Parents often worry about a child’s health and nutrition because it has a major impact on their development. It is no surprise that many people are asking themselves the question, “Is a vegetarian diet plan healthy for kids?”
If you have been following recent news about food trends, then it should come as no shock that more and more parents are shifting to a vegetarian-based diet plan in order to help their children grow healthier. But what does science say? Let’s dive into this topic and see if we can answer the question once and for all!
Types of Vegetarian Diet Plan
Before you start making a diet plan for your kids, keep in mind that not all vegetarian diets are created equally. There are three main types of vegetarian diets.
- Lacto Vegetarian Diet: This is a mostly plant-based diet that includes dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.,
- Vegan diet: Vegans only eat plant-based meals.
- Ovo-vegetarian diet: This diet is where a person can consume eggs but no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy items.
There is also another category called “semi-vegetarians” who plan their diet by avoiding red meat such as beef but eat meats like chicken or fish.
6 Reasons Why A Vegetarian Diet Plan is Good for Your Kids
According to research, vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters! While some nutrients are found abundantly in meat, it doesn’t mean plants won’t be able to replace them. Here are certain reasons why a vegetarian diet plan for your child will be helpful.
Reduces diseases and infection
Vegetarian foods are super good for our health and they control diseases. A vegetarian diet increases life expectancy and reduces infection with bacteria like E. coli, foodborne illnesses, and parasites.
Vegetarian diet is good for weight loss
A vegetarian diet plan has been shown to be the most effective way of reducing your body’s fat and cholesterol levels, which will lead to a healthier heart. If your child has been recently suffering from weight gain, this would be a way to help them maintain a healthy body mass.
Vegetarian recipes will not bore your child
Speaking of healthy foods for kids, a tasty recipe will save your trouble from forcing them to eat a veggie they don’t like. There are plenty of vegetarian recipes out there that will make your child happy. They are going to be excited when they see what you cooked up for them!
Prevents kidney stones
Children often forget to drink water because they’re super active and busy doing other stuff. We all know that lack of water can lead to issues in the bladder and kidney stones. But with a vegetarian diet plan, they needn’t be worried. Almost every vegetable consists of water so your child will be consuming a lot of nutrients that’ll fight the stone.
You might wonder why you should worry about diabetes for a young child. But when you prepare them to eat healthy from their childhood, in the future their risk of getting diabetes will be super low.
Is your child struggling from asthma issues? Then a vegetarian diet would be extremely beneficial for them. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, asthma sufferers who followed a vegan diet plan were able to reduce or remove their prescriptions.
What are the Essential Nutrients Children Require?
Now that we know a vegetarian diet plan is essential for children, here are some of the nutrients you shouldn’t miss out on while cooking.
We know eggs and meat are great sources of protein. But if you choose a vegetarian diet plan, how would you help your child to get it? Well, plant sources of protein include peas, beans, lentils, green vegetables, seeds, and nuts, as well as whole grains. If you choose to give them this on a regular basis, you won’t have to worry about their protein intake.
Vegetables are a great source of carbs. Fruits and vegetables that are high in carbohydrates include potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, millet, and corn. Eating enough vegetables is important because they provide energy for the body to function properly. Never cut down on your child’s carbs in their diet plan believing they’re a reason for weight gain. No! They are the main fuel to your child’s brain.
Iron is needed by every organ of our bodies to make hemoglobin which carries oxygen throughout the body. Its deficiency can lead to anemia or fatigue and so eating vegetables like dried beans, dried fruits, whole grains and leafy vegetables can guarantee them gaining iron in their every diet plan. They can also opt for an iron-fortified cereal with some flavor.
This is an essential mineral that aids in the building of proteins and the immune system. Fruits like mango, apricots, pumpkin seeds contain a lot of zinc so including these in your kid’s daily diet plan can help them get enough nutrition needed for growing strong bones and muscles.
Another important nutrient children require is calcium. Foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of calcium. Make sure they’re getting enough dairy in their vegetarian diet plan because it ensures your kids get the nutrients they need for growing healthy bones and teeth.
For a Healthy Kid, a Healthy Diet Plan!
Nutrition for kids must be looked at before formulating a diet plan. A vegetarian diet is good for a child because once in a while, they’ll need to take breaks from eating meat. It will help their digestion system and will also clean the stomach.
A vegetarian diet is great because it’s a low-calorie lifestyle that helps people maintain a healthy working body weight.