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Can Kids Thrive on a Vegetarian Diet?


Health & Wellness  (tags: vegetarian diet, vegan diet, kids, health )

Albert
- 2883 days ago - smh.com.au
It's one thing to opt for a meatless diet as an adult - but is it a healthy option for growing children too? As a dietitian who consults to the Vegetarian Network of Victoria, this is familiar territory to Mark Surdut. Clients who come to him for advice



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Comments

Albert M (112)
Wednesday September 22, 2010, 7:39 am
The bottom line says Surdut is that vegetarian diets, including vegan diets that exclude dairy food and eggs, can be healthy for kids as long as they’re well planned. That’s not just his opinion either. Last year the professional association of dietitians in the US, the American Dietetic Association, gave the thumbs up to vegetarian diets at all life stages in a position paper that suggested vegetarian diets in childhood and adolescence can help establish lifelong healthy eating patterns.
 

MarieAnne Duhem (93)
Wednesday September 22, 2010, 7:44 am
Of course, they can! It just takes a little planning!
 

Mia H (285)
Wednesday September 22, 2010, 10:51 am
Thank you, Albert!
 

Tony Isaacs (40)
Wednesday September 22, 2010, 12:11 pm
I would opine that it takes a lot more than just a "little" planning to make sure that children get all the proper nutrtition they need for developing bodies and brains if they are going to be vegetarians. Certainly a person can be a healthy vegetarian with careful planning to provide the nutrients that we adapted to utilize over thousands of years as omnivores who ate more meat than vegetables, but it does take careful planning. Far too many people think that being vegetarian means simply eleiminating meats and many of those people end up setting themselves up for serious long term health consequences. I would surely hate to see that knd of haphazard approach being fostered on children!
 

Rebecca T (1)
Thursday September 23, 2010, 8:10 pm
Like others have said, a healthy vegetarian diet is completely possible for children so long as proper education regarding adequate nutrition is achieved and practiced. The same thing can be said for a meat-inclusive diet. I remember having a friend as a small child who had never tasted meat, which seemed like such a bizarre concept to me, until I myself turned vegetarian at the age of 14.
 

Rajshree B (26)
Friday September 24, 2010, 12:45 am
Thanks for the info.
 

Allison Killion (28)
Friday September 24, 2010, 10:04 am
thank you
 
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