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Are Plant Based Diets For Kids Healthy?

Plant-based eating has become quite the trend in recent years. A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined — or minimally refined plants. Some people may choose to follow this diet to eat cleaner, while others may follow it due to digestive sensitivities, such as IBD. Plant-based diets consist of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, and legumes while avoiding or reducing foods with meat, eggs, and products with dairy, plus highly refined foods such as refined sugar and oil or bleached flour.

One of the most common questions for families featuring whole-food or plant-based food is whether or not a plant-based diet for kids healthy. The truth is, plant-based food provides children with the energy and nutrition that they need to be happy and healthy!  In this blog, we will take a closer look at why plant-based eating is beneficial for children’s health.

Kid’s Health Benefits of Plant-Based Diets

Eating plant-based foods can help children grow leaner and healthier than they likely would on a diet full of foods high in refined sugars and saturated fats. Plants are dense with nutrients, or healthy fats, plenty of antioxidants and fiber, so eating plant-based snacks and meals can help contribute to good health. According to the Physician’s Committee, some studies suggest that plant-based diets help promote the healthy, natural, and gradual growth of kids.

What Essential Nutrients Do Children Need

A well-balanced plant-based diet for kids will help ensure that they get the essential nutrients they need to live happily and healthy.

  • Calcium. Calcium is vital for healthy bones and teeth, but milk is not the only way to get your recommended servings. Broccoli, kale, and other greens are great sources of calcium, as well as soy milk and juices, such as apple, cranberry, or orange juice.
  • Protein. Many people have the misconception that meat is one of the only protein sources. However, plant-based foods provide plenty of protein with all the essential amino acids that are needed for building and repairing muscles and organs. Protein can be found in beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, soy yogurt, and whole grains.
  • Iron. Iron is crucial for carrying oxygen in the blood. It is commonly found in rice, soybeans, breads, pastas, and chickpeas. Calcium helps the absorption of iron, so look for foods that are rich in both Vitamin C and Iron such as broccoli, kale, and other dark-green leafy greens and vegetables.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the absorption of calcium and strengthens immunity. Many plant-based foods are Vitamin D- fortified, making them a great way to ensure kids get a sufficient amount of the ‘sunshine vitamin’.
  • Vitamin B12. B12 is essential for healthy nerves and blood cells. Although plant-based foods do not often contain a ton of B12 vitamins, plant-based cereals, soy milk, and multivitamins are fortified with B12.

  • Plant-based foods can be very beneficial for children. By choosing the right foods, your children will be provided with energy and nutrients that they need to be happy and healthy.

    However, finding plant-based snacks for kids is easier said than done. But with PURPO, a dairy free cereal by Beviva finding a healthy and tasty plant-based snack has never been easier! PURPO is a convenient snack cup made with gluten-free granola and dairy free powdered milk. What’s more, PURPO is a plant-based cereal, using whole foods such as oats, rice, purple sweet potatoes, and more! PURPO cereal cups a great on-the-go breakfast or snack for children or adults. To learn more about the first gluten-free granola made with purple sweet potatoes, contact us!