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The next generation: children growing up plant-based

How to provide a balanced vegetarian diet for children from weaning onwards.

Every child has the right to good nutrition from the start of their lives, and maternal and young child nutrition is fundamental to human populations living healthy lives and reaching their full potential. Globally only about a 1/3 of children are exclusively breastfed for 6 months and many do not receive an adequate amount of diverse foods to complement breastmilk in the first 2 years of life. Animal foods in the diet can be fundamental to survival in some populations, but in countries with ample and adequate diverse foods available like the UK can we ignore global advice to include animal foods in the diets of young children? In this talk Dr Helen Crawley will look at how inter-generational dietary differences can impact on the health of subsequent populations: are you what your mother – or your grandmother – eats? She will also consider the impact of plant based diets in pregnancy, when breastfeeding and in the early years of life on population health – and consider some of the practical issues that families might face when considering bringing up their child on a plant based diet:

  • Getting it right from the start – responsive feeding and eating as part of normal development
  • Are formula milks and fortified foods essential in the diets of young children?
  • How do you ensure that meals are nutrient dense enough for small appetites?
  • The bigger picture: cost, waste and global thinking when bringing up baby.
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