Raising A Little Vegetarian - 1 Raising a Little Vegetarian...

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1 Raising a Little Vegetarian Wendy Witt COM/150 4/16/2011 Tanya Manwill
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2 Raising a Little Vegetarian Although many parents, and even some Pediatricians, believe that it is not safe and even unhealthy for children to be on vegetarian diets, if well planned, a vegetarian diet can provide all of the nutrients that a child needs to be healthy. Vegetarianism is the abstinence from eating meat. People choose a vegetarian diet for various reasons such as health, religion, and animal rights. Parents can raise a healthy little vegetarian. A vegetarian diet for children has been proven to be safe and rewardingly healthy. There are several children who eat unsafe, dangerously unhealthy diets, and they are not vegetarian. Yes, there are negatives to a vegetarian diet, but there are negatives to any diet. A vegetarian diet for children teaches healthy eating habits that will provide several health benefits throughout life. A vegetarian diet for a toddler may be difficult to plan. Raising a little vegetarian requires proper planning and acquiring nutritional knowledge to ensure enough protein, calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B-12, and calories. The vegetarian diet has become more popular in recent years. Society always has assumed that a vegetarian diet did not provide the proper amounts of nutrients as found in meat products. According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2009), “ Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes” (p. 1266). “Studies have found that vegetarians actually get far better nutrition than non-vegetarians,” says Neal Barnard, president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Vegetarians get larger amounts of fiber, iron, many vitamins and other
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3 cancer-fighting compounds than meat eaters. “As long as vegetarians take care to eat a variety of foods, they can be just as healthy as and usually healthier than meat eaters,” Barnard says (Aslam, 2001). Protein is highly important. Protein provides nourishment for the body to make new cells and repair damaged cells, hormones, antibodies, enzymes, and muscle tissue (The Vegetarian Resource Group, 2011). Foods that contain a complete source of protein are soybeans, tofu,
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