Vegan diets and children

A vegan diet can be healthy at any age. Nutrition
is an important part of parenting and with the right information and knowledge, there is no reason
why a vegan diet can’t be healthy for children. Children can get all the nutrients they
need on a vegan diet by balancing food groups and also with the use of fortified foods and supplementation. Protein is a key nutrient and this can be
found in foods such as lentils, beans, pulses and tofu. Soya is a good source of protein
and contains all essential amino acids. Calcium is an important nutrient to help build healthy
bones and teeth. Calcium can be found in fortified non-dairy alternatives such as milks and yoghurts
and can also be found in fortified foods such as bread. Iron is also an important nutrient and most
protein sources are also good sources of iron. These include lentils, beans and pulses.
Non-protein sources of iron include fortified breakfast cereals, and fortified breads and
wholemeal foods. Adding a source of vitamin C to a meal can aid iron absorption. Good
sources of fat are important for growth on a vegan diet especially for children under
five. These can be found in foods such as nut butters, ground nuts, avocados and olive
oil. It’s really important for children to have a daily intake of omega-3 fats. For
more age-specific information, check out The Vegan Society nutrition guides for children. Because under-fives can have smaller appetites and fibre can be quite filling, it is good
to include some lower fibre options such as white rice and white pasta. Everyone in the UK should consider supplementation of vitamin D. However, it is recommended that
children under the age of five also consider supplementation for vitamins A and C. Supplementation
of vitamin B12 and iodine are important to consider on a vegan diet for children. However,
it is a good idea to seek advice from your healthcare professional to determine which
supplement is best for your child. Nutrition guides for under-fives, aged 5 to 10s and for teens are all available on The Vegan Society’s website. These have all been peer-reviewed by a paediatric dietitian. If your child has any special dietary needs or you have any concerns, you can always ask
your GP to refer you to a paediatric dietitian.

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Reader Comments

  1. Jabari

    VEGAN MOTIVATION: Went vegan at 13, not rich, non vegan family, and still vegan 3 years later. If I can do it, so can you!

    Vegan Youtuber btw

  2. VeganRevolution

    I thought if I'd get fortified
    I'd improve my mood
    However it did not work
    So I built a fortress with my fortitude
    The fortress was made out of trees
    From the place I go for rest
    Which really got me thinking
    Perhaps I should be anti-progress
    As most people don't know what to eat
    Even though we've been foraging for ages
    Do we really need a society to tell us
    We can just eat plants at all stages?

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