We are all different: our body, our nature, our internal and external. Consequently, we need different menus or diets. What is good for me won’t be necessarily good for you. We have to follow our instinct about what we eat, what our body wants and don’t want. Adults can do that easily…but what about our children? Can they also follow their instincts or the parent has to tell them what to eat?
No one disputes about the fact that green is good, all the vegetables, fruits, leguminous and different kinds of seeds are rich in basic nutrition like: protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and fats. Additionally, it contains a lot of fiber, which is very helpful for our digestion. There are many researches that prove - mainly based on adults – that vegetarianism has a positive impact for blood pressure and cholesterol. Those who are following this kind of diets have less chances of having cancer and the number of heart and vascular diseases for them are low. Plus, average 10% are thinner than the meat eaters. But, it is a fallacy that vegetarianism automatically brings weight loss.
But nowadays doctors even mention vegetarianism for kids.
The main question here is, is it possible to cover the developing organization needs with vegetarianism? The American Dietetics Association (ADA) says yes, more precisely, with a small addition. “A well planned vegan or lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets would satisfy the infant or the kid’s needs and ensure healthy development,” says ADA.
Types of vegetarianism
- Vegan: purely eats only plant food
- Lacto vegetarian: milk
- Ovovegetarian: eggs too
- Lacto-ovovegetarian: both milk and eggs
- Semi-vegetarian: they only don’t eat red meat, but eat fish and white meat.
ADA worded carefully, that the diet must be well planned, which means you have to plan it with consideration. In the vegetarian diet, we can have, maybe just a few,of critical materials that red meat is the main source of – iron.
Personally, I don’t support full vegetarianism. I believe our body needs meat. But actual science would argue with me. So, what I can do to help people who decide to raise their children in a vegetarian lifestyle, is to drive your attention to nutrition, which they miss out on if they don’t consume meat and don’t know how to replace them.
Nutrition that are left out from a vegetarian diet
Vegetarians can have these kinds of nutrition from fortified foods. If you decide to be a vegetarian or planning to raise your child like one, it’s better to read this list:
- Calcium: main source is milk and milk products. If you don’t have these, try fortified flour, rice, orange - or apple juice, maybe tofu, or broccoli.
- Vitamin D: fish or egg; as well as milk, but this is just a secondary source. Sunbathing, but of course in a limited time. Dietary supplements or multivitamin tablets.
- Protein: the main source is meat, but we can try it with plants like beans, tofu, and soya, or bread made from whole-wheat flour.
- Calories: the necessary calories are easily covered from the vegetarian diet. But what’s better is that a large volume gives the child the feeling of fullness but the calories are less than what they need.
- Vitamin B12: naturally only in red meat, fish, liver, egg, and milk. But we can find it in different kinds of morning cereals, soya milk, or multivitamin tablets.
- Iron: mainly found in red meat, but a small portion can be found in a few vegetables. Vitamin C helps the iron absorption. Therefore it’s beneficial to drink orange juice or eat seeds, green leafy vegetables, and broccoli.
The most important advice for those parents who want to keep their kids on a vegetarian diet, is to make sure their kids are getting enough of these vital nutrition above.
And never forget to give them a choice on what they want to eat. We are different!