The way we feed our children, even in the intrauterine stage of their life, is affecting their development and health. According to the expert, the new generations are increasingly sensitive, sick, and worldwide some situations in which children died from different types of illnesses have been recorded. A child is not a little adult, so parents are making big mistakes when thinking that what is good for them is also good for their children. Children have other dietary and physiological needs. This article will debate one of the newest trends in children diets, the vegan diet. Let’s find out whether is it safe to put a child on a vegan diet, or not.
A new dangerous trend regarding children diets
A book dedicated to the children, written by Ruby Roth, published in the United States, and entitled Veganism means love is a subject of many controversies. The book author is trying to make the children to adopt a vegan diet, inoculating the idea that the animal food of any kind is actually meaning killing those animals.
Ruby Roth, a former middle school teacher, and animals rights activist, thinks that a life in which all of us can choose to live without using animals for food, clothes, or entertainment is really possible. She tries converting children to the idea that a vegan diet is the best thing for human health, for animals, for the planet, and that means love. Veganism means love targets the children of over 6 years of age and tries to teach them that animal cruelty is a consequence of meat consumption.
Some readers complain that there are too many images with scenes of violence against animals, which might affect their children. But others are outraged that Ruby Roth promotes an excessive vegan diet for children who are too young and very easy to be influenced.
The vegan diet is different of the vegetarian diet. More specifically, the vegan diet excludes all the animal products, including dairy products and eggs. A vegan diet is only based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Is it safe to put a child on a vegan diet?
Having a vegan diet doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a wrong or unhealthy diet to follow but when it comes to children we should start wondering if is it safe to put a child on a vegan diet, especially for young children, whose needs are more intense than the needs of an adult.
According to the studies conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, the people who follow a vegan diet, tend to eat fewer calories and weigh less than people who have a regular diet. Nutritionists recommend that people who adopt a vegan diet for themselves, but especially for their children, to be careful to supplement the intake of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, calcium, iron, and proteins.
Vitamin B12, for example, is found only in animal food products. To intake the body’s necessary amount of Vitamin B12, the vegan diet followers should opt for Vitamin B12 dietary supplements, or for vegan foods with higher levels of this vitamin, such as meat substitutes (e.g. soy) or rice beverages. Same goes for the other nutrients that children need. For example, a vegan diet food supplemented with calcium is the soy milk. Also, there are some juices supplemented with vitamins complex, that may be used by vegans, too.
If a child intakes all of the vitamins, proteins, and minerals necessary for a proper body functionality, it is safe to put a child on a vegan diet, regardless the way these nutrients are consumed (vegan food supplemented with vitamins, proteins, and minerals, or dietary supplements). If somehow the parents are not aware of the importance of vitamins, proteins, and minerals in their child diet, severe health problems may occur, leading to irreversible conditions in the child, or even to death, as it has been the case of an 11 months old child from France, who died because of the lack of the vital vitamins, proteins, and minerals in his little body.
That is why nutrition experts recommend parents to seek the advice of their child’s pediatrician before switching to a vegan diet.
Opt for a vegetarian diet for your child, instead of opting for a vegan diet.
The differences between the vegetarian diet and the vegan diet might seem very unimportant, but the vegetarian diet is much more healthy than a vegan diet, thus making a vegetarian diet much more suitable for children. Don’t get it wrong, the vegetarian diet is not the best diet for children, either, but it is not as restrictive as a vegan diet, eggs and dairy products being permitted.
To be sure that a vegetarian diet is safe for your child you must offer him a complete menu of nutrients, proteins, and vitamins that are necessary for his growth, and it should include
- high-calorie foods to provide energy to the child
- proteins sources: nuts, eggs, and tofu
- Vitamin B12 dietary supplements
- Vitamin D supplementation
- iron supplementation, preventing anemia
- calcium dietary supplements
- Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9 healthy fats which play an important role in proper brain development.
Very important to know is that a vegetarian diet is not meant for babies of below 12 months old, because for the babies of up to 12 months old the milk is very important for them and should not be removed! Some alternative sources of protein are eggs, seeds, soy, or peanuts, and some vegetables that are containing proteins are ragout, lentils, chickpeas, beans, and tomatoes.
So, is it safe to put a child on a vegan diet? No, it is not safe to do it, without supplementing the child’s diet with dietary supplements that will offer his body’s necessary nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
I am a young woman, a mother of two beautiful kids, and I am passionate about reading and writing. I am a flexible writer, with huge experience on topics related to health, babies and kids, lifestyle, fashion, IT&Tech, relationships, and world’s mysteries.
Armed with my articles as weapons against wrongness, I hope to help people living a better and healthier life, and I’ll always be a militant for justice, trying to teach people about what is good and what is wrong.