Vegetarian food for Children.Vegetarian diets are known to have significant health benefits. Many parents expect their loved ones to turn to a vegetarian diet. But will this option be appropriate and safe for the growing body of children? How do you make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need each day? This article has the answers for you.
Many people understand that vegetarians abstain from eating meat either. But before letting the baby switch to eating Vegetarian food Or a full-time vegetarian Parents should know that vegetarian diets can be classified into four main categories:
- Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
- Vegetarians still eating dairy products. But will not eat eggs (Lacto Vegetarian)
- Vegetarians who still eat eggs But will not eat dairy products (Ovo Vegetarian)
- Pure vegetarian or vegan By not eating foods containing meat or meat products (Vegan)
There is also a semi-vegetarian diet. (Semi-vegetarians) by eating chicken or fish meat as usual. But will refrain from eating red meat or large meat Like pork or beef
Let my children eat vegetarian or not?
Most dietary and medical experts say that a well-planned, healthy vegetarian diet may have some health benefits. Because this type of food focuses on vegetables, fruits, legumes. And various grains, which are high in fiber and low in fat Therefore may help promote better health
But if you are going to navigate this option and apply it to your child Parents should be careful not to lack certain nutrients that are essential for various developmental areas, especially the following vitamins and minerals.
This vitamin will help strengthen the functioning of your nervous system and brain. As well as used in the process of making red blood cells complete There are many foods rich in vitamin B12, such as dairy products, eggs, cereal foods like bread or cereals. Or tofu water, etc.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium and phosphorus better. Calcium is the key to bone and tooth formation, enabling strong bones, teeth and muscles to grow. Children who are deficient in vitamin D or calcium can have bone problems like rickets. Calcium is often found in dairy foods, soy milk, green leafy vegetables, cereals, orange juice, nuts, or cereals.
Children usually need protein to keep their muscles, organs and immune systems healthy. Protein is a nutrient that the body can not live without. Which is found in dairy products and eggs Including other foods like vegetables, peas, tofu, or whole grains.
Iron is an important part of the formation of red blood cells. It helps to bind oxygen in the bloodstream and send it to different parts of the body and also help prevent anemia. Although most iron is found in meat. Animals such as pork, beef and liver, which vegetarian diets may not be able to eat But they can be substituted by eating eggs, dried nuts, dried fruits, whole grains, green vegetables or bread.
Too little zinc in the body can lead to slow growth in children and a weakened immune system. Vegetarian diets should also contain zinc to support healthy growth and immunity, such as wheat, cereal products, nuts or pumpkin seeds.
However, even fiber or dietary fiber from the vegetarian diet is beneficial for the body. But eating too much can cause problems in the absorption of nutrients, especially iron, zinc and calcium , as well as making your child full faster than usual. And not getting enough energy as the body needs, so parents should not give children a strict vegetarian diet. Especially young children and infants But should allow the younger child to eat a normal food in all 5 groups and eat a variety of food
However, if you are concerned that a vegetarian diet may cause your child to be deficient in nutrients. There are questions about vegetarian diets. Or if you need advice on how to modify a diet plan that is right for your child, always consult your pediatrician or nutritionist first.