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Vegetarian Kids at Health Risk

The Associated Press has a report today on all the substitute
foods that vegetarian and vegan children should be eating
to get the vital
nutrients missing from meatless diets. This is by no
means the first warning
to parents that meat- and dairy-free diets can have
devastating effects on kids' health. Considering the amount of animal rights propaganda
targeting today's children, however, the AP's report is an important

Even though childhood vegetarianism
is on the decline
, one in 200 kids still identified themselves as vegetarian
in 2007. For them, the AP reports,
dieticians recommend consuming soybeans, fortified soy milk, and nuts to replace
the protein, iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D they are missing out on (and
could acquire from a single serving of meat a day). To get enough Vitamin B-12,
kids will need to nosh on nutritional yeast, which is questionably described as
having “a cheesy flavor.” (Sound delicious?) And don’t forget flaxseed, which is
a source of linolenic acid – as are fish sticks and tuna sandwiches.

The animal rights philosophy is the main
most of those one in 200 kids have cut meat out of their diets. But
if vegetarian and vegan kids are going meatless for dietary reasons, they may
want to think twice. The average
teenager needs between 46 and 52 grams of protein a day
. For vegan kids who
don't consume dairy products, meeting this goal isn't easy. A cup of
has less than 12 grams of protein. That means that vegan youths
will need to choke down more than a quart of beans every day just to get the
recommended daily amount.

Unfortunately, health warnings like these haven't struck animal rights
activists as enough reason to stop telling parents that “vegan diets are not only good for kids,
it's a preferable diet for kids.”
But from a nutrition standpoint, meatless
and dairy-free eating habits are for the primary benefit of cows and chickens --
not growing boys and girls.



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