Is Vegetarian Diet Safe for Children?
A study conducted in 2008 by the Harris Interactive on behalf of Times Vegetarian reported that 7.3 million adults in the United States practices a vegetarian diet. According to Elizabeth Turner, Chief Editor of Vegetarian Times, consumer interest in vegetarian foods increases.
For adults, this is perhaps not surprising, but if applied to children, will it have a good effect?
According to KidsHealth,vegetarian diet stabilize healthy weight and improve overall cardiovascular health. Vegetarian diet also reduces diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. But it is still need to be considered if you want to apply a vegetarian diet for your children.
According to Nutrition experts, Shannon Martinez-Pederson and Carol M. Meerschaert V, before planning a vegeterian diet for your children you need to consider also their nutritional needs. There are a large selection of vegetables and fruit that you can choose for the child. So, you can apply vegetarain healthy diet for children and still provide calories and energy in its infancy.
But for teens, it will be more difficult to implement a vegetarian diet, because teen-aged children are more difficult to make a wise choices of food for their health. For adolescents, it is important to ensure adequate intake of vitamins B12 and D, calcium, protein, iron and zinc.
Fortunately, many children foods that can be prepared from vegetables and fruits. Add milk in their breakfast menu. Provide also orange juice, leafy green vegetables, nuts and dried fruit.
When they first start a vegetarian diet, give a choice of foods they like. For example, serve fruit or peanut butter on crackers or apple slices and two light snacks that many kids love. Replace meat with vegan cheese or replace cow milk with soy milk in their favorite dishes.