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Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax. 1992 Feb; 81(9): 254-8.

[Vegetarian and outsider diets in childhood]

Lentze MJ.

Zentrum für Kinderheilkunde, Bonn.

Nutrition of children on vegetarian diet is considered to be adequate and well-balanced when the diet contains dairy products and eggs. A severe or strict vegetarian diet (i.e. vegan or macrobiotic diet) is not suitable for babies or infants. Serious deficiency-states have been described after such regimens i.e. rickets, osteoporosis, anemia and growth retardation. Under ovo-lacto-vegetarian diets growth- and weight-measurements at regular intervals are recommended over the first two years of life. Critical food-components in vegetarians are: energy, protein, calcium, vitamins D and B12 and iron. An ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet provides an adequate supply with these substances with the exception of iron. A benevolent information about eventual deficiency states by the physician aids in keeping children thriving well and assures parents that their children will not incur damages.

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