By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Lifestyle. At Saturday, May 04th 2019, 22:22:50 PM.
A vegetarian diet can be a healthy choice for all kids, as long as it's properly planned. The principles of planning a vegetarian diet are the same as planning any healthy diet — provide a variety of foods and include foods from all of the food groups. A balanced diet will provide the right combinations to meet nutritional needs. But be aware of potential nutrient deficiencies in your child's diet and figure out how you will account for them. With a little exploration, you may find more vegetarian options than you realized. If you are not sure your child is getting all necessary nutrients or if you have any questions about vegetarian diets, check in with your family doctor, pediatrician, or a registered dietitian.
Your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you plan and monitor a healthy vegetarian diet. Parents should give their kids a variety of foods that provide enough calories and nutrients to enable them to grow normally.A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet kids' nutritional needs and has some health benefits. For example, a diet rich in fruits and veggies will be high in fiber and low in fat, factors known to improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood cholesterol and maintaining a healthy weight. However, kids and teens on a vegetarian diet may need to be careful that they get an adequate amount of certain vitamins and minerals. Depending on the type of vegetarian diet chosen, kids may miss out on some of these important nutrients if the diet is not monitored by the parents. The less restrictive the vegetarian diet, the easier it will be for your child to get enough of the necessary nutrients. In some cases, fortified foods or supplements can help meet nutritional needs.
Remove any animal products that you won't miss in your diet. If you haven’t already, incorporate more whole grains, beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, and seeds to your diet while simultaneously cutting down on the animal products that you’ll miss the least. You can gradually cut down on all animal products or remove one food/food group at a time. Remove barrier foods after you feel comfortable with all of the other changes in your diet. Pay attention to ingredient lists, you may find it easier to begin avoiding the less obvious animal derived ingredients one at a time. You can also choose to overlook them until you’ve removed all obvious animal products (meat, seafood, dairy products, eggs, etc.) from your diet and you feel comfortable eating mostly plant-based foods.