Although vegan and plant-based diets have gained popularity among patients raising their children on these diets, some pediatricians are critical of these diets.
A vegan diet, they believe, fails to provide enough vitamins and minerals for children, as a plant-based diet without dairy or meat does not contain enough vitamins and minerals.
Those following a vegan diet are at risk for vitamin D, calcium, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12 deficiencies since these are the essential nutrients from a plant-based diet, which requires you to consume various foods to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Dr. Jackie Busse, MD, FAAP, a board-certified physician, discussed the plant-based diet and the safety of children.
She shares delicious recipes and moments of her young ones on her platform @plantbasedpediatrician to educate others about plant-based nutrition for children.
Benefits Of A Vegan Diet For Kids
The key to healthy eating for kids is to consume unprocessed whole foods. A vegan diet high in processed junk food is no better than the typical American diet. Children should also be given lots of nutrient-dense foods when they are young.
Iron Deficiency: Is it A Concern?
Iron deficiency and anemia are not more prevalent in vegan or vegetarian kids. All kids, including those on plant-based diets, need iron-rich foods in their diets right from birth. The consumption of meat is not necessary for iron deficiency. The best plant-based sources of iron are leafy greens, fortified grains, apricots, tofu, and beans.
Getting Kids To Eat Vegan
It’s fun to show people that plant-based diets are good for the environment, animals, and children! The whole family must be involved whenever a child’s diet changes significantly. We never want to make a child feel different by asking them to eat differently.
It’s Easy To Feed Kids Plant-Based
School meals away from home with peers can be complex once they are away from home. As they grow, you have less and less control over their food choices. Every child should have a healthy relationship with food and their parents, regardless of diet!