Vegetarian kids need protein alternative

Children who are vegetarians or wants to be must use protein alternatives to meat, fish or poultry to avoid protein deficiency, experts said.

Good alternative of protein are soybeans, fortified soy milk and nuts. These food stuffs are rich sources of the useful protein, iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin D that most youngsters get from meat.

Nutritional yeast that has a natural cheesy flavor contains the vital vitamin B-12 and flaxseed is ideal source of linolenic acid.

Vegetarian children, who use eggs and dairy products in their diet, will most probable get all the essential nutrition required for the proper body function.

But those who only rely on vegetables and fruit while abstaining dairy products should be more careful, said Dr. David Ludwig of Children’s Hospital Boston, a specialist in pediatric nutrition.

“It truly requires much more efforts to avoid nutrient deficiencies,” Ludwig said.

Children, from birth, can start on a vegetarian diet from birth, said Sarah Krieger, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association who is a registered dietitian at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Breast milk or an iron-fortified formula is has its own nutritional value in first six month of childhood, she said, adding that soy formulations mainly constituted of soy is a best option.

Vegetarian kids need protein alternative
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