Vegan Diet for Children
Diet is such an important and pivotal aspect of life and as a parent, you are the one largely in charge of making sure your children’s diet is healthy and balanced to ensure they get all the correct vitamins and minerals to create a strong and healthy body and mind development. Of course when thinking of a vegan diet and all the foods one needs to emit it can become slightly worrying that raising vegan children may not be the most ideal circumstance, however that is not the case at all, in fact, there are many ways you can connect veganism and children and gain the same benefits and developmental growth as any other diet, the key is to know how and what to include throughout their diet. Vegan parents of course want to raise their kids with the same morals and values as themselves and teach this way of life from the age of birth until they are grown and ready to make decisions for themselves.
Plant-Based Diet for Kids
A plant-based diet for kids should include all the food groups, along with a large variety of fruit and veg to ensure the required nutrient intake is met. Some of the key food groups that should be included in your child’s vegan diet include
Calcium is essential for bone strength and maintaining healthy well functioning bones, mostly in children this is received through tye consumption of dairy and dairy-based products, however, for vegan kids, plant-based milk alternatives are a great substitute as well as soy yogurts and fortified cereals, which are all high in calcium too.
Another extremely important element of a vegan diet is the insurance that your young one is receiving enough iron, for the formation of their blood cells, the strength of their immune system, and to fight disease and fatigue. Some great sources of iron include lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, wholemeal bread, nuts, and whole grains. Ensuring your child gets enough iron is imperative to their overall growth and body development.
Another key part of maintaining a healthy vegan diet is ensuring you get a suitable amount of fiber. For kids, this can be a tricky one as high fiber foods are usually extremely dense but not very calorie sufficient. in this case, choosing nutrient-dense foods that also contain a fair amount of fiber is the best options, these foods include avocados, nuts, and a variety of dried fruit, which have proven easiest for kids to consume and enjoy with little fuss.
Vegan Diet for Teens
A vegan diet for teens should ensure a sufficient amount of calories and a high amount of vitamins and minerals, these years are imperative as it is usually when puberty is taking place and bodies are growing and changing, from childhood into adulthood and thus a different type of diet is required to ensure proper development over the teenage years. With saying this as your children develop int teenagers it may become a little harder to control their exact diet as they may be more independent and likely to make decisions for themselves, they also may be dealing with peer pressure around diet through concerns about fitting in, in my opinion, encouragement, as well as education on the vegan diet and lifestyle, works best in guiding them in the right direction. Vegan teens should ensure they are getting nutrients such as
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B 12
One of the most important parts of your teen’s vegan diets is variety, which should include a wide range of leafy green vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, nuts, and legumes. Having full and balanced meals is the best way to make sure these requirements are met especially through busy lifestyles.
Vegan Babies, Are They at Risk?
For a vegan diet, babies are probably the most tricky and complicated as they are at an extremely fragile stage in life, and as parents, you want to ensure your baby is able to develop properly, grow well and maintain strong bones and a healthy immune system and in this case, it is most definitely all the responsibility of the parents to ensure this happens. One key element that has been found through research on raising vegan babies, is the need to breastfeed for longer, this is because plant-based milk well good and healthy does not have the high amounts of calcium a baby needs that comes from whole milk or formula but if you breastfeed for a slightly longer period of time, you will be ensuring your baby gets all the nutrients it needs before making the transition and just remember this is the first time your baby will be trying foods and thus introducing healthy plant-based foods that are balanced and perhaps colorful and diverse will allow you to examine what your baby likes and dislikes and thus you can adjust a dit perfectly suited to their needs.
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