It's no secret that Kat Von D has made waves recently as the latest celebrity mom to say she's raising her child vegan. The tattoo artist turned makeup mogul is currently expecting her first child, a son, with husband Rafael Reyes. Kat's comments about her upcoming parenthood have caused widespread controversy, with some believing that an infant can't possibly get the nutrients it needs from a strict vegan diet. The raven-haired beauty isn't the first celebrity to advocate a plant-based diet for children, with the likes of Alicia Silverstone bringing up her family animal free.
As the controversy rages on, we thought this would be a perfect time to weigh up the pros and cons of raising your child vegan.
Let's Start With The Pros
Contrary to popular belief, a vegan child can get all of their essential nutrients without consuming meat or other animal products. However, there is a right and a wrong way to eat vegan.
According to the experts, the best thing you can do is ensure you do enough research beforehand. Knowing what foods carry essential minerals and vitamins is important, as is being diligent when food shopping.
One of the major bonuses about introducing a vegan diet from an early age is that it promotes a healthy pattern of eating. Kids will experience fruits and veggies of different colors, tastes and textures which will encourage them to maintain a healthy diet as they grow into adulthood. What's more, vegan kids have been seen to have fewer problems with childhood obesity compared with meat-eating children.
So, What Are The Cons?
The main cons really revolve around improper planning and understanding of the vegan diet. If you're completely new to veganism then you'll need to make sure you have all of the knowledge you need before starting out. If a child's diet isn't well-planned, then they could become vitamin deficient by missing out on minerals like B-12 and D.
One expert argues that vegan kids would also be better equipped to mask eating disorders as they enter their teenage years, although others are quick to dismiss this claim. Nutritionists have also stated that eliminating protein sources such as egg, milk, cheese, and fish can mean children could potentially fail to meet their recommended nutritional daily guidelines, leading to lower height and weight.
With both parties raising some astute points, the argument has never been hotter. With documentaries like What the Health? bringing up some worrying facts about the meat industry, consumers are questioning their food habits more than ever.
The important thing to remember when deciding on a huge diet-overhaul for your family is that it doesn't necessarily have to be all or nothing. Some opt for having one vegan day per week, or even one vegan meal per day. Little changes can often make a huge difference, and give you an idea as to whether going vegan full-time is the best thing for you and your family. It's vital to note that one size doesn't fit all, and what might work for one may not work for you.
Do you raise your kids as vegan or vegetarian?
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