Going vegan is huge trend now, but can kids in kindergarten also go vegan? An article in Wall Street Journal featured a Scandinavian school in Jersey City, where kids are in fact doing just that. The kids eat tofu, grow vegetables, make their own cashew milk and play barefoot. But just because someone is doing it, does it make it ok?
Many vegan parents, in reality, are very knowledgeable about healthy eating habits. They often cook more at home, have a very good knowledge about nutrition and eat a lot of wholegrain foods. And there are a whole lot of kids eating unhealthy food that are not vegan. So, going vegan is more than okay for kids. The health benefits of vegan diet have already become widely accepted by the medical community and having kids follow a vegan diet is no exception.
For kids growing up there are some things that have to be considered. Very important is to make sure the kids get enough calories in their diet. By eating meat and dairy products, the energy levels are easily reached. If they are removed, more calories need to be consumed. Usually though, the problem is not eating too little calories, but too many. If having too little calories in the diet is the issue, adding oil to the diet is advised. With very young kids, food has to be chopped up into small pieces, because their teeth are not developed enough.
As with vegan adults, vegan diet for kids has some limitations. For children growing up, it is not easy to get enough vitamin B12. Also, iron and calcium sometimes need to be added through eating supplements. Vitamin D is another supplement that is often needed, but it is often needed for non-vegans too. Many non-vegans worry about lack of protein. It is a common belief, that vegan diet is not rich in protein, but actually it is very easy to get enough protein from a vegan diet. Good sources of protein include beans, grains and seeds.