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Attachment Parenting

Vegetarian Diets for Children: Right from the Start


Many people, while eager to adopt a vegetarian diet themselves, may hesitate to feed their children a diet devoid of animal products. As it turns out, there are pros and cons to an exclusive plant based diet for children.

By and large, a plant based diet is absolutely perfect for children and adults. It is contains the nutrition and fiber that your body requires without the cruelty and health problems associated with an animal based diet.

Children do have unique dietary needs however, and many experts strongly advise against a strict vegan diet for children. There are many nutrients, such as A, D and the B vitamins, that are essential to proper growth and development, that are difficult if not impossible to get from a plant based diet alone.

That said, children can eat a cruelty free diet of organic eggs and organic, raw dairy and still receive the majority of necessary fatty acids and nutrition their bodies require. If you add on cod liver oil and let your kids get plenty of sunshine, they are on the road to excellent health.

A recent article found on www.PCRM.org states that:

“Children raised on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes grow up to be slimmer and healthier and even live longer than their meat-eating friends. It is much easier to build a nutritious diet from plant foods than from animal products, which contain saturated fat, cholesterol, and other substances that growing children can do without. As for essential nutrients, plant foods are the preferred source because they provide sufficient energy and protein packaged with other health-promoting nutrients such as fiber, antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.”

Click here to read the full article

Sheryl’s comment

This is a great article which explains how children can receive all the necessary nutrition they need from a vegetarian diet but they are also learning healthy tastes and habits at a critical stage that sets the stage for the healthiest life possible.

The article also includes menu suggestions and dietary recommendations by age. Its a great read.
Additional resources: vrg.org
Image Souurce: http://flickr.com/photos/guccibear2005/1970572578/

About the author

naturalparenting – who has written posts on A Much Better Way.


Discussion

16 Responses to “Vegetarian Diets for Children: Right from the Start”

  1. i guess its a life style choice, I am a vegetarian (not vegan) but did not believe in forcing my children into the life style.

    the have chosen to eat meat and i believe choice is a more valuable asset in a person

    Posted by Dave | December 10, 2008, 10:57 am
  2. I am a vegetarian (98% of the time) and so are my kids. They are that young they do not really know what it is all about.

    It is crucial to ensure you get the foods that contain essential fatty acids for children. And of course all the other vitamins and minerals you would normally obtain from eating meat.

    Posted by Kiera | August 30, 2009, 8:28 am
  3. I can see how this would make the diet accepted much easier. Even if you are not fully vegetarian, this is a great article to introduce more veggies into their diet.

    Posted by Chris | August 31, 2009, 2:30 pm
  4. Very interesting. My belief has always been that humans have evolved into omnivores and, based on that evolutionary lesson, the healthiest diet is mixture of meat and vegetables.

    I think that being a vegetarian can be more healthy. All I would say say is that vegetarians have to be very careful to ensure that their diet is broad enough to get all the nutrients that they require to be healthy. Anemia for example is more common amongst vegetarians.

    Thanks,

    Chloe

    Posted by Chloe | September 1, 2009, 5:08 pm
  5. I would love to know how you did that with those cucumbers

    Posted by Brianna | September 5, 2009, 12:47 pm
  6. I think raising your children with the cruelty free mindset is the foundation of a caring and responsible adolescent. This will offer the best encouragement for a lifetime of moral decency.

    Posted by andrew | October 23, 2009, 12:50 pm
  7. My teacher Natalia Rose has written a book on clean nutrition for children

    Posted by maren | February 6, 2010, 10:42 pm
  8. Nice article. Most vegan articles are aimed at adults so this makes a refreshing change.

    Posted by Carla | March 8, 2010, 5:32 pm
  9. I realize the importance of having our kids eat right and it would be a dream come true if mine only wanted sprouts and carrots.

    However…It seems if you didn’t get a jump start on this type of lifestyle very early on it’s a lot more difficult to get your kids to eat right.

    Now it seems I’m coming up on the 11th hour with my kids and it’s like trying to pull a wisdom tooth with no anesthesia to try and get them to eat their veggies.

    Does anyone know a good resource for “How to get your kids to eat the right foods”? or better yet…”How to get your kids to WANT to eat the right foods”?

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mark

    Posted by Mark | June 26, 2010, 8:02 am
  10. Where can I find someone who gives talks on The Continuum Concept/Attachment Parenting/Natural Parenting?

    Posted by Louise | July 22, 2010, 2:19 pm
  11. I am not a vegetarian but I do admire those who have the discipline to live this healthy lifestyle. I am curious about how you get your kids to eat like that when they are away from home, however. For instance, if they go to a birthday party or a ball game, what kid turns down hot dogs? Even if you pack their school lunch, it’s impossible to know if that’s what they are really eating or if they are trading their fruit salad for a piece of pepperoni pizza. Any suggestions about that?

    Posted by Dee | August 15, 2010, 11:25 am
  12. You could always tell them that the cafetaria personel instituted a new policy and every week they send home a report detailing exactly what your child ate during their lunch, and whether or not they traded the carrot sticks for the slice of pepperoni pizza.

    Evil I know…but hey…might make them think about it. LOL

    Posted by Mark | September 3, 2010, 10:00 am
  13. More of us need to be vegetarians. Obesity studies confirm that vegetarians tend to be thinner than meat eaters. Obesity is considered by doctors to be a disease within itself and is part of the modern scourge of metabolic syndrome – a combination of conditions including being overweight, diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels etc

    Posted by Bradley | May 16, 2011, 7:40 am
  14. I’ve learned so much about the healthy nutritional value of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds so we stock as much of that as possible in our house.

    The kids love it and we all feel great and healthy. My wife makes the best vegetarian pizza!

    Posted by Jeff Wise | June 8, 2011, 8:28 pm
  15. This has always been a hard thing to do with kids, you can always tell them to eat their veggies, but hey remember when we were kids?? I do believe that most don’t get enough vegetables, but most adults don’t either.

    Posted by Shawn | August 12, 2011, 12:47 pm

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