Raw and vegan eating are two diets that are raging in the modern era among parents eager to raise their children as healthy as possible. Both types of nutrition are recognized for their many health benefits: they prevent obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
Find out if these diets are appropriate for a growing child, when they are criticized for the many deficiencies or nutritional deficiencies they cause due to the severe restrictions they impose!
Vegan eating in children
Vegan eating is different from vegetarianism. Unlike the latter, veganism excludes any food or animal product from the menu (including honey), being a totally vegetable diet. There are parents who choose to pass their children on a vegan diet since the beginning of food diversification, which means that, starting with the age of 5-6 months, these children do not consume dairy products of any animal origin, eggs and any kind of meat. (not even fish).
For many parents and nutritionists, it is a gloomy prospect for their development, given the well-known benefits of yogurt, milk, meat or eggs in their growth. On the other hand, adherents of the vegan diet claim that all the nutritional losses caused by their elimination can be compensated with substitutes of plant origin.
Common problems and dangers of vegan diet in children
Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
Helen Wilcock, a member of the British Dietetic Association, explains the risks, as well as the solutions parents need to consider when choosing to grow their children with a vegan diet. The specialist argues that parents need to be well informed about this diet, before making a decision, because veganism increases the risk of important nutritional deficiencies: vitamin D, calcium, iron, vitamin B12.
The health of vegan children should be constantly monitored, and deficiencies compensated through dietary supplements, where appropriate.
Protein deficiency, the main problem
If avitaminosis can be prevented with supplements, the same cannot be said about the protein deficiency that the vegan diet frequently determines. The child who eats fish and meat easily gets all the amino acids the body needs. But if it relies solely on legumes for protein intake, it risks providing the body with only a portion of the amino acids, which means that the rest has to be offset by other plant sources, Wilcock says. It is one of the problems that very few parents are aware of when raising vegan children.
Lack of energy and vitality
Although it is 100% natural and rich in nutrients essential for health, the nutritionist maintains that the vegan diet does not offer as many energy-dense foods as the carnivore. This means that parents need to increase their daily caloric intake to provide the nutrients needed for energy and vitality. But here comes the difficulty, says Wilcock, because it means that little ones have to consume large portions of food, which they cannot do at a young age.
The nutritionist also comes with a solution for calorie supplementation. Recommend parents to add more oils in the food and give children more snacks based on oil fruits. It is not impossible to raise a child with a vegan diet, but it requires more attention, effort, expense and close monitoring of his health. With a complete and complete information on everything that this diet implies and under the guidance of a specialist, the vegan diet can become a healthy and balanced eating option for the little ones.
Raw nutrition in children
Veganism and raw nutrition are very similar, both of which are concentrated on the exclusive consumption of plant foods. The only difference is how food is prepared. While veganism allows for easy thermal processing of foods, raw diet is based on their raw consumption ("live" food).
Raw eating raises the same nutritional problems in child rearing and development as veganism. The specialists are divided into two categories when it comes to raising a child with "live" food. One party vehemently opposes this trend on the grounds that, at an early age, children need a varied and rich diet in all food categories to grow strong and healthy. The other party argues that raw eating can be a healthy and beneficial option for the child as long as all risks are considered and prevented.
The health of raw children with raw foods should be constantly monitored. These should be subjected more often to analyzes and tests for monitoring the values of nutrients in the body, as the diet increases the risk of many types of nutritional deficiencies and deficiencies (calcium, folic acid, vitamin D, B 12, etc.). Also, as with veganism, proteins are the main nutritional problem that arises in this type of diet and which parents should pay attention to.
But one of the new problems that appear in the raw diet towards veganism is related to the incomplete absorption of nutrients in the body of children, which is often influenced by the way they cook food. Consumed in a natural state, not thermally prepared, plant foods provide the body with fibers that cannot be broken down in the body and which prevent the absorption of nutrients in the body. Through the cooking process, fibers from many types of vegetables are easier to break down. In the case of feeding on raw foods, there is the risk of anemia, rickets, etc.
The raw vegetable diet predisposes the child to numerous infections. There are plant foods contaminated with germs that are destroyed only by heat preparation. Ingested in the body through "live" food, there is the risk of numerous digestive infections and not only.
What do you think about raising kids with vegan or raw foods? What do you think is the most appropriate type of nutrition for a growing child? Tell us your opinions in the comments section below!
Tags Baby food