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Old 09-01-2006, 01:00 PM posted to
Beach Runner
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Default ADA endourses VEGAN DIets for children (corrected buffer)

Of course, as in any diet, care must be taken.
I'm sorry the wrong buffer was posted
Obviously it is not an eating disorder as one obsessed individual says.

Vegan Diets Meet Children's Needs - ADA

American Dietetic Association: Vegan Diets Meet Children's
Nutritional Needs

Monday June 18 2:15 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - With some careful menu planning, children
and even infants raised as vegans can get all the nutrients they need
for good health, according to two reports in the June issue of the
Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Because vegans shun all animal products, they may get too little of
some nutrients found in meat and dairy products, such as calcium and
vitamin B12. Nutrient deficiencies are a particular concern when it
comes to growing babies and children. But according to the reports, a
well-rounded vegan diet--sometimes supplemented with certain
nutrients like B12 and zinc--can provide children with all their
nutrition needs.

What's more, vegan kids typically eat less fat and cholesterol and
more fruits and vegetables than other children do, note Virginia
Messina and Dr. Ann Reed Mangels. Messina is a professor at Loma
Linda University in California. Mangels acts as a nutrition advisor
to the Vegetarian Resource Group in Baltimore, Maryland. Vegans eat
only plant-based foods, using fidyl grains, legumes, fruits and
vegetables to fill all their dietary needs. A typical vegan
substitution would be to use soy milk in place of cow's milk.

While these substitutions can work for babies and children, parents
need to ensure their children are getting enough of certain vitamins
and minerals, according to Messina and Mangels. For example, vitamin
B12, which is essential in children's neurological development,
exists naturally only in animal products. However, breakfast cereals,
soy beverages, nutritional yeast and vegetarian ``meats'' are often
fortified with B12, and are important sources of the vitamin for
vegans, the study authors point out.

The researchers also advise that breast-fed infants of vegan mothers
get a regular supplement of vitamin B12, since maternal stores of the
vitamin may be low. Infant soy formulas are fortified with vitamin
B12 and other nutrients, but Messina and Mangels stress that regular
soy milk--like regular cow's milk--is inappropriate for babies
younger than one year. As with all infants, an iron-fortified cereal
is a good choice as a first solid food, the report indicates.

By age 7 to 8 months, vegan protein sources that can be introduced
include pureed cooked beans, well-mashed tofu and soy yogurt, the
research team writes. Parents should also be careful about their
vegan children's supply of zinc, calcium, riboflavin (vitamin B2)
and--if sun exposure is inadequate--vitamin D. Key sources of zinc
include fortified cereals and certain nuts and beans such as lentils,
according to the authors. Calcium-rich vegan foods include fortified
tofu, soy milk and orange juice, as well as leafy greens and certain

As for iron, good sources include beans, fortified cereals and
grains, and dried apricots and raisins. However, some nutrients,
including iron and zinc, are not absorbed as well when they come from
plant sources. So, Messina and Mangels note, parents may want to
consider zinc supplements and be sure to give their kids foods that
promote iron absorption--namely, foods rich in vitamin C.

Children also need certain essential, unsaturated fatty acids, which
can be found in foods like flax seed, canola oil, nuts and soy
products. ``The wide availability of convenient vegan foods, many of
which are fortified, make it increasingly easy to plan healthful
vegan diets for children,'' Messina and Mangels write. ``Vegan
diets,'' they conclude, ``can meet the nutrition needs of children if
appropriately planned by a knowledgeable adult.''

SOURCE: Journal of the American Dietetic Association

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