There are many questions about how nutritious a vegan diet is for adults. The main concern revolves around the apparent lack of protein and vitamin B12. People are especially concerned when parents decide to feed their young children a vegan diet. Popular belief states that a vegan diet does not have enough nutrients to promote a healthy brain and body development. Academic resources suggest that vegan diets can be followed safely by children without any compromise of nutrition or growth but the parents need to understand the nutritional needs of children at different developmental stages. It is important to understand both sides in order to develop an educated and accurate opinion about what diet should be best for your child. In this paper I will cover information that will state that a vegan diet is safe and healthy for your young children.
On an article from the New York Times called “Death by Veganism”, author Nina Planck starts the article with a shocking story of a 6 month old infant who passed away from malnourishment. The parents had been only feeding the infant soy milk. Planck mentions that she also used to be vegan and once she became pregnant she considered veganism to be a choice for irresponsible parents. She mentions that a vegan diet lacks vitamin B12 which is only found in animal foods, the diet also lacks protein and calcium. Planck states that soy products inhibits growth and reduces protein absorption. The article does not refer to any empirical research to validate the author’s opinion. Planck explains her point of view in a very simplistic way which helps anyone to understand how a vegan diet is not healthy for an infant, toddler and even adults. The easy to read article makes...
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Planck, N. (2007, May 20). "Death by Veganism." The New York Times. Retrieved 30 Mar. 2014 from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/opinion/21planck.html?_r=0
Watson, A. (2008, August 14). "How a Strict Vegan Diet Made My Children Ill." Mail Online. Retrieved 30 March 2014 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1028854/How-strict-vegan-diet-children-ill.html
Messina, V. & Mangels, PhD, A. (2001, June) “Consideration in planning vegan diets: Children”. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Retrieved 30 March 2014 from http://www.scienzavegetariana.it/nutrizione/ADAchildren.pdf
Moilanen, MD, B. (2004, May 1). “Vegan Diets in Infants, Children and Adolescents.” Pediatrics in Review. Retrieved 30 March 2014 from http://pedsinreview.aappublications.org.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/content/25/5/174.full
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