Monday, August 31, 2009

The Vegetarian Child

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When children are on vegetarian diets, caregivers may wish to consult a dietician and should ensure that the child's diet contains the necessary nutrients and the extra bulk of alternative foods are not too great for the child to eat. Children in vegetarian families should receive plant proteins, such as legumes, mild milk cheese (if acceptable to their parents), tofu and meat like products made from vegetables protein. Since nuts are highly allergenic, the introduction of nut butters should be delayed until the end of the second year of life. After 9 months of age, infants on a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian diet can probably have eggs. The texture of foods needs to be modified for young toddlers by cooking foods well, pureeing, or putting them through a sieve, blender or grinder. For infants, the pureed food may have to be thinned in order to attain the right consistency.

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