Vegetarian Diets (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Is it safe for children to be vegetarians?
A well-planned vegetarian diet can be healthy for children. Young vegan children tend to be slightly smaller but still within growth normal ranges. And they tend to catch up to other children in size as they get older.
If you are raising a child on a vegetarian diet, consider the following:
What if your teenager decides to become a vegetarian?
With careful planning, a vegetarian diet can be very healthy for teens. In fact, it can be a great way to get them into a lifelong habit of healthy eating.
If your teen decides to become a vegetarian, teach him or her how to plan meals to get all the right nutrients every day. Teens need calcium and vitamin D. And iron is especially important for teen girls who are menstruating. Talk with your doctor about how much of these vitamins and minerals your child needs. Ask if your teen needs to take a daily supplement.
You may want him or her to talk to a registered dietitian to learn how to plan a healthy vegetarian diet.
It's important to find out why your teen wants to follow a vegetarian diet. Some teens adopt a vegetarian diet as a way to lose weight, and "being a vegetarian" can hide an eating disorder like anorexia.
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