Vegetarian Diet for Kids: A Healthy Choice?
Perhaps you follow a vegetarian diet and encourage your children to do so as well. Or perhaps your toddler is a fastidious eater and prefers only veggies and fruits at mealtime. Maybe you have an environmentally conscious teen who decides against eating animals. Whatever the case may be, as a parent, you want to make sure your child is getting all the nutrients she needs to grow up healthy and strong. Can a vegetarian diet provide this?
Being vegetarian does not mean only eating carrot sticks and apple slices. There are different kinds of vegetarian diets. Here are some of the major types:
|Type of Diet||Includes|
|Ovo-vegetarian||Eggs, plants (vegetables, fruits, soy)|
|Lacto-ovo-vegetarian||Dairy, eggs, plants|
Regardless of the type, a vegetarian diet can be healthy for children. As long as nutrition requirements are met, children on a meat-free diet grow up just as healthy as nonvegetarian children.
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.