other meat alternates each day?

Just for lacto- and lacto-ovo-vegetarians (if you're a vegan, skip ahead):

- -


The equivalent of three cups of milk, yogurt, or cheese daily?

- -


Eggs occasionally (so you stay under 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day)? (Skip this question if you're a lacto-vegetarian.)

Just for vegans (if you're a lacto- or lacto-ovo-vegetarian, skip these two questions):

_ _


Plant-based foods that are high in calcium such as calcium-fortified juice or soy beverage?

- -


Foods that are fortified with vitamins B12 and D (or take a supplement that provides no more than 100 percent of the Daily Value)?

Now score yourself. Give yourself a point for every "yes."

If you scored a perfect "10," your food choices do promote your good health. If you scored "9" and only answered nine questions, the same applies-your food choices probably supply enough nutrients and perhaps offer other health benefits.

If you said "no" to any item, read on, then make changes to eat healthier-the vegetarian way!

  • For vegans, consume reliable sources of vitamin B12 such as fortified breakfast cereal or soy beverage and vitamin D, especially if your exposure to sunlight is limited.
  • Enjoy variety: plenty of vegetables (as well as beans), fruits, grain foods (especially whole grains), nuts, and seeds for their nutrient, fiber, and other phytonutrient benefits. You may choose to eat eggs and dairy foods, too.
  • Choose mostly nutrient-rich foods. Go easy on foods and drinks high in fat, especially saturated fat and trans fat, and/or added sugars. Stick within your budget for discretionary calories; see chapter 10. Being plant-based doesn't mean low in fat, added sugars, or calories!
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