All vegetarians eat fruits, vegetables, grains, dried beans and peas, nuts, and seeds. What distinguishes the types of vegetarians is the absence of certain animal products.
Below is a list of what each type “will” or “may” eat.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: This is the best choice for teens/tweens. Dairy and egg products
Lacto-vegetarian: dairy products, but not eggs
Ovo-vegetarian: eggs, but not dairy products
Semi-vegetarian: fish and poultry
Vegan*: food from plant sources; no eggs, no dairy products, or honey
*Since the vegan diet eliminates all dairy products and eggs, both of which are important sources of nutrients in a vegetarian diet, special attention must be given to your vegan child’s nutrient consumption.
Some nutrients to watch are:
Protein (dairy products, soy milk, eggs, tofu, dried beans, nuts, fish, shellfish, poultry)
Vitamin B12 (dairy products, eggs, fortified soymilk, clams, oysters, tuna)
Vitamin D (dairy products, vitamin-fortified products including orange juice and soy milk)
Calcium (dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, white beans, calcium fortified products, sardines with bones)
Iron (dried beans, dried apricots, blackstrap molasses, leafy green vegetables, iron-fortified cereals and bread, clams, oysters)
Zinc (wheat germ, nuts, fortified cereal, legumes, oysters, turkey, ricotta cheese, crab).
Eating a vitamin C rich food with iron foods increases iron absorption.
- Gavin ML Dowshen SA, Izenberg N / Fit Kids: A Practical Guide to Raising Active and Healthy Children – from Birth to Teens. New York NY, DK Publishing, Inc.; 2004: 159
- Reilly L. / Bites of Passage: What you need to Know When your Teen Goes Vegetarian – includes list of resources. Vegetarian Times. Nov, 2004. Available from BNET Business Library. 3/2008