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Bringing up Vegan Children. IMPORTANT

some scary facts

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ZoolNerd ZoolNerd NSW Posts: 1005
1 4 Feb 2011
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 happy 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:
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 ecstatic
ReplyQuote

Compostkitty Compostkitty NSW Posts: 780
2 4 Feb 2011
ZoolNerd said:
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 happy 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:
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 ecstatic
My experience with pregnancy:
i was in a young mothers group i was the only one not put on supplements for iron or vitamin D
i also gave birth to a chubby healthy baby with no spinal or other health problems.

my experience in raising a vegan infant so far:
i have been lucky in having support from friends and family with raising charlotte vegan she also loves avocados and smoothies she adores mushrooms and a lot of foods we thought she wouldn't like if she doesn't like something we don't make her eat it.
for example she hated hummus so i didn't give her anything with hummus but the other day i was eating some and she couldn't get enough of it.
all kids no matter what the diet is will go through the fussy stage i have been very lucky so far charlotte prefers fruit over anything at the moment.

but in ANY diet it is easy for a child to become deficient in something if you are lazy about what you feed your child but right now i'm happy i have a sushi and fruit obsessed little vegan toddler.

and once she finishes breast feeding i may go and see the local vegan nutritionist to make sure im still doing everything right in keeping her healthy and happy.

ZoolNerd ZoolNerd NSW Posts: 1005
3 4 Feb 2011
Compostkitty said:
My experience with pregnancy:
i was in a young mothers group i was the only one not put on supplements for iron or vitamin D
i also gave birth to a chubby healthy baby with no spinal or other health problems.

my experience in raising a vegan infant so far:
i have been lucky in having support from friends and family with raising charlotte vegan she also loves avocados and smoothies she adores mushrooms and a lot of foods we thought she wouldn't like if she doesn't like something we don't make her eat it.
for example she hated hummus so i didn't give her anything with hummus but the other day i was eating some and she couldn't get enough of it.
all kids no matter what the diet is will go through the fussy stage i have been very lucky so far charlotte prefers fruit over anything at the moment.

but in ANY diet it is easy for a child to become deficient in something if you are lazy about what you feed your child but right now i'm happy i have a sushi and fruit obsessed little vegan toddler.

and once she finishes breast feeding i may go and see the local vegan nutritionist to make sure im still doing everything right in keeping her healthy and happy.
[/quote]


Im really glad to hear that! happy

It did say in the book that to persist with breast feeding for as long as possible until 2 years. But that isnt possible for most woman, I know my sister couldnt do it as for some reason she never lactated properly.

What I did love about this book is that it very intelligently pointed out that veg*ns and omnivores are at equal risk of not getting enough nutrition and health problems when it comes to poor planning.

I dont blame her for loving avocado. I eat it every day! ecstatic


What I do worry about is the fussy stages, Ive never been very fussy but I did have stupid habits when I was young. For some reason I never ate tomatoes until I was veg, and same with broccoli and cabbage.. My mum encouraged me but I just hated them for some reason. happy

My nieces too also have the worst food fears. So I guess this is what worries me about my own children. Refusing to eat.  They literally wont touch fruit or vegetables. Thankfully They dont know what pumpkin soup is yet happy
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Imaginary Product Imaginary Product NSW Posts: 142
4 4 Feb 2011
I think that article is just scarmongering.  The language it uses is not objective. Most pregnant woman are encouraged to take supplements.  It says mothers need over 2.6 micrograms of B12 a day, most multivitamins have over 15micrograms, and vitamin B supplements can have up to 50 or at least 20-25.  

What are your sorces for stating that growth rates for vegan babies are slow, or that protein malnutrition is "very common".

All new mothers should be carefully evaluating their childrens diet to ensure adequate nurition. Im sure a conscientious vegan mothers are raising healther children than omnivores who feed their kids fast food and crap.

Ellim Ellim United Kingdom Posts: 480
5 4 Feb 2011
All pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to take supplements and to give supplements (or fortified milks etc.) to young children.

It's not veganism that's damaging, it's not eating a rounded, balanced diet which is possible for someone on *any* diet.  

Of course there *may* be problems for vegans getting adequate B12, just as there *may* be problems for someone eating a very-high-animal-protein diet getting adequate calcium.  If you're sensible about what you eat, it shouldn't be a problem.
ReplyQuote

ZoolNerd ZoolNerd NSW Posts: 1005
6 4 Feb 2011
Imaginary Product said:
I think that article is just scarmongering.  The language it uses is not objective. Most pregnant woman are encouraged to take supplements.  It says mothers need over 2.6 micrograms of B12 a day, most multivitamins have over 15micrograms, and vitamin B supplements can have up to 50 or at least 20-25.  

What are your sorces for stating that growth rates for vegan babies are slow, or that protein malnutrition is "very common".

All new mothers should be carefully evaluating their childrens diet to ensure adequate nurition. Im sure a conscientious vegan mothers are raising healther children than omnivores who feed their kids fast food and crap.
Its a nutrition textbook. I overall liked it as it didnt condemn a vegetarian or vegan diet but encouraged that especially vegans should take notice of their diet and plan ahead. I looked at quite a few books and they were obviously biast and very condemning! All those risks were in place if the baby didnt get any b12 at all. If they had enough suppliments they would be fine but my worry was getting children to actually eat healthy foods to begin with.

When I do see an nutritionist later in life Its going to be fun to find one who isnt biast!
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Bubble & Squeak Bubble & Squeak QLD Posts: 38
7 4 Feb 2011
I realise I'm not the most popular person on this forum, but please- only a total twit would be vegan during pregnancy, and force ''veganism'' onto an infant. Seriously, I have two small children, who are the centre of my life, and it is so risky/dangerous to go without dairy/meat (AT LEAST white meat- fish etc) when your carrying a bubby. Its the one time you really have to step up and put the best interests of your bubby ahead of your own ''Urgh, I could never eat that'' way of thinking. I'm not being horrible, but that would just be bonkers.
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Akasha213 Akasha213 VIC Posts: 227
8 4 Feb 2011
I've got a few friends who have vegan kids and they all seem fine. They've never mentioned having any nutritional problems.
Everyone could have kids with problems. My brother is autistic and my mum was a meat eater. A friend in primary school had spinabifida and her parents were meat eaters. My mum works in disability now and she's never mentioned having a vegetarian client to me. And I think she would if she knew of one.
I wouldnt have thought that diet would be a cause of any serious disorders, as long as you have a healthy diet.
You never know, maybe a vegan diet could've helped with these types of things like autism...

JaimieCS JaimieCS VIC Posts: 363
9 4 Feb 2011
Bubble & Squeak said:
I realise I'm not the most popular person on this forum, but please- only a total twit would be vegan during pregnancy, and force ''veganism'' onto an infant. Seriously, I have two small children, who are the centre of my life, and it is so risky/dangerous to go without dairy/meat (AT LEAST white meat- fish etc) when your carrying a bubby. Its the one time you really have to step up and put the best interests of your bubby ahead of your own ''Urgh, I could never eat that'' way of thinking. I'm not being horrible, but that would just be bonkers.
I cant even begin to explain how wrong you are. I'm not trying to be rude but those statements show you know nothing about nutrition. And any diet you feed an infant is being forced upon them, just because vegan isnt mainstream doesn't make it automatically wrong.

RaV3N RaV3N WA Posts: 2152
10 4 Feb 2011
Bubble & Squeak said:
I realise I'm not the most popular person on this forum, but please- only a total twit would be vegan during pregnancy, and force ''veganism'' onto an infant. Seriously, I have two small children, who are the centre of my life, and it is so risky/dangerous to go without dairy/meat (AT LEAST white meat- fish etc) when your carrying a bubby. Its the one time you really have to step up and put the best interests of your bubby ahead of your own ''Urgh, I could never eat that'' way of thinking. I'm not being horrible, but that would just be bonkers.
The same way we think people who eat meat are bonkers. There are plenty of healthy veg*n born and bred babies.
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