A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, fish and poultry. If a person says they are a vegetarian and only eat chicken, they are not a true vegetarian. According to The American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can meet all children’s needs for nitrogen and amino acid requirements for growth.

What is a Vegan?

A vegan is a person who does not eat or use animal products including milk, cheese, other dairy items, eggs, wool, silk, and leather.

Children and Veganism

A vegan diet should be well planned and probably include fortified soy milk. If you have questions or concerns about providing your child with adequate nutrition. Consult a nutritionist who is knowledgeable about vegan diets.

Why do people become vegetarians?

Some of the most common reasons a person might become a vegetarian are:

  • compassion for animals
  • dislike of meat
  • side effects of eating meat
  • ecological concerns
  • religious beliefs
  • belief in nonviolence against animals
  • economic concerns

Does a Vegetarian Diet meet all nutrient needs?

Yes. The American Dietetic Association has affirmed that when done properly, a vegetarian diet can meet all known nutrient needs.

The key to a healthy vegetarian diet, as with any other diet, is to eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Starting a Vegetarian Diet

When becoming a vegetarian, you can either totally give up meat immediately or make a gradual change. Do what works best for you. Also, give yourself options by making a list of meals and foods that you like to eat. You can substitute meat-free products for meat in meals like spaghetti.

Some brands like Boca, Garden Burger, Morningstar, and Quorn offer a variety of tasty meat-free products. Meat-free products can be found in most large supermarkets. They can also be found in specialty stores like Whole Foods Market and Sprouts. Recently large grocery chains like Kroger and Safeway have started offering a wide variety of vegetarian foods.