I need to track down citations for this, but my very specific reasons for avoiding feeding Nora a strictly vegetarian diet boils down to the fact that we as individuals metabolize food differently and not everyone is equally efficient at the following conversions:
- Carotenes to Retinol (Vitamin A)
- ALA to DHA and EPA (Omega-3s)
- Vitamin K1 to Vitamin K2
As far as I can tell, Jeremy and I did fine on a vegetarian diet. We certainly ate plenty of veggies containing carotenes and Vitamin K1.
I’d like to find studies comparing vegetarian and vegan kids with omnivorous kids, but I’d expect that to be clouded by various other factors, namely unhealthy diets in all camps. I don’t doubt that vegetarian kids might be healthier than kids that don’t eat any vegetables, but to me, that’s not saying much.
Also, I can’t imagine that I’d find a study that tackles bone and eye health or answers the question, are optimally fed vegetarian kids more likely to need glasses and braces than optimally fed omnivores?