Young and Baby Vegans Nutritional Information
Raising vegan children can create quite a stir in non-vegan communities - most doctors and nurses will discourage it and other parents may believe that you are damaging your child's health and growth by not allowing them to consume animal products.
However, it is only natural that young children do not eat meat (read our article on the evolution of the human diet), and these concerns are misguided as long as you ensure that your child gets all the nutrition they require during the important development years.
Having a sound knowledge of the vitamins and minerals required for a vegan diet shows others that you are not putting your child at risk and may even show friends and family that a vegan diet is not such a bad idea. It is of course imperative that you are aware of your child's needs as a vegan, study vegan nutritional information for children, including required vitamins and minerals, and get reputable advice wherever possible, to ensure your child is at his or her optimal health.
Below are some book titles and websites with vast amounts of information about veganism and children, with tips and useful advice:
"Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet" - Authors: Michael Klapper, M.D.
"Raising Vegan Children in a Non-vegan World: a Complete Guide for Parents" - Authors: Erin Pavlina
"Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet" - Authors: Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina
PETA Media Centre ,
Vegetarianism in a Nutshell
Dr. Michael Klapper, an American general practitioner and physician, has published 2 books on the benefits of a vegan diet in children and adults after noticing drastic improvements with patients who he had prescribed a vegan diet to. Dr. Klapper states that dairy is responsible for chronic runny noses, ear and bronchial infections, inflammations of the joints, skin and bowels, eczema, ear and bronchial infections.
"The bovine leukaemia virus infects up to 20% of all milk cows and it is not destroyed in the pasteurisation process ... The highest rates of leukaemia are found in children ages 3 through 13, who consume the most milk and dairy products" - Michael Klapper, M.D.: Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet.
There has been a vast amount of research done on adequate vegan nutrition and its benefit for both adults and children that it is perfectly viable to want your children to have the same benefits.
Just as an adult vegan survives day to day, often with more vigour than that of a meat eater, so can a child. With proper nutrition, vegan children benefit from a diet free of animal products as adolescents and well into their old age.
Read our vegan pregnancy section for more information on the vegan diet for mothers.
"On behalf of all teenage vegans, I express immense gratitude to Vegan SA and it's associates for simplifying the lives of those who show intolerance towards animal cruelty. I also commend Vegan SA on it's pursuit for a healthier and more compassionate South Africa. As a 15 year old vegan living in Durban, I have found much information from your site regarding the attaining of vegan-friendly products that would otherwise be extremely difficult to find." - Haydon Naidoo, Durban, South Africa