Go back in time by 30 years or more and vegetarianism was the new and much talked about alternative to meat free living, with many children and teenagers wanting to become part of a growing trend.
Fast forward to 2019 and becoming a vegan has never been more popular with many supermarkets adding new items to their shelves on an almost daily basis. It seems that giving up not only on meat, but dairy and eggs too, is the modern lifestyle choice that many adults are adopting, and right behind them are more and more children and teenagers who want to do the same.
But when it comes to the growing child, is omitting such food groups harmful to their future health?
We live in a society where obesity is on the increase. Fast food choices, processed foods and increasingly busy lifestyles mean that making the right food choices aren’t always seen as priority. Add to this the fact that technology means that our children do not exercise or go outdoors to play anyway near as much as past generations, and a child who cares enough about what food they put into their bodies shouldn’t immediately be seen as a bad thing.
However, following a vegan/plant-based diet isn’t an easy thing to adopt, especially if it is just the child that is wanting to make the lifestyle change. Restricting what you can eat restricts choice and whilst supermarkets have come a long way in offering alternatives, there will undoubtedly be a period of adjustment as you get used to a different way of cooking and shopping. And in order to avoid swapping one type of processed food for another, cooking from fresh is better than simply buying vegan food straight off the shelf.
Before embarking on a vegan diet, it is definitely advisable to research what alternatives there are to the vitamins and nutrients that a growing child needs in order to stay in optimum health. Incorporate these in to your recipes and food buying and there is no need to panic about your child wanting to become a vegan. It is also advisable for your child take a vitamin supplement that contains vitamins D and preferably B12 also in order to have a rounded nutritional body intake.