Vegetarianism is a popular choice for many individuals and families. But parents may wonder if kids can safely follow a vegetarian diet and still get all necessary nutrients. Most dietary and medical experts agree that a well-planned vegetarian diet can actually be a very healthy way to eat.
But special care must be taken when serving kids and teens a vegetarian diet, especially if it doesn't include dairy and egg products. And as with any diet, you'll need to understand that the nutritional needs of kids change as they grow.
Types of Vegetarian DietsBefore your child or family switches to a vegetarian diet, it's important to note that all vegetarian diets are not alike. Major vegetarian categories include:
ovo-vegetarian: eats eggs; no meatlacto-ovo vegetarian: eats dairy and egg products; no meatlacto-vegetarian: eats dairy products; no eggs or meatvegan: eats only food from plant sourcesAnd many other people are semi-vegetarians who have eliminated red meat, but may eat poultry or fish.