I could just scream! A well-meaning friend just sent me an article about raising vegan kids; please, let me share a line from it with you:
"Everyone agrees the solution is simple: don't treat children as adults and subject them to faddy diets or crazy exercise regimes."
Okay - SERIOUSLY?! The stories in this article are absurd. What kind of parent watches their child dwindle away, or lie listlessly in bed all day and NOT consider their diet might play a factor? Forget veganism; what if the child was consisting off steak and milk? What if all he ate was McDonalds, chicken nuggest, and mac and cheese? Regardless of the particular diet, parents should always be aware of how the food they put into (or don't put into) their child affects them. This article is so reminiscent of the story years ago when vegan parents killed their infant by only feeding him soy milk. "Vegans are terrible parents, with all their fad diets and craziness!", the headlines all but yelled. Never mind it was a SIX WEEK OLD baby boy, who was also fed apple juice, and had complete idiots for parents. No, soy milk is not for infants. Neither is cow milk. Neither is apple juice.
Yes, we have to be careful about what our growing vegans eat..... just like EVERY OTHER PARENT. Veganism isn't special! In fact, I think parents raising omni's should be ssoooooo careful about what their kids eat. Just like vegan parents.
Yes, I make sure my kids eat well-rounded diets. I make sure they eat a fairly wide variety or fruits and veggies. I make sure they eat whole grains, especially quinoa since it's a complete protein. I make sure they have fortified non-cow milk, and I make sure they eat tofu. I feed them nuts and seeds, mostly in the forms of butters. And, we all take a daily B12 supplement. And we minimize processed foods. It's really all just common sense!
But I stop there. I'm not going to get so crazy that I monitor every bite they eat. Children have been eating for - well, for freaking ever - and eating all types of different diets. My children's doctors have always stressed the biggest indicator is to make sure they're growing. I assure you, they are! And they eat healthily, are are not obese; they're following their own growth curves.
I guess my point is, be aware of what your kids are eating, but not overly concerned. No, I am not a doctor; I do not have a nutrition degree, and I don't specialize in medicine. But I am a mom, and I am growing two vegan kids. And I can tell you that it's not a fad, it's a way of life. It's a way to teach health and compassion.
For more coplete info from people with more authority than me : ), please check here:
I also HIGHLY recommend Dr. Fuhrman's book "Disease Proofing Your Child".