ERIC Number: ED364324
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
Animal Foods vs. Plant Foods: Risks and Benefits for Young Children.
Romano, Daniel R.
Authorities offer conflicting viewpoints on whether animal foods are essential to the health of young children or whether they can ingest the nutrients they need from plant sources. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) contends that because of the small capacity of young children's stomachs, they are not likely to consume all of the calories they would need to get enough protein, iron, and calcium from plant foots. The USDA also maintains that cow's milk is essential to a healthy diet. However, recent studies have implicated meat, eggs, and dairy products in atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and cancer. Milk and dairy products have been linked to severe respiratory problems, diabetes mellitus, and intestinal blood loss. Regardless, most schools and day care centers still teach and abide by the four food groups, which emphasize meat and dairy foods. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruit can provide children with the protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 that they need. However, for children to get enough nutrients from a vegetarian diet, they must limit their intake of empty calorie foods such as potato chips, sodas, and candy. Interviews with 58 preschool children, however, indicated that their lists of favorite foods showed a preference for carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. (AC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Vegetarianism; Vitamins