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Dietary Recommendations for Vegetarian Teenagers

Dietary Recommendations for Vegetarian Teenagers


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One of the most frequent problems that, as parents, we face, when it comes to feeding our children, is their consumption of fruits and vegetables. With the arrival of adolescence, we may find ourselves with two possibilities, a worsening attitude towards plant-based foods or an extreme improvement, even crossing the line and starting a vegetarian diet.

As our children get older, our children experience an increase in their possibilities of movement, they are allowed to access the real world without their parents and they have the freedom to choose what to do in their free time, which, unfortunately, often leads to the junk food. However, adolescents are also exposed to a lot of information that they are mature enough to process, as well as capable of making their own decisions.

It is this situation, and their reaction to animal abuse, for example, one of the reasons that can redirect the approach to their diet.

Other times it is the desire to maintain a healthy life and a balanced weight that arouses interest in consuming fruits and vegetables instead of meats and other products of animal origin.

The vegetarian adolescent has to take into account, on the one hand, that the energy intake is sufficient and, on the other, that the micronutrients are not compromised:

- Protein: the quality of protein in foods of plant origin can be much lower than that of foods of animal origin, and the protein intake in adolescence is key to achieving proper growth and development. If the child is an ovo-lacto vegetarian, the consumption of milk and dairy products, in addition to eggs, is an excellent protein intake. In the case of vegan children, they will have to consume legumes, combined with cereals, frequently.

- Energy: Foods of plant origin generally have a much lower caloric content than those of animal origin, so the volume of food that the adolescent must eat is necessarily much higher.

- Vitamin B12 It is found exclusively in foods of animal origin, being necessary to consume supplements if the child has decided to follow a vegan diet. It is advisable to consult your pediatrician about it.

- The calcium, if milk and dairy are consumed it is not problematic, but if not, special attention should be paid to their contribution through alternative sources.

- The iron it is another of the nutrients that can be compromised when following a vegetarian diet. Legumes and green leafy vegetables are the most recommended sources of iron and, to achieve a better absorption of this non-heme iron, it is beneficial to combine its intake with foods rich in vitamin C.

If the adolescent is active and follows a balanced diet, the vegetarian diet is perfectly feasible in adolescence, provided that the necessary recommendations are followed so as not to impair this stage of intense growth.

You can read more articles similar to Dietary Recommendations for Vegetarian Teenagers, in the Nutrition category, menus and diets on site.


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