The environmental, moral and indeed financial implications of a meat-based diet have led more and more people around the world to embrace vegetarianism, or at least reduce their meat consumption.
However, it can often be difficult for families to make this leap, as it requires a great deal of day-to-day planning and preparation to shift a diet away from meat – not to mention change the habits of fussy children who notoriously struggle to eat their fruit and vegetables. Many questions have also been raised about the perceived nutritional health benefits of a vegetarian diet for young people.
In order to address these issues, the Portuguese Programa Nacional para a Promoção da Alimentação Saudável (National Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Eating) has recently released a manual on the topic entitled “Vegetarian Diets for School-Aged Children”. The guide brings together a variety of health professionals from different academic and scientific backgrounds, who have collaborated on this project in order to present an extensive guide for a healthy, nutritional vegetarian diet for both children and adolescents. Within the manual there is advice, tips for healthier living, and examples of daily vegetarian diets. Importantly, it is not designed solely for the general public but also those who work in health and education, addressing the nutritional questions concerning vegetarianism.
The manual (in Portuguese) can be accessed for free here