Why are some vegans child free

Vegan diet in children

Parents who follow a vegan diet often want to feed their children with plant-based foods. So far, however, there is a lack of meaningful nutritional recommendations for a vegan diet for children and adolescents. One thing is certain: only those who have extensive nutritional knowledge, prepare a balanced menu and have regular medical checks carried out can feed their offspring healthy vegan.

Eating vegan food for children or not?

Many vegans in this country face the same problem: There is hardly any reliable health information for vegan children and young people. For the most part, parents have to find answers to questions such as: Which plants are good for my child? Does the vegan diet in children cover them with the necessary nutritional needs? And how much does my child have to consume every day to keep them healthy?

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) publicly advises against a vegan diet for children and infants on its website “for safety reasons”: “The DGE considers a vegan diet to be unsuitable for children as a whole,” it says. In discussions with media representatives, however, DGE press spokeswoman Antje Gahl distanced herself from this recommendation: With a varied menu, a vegan diet is definitely possible for children. Provided that critical nutrients are supplemented and parents seek regular advice.

However, parents are still looking in vain for helpful tips and, above all, reliable information on children's nutritional needs. The DGE is silent. Vegans need an individual recommendation, justifies Gahl, because the specialist society cannot do that.

Dr. Markus Keller. He is a nutritionist and focuses on alternative forms of nutrition. Keller published books on vegetarian nutrition and wrote, among other things, articles for the website of the German Vegetarian Union (VEBU). He sees no problem in feeding children free from animal products, provided that parents keep an eye on the critical nutrients in the vegan diet of children.

The following information on the vegan diet for children and adolescents comes from Dr. Markus Keller, the Vegan Society Austria and the Vegan Society Switzerland.

Important nutrients in the vegan diet of infants

Breastfeeding is the best thing for the baby: It ensures the optimal supply of nutrients, passes on antibodies to the child and strengthens the mother-child bond.

Complementary foods should be on the menu at the earliest from the fifth, at the latest after the seventh month of life, in order to ensure the full energy requirements of the toddler. At the beginning of the complementary diet, well-tolerated vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin and fennel are suitable. If the toddler prefers fruit, parents can serve a puree made from apples, pears or bananas. Millet is a very good one Iron supplier for vegan children. It is also gluten-free and low in allergens - which applies equally to amaranth and quinoa.

For an ideal supply of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids High-quality rapeseed, linseed or hemp oils are suitable, which are added to the porridge for nutrient enhancement. In order to avoid a disturbance of the bone metabolism (rickets), the infant needs enough Vitamin D to take in. The body produces it itself with the help of sunlight, but parents should add vitamin D supplements to their children's meals every day. In the months of October and March with little sunshine, experts strongly recommend a daily dose of ten micrograms of vitamin D. Also Vitamin B12Supplements are essential to avoid irreparable brain and nerve damage and to ensure a healthy, vegan diet. So that the body's memory is replenished after birth, 0.4 milligrams are necessary up to the fifth month of life and 0.5 milligrams from the sixth month onwards.

In order for the increased energy requirement to be satisfied, the baby should be between the seventh and tenth months of life high protein foods be introduced. Nuts, grains and legumes increase the energy density of the meal just like pureed tofu and soy yogurt, for example.

Veganism in preschool and school children

Parents of children this age should follow a low-fiber diet. Children have small stomachs, and too much fiber can result in the child taking in too little nutrients. Instead, the food should be sufficiently healthy Fats in the form of avocados, seeds, muse and soy products. In addition, it is advisable to offer the child high-quality oils such as linseed oil and rapeseed oil. The body of one to three year olds needs 3 teaspoons of oil daily, of which at least a quarter of a teaspoon should be linseed oil. Four to 13 year olds should be given one teaspoon of linseed oil and one tablespoon of rapeseed oil every day.

Calcium is essential for the development of bones and teeth. Good sources are fortified soy milk, tahini, molasses, and soy meat. Green vegetables such as savoy cabbage and kale also contribute to a proper calcium supply and support the vegan diet of children. Vitamin C ensures the ideal absorption of iron, which is abundant in whole grains and green vegetables.

As with all vegans, must Vitamin B12 can also be used to support schoolchildren. You need five micrograms a day for age-appropriate development. On dark days is 20 micrograms Vitamin D useful in the form of dietary supplements.

Vegan teenagers

Growth phases and especially puberty ensure a significant increase in the need for nutrients and energy. This applies primarily to girls between the ages of ten and 13 and boys between the ages of twelve and 15. Since bone density is determined in adolescence, it is important to use the daily dishes Calcium sources upgrade. With girls it rises Iron requirement also enormous. Much valuable iron is lost through the loss of blood during menstruation, which should be returned to the body in the form of kale, quinoa and dried fruits. Iron supplements should only be used if the doctor has diagnosed an iron deficiency.

Youngsters also need more Proteins. A sporty 16-year-old who weighs 60 kilograms needs 54 grams of protein a day in order to develop as best as possible. For less sporty adolescents, the reference value is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight in girls, and 0.1 grams more for boys.

Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D must be supplemented in adolescents, the need approaches that of adults.

Veganism in Children: Conclusion

  • The complete nutritional requirements can only be met with a vegan diet if parents carefully put together the children's meals. Fruit and vegetables are not enough, the menu has to be colorful and supplemented with nuts, seeds and cereals. Competent nutritional advice will support you in this.
  • Parents must keep an eye on critical nutrients such as vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids in order to avoid bottlenecks. A healthy, vegan diet for children and adolescents is not possible without nutritional supplements.
  • A regular blood test provides clarity and proves that there is no threat of deficiency.
In addition to medicine, Sandra Stöckl-Bayerlein's heart also beats for copywriting: It was therefore not surprising for her environment when she completed her degree in medical journalism: In this way, she acquired all the knowledge that a successful online editor needs must have in the medical field. She has been working for kanyo® since 2015.
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