Too much animal protein for children: what to replace it with?

Verified on 12/29/2022 by PasseportSanté
Trop de protéines animales données aux enfants : par quoi les remplacer ?

Daily protein intake, vegetarian and vegan diets for children… Pediatrician Dr Sandra Brancato gives her advice on how to provide a diet adapted to the nutritional needs of children without animal proteins.

How much protein do children need?

According to the specialist, children in France eat too much animal protein. However, she explains that we must be careful not to give them too much, as  » it’s not good for their health and growth « , in an article published on the Pourquoi Docteur website.

But how much protein do children really need a day? According to health specialists’ recommendations, children should consume 10g of animal protein per day and per year of age.

Can you feed a vegetarian diet to a child under the age of 3?

« There are virtually no concerns with vegetarian diets, as these children generally have good nutritional intakes if they eat eggs, dairy products and still consume infant milk, » explains the pediatrician.

Infant milk made from cow’s milk can be replaced by plant-based infant milk. For example, vegetable infant milks based on rice proteins are  » perfectly balanced to meet the needs of children up to the age of three » .

As for meat, fish and eggs, they can easily be replaced by legumes: lentils, chickpeas, broad beans, dried beans (white beans, kidney beans…)…

The specialist also points out that « the more dietary diversity a child enjoys, the better off he or she will be ».

What about vegan food?

And what about a vegan diet that excludes all animal products? For pediatrician Dr. Sandra Brancato,  » it’s more complicated because there’s a risk of deficiencies, particularly in vitamin B12, iron and zinc « .

She recommends that parents be accompanied by health professionals to avoid deficiencies. The latter can provide children with dietary supplements adapted to their needs, and give them regular nutritional check-ups.