"The child is most likely eliminating packaged foods and, hopefully, a lot of unnecessary sugar products that most kids eat today," Elliot says.

Additionally, it may be viewed as a "hip or cool thing to do."

"Overindulgence of meat causes clogged arteries and heart attacks -- isn't that what we've always heard? So to stop eating meat is supposed to make us feel like we're doing something good for ourselves," Elliot says.

Why, Why, Why

Elliot says there are a number of reasons, such as peer pressure, that young people choose a vegetarian lifestyle.

"Some probably do it because of their love for animals. Some do it because they are mad at their parents. Some do it because they truly do not like meat," she says. "And some do it because they have done their homework and think this is a good diet choice for them. It really depends on the age and maturity level of the person or youth who is going vegetarian."

Gidus adds that it is important for parents to be supportive of their child's decision.

"Ask them why they want to become a vegetarian and what you can do to support them," she says. "You can search for recipes together, go grocery shopping, and make meal planning a fun new family activity."

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