Can children be vegetarian or vegan?

By Vannesa Hidalgo- Bootcamp By PFG

Do not be scared at the idea of implementing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle in your little ones (

The vegetarian and vegan way of life is based on a diet rich in foods of plant and non-animal origin. It has been shown that most of the vitamins and nutrients contained in vegetables, fruits, cereals and grains are similar - and in many cases higher - than those contained in meat and dairy / animal products, so a balanced diet (vegetarian or vegan ) and under medical supervision may also be valid for growing children.

There are several scientific studies that show that the intake of nutrients in vegetarian children is comparable to that of meat consuming children , as long as their diet is correctly balanced and supervised by medical specialists in vegetarian nutrition.

If we talk about babies , what is highly recommended is the consumption of breast milk, since the benefits that this natural food provides are countless: the mother produces all the minerals and vitamins that the baby will need during the first six months of life, in addition to the antibodies that protect them from infectious diseases.If the mother is vegan, she should make sure to take vitamin B12 supplements as it plays an important role in the development of the nervous system, crucial in the growth of the baby.

As babies grow, their diets change. Children have a very different nutritional demand than adults due to the growth that their organisms experience. Cells multiply regularly, which consequently causes weight and height to vary. Therefore, nutritional needs must be met with a large number of foods distributed throughout the day. It is not about making the child eat at every moment, but doing it nutritionally with the right combination of foods. The incorporation of solid foods must be programmed by the pediatrician together with the parents.

com / embed / uDzZebSXF0w? feature = oembed "width =" 700 "height =" 393 "frameborder =" 0 "scrolling =" no ">
There are very healthy and quick recipes (YouTube / My Picky Monkey )

Don't panic at the idea of putting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle into practice in your little ones, but remember, always with the approval of your pediatrician or doctor. The important thing is that the food combination has a protein load, with iron, calcium, minerals and vitamins that complement each other.

The order of the meals must be respected: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks must contain proteins, minerals and vitamins. Cereals (such as wheat, oats, rye, rice, barley, wheat, millet, pasta, bread, among others); legumes (such as chickpeas, peas, lentils, soy among others); vegetables, fruits, grains and seeds contain what is required to be healthy. If it is dairy, you could substitute cow's milk for almond, coconut or soy milk and the eggs could be organic. The presence of essential fatty acids (such as Omega 3 for example) in the diet of children is very important, components that could be found in nuts and seed oils.

Calcium, present in green vegetables and algae, will be absorbed by children depending on the vitamin D they have in their small organism.That is why it is important that the child has a controlled exposure to the sun in a safe but effective way. We already said how you can replace milk and eggs of animal origin with those of plant origin, but if you wanted there is also how to replace cheese: you could try vegan cheese, whose texture and taste is so similar to animal cheese without the fats and chemicals with which they are treated.

This is how our children's breakfast should look (

Few know that the younger children are, the greater the nutritional need they require .And although their stomach capacity is limited, what they consume should provide them with sufficient calories and nutrients adjusted to their small volume.

If you want to change your diet (or that of your child) to a healthier one such as vegetarian or vegan, you should make the change gradually . This transition should not be aggressive or sudden . On the contrary: it is to explain the situation so that the child can understand it and gradually, pleasantly and appetizingly incorporate foods so that they are familiar. Always, always with the approval of a specialist doctor in the vegetarian trend.