September 20, 2017
The potential benefits of a plant-based diet have become increasingly recognized in recent years. In addition to addressing individual health concerns and belief systems, vegetarian and/or vegan diets also play a role in combating global warming and promoting sustainable food production.
As the number of vegetarians and vegan adults increase worldwide, there is likewise an increase in the number of children adhering to plant-based diets. However, in children, an important distinction must be made between a vegetarian and vegan diet. A vegetarian diet, which excludes meat and fish consumption, can be nutritionally varied like an omnivorous diet. The most common type of vegetarian diet is lacto-ovo vegetarianism, which permits milk, cheese and eggs. These foods provide key sources of protein to growing children and, when managed under the supervision of a health care provider, do not pose health risks to children.