Would you like to save money and make family meals healthier – by substituting just one ingredient once a week? Then maybe you’re keen to try going without meat every Monday?
Meat-free Mondays are designed to help reduce the effects of meat production on the environment, along with introducing some healthy and tasty food options to your kids’ diets and saving you money.
Why go meat-free on Mondays?
The scheme was originally pioneered by singer Paul McCartney, and his daughters Stella and Mary, almost a decade ago to encourage us to go meat-free every Monday to help our health and protect the planet. Research has found that food production is responsible for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, with meat and fisheries production and land use accounting for almost half of these. In addition, the land required to produce 100g of red meat protein is far higher than that required to produce the same amount of protein from grains, peas, or soybeans.
Why is it good for your family?
Cutting down the amount of processed and red meat in your diet may help to reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. It’ll also save your family money: research suggests that a vegetarian diet costs around $2 less per person a day, adding up to almost $1,500 for two adults over the course of a year (subject to price fluctuations).
How to do it at home
If the thought of trying to feed your kids a veggie meal once a week fills you with dread, don’t panic – it just comes down to good planning. Decide on your meat-free meal when planning your weekly shop – so you don’t end up scrabbling in the pantry and serving up cheesy pasta again. And, while trying to get your kids to eat veggies may be difficult, having a regular night at home when you ‘try one new thing’ adds structure to a more adventurous meal-time routine and will make you feel great when it finally pays off.