Vegan Diet Safe For Kids, Does It Exist?
First off going vegan as a teenager or adult is becoming more and more accepted in society. However, having vegan children is a different situation completely.
Many people would even go as far as saying that there is no vegan diet safe for kids. In fact I have even seen articles where they say it’s child abuse!
Seriously??? No, it’s not! Kids can be vegan and healthy, while getting all of the vitamins and minerals that they need.
Most kids today are not even eating a healthy diet, yet no one questions their parents.
Is feeding your kids hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals healthy? Of course not! Yet that is what most kids are eating when they consume cheese, milk, processed foods, and more.
Most kids are now addicted to candy and unhealthy foods full of sugar, and no nutrition. So many kids are now overweight, have diabetes, and so many other diet related health issues.
Activist and author Rainbeau Mars is recommending families to adopt a vegan lifestyle to better their health. She said:
“It’s really important that kids are eating enough nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, but what happens often with mainstream philosophies is that we think kids benefit from eating white bread and nitrate-filled animal products,” she says. “We forget kids actually will like vegetables, especially if they get involved in the cooking process.” Mars says her diet is a “zero-calorie restriction” plan that focuses on high-fiber, plant-based foods, with an emphasis on encouraging kids to eat from “each color of the rainbow” to ensure they meet all their nutritional needs.
If you have vegan children, you can’t just feed them Daiya cheese and vegan cookies and expect them to be healthy.
You will need to do lots of research to find out the healthiest way to feed your children.
For example, kids need more fat than adults. Make sure to always give your children healthy fats such as avocados, chia seeds, nuts, etc.
You also can’t purely feed vegan children fruits and vegetables. This is because they are so high in fibre and water that they are extremely filling. Children have much smaller stomachs, so they would not be getting enough calories just from eating fruits and vegetables.
They should be eating more frequent meals and snacks that are calorie dense, with lots of legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains to get the energy and nutrients that they need.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has stated that a well planned vegan diet is healthy for children. However, parents should pay special attention to a few nutrients to make sure that their child is getting enough. These are: vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, protein, and fiber.
To know for sure if you children are low in specific vitamins a simple blood test from your doctor will do the trick.
Overall, kids can definitely eat a vegan diet and be healthy. You just have to do your research in advance to make sure that they are getting all of the nutrients that they need. Talk to your health practitioner as well.
If you want more information on how to raise healthy vegan kids and incorporate a vegan diet safe for kids, there are some books to check out:
Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World: A Complete Guide for Parents
Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony
Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet 1st Edition
Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-free Lunches Kids and Grown-ups Will Love!
Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right
The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning
Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes