Ashley Koff answered:Parents often struggle with getting their kids to eat vegetables. If your child chooses to be a vegetarian, it's worth it to discuss the old "what's in a name" and have them commit to eating a rainbow of vegetables during their week.
Tip #1 Dip them in hummus, peanut or almond butter, or a yogurt (or tofu) -based dip and they will get protein as well.
Tip #2 Try great-tasting products like broccoli or spinach bitelets, or vegetable pizza (keep on hand in the freezer) or add salsa to salads and beans.
When it comes to carbohydrates and vegetarians, it's good to know what counts as a carb so we don't end up overdoing the carb intake compared to the protein and healthy fats (remember we want a balance at each eating occasion). A good goal for vegetarian kids is anywhere between 15-25 grams per eating occasion or 1-1 1/2 servings.Parents often struggle with getting their kids to eat vegetables. If your child chooses to be a vegetarian, it's worth it to discuss the old "what's in a name" and have them commit to eating a rainbow of vegetables during their week. Tip... More
Carol Cottrill answered:
You can raise a healthy and responsible vegetarian especially if your child's diet includes eggs, fish, and dairy products. But raising a little vegan requires more preparation and nutritional savvy to insure that the youngster gets enough calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B-12, and some of the other B-vitamins. There’s no doubt that children can grow normally on a vegetarian diet of grains, legumes, and greens, but I always urge my younger clients and their parents to educate themselves on just what this change means on a daily basis- adjustments in shopping, preparation, cooking and eating out will no doubt take place. It makes sense to seek advice and assistance from a nutritionist experienced in vegan diets. Here’s what I tell my clients:
- Protein is not a problem—children can get all the proteins they need from plant foods only, especially whole grains, soy products, legumes, and nuts.
- Calcium is tricky, since kids aren’t crazy about the plant sources that provide calcium (think kale and collard greens) The good news—many foods today are fortified with calcium, including calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice, so a vegan child can get enough calcium without downing supplements. Fortified foods, such as cereals and soy beverages, can also be a dietary source of vitamin B-12.
- Getting enough calories may be another issue in vegan diets. Plant based foods have a lot of nutrients per calorie, but not a lot of calories per serving. Kids fill up faster on lots of fiber, but fewer calories. Here’s the work-around: Offer children small, frequent meals that include higher-calorie foods, such as peanut/almond butter sandwiches, avocados, nuts and seeds pasta, dried fruits, and smoothies.
- Vegetarian children should get the nutrients they need from foods since this is the mandatory source of all vitamins and minerals- not supplements.
Maintaining a vegetarian diet can be more challenging during childhood and adolescence, and there may be an additional burden on the parent to shop and prepare balanced vegetarian meals. Begin by serving larger portions of veggies and smaller portions of meat…offer a meatless dinner once or twice a week, which may help digestion by easing into a higher fiber diet.You can raise a healthy and responsible vegetarian especially if your child's diet includes eggs, fish, and dairy products. But raising a little vegan requires more preparation and nutritional savvy to insure that the youngster gets enough... More