Vegans, can children also eat only vegetables?
Does it affect growth and child development to feed only on vegetables? The increase in the number of vegetarian and vegan adults has caused the corresponding growth of children who follow the same eating habits as their parents. And it is precisely these children who have recently made the news when the suitability of their vegan food during growth.
All vegetarian diets are not the same. In general, we could consider that all of them are characterized by the preferential consumption of plant foods and the exclusion of foods of animal origin. However, while the ovo-vegetarians include the egg in their diet and the lacto-vegetarians drink milk of animal origin, the vegans, much stricter than the previous ones, exclude even the honey for proceeding even indirectly from the animals.
Are vegetarian and vegan diets healthy?
But are these vegan diets healthy? The three fundamental requirements to consider that a diet is healthy, means that it is moderate, balanced and varied.
- Moderation Perhaps it is one of its strong points because the daily caloric intake is very tight. For this reason, it is very difficult to find overweight problems in this population. Do not forget that vegetarian diet excludes high-calorie foods such as fat or pastries and fiber consumption is very high so you can increase the feeling of fullness. In addition, not only food is taken care of, it is a lifestyle in which sports practice is common. For these reasons, the follow-up of diets has been associated with a lower risk of suffering from some chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- The equilibrium it is measured based on the balance of food in the diet. Vegetarian diets are varied because they take advantage of seasonal crops to eat different types of vegetables and fruits. The balance requirement is the most complicated to meet for protein, calcium, iron and vitamin B12, vitamin D.
In general, in most vegetarian diets it is not difficult to reach an adequate protein intake in quantity and quality. This is achieved by substituting meats, fish and eggs for legumes, nuts and cereals as protein sources. However, in the case of strict vegans there may be problems in the supply of these nutrients in the elderly, pregnant women and children.
And it is precisely in children that we must pay special attention to calcium. The recommendation for children who do not take dairy products is that they receive at least one take at each meal of a food fortified with this mineral. The same supplementation should be done for vitamin D since the main source of this vitamin is animal milk and fish.
Pedro J. Toranzos. Bachelor of Pharmacy, Diploma in Dietetics and Nutrition, Master in Dietetics. Prodieta