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A female asked:

Is a vegan diet healthy for kids? i became a vegetarian when i was a young teenager. more recently i turned vegan because i was having health problems caused by dairy. because i became a vegetarian when i was so young, i never learned how to cook meat. i

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Whether : Whether to eat meat or dairy is a personal choice. With that said - to have a balanced diet, a vegan needs to have a significant knowledge base. Vegan diets are often low on vitamin b 12, calcium, vitamin d, iron and other nutrients. If these are not obtained through the diet, there needs to be appropriate forms of supplementation. If you plan to raise your children as vegans, i really suggest you thoroughly educate yourself on the matter. It takes much more careful planning for your kids to fill their nutritional requirements if they are vegans. I would also suggest you work with a good nutritionist, to ensure that children's nutritional requirements are met. A possible option could be a primarily vegan diet with some dairy and /or meat supplementation. Raising children on a vegan diet is not child abuse. It can however, be trickier than a vegetarian diet or eating that includes fish and meat. If you are not vegan based on moral issues and your main concern is about cooking separate meals- how about making the same basic meals for the whole family and augmenting the children's meals to ensure that their intake is balanced?
Dr. Ron E. Bell
Cosmetic Dentistry 45 years experience
If done correctly: A vegan diet is beneficial to all age groups, but it must be done correctly. Believe it or not-------there are even bad vegan diets!
Dr. Mandakini Patel
Pediatrics 41 years experience
a balanced vegan diet will provide most nutrients except Vitamin B12 and few others.
Apr 5, 2013
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Get guidance: If this is what junior wants and you have good information about supplements, getting enough high-quality protein and keeping calories limited to what junior needs, you'll be okay. The moral benefits are real, the health benefits less clear. Forcing this on a child creates problems in a culture like ours. Look at the big picture and perhaps let junior decide.

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Last updated Dec 11, 2017

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