Vegetarian kids enjoy a range of health benefits. They tend to have lower levels of cholesterol, blood pressure as well as body weight. But some times, parents need a little guidance when it comes to preventing nutrient deficiencies in their children. It’s important to ensure that vegetarian children eat all of the vital nutrient sources from a variety of foods.
So in this post, we’re going to tell you about 5 important nutrient sources for vegetarian children. Include these foods in vegetarian meals for kids, and your little one will grow up healthy and strong!
5 Important Nutrient Sources For Vegetarian Kids
1. Protein Foods For Kids Are Essential.
Proteins are a building block of the skin, bones, muscles, and blood. It enables tissue formation as well as repair. It plays a rather important role in the production of hormones. Protein is also very important for strength and energy.
Vegetarian children can get their protein from:
- Dairy products
- Beans like kidney beans and soy
- Lentils combined with rice
- Whole grains
- Chia seeds
2. Zinc: A Mineral You Must Pay Attention To
Next up is zinc, a trace mineral. Zinc supports strong immunity, thyroid function, and the nervous system. It keeps inflammation levels in check and can therefore protect against cancer. Zinc also promotes hormonal balance and good heart health. Parents of vegetarian kids should make sure they eat plenty of zinc-rich foods – since this nutrient is not absorbed as properly as from meat.
The best zinc foods are:
3. Iron Is Important For Energy & Strength.
Iron supports focus, concentration, strength, and physical stamina. It enables the body’s organs to receive nutrition through oxygen. Iron also regulates immune function and body temperature. Vegetarian children can get their iron from many sources:
*Pair iron foods with Vitamin C sources for absorption, like dark chocolate with oranges and lemon-lentil soup.
4. Vitamin B12 Shouldn’t Be Neglected.
Vegetarian meals for kids should contain Vitamin B12, an important nutrient. B12 is vital for nerve function. It enables red blood cell production. It supports good skin, hair, and nails. This nutrient is also important for energy production and vision. The few vegetarian sources are:
- Soy milk
- Fortified juices
- Fortified cereals
- Shitake mushrooms
- Nutritional yeast
5. Calcium Supports Bones, Teeth & Much More.
We all know that calcium is good for bones as well as teeth. But it’s needed for other activities too, like muscle contraction, blood clotting, and enzyme functions. It’s a must-include in vegetarian meals for kids. Milk is great since it also contains Vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption. But in case your family is vegan, there are many more foods you can offer your child:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Dried beans
- Fortified juices and cereal
Have any questions about diet or lifestyle for vegetarian children? Feel free to write to us!
Note: Articles on Ayurvedum are solely for the purpose of sharing the goodness of Ayurveda and bringing awareness on natural and healthy living. Please do not substitute it for professional medical advice. Ingredients discussed can interfere with certain medications. So, before using anything to treat yourself, always consult an Ayurveda doctor or practitioner.