Thursday, January 30, 2014

Searcher Role: Vegetarian Diets for Children

     The readings for the week focused on the affects of infancy and early childhood on adulthood. As you all know, topics included things such as breast feeding, exposure to pollutants, birthweight, onset of adolescence, gender, etc. For my role as a searcher I found a few science blogs that discuss vegetarian diets for children. There is a lot of resistance vegetarian adults face from meat eaters, people like to say that it is unhealthy and nutritionally incomplete. Some people respect the lifestyle, some people ridicule it. But when vegetarian parents decide to enforce a meatless policy at home meat eaters argue that it would be unhealthy for developing children. Since our readings dealt with the effects of early child hood on adult life I chose to seek out information on whether vegetarian diets were harmful to children. According to these articles vegetarian children grow up to be as big and strong as meat eating children. Against the popular belief that children will be denied essential proteins and nutrients, “Children who avoid meat products also have a reduced intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, pesticides, preservatives and food additives, and are less likely to risk exposure to meat-borne illnesses.” A vegetarian diet can set up healthy eating habits that will transfer over into adult hood that can potentially lower the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol in adulthood that accompanies fifty years of eating cheeseburgers. There are in fact limitations, children who are developing need a high amount of calories which translates to more food, picky eaters would present an issue. Iron deficiency is an issue for the adult vegetarians that I know, so close attention to that is required especially in children. Against traditional and popular belief, much like what occurred in Chapter 12, it is found that children can in fact be vegetarians and live full healthy lives. 

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