In contrast with vegetarians, a vegan diet eschews not just meat, but also any animal products such as milk, cheese and eggs. Maintaining a healthy diet of these types for your children can be difficult, even when they have chosen a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. As in most situations, knowledge is power.
While most adult vegetarians are well aware of how to maintain a healthy diet, children may not be so eager to choose healthy options. You can consume enough calcium, vitamin D and B12, proteins and riboflavin through a diet containing fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, but you do need to make sure that you’re carefully monitoring your intake to avoid dental problems.
Look to foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and if possible, edamame, beans and tofu. Many kids love stir-fry, and if you can fill the pan with veggies and some tofu, you should have some success serving this over brown rice.
Finally, don’t try to force your child to eat meat, eggs or seafood; you’ll likely do much more harm than good. Instead, let your child be involved in planning meals by offering a choice between two entrees, or allowing him to choose the vegetable. With a little work up front, you can encourage a lifelong healthy diet for your children.