24th January 08:13
VEGAN CHILDREN - HEALTHY AND HAPPY Visit www.pcrm.org
Visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
for excellent food recommendations:
Vegan Children: Healthy and Happy
Most people have been taught that children must eat
animal flesh and dairy products to grow up strong and
healthy. The truth is that children raised as vegans, who
consume no animal products, including meat, eggs, and
dairy, can derive all the nutrients essential for optimum
growth from plant-based sources. Children not only don't
need animal products, they're much better off without
Consider this: Many children raised on the "traditional"
American diet of cholesterol- and saturated fat-laden
hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza are already showing
symptoms of heart disease -- the number one killer of
adults -- by the time they reach first grade. One
epidemiological study found significant levels of
cholesterol and fat in the arteries of most children
under the age of five.(1) Children raised as vegans can
be protected from this condition. They are less likely to
suffer from childhood illnesses such as asthma, iron-
deficiency anemia, and diabetes and will be less prone to
ear infections and colic.(2)
A vegan diet has other benefits, too. E. coli, the deadly
bacteria that killed four children and sickened more than
600 people in Washington state in 1993, was traced to
tainted meat in a fast food restaurant. According to the
Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 20,000
E. coli infections from meat every year in the United
States (3). A vegan diet protects children from the
pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics that are fed to
animals in huge amounts and concentrate in animals' fatty
tissue and milk.(4)
Nutrition in Vegan Diets
Nutritionists and physicians have learned that plant
products are good sources of protein, iron, calcium, and
vitamin D because they can be easily absorbed by the body
and don't contain artery-clogging fat.
o Protein -- Contrary to popular opinion, the real
concern about protein is that we will feed our children
too much, not too little. Nutritional biochemist Dr. T.
Colin Campbell, author of the ground-breaking China
Study, has shown that excess animal protein actually
promotes the growth of tumors -- and most people on a
meat-based diet consume three to 10 times more protein
than their bodies need!(5)
o Children can get all the protein their bodies need
from whole grains in the form of oats, brown rice, and
pasta; from nuts and seeds, including spreads such as
tahini and peanut butter; and legumes, including tofu,
lentils, and beans.(6)
o Iron -- Few parents know that some babies' intestines
bleed after drinking cow's milk. This increases their
risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia since the blood
they're losing contains iron.(7) Breast-fed infants under
the age of one year get sufficient iron from mother's
milk (and are less prone to Sudden Infant Death
Syndrome). Formula-fed babies should be fed a soy-based
formula with added iron to minimize the risk of
intestinal bleeding. Iron-rich foods such as raisins,
almonds, dried apricots, blackstrap molasses and
fortified grain cereals will meet the needs of toddlers
and children 12 months and older. Vitamin C helps the
body absorb iron, so foods rich in both, such as green,
leafy vegetables are particularly valuable.(8)
o Calcium -- Drinking cow's milk is one of the least
effective ways to strengthen bones. Too much protein,
such as the animal protein fed to children in dairy
products, actually causes the body to lose calcium.(9) In
countries where calcium intake is low but where protein
intake is also very low, osteoporosis is almost non-
o Cornbread, broccoli, kale, tofu, dried figs, tahini,
great northern beans, and fortified orange juice and soy
milk are all excellent sources of calcium. As with iron,
vitamin C will help your child's system absorb calcium
o Vitamin D -- This is not really a "vitamin" but a
hormone our bodies manufacture when our skin is exposed
to sunlight. Cow's milk does not naturally contain
vitamin D; it's added later. Vitamin D-enriched soy milk
provides this nutrient without the added animal fat. A
child who spends as little as 15 minutes a day playing in
the sunshine, with arms and face exposed, will get
sufficient vitamin D.(12)
o Vitamin B-12 -- This essential vitamin once occurred
naturally on the surfaces of potatoes, beets, and other
root vegetables, but the move away from natural
fertilizers has caused it to disappear from our soil. Any
commercially available multivitamin will assure adequate
B-12 for your child. B-12 is also found in nutritional
yeast (not to be confused with brewer's or active dry
yeast) and many fortified cereals. (13)
Dangers of Dairy Products
Children do not need dairy products to grow up strong and
healthy. The director of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins
University, Dr. Frank Oski, says, "There's no reason to
drink cow's milk at any time. It was designed for calves,
it was not designed for humans, and we should all stop
drinking it today, this afternoon."(14) Dr. Benjamin
Spock agrees that although milk is the ideal food for
baby cows, it can be dangerous for human infants: "I want
to pass the word to parents that cow's milk . . . has
definite faults for some babies. It causes allergies,
indigestion, and contributes to some cases of childhood
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that
infants under one year of age not be fed whole cow's
milk. Dairy products are the leading cause of food
allergies. In addition, more than two-thirds of Native
Americans and people from Asian and Mexican ancestry and
as many as 15 percent of Caucasians are lactose
intolerant and suffer symptoms such as bloating, gas,
cramps, vomiting, headaches, rashes, or asthma.(16) Many
people become lactose intolerant after age four. For
these people, animal proteins seep into the immune system
and can result in chronic runny noses, sore throats,
hoarseness, bronchitis, and recurring ear infections.(17)
Milk is suspected of triggering juvenile diabetes, a
disease that causes blindness and other serious
effects.(18) Some children's bodies see cow's milk
protein as a foreign substance and produce high levels of
antibodies to fend off this "invader." These antibodies
also destroy the cells which produce insulin in the
pancreas, leading to diabetes.
An estimated 20 percent of U.S. dairy cows are infected
with leukemia viruses that are resistant to killing by
pasteurization.(19) These viruses have been found in
supermarket supplies of milk and dairy products. It may
not be merely coincidence that the highest rates of
leukemia are found in children ages 3-13, who consume the
most dairy products.(20)
o Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet by Michael
Klaper, M.D. (Gentle World, Inc., P.O. Box U, Paia, Maui,
HI 96779, 1994)
o The Vegetarian Mother and Baby Book by Ross Elliot
(Pantheon Books, 1986)
o Vegetarian Baby (McBooks Press, 1984) and Vegetarian
Children (McBooks Press, 1987) by Sharon Yntema
o The Compassionate Cook by PETA and Ingrid Newkirk
o Vegetarian Times magazine (4 High Ridge Park,
Stamford, CT 06905)
o Vegetarian Journal (P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD
o Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM),
5100 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Suite 404, Washington, DC 20015;
o La Leche League, 1-800-LA LECHE
1. Akman, D., et al. "Heart Disease in a Total Population
of Children: The Bogalusa Heart Study," Southern Medical
Journal, Oct. 1982, 75(10), pp. 1177-81, and G.S.
Berenson, et al., "Cardiovascular Risk Factors in
Children. Should They Concern the Pediatrician?" American
Journal of Diseases of Children, Sep. 1982, 136(9), pp.
2. Klaper, Michael, M.D., Pregnancy, Children, and the
Vegan Diet, 1994 edition, pp. 2-3, 36, and Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine, news release: "Top
Doctors Warn: Milk Can Cause Health Problems," September
3. "A Disease That's a Bite Away," Washington Post,
February 13, 1994.
4. Klaper, Michael, M.D., Pregnancy, Children, and the
Vegan Diet, 1994 edition, p. 2.
5. "Want Long Life? Lay Off Meat," Tucson Citizen,
October 4, 1991.
6. Klaper, op.cit., pp. 12-14.
7. "Doctor Spock Adds Clout to Warnings About Cow's
Milk," Wall Street Journal, September 30, 1992.
8. Klaper, op.cit., pp. 17-18.
9. Ibid., pp. 15-16.
10. "Don't Believe Everything Dairy Industry Tells You,"
San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, February 10, 1993.
11. Klaper, op.cit., pp. 15-16.
12. Klaper, ibid., p. 58.
13. Klaper, ibid.
14. "Dr. Spock Joins Milk's Detractors," Washington Post,
September 30, 1992.
15. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, news
release: "Top Doctors Warn: Milk Can Cause Health
Problems," September 29, 1992.
16. "Don't Believe Everything Dairy Industry Tells You,"
18. "Don't Drink Milk?," Washington Post, February 9,
19. Klaper, op.cit., p. 42.
20. "Vegan From the Cradle: A Medical Doctor Explains Why
an Animal-Free Diet for Babies Is His First Choice,"
Vegetarian Times, Sept. 1987.
Source - http://goveg.com/r-fact6.html
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