More and more people are adopting a vegan diet for health, compassion, and sustainability. Young people are among the highest uptake of veganism as they want to change their lifestyle for the sake of our planet and future generations. Many will soon be having questions about raising their child vegan, too.
New book Feeding Your Vegan Child by NHS dietician, Sandra Hood contains everything you need to know as vegan parents, answering common questions about raising their vegan child. It is an exciting one-of-a-kind guide giving confidence and assurance that a vegan diet can not only nourish a child but allow them to thrive into adulthood.
The book aims to dispel the common myths surrounding the vegan diet.
Sandra told TheVeganKind: "There are so many myths about vegan diet! But the common ones are Myth 1: animal proteins are superior! This argument is problematic since animals build up their proteins from plant sources! All the essential amino acids (building blocks of proteins) come from plants. Myth 2: dairy is essential for calcium! There is no question that dairy is a concentrated source of calcium but there are many populations who do not consume dairy and manage well with plant calcium sources. Myth 3: fish is needed to provide essential fatty acids!!! All the essential fatty acids we need come from plants which are converted to long chain fatty acids. Fish contain these long chain fatty acids because they consume micro algae (plankton)."
In her book Sandra shows how vegan diet can provide all the key nutrients for pregnancy, breastfeeding, growth, and development. She addresses some of the typical concerns: will your child get enough energy? Will vegan food contain enough protein? All the essential fatty acids? Is there enough calcium and vitamin D in plant-based products?
Sandra said: "Plant based eating has been growing rapidly over the last few years and there is no doubt that many chronic diseases of adulthood originate in childhood. Nevertheless there is still concern as to whether a plant based diet can provide all the nutrition needed for growing children. There are still lots of unanswered questions regarding the relationship between childhood diseases and diet but what we do know is that children can thrive on a plant-based diet. Therefore I wanted to update my book, originally written in 2005, to reassure parents and health professionals on the health benefits of a vegan diet and to provide the latest research."
"The evidence is overwhelming that a vegan diet can provide all the nutrients a growing child needs and indeed such diets are protective," she added.
Whether you are vegan and planning a pregnancy or a health professional looking for further information on nutritional guidelines for a vegan infant, Feeding Your Vegan Child is an essential practical guide that will take you through all the nutritional aspects from pre-conception up to early childhood and on to the teenage years following an entirely plant-based diet.
The exceptionally detailed and practical advice you will find on the pages of this book includes nutrition and dietary essentials, menu ideas, vegan recipes and stories from vegan families to highlight the benefits and potential pitfalls of adopting plant-based lifestyle.
Sandra Hood RD has a degree in dietetics from Leeds Metropolitan University and is a diabetes specialist dietitian for the NHS as well as Honorary Nutrition Advisor to the Vegan Society. Her first book, Feeding Your Vegan Infant – with confidence, was published by the Vegan Society in 2005 and she has had articles published in magazines and contributed to many clinical publications. Sandra worked closely with Plamil Foods Ltd (the first UK soya milk company) in the 1980s to produce Infant Case Histories to prove the efficacy and benefits of a plant-based diet for infants. She has been vegan for over 40 years and enjoys running, cooking and caring for animals.
As plant-based diets grow in popularity to help the environment as well as personal health, Sandra Hood’s long experience of working with thriving vegan families is more relevant than ever.