Experts advise that for a balanced vegetarian diet for children, parents need to include beans, chickpeas, lentils, soya mince, fortified soya yoghurt to lower the risk of blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Heather Russell, dietitian at The Vegan Society, said, "Good nutrition is essential for giving kids a great start and well-planned vegan diets can meet the needs of every family member as well as support normal growth and development."
‘Good nutrition is essential for giving children a great start and well-planned vegan diets can meet the needs of every family member as well as support normal growth and development’
She further added that "Introducing children to a wide variety of plant foods helps them to establish healthy habits for life. Eating a balanced vegan diet helps people to limit saturated fat and get plenty of fibre, and research has linked this way of eating with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, Type-2 diabetes and some types of cancer."
As per the Vegan Society - beans, chickpeas, lentils, soya mince, fortified soya yoghurt and tofu are just a few examples of good sources of protein. The added advantage is that these food also are rich source of zinc that helps in growth of the children.
Stating that people worry that vegan diet that it contains less protein and calcium, Russell said, "It's actually easy to obtain enough if you choose the right plant foods. During the introduction of a vegan infant's first foods, the use of unsweetened fortified soya milk in cooking is recommended. It contains as much calcium as cows' milk and a similar amount of protein."
Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognise that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages, he stated.