teenfood.gif 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-vegetarian Dairy, plants
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian Dairy, eggs, plants
Vegan Only 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.