Happy Kids Eat Right month everyone! I hope that people with kids without are enjoying these last few weeks of summer before schedules become a bit more rigid and we all head into back-to-school and autumn.
Dietitians across the country are celebrating kids cooking, eating healthy and being active this August. Lots of articles offer tips on how to get kids to eat more fruits and veggies but what about kids or families who are vegetarian and vegan? How can we optimize their health? Read on to learn more about how Kids Eat Right Vegetarian and Vegan.
As the immediate past Chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition dietetic practice group (VNDPG), I get a lot of questions about vegetarian or vegan kids. I wanted to offer you some answers to common questions and FAQs about vegan and vegetarian kids as well as some important resources from organizations and other dietitians who specialize in plant-based diets for kids. Links are embedded so you can click to learn more!Feeding #vegetarian and #vegan kids? Info and ideas on the blog! #Kidseatright #KERmonth @vegnutrition @VNDPG Click To Tweet
Kids Eat Right Vegetarian and Vegan
Did you know?
- Teenage vegans have nutritional needs that are the same as any other teenager.
- Non-dairy sources of calcium include tofu processed with calcium sulfate, green leafy vegetables including collard greens, mustard greens, and kale, as well as tahini (sesame butter), fortified soy milk, and fortified orange juice.
- Vitamin C can enhance iron absorption from plant foods.
- According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, plant-based diets may reduce obesity, heart disease, and other health problems.
- You can get enough protein, folate, iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, and other nutrients when you’re pregnant on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Breast milk or formula is the only food needed from birth until 4-6 months. Vegetarian diets, including lacto-ovo, lacto, or vegan, can meet the needs of older infants.
- A well-balanced vegetarian diet supports healthy growth and development of toddlers and preschoolers.
Finally, I gathered some fellow dietitian’s top recipes for vegetarian or vegan kids. Be sure to check these out as fun, balanced, and delicious ideas for vegetarian or non-vegetarian kids as we get ready to head back to school this fall. Let me know how you and your family are eating vegetarian or vegan heading into fall!