The short answer is no.
Read on for my explanation as to why I do not believe it is in the best interest of the child to be a vegetarian! First from a biblical perspective God says in Genesis 9:3 “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” (NASB)
Dr. Weston A. Price spent his life researching people groups around the world. Many of them were isolated and had not been exposed or influenced by other people groups. Often times Dr. Price would hike for days to reach them only to discover that they ate some form of a protein, whether it be in animal or insect form. In all of his years of research he never found a single people group that was a complete vegetarian. Click on the link below to read about Dr. Price and his Foundations response to vegetarians!
Protein is necessary for:
- Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body.
- Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system
- To make hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen to every part of your body
Protein is made up of Amino Acids
- When you eat foods that contain protein, the digestive enzymes in your stomach and intestine go to work. They break down the protein in food into basic units, called amino acids. The amino acids then can be reused to make the proteins your body needs to maintain muscles, bones, blood, and body organs.
The body needs 22 Amino Acids
- The body can make 13 of them (non-essential amino acids). However, you can’t make the other nine amino acids, but you can get them by eating protein-rich foods. They are called essential amino acids because it’s essential that you get them from the foods you eat.
How much protein does a child need:
- 1-3 year olds need 0.81 grams X weight
- 4-6 year olds need 0.68 grams X weight
- 7 and older need 0.55 grams X weight
1 ounce of protein = 28 grams
This will help you convert grams to ounces for you to help in determining your child’s protein needs. When you do the conversion you will see that although children require protein they do not need a lot of it.
BUT you say, my child wants to be a vegetarian, well then the responsibility lands on your shoulders as the parent to make absolutely sure that they are getting the 9 essential Amino acids by properly combining vegetarian foods that will give your growing child the protein they need. This may not be an easy task as most american children disdain the combination of rice/grain and beans which is one of the perfect combinations to provide 9 amino acids.
In my clinical practice I do find that my chronically ill vegetarian clients have a more difficult time recovering their health due to lack of good proteins, that is because a vegetarian becomes a soyatarian, fruitatarian, sugaratarian, dairyatarian, or grainatarian. It takes time and work to make the right combinations to sustain the right protein mix to support recovery in an adult or growth in a child.
I find children are sensitive and have a Godly intuition as to what is right and wrong in this world, and when they call “foul” about the way man/adults do something we should listen. Is it possible that your young child is objecting to the cruel farming practices that are employed today in large unsanitary factory farms?
This is why my mantra stands as “local, fresh and in season” because when you support a local farmer you also choose to support sustainable agriculture in a way that is reflective and honoring to our Creator God that provides all in abundance to give us a sustaining life through the foods He created.
Check out these web sites to find a local farmer:
This is an amazing video given by a young boy! Monsanto Corporation Gets Owned By 11 Yr Old Boy?