There are many reasons why kids decide to become vegetarians. It could be religious or family values, animal rights involvements or concerns, or attempts to change to a different type of diet.
There are three types of vegetarians:
- Vegans do not eat any animal products: meat, fish, milk, eggs, dairy.
- Lactovegetarians do not eat meat, poultry, fish and eggs, but they do eat milk products
- Lacto-ovovegetarians do not eat fish, poultry or meat, but do eat milk and milk products and eggs. This is the most common type to vegetarian in America.
- Protein: Protein is necessary to form new red blood cells, and a lack of protein can cause anemia, which can cause you to be tired and lack energy. Protein is found in foods such as beans, spinach, beet greens, and prunes
- Calcium: Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Milk products are high in calcium. If you are a vegan you can get calcium from broccoli, tofu, and beans. More information on calcium at Powerful Bones.
- Vitamin B-12: A lack of B-12 can cause anemia, poor memory, and/or weak muscles. It is found in milk products and eggs. If you do not eat dairy products, you can find B-12 in fortified cereals.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential in the body's use of calcium. You can get Vitamin D from milk, and sunlight exposure stimulates the body to produce Vitamin D.
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Reviewed by the Web Content Committee of PAMF
FAQs about Obesity in Children, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Nutrition and Fitness, Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Vegetarianism in Teens, Katie Ransohoff, PAMF.