Veganism and Vegetarianism has come a long way from being considered an “alternative” eating lifestyle, with a rise in the number of families choosing a plant based diet over meals that include meat or chicken. But before you and your family jump on the no-meat-eggs-or-dairy bandwagon and start loading your shopping cart with kale and tofu, you should know the facts about raising vegetarian children.
It’s estimated that around 8 million adults in the United States abstain from meat, fish, or poultry, and according to USA Today 1 in 200 kids follow a vegetarian diet. Since kids have different nutritional needs than adults, it’s logical to wonder—can a plant based be safe for children?
There are a number of health authorities that agree veganism and vegetarianism can be beneficial to your family’s health, linking plant based diets to a lower risk of health problems like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. Earlier this year the Mayo Clinic reported that switching to a meatless diet could lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, adding years to your life. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics agrees coming out in favor of a plant based diets for both kids and adults, stating that vegetarian and vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of life, including early childhood.