Is It Safe For A Child To Follow A Vegan Diet?

Michelle Bailey, M.D, Duke

Question: Is it safe for a child to follow a vegan diet?

Answer:Vegan diets can be safe for children to follow. A vegan diet is one in which children consume mostly plant-based products, but does not include meat, seafood, eggs, milk or dairy products.

Parents will want to ensure that their children are getting adequate nutrients for proper growth and development. This can be done with proper planning. Think about the rainbow. Offer your child a variety of fruits and vegetables in different colors. This will help ensure that they're getting all of the vitamins and minerals that they need.

You may want to speak to a nutritionist or talk to your child's health care provider to see if they would recommend a multivitamin or multimineral supplement. The key ingredients that children need in their diet are vitamin D and calcium, which are important for bone health, in addition to iron, to help prevent anemia. Multivitamins can ensure that your child is getting all of the necessary nutrients that may not be coming from their diet.

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