Originally published in Body Sense magazine, Spring/Summer 2004.
Is it safe to raise your child as a vegan? According to Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self Healing newsletter, having him eat only a plant-based diet is extremely challenging. While a vegan child would potentially have low cholesterol, a slimmer chance of becoming obese, and less risk of cardiovascular disease, without proper supplementation, there is also a chance he could develop a vitamin B-12 deficiency, which could lead to abnormal growth and/or mental retardation.
Weil recommends in order to avoid nutritional deficiencies that can develop from such a diet, and for optimum health, children should consume a vegetarian diet that also includes dairy and fish.