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Parents who are vegetarians often also feed their children a meat-free diet. The question is: Do children then get all the important nutrients they need to develop healthily?
Vegetarian Diet For Children: Green Light For Greens
A muesli in the morning, an apple in between, green spelt fritters with salad for lunch, a yogurt in the afternoon and a thick slice of wholemeal bread with chive curd in the evening. If a vegetarian menu looks like this, everything is fine. Because children can safely do without sausage, schnitzel, meatballs & Co. – provided they get milk and dairy products and eat cereals, potatoes, vegetables and fruit in a varied combination. “Then the nutrient requirement can easily be met in all age groups,” according to the Research Institute of Child Nutrition in Dortmund.
However, vegetarians should pay attention to one nutrient: Iron can easily fall short on a meat-free diet. Shortages can be avoided by choosing foods wisely. Iron-rich foods include oats and millet, whole grains, spinach, lamb’s lettuce, lentils, pistachios and almonds. In addition, there should always be vegetables, fruit or juice rich in vitamin C, such as orange juice, peppers, broccoli or various cabbage vegetables. In fact, vitamin C significantly increases the poor availability of iron from plant foods. There are also no concerns about protein in a vegetarian diet, because milk, possibly eggs and fish contain plenty and also high-quality protein.
Strict vegetarians, the Veganern in such a way specified, give nourishing experts against it a clear refusal. Without milk, milk products and eggs the food selection is very limited – and that can become straight dangerous for children. On the one hand vegan food for children often supplies too few calories. For another, the supply of calcium in particular is usually inadequate. And without milk and dairy products, it is hardly possible to take in enough of the “bone mineral”. The same applies to vitamin B12, which is found almost exclusively in animal foods: severe and sometimes permanent disorders of nerve and brain development have been observed in infants who were fully breastfed by vegan mothers. And if the foods are not properly combined, there can be an undersupply of protein, which leads to growth disorders in infants and young children and can even become life-threatening. Parents who feed their child a strict vegetarian diet should therefore be sure to seek advice from their pediatrician.
Delicious Recipe Ideas For Big And Small
Nutty Canelloni With Rocket Salad
Ingredients for 4 servings: 1 small block of frozen spinach leaves (125 g), 12 cannelloni, 1 onion, 30 g walnuts, 300 g ricotta, 1 egg, salt, pepper, 150 ml whipped cream, 50 g grated medium Gouda. For the salad: 30 g walnuts, 1 bunch of rocket, 1 red onion, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp oil.
Preparation: Defrost the spinach. Pre-cook cannelloni in salted water for 5 minutes, drain and let drain. Peel onion, dice finely. Chop walnuts finely and roast briefly without fat. Mix ricotta and egg. Squeeze spinach in kitchen paper and chop. Mix into the ricotta together with onions and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and fill into the cannelloni using a piping bag with a large nozzle. Place cannelloni in a greased baking dish. Pour over cream. Sprinkle with Gouda. Bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 minutes. For the salad, chop walnuts coarsely and roast briefly. Clean and chop the rocket. Peel onion, cut into fine rings. Mix vinegar with salt, pepper and oil. Mix rocket, walnuts and onion with it. Serve the salad with the cannelloni.
Ingredients for 18 pieces: 18 large mushrooms, 1 tablespoon oil, 60 ml vegetable broth, 3 shallots, finely chopped, 1 tomato, 40 g chopped walnut kernels, 150 g reduced-fat mayonnaise, 250 g fresh bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, salt, pepper.
Preparation: Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Remove stems from mushrooms and chop finely. Heat oil in a pan, sauté mushroom caps for 1 minute on each side and transfer to a baking sheet. Bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add chopped mushroom stems and shallots and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove pot from heat. Dice tomatoes, add to steamed shallots with walnuts, mayonnaise, bread crumbs and tarragon. Mix everything well, add salt and pepper. Fill mushroom heads with the mixture and bake for about 15 minutes.