Is vegetarianism good for a child? A child on a vegetarian diet

Vegetarianism can be introduced from childhood.In the face of an epidemic of obesity and civilization diseases, switching to a diet free of animal products gives a chance to preserve health for a long time.” Prof. Janusz Książyk, pediatrician from the Children’s Health Center, explains the benefits of not eating animal products .

Vegetarian diet, practiced in a correct way, is healthy – this is confirmed by scientific research. Also vegetarianism for children, once considered inadvisable, turned out to be a hit.


Can children be vegetarians?

ProfessorJanusz Książyk Of course.But even 20 years ago, such a model of child nutrition was considered an act of aggression on the part of parents.Because of this, there were even lawsuits, because doctors believed that this led to permanent health detriment.Today we know that vegetarianism, practiced in the right way, is healthy at all stages of life.


What is the evidence that vegetarianism does not harm children?

JK First is the fact that the traditional way of feeding has led to an epidemic of obesity and related diseases of adulthood (eg diabetes, hypertension).And the second is that people using a vegetarian or vegan diet who are physically active have a decidedly better quality of life and are less likely to suffer from ischemic heart disease, hypertension or obesity.This is evidenced by the results of research conducted, among otherson the Japanese island of Okinawa.They showed that people who are physically active and who maintain this style of living live longer than average citizens in other parts of the world.In addition, a lot of scientific studies have already appeared on this topic, includingin the Netherlands, Sweden, in the USA, where the plant-based diet is officially recommended in reducing the risk of adulthood diseases, and the related counseling is reimbursed by the state.


What is the attitude towards veg children in Poland?

JK According to existing nutritional guidelines, the vegan diet is still considered irrational, includingdue to possible protein deficiencies.Meanwhile, research carried out by the Children’s Health Center shows that the consumption of this ingredient by vegetarian or vegan children is normal or significantly exceed it.Consequently, the belief about a short-term diet is based on conviction rather than on knowledge.These studies also indicate that the physical development of such children is harmonious and falls within the normal range (although they are generally slimmer than their peers), and intellectual development slightly exceeds this standard.So there are no threats.


What are the myths about a vegetarian diet?

JK For example, the plant proteins do not contain certain amino acids.In the meantime, we already know that all unprocessed vegetable products contain these amino acids, only need to eat them in the right amounts.According to the US Food and Nutrition Council, a diet containing complementary vegetable proteins can provide the same protein quality as animal products.The American Association of Nutritionists points out that these complementary proteins do not have to be consumed during one meal, only during the whole day.


What about vitamins in a vegetarian diet?

JK Vitamin B12 should be supplied in the form of a supplement, because it is only source of animal products.Vegetable products contain only inactive analogues of this vitamin, therefore its deficiency occurs in about 60 percent.vegetarians and vegans who do not reach for supplements, which can lead tofor anemia and neurological disorders.In addition, you must also take vitamin D. It should be done especially those who do not tan, because people who use sunbathing stores it in the skin, which ensures its supplies for several months.The rules for vitamin D supplementation are the same for all daily doses should be 400-800 units.The older man is, the more he needs it, because the correct supply protects, among others,against pathological bone fractures.


And iron in a vegetarian diet? Its best source are animal products.

JK This is another myth.In 100 mg of beef are 2 mg of iron, and in pumpkin and sesame seeds – 15 mg, in tofu and white beans – 10 mg.Similarly with calcium.Two glasses of milk or two slices of yellow cheese contain a similar amount of calcium as 100 g of bean beans or dried figs. And they have much less saturated fat and cholesterol.


The Polish Society of Dietetics reminds

Vegetarian diet is not only based on the exclusion of animal products, but the right choice of plant products that are a good source of nutrients.


What should the parents of a small vegetarian remember about?

JK Above all, every child has individual nutritional needs dependent, among othersfrom birth weight and pace of development.On this basis, the necessary amount of individual nutrients is established.Dietary advice must also take into account the wealth of the portfolio.Vegetarian diet is not cheap.Combining specific plants in several meals and vitamin B12 supplementation costs more than meat products.An example of breakfast for a boy aged 3.5 years would look like millet groats with sesame seeds, dates, raisins, figs and cinnamon as well as apple, banana, linseed and vitamin B12 tablet.A dinner of buckwheat with lentils, ratatouille sauce, green olives, carrot salad and apples.



How to combine products to make the diet healthy?

JK There is not one good menu for everyone.Dietary advice must be tailored to the individual patient.The basis of the diet are products containing the right amount of calcium, protein and unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids.A proper vegetarian diet requires knowledge.You can use this advice from specialists or learn this art yourself.People on a vegetarian or vegan diet are usually more focused on nutrition, and thus make more conscious choices of the kpinarnych than people on a regular diet who often eat “garbage”

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