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Raising Children As Vegetarians

Raising Children As Vegetarians
Going vegetarian is becoming a fast global trend these days due to the harmful effects of fast food on kids. It is being accepted and appreciated by numerous people across many cultures. Most of the people are consciously making their choices today for themselves and for their kids health, driven by ethical, environmental and medical reasons, to avoid products derived from the animals and meat in their lifestyle and diet. They add to the existing class of vegetarian people around the world who follow such a lifestyle by the virtue of their cultural, social or religious circumstances.

Types Of Vegetarians

Typically, the following four types of vegetarians are seen around us:
  • Vegans: These are the people who do not like to use any of the animal derived products throughout their lives. This not just includes poultry, fish, and meat but also dairy products, wool, honey, silk, eggs etc.
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarians: Such class of the vegetarians exclude fish and meat, but consume dairy products and eggs.
  • Lacto-Vegetarians: These are the vegetarians who exclude meat, poultry, and fish of all kinds including eggs. However, dairy products and milk are included in their diet.
  • Ovo-Vegetarians: Such class of the vegetarians eat eggs but no meat.

What Is Best For Your Children

If you are a vegetarian, you may wish the same for your children too. However, due to constantly changing views and widely diverging opinions regarding nutrition, you should always check what is best for your children. Ask yourself; would a vegetarian diet fulfill dietary requirements of the growing and developing bodies of your children? Do you think being a vegetarian was the healthy choice for you? Do not forget to discuss the nutritional needs of your child with a nutritionist. A vegetarian well-planned diet can meet the nutritional needs of your children and it also has many health benefits.

How To Provide A Healthy Vegetarian Diet To Your Children

If you wish to put your children on the vegetarian diet, you should be careful in making sure that they are getting an adequate and appropriate amount of certain minerals and vitamins. Also come up with interesting food ideas to avoid the boredom for your kids. Following are some of the nutrients that the vegetarians need along with their food sources:
  • Vitamin B12: Eggs, vitamin-fortified and dairy products like, breads, cereals, nutritional yeast, rice drinks and soy.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D-fortified products and fresh orange juice, and milk.
  • Calcium: Green leafy vegetables, dairy products, broccoli, calcium-fortified products like cereals and orange juice, and dried beans.
  • Proteins: Eggs, tofu, lentils, pulses, dairy products, nuts and dried beans.
  • Iron: Dried beans, eggs, dried fruits, lentils, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and iron-fortified bread and cereals.
  • Zinc: Nuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, dried beans and fortified cereals.

Ensuring A Healthy Balance In Children’s Diet

Nutritionists and pediatricians agree that a child performs perfectly well in his life when he is brought up as a vegetarian as long as a balanced diet is followed for addressing his nutritional requirements. Just avoiding eggs, fish, chewy and crunchy foods, and meat may not be just enough; if your child binges on the fast food routinely like aerated drinks and potato chips, do not expect the vegetarian food to show its wonders. Medical research suggests strong correlation between the reduced incidences of many diseases and vegetarian diets. The incidence of heart diseases and hypertension is significantly lower as well amongst the vegetarians. So if you are bringing up your child as a vegetarian by providing him good amount of nutrition, you can be sure that you are taking good care of your kids health in the future.