Meatless diet: How vegetarian children grow strong and healthy?


It has grown its vegetarian baby in a preschool child active, or are waiting to be vegetarian now, along with the rest of his family. Here’s how to make your child gets all the nutrients it needs.

Childhood years lay the foundation for the rest of the life of a person. The habits formed during this stage are difficult to change and dietary habits are no exception. A healthy and varied vegetarian diet during childhood sets the tone for a healthy and active life. Despite the fact that vegetarianism is on the rise in the Western world, some misconceptions continue to emerge.

What you need to know to support optimal growth and development of your vegetarian child, from the first years of life until the end of primary school?


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Healthy development in vegetarian children

If your child has been a vegetarian since conception, you already know that a healthy and varied vegetarian diet provides an excellent start in life. You have spent coup pregnancy to breastfeeding or formula feeding, beyond the introduction of solid foods and now has an active child, growing old to walk, talk and think. What has changed?

Your growing child needs more calories, but their stomachs have not yet been updated. Vegetarian children tend to have fewer calories from fat and eat more fibrous than their peers who eat meat diets. Diets that are higher in fiber cause their children the sense of feeling full sooner, but we’re not done yet, they are still in need of more calories.

Do not be surprised if your vegetarian child seems to have a greater need to “graze” between meals, and make sure you have healthy snacks on hand to meet them.

They are you’re a little smaller than the average vegetarian children? You may be interested to know that research indicates that your vegetarian child can grow a little more slowly than their meat-eating friends, but it will catch up with their peers who eat meat when they reach adulthood.

When it comes to IQ, studies show that vegetarian children score slightly higher than carnivores in an average of 118 points. That cannot be for his vegetarianism, because the correlation is still not equal causation, but it’s something, something to brag about, when a nosy really starts questioning whether vegetarian children can grow up to be healthy.

If you and your family are vegans, it is especially likely to meet with raised eyebrows of his social circle. Can vegetarian diets really meet the needs of children in dietary growth? Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for each family member, fortified foods and supplements that you and your children take help meet their needs nutritional.

How are new vegetarians can help their children transition to a meat-free diet?

What if you are new to being a vegetarian and is making the transition to a meatless diet along with your family? Not being accustomed to vegetarian foods, you’re asking a lot more than if they are meeting the nutritional needs of your child. Exactly how successfully you can help your child or children to make the change?

Reed Mangels Ph.D., a registered dietitian with the Group Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice, has advice for you:

  • Identify foods and foods your family already eats meatless
  • Identify foods and foods your family already eats and likes, you can easily do without meat. (An example: make a hearty vegetable soup bean using a vegetable broth, homemade or commercially made, instead of chicken broth …) These familiar foods with minor modifications help ease the transition.
  • Find several cookbooks and / or websites that have vegetarian recipes that are in keeping with the style of the kitchen of his family. For example, if your family likes easy fast foods, this is not the time to look for gourmet recipes. Try some recipes. Experiment with foods like tofu, beans, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Some families like to use meat alternatives and not others. These foods, such as veggie burgers, deli slices, etc. can be useful if you are trying to make a family favorite recipe without meat.

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What should vegetarian children?

Raise healthy and strong vegetarian kids takes no more effort to raise children who eat healthy meat, but it does require some thought, the guarantee that your child gets plenty of tasty foods from all major food groups, covering all your nutritional needs, is essential.

What nutrients vegetarian diet should include your child? These are the things to consider:

  • Protein: Beans, cheese, eggs, tofu and nuts are excellent sources of protein. The dietitian Reed Mangels, with the Vegetarian Resource Group, says that children in North America that would otherwise eat a varied diet that contains enough calories are not going to have problems getting enough protein, also necessary, make sure you get protein from multiple plant sources in one meal.
  • Iron: Vegetarians have broad access to iron through such things as green leafy vegetables, dried apricots and beans. Did you know that eating foods rich in vitamin C regularly helps iron absorption?
  • Vitamin D comes from sunlight, eggs and fortified foods. Anyone who does not have regular access to any of them should take a dietary supplement, Heather Russell advises: “In the UK, it is recommended that babies fed breast milk are vitamin D from birth. Note that vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are plant sources of lichen. ” He adds vitamin A, plus vitamin C and D are recommended for children “six months to five years and beyond this age, supplementation of vitamin D is recommended during the fall and winter” with supplementation throughout the year to be appropriate for some groups.
  • Vitamin B12 comes from animal protein such as milk and eggs and fortified foods.
  • Calcium: Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, figs, beans and almonds are all sources besides dairy products.
  • Iodine: Heather notes that “for vegan children, the need to consider supplementation of iodine increases as weaning progresses.”
  • Omega 3: Although there is a need for research on the health benefits, supplementation of long – chain omega-3 from micro algae could be considered”.

Heather also notes that “the Vegan Society sells a supplement to take daily designed for vegans, and half a tablet can be administered to children 2 to 12 years,” and parents of vegan children are advised to take alternative supplements, consult with their health care providers to ensure that these supplements are appropriate for their age.

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