No vegan diet for toddlers?

No vegan diet for toddlers?

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Children often lack nutrients on a vegan diet

More and more people are refraining from eating animal products, partly because of numerous food scandals. However, this diet could be problematic for some population groups. For example, it can lead to a lack of nutrients in small children.

Insufficient supply of nutrients Among other things, numerous food scandals have ensured that more and more people are deciding to forego animal products altogether. According to estimates by the Vegetarian Association (VGE), around 800,000 people nationwide are eating vegan. However, according to some expert opinions, a vegan diet is not recommended for toddlers and infants. Wolfram Hartmann, pediatrician in the "Healthy Living" network funded by the Federal Ministry of Food, for example, says: "With a purely plant-based diet without animal foods, small children are not adequately supplied with nutrients."

Vegetarian diet is better for children than vegan. According to this, a vegan diet often leads to a lack of protein, iron, calcium, iodine and zinc. There is also a lack of B vitamins, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. This could disrupt the child's growth and development. A vegetarian lifestyle, which also includes milk, milk products and eggs, is more suitable than a vegan diet. However, if parents still opt for a vegan diet, they should definitely seek medical advice and give their child important nutrients to supplement. "The risk of a lack of nutrients is particularly high with a very one-sided diet," says Hartmann.

Pay attention to a balanced diet People who decide to forego animal products on their menu must, like others, pay attention to a balanced diet. Of course, if you only eat vegan fast food, this is not healthy and leads to a lack of nutrients. However, some deficiencies that can arise from meat-free food are easy to manage. For example, you get iron from nuts and whole grain cereals and calcium from dark green vegetables such as arugula and soy products. People who adhere to the principles of a balanced vegan diet are usually less overweight and have a reduced risk of lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes mellitus due to their low-fat and low-cholesterol diet. (sb)

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