Planning a Balanced, Plant-Based Diet for Kids


Kansas Mission / ACCESSWIRE / December 27, 2022 / (Family Characteristics) Caregivers on vegetarian, vegan, or other plant-based diets may wonder whether it is wise for their children to follow the same meal plan.

Family Features, Tuesday, December 27, 2022, press release image

A well-balanced vegetarian diet can meet the needs of babies and children, but according to Marina Marcañi, MS, RDN, CDN, children eating a plant-based diet are more protein-rich. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough plant foods and other essential nutrients.

If you’re considering a plant-based diet for your child, this insight from nutrition experts at Malkani and Plum Organics can help you learn more about the essential nutrients every child needs.

iron

From about 6 months of age, babies’ iron stores start to run low and they need iron from food sources. Iron is essential for brain development, a healthy immune system, and overall growth. Heme iron from animal foods is better absorbed than nonheme iron from plant foods, but providing a diet containing plant sources can increase the absorption of nonheme iron. increase. Quinoa, chia seeds, leafy greens, nuts, nut butters, tofu, and vitamin C-rich foods such as broccoli, strawberries, and cantaloupe.

Vitamin B12

Important for nervous system development, vitamin B12 also plays a role in preventing anemia and influences behavior and mood regulation. Dietary sources of B12 primarily include animal foods (meat, fish, eggs, milk), but some B12 is found in nutritional yeast and fortified cereals. Infants may get enough vitamin B12 from breast milk or formula, but when breast milk intake begins to decline between 9 and 12 months of age, vegan babies may benefit from supplementation. There is a possibility.

Family Features, Tuesday, December 27, 2022, press release image

Family Features, Tuesday, December 27, 2022, press release image

Vitamin D

Most people know that vitamin D is good for strengthening teeth and bones, but it also supports calcium absorption and promotes optimal functioning of the immune system. A natural plant-based food source is several types of mushrooms. Infants over 32 fl oz on formula usually do not require supplements, but breastfed infants may need to take supplements.

omega 3 fatty acids

These essential fatty acids are important for brain development, learning, and behavior. There are three types of omega-3: EPA, DHA, and ALA. The most important EPA and DHA are found mainly in fish and algae. Breast milk and formulas also often contain omega-3s.

For plant-based toddlers who don’t eat fish, ALA in foods such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts can be important sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Mango & Pineapple, White Beans from Plum Organics , consider options like the Butternut Squash & Oats Blend. It provides omega-3 ALA from chia seeds and provides a convenient way to add key nutrients to your toddler’s plant-based diet.

calcium

Calcium is important not only for strengthening bones and teeth, but also for muscle, nervous system and heart function. Most infants get enough calcium from formula, breast milk, or a combination of the two. Plant-based dietary sources of calcium include tofu, beans, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, tahini, sesame seeds, and almond butter.

zinc

Zinc is an important factor in cell turnover and repair, in addition to the important role it plays in immune health, overall growth and development. However, over time, zinc levels in breast milk decrease (even if the mother takes supplements). are all plant-based sources of zinc.

protein

Most children on a plant-based diet can easily meet their protein needs, essential for full growth and development. Carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, peas and chicken from Plum Organics plant-based baby food blends like our pouches offer a mess-free, portable way to provide about 18% of your daily protein needs for an average 6-12 months. Sources include beans, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and soybeans.

Caregivers should discuss any nutrition-related concerns with a pediatrician or registered dietitian and always consult before starting supplements. Visit plumorganics.com for more information about supporting your child’s nutritional needs.

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