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Why Mondays Should be Meatless

Why Mondays Should be Meatless

Tami ONeill | Good

The campaign’s philosophy of better health through moderation has sparked a worldwide movement: Already, Meatless Mondays have spread to eight countries—as far away as Brazil and Taiwan. Even celebrities like Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Paul McCartney have pledged to make their Mondays meatless.

With all the buzz surrounding Meatless Mondays, you may be wondering how you can start your own. Thankfully, going meatless has never been simpler. Ease into plant-based options by selecting a healthful version of your favorite meatless comfort food—perhaps some eggplant parmesan with whole grain pasta or a colorful veggie stir-fry.

After that, expand your horizons by scanning your favorite cookbook or recipe site. You can make Monday the day to try something new by experimenting with an unknown spice, grain or plant-based protein. To ensure that your meal is an event to remember, plan out your menu over the weekend. You’ll save yourself the hassle of missing ingredients come Monday.

Even little ones with picky palates can get involved. The key to success is letting them lend a hand: Studies have shown that kids of all ages are much more likely to eat a new dish if they helped prepare it. Have fun with your family by using a quirky, kid-friendly recipe or by allowing your child to choose the meal’s main ingredient.

Meatless Mondays are also the perfect opportunity to educate your kids about nutrition and healthy habits. In fact, schools across the nation are bringing the program to their cafeterias and classrooms. And best of all, getting your child’s school to observe Meatless Mondays is as simple as saying please.

Elizabeth Pucchini, along with other parents at the Children’s Workshop school in New York City, formed a nutrition committee to ask that its cafeteria go meatless one day a week. To their great surprise, the school agreed. Pucchini encourages parents across the country to bring Meatless Mondays to their schools. “I would advise parents to get involved and know they have the power to demand change. They should arrange a meeting with their school foods manager and speak with them about the changes they want to see on their menu.”

Given our current fast-food culture and desire to return to more wholesome fare, there’s never been a better time to make Mondays meatless. You’ll be surprised by how fun and easy it can be. And once you’ve cooked up your own Meatless Monday, tell your friends, family, and neighbors about the growing movement to make healthier choices, one week at a time.

Tami O’Neill is the assistant editor for The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health initiative. She currently lives, works, and blogs in New York City.

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