Well, Now that Im vegan I went to go check out some nutrition books from my local Uni library and Even though I found a great book with a section on veg*ns diets demonstrating how healthy they can be it did bring up some scary facts about infancy - teenhood.
Ill wrap them up for you
Please, if any parents out there are raising a vegan child please reply and let me now how hard it is and if your seeing dietition because Im thinking when I do get there, I will need to consult one.
PREGNANCY AND LACTATION:
Vegetarian diets favour pregnant woman so theres no worries if you consome dairy as you will most likely out do your RDA.
Vegan mothers on plant based diets tend to have low prepregnacy weight gain and small weight gain through pregnancy which is jeopardising.
They will require supplementation of B12, Calcium, Vitamin D and eat fortified foods with these nutrients.
Infants of Vegan mothers can be born will Spinal Cord damage, develop severe psychomotor retardation because of lack of b12 all because of the mother diet during pregnancy.
Breast fed infants have also been known to development severe b12 deficiency with severe movement disorders, neurological disorders, structural abnormalities, cognitive and language development problem. To prevent this mothers need over 2.6 Micrograms of B12 daily.
Beyond 4 months of age the infant needs large amount of iron and energy intakes and need iron fortified foods daily. The growth rate of vegan children slows significantly from breast milk to table food weaning, Protein malnutrition is very common as with b12, Vitamin D and calcium. A large quantity of Vitamin C can help as with large quantities of fortified foods and sunlight.
CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE:
vegan diets again can cause insufficient energy requirements of children to support growth of a child within a quantity of food the child can eat. Because a childs small stomach can only hold so little they can not always meet their required RDAs. The diet must consist of large amount of Wholegrains, nuts, legumes to meet the energy requirements. Compared with omnivores vegan children have a shorter growth rate, tend to be smaller in height and lighter in weight and bone density.
If a child switches to a meat based diet later on they will still have trouble aborbing B12.
All this is pretty scary, especially considering children and their fussiness. What if a child refuses to eat something?
Any advice or stories are welcome of course