Is It Safe for a Child to be Vegan?
Yes. According to the position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “… appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate… These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. …”
The position paper continues to say that “…Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. …”
Therefore, by properly planning a diet for a child ensuring they have adequate sources of iron, Vitamin B12, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D to name a few, it is very possible for a child to be completely nourished on plant-based, vegan products alone.