May 1980

Vegetarianism in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Nutrition and Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Pediatrics (Dr MacLean) and the Division of Human Nutrition, School of Hygiene and Public Health (Drs MacLean and Graham), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(5):513-519. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130170063022

Vegetarians fall into four main subgroups. The distinction is of practical importance in that the more strictly vegetarianism is adhered to, the more difficult it becomes to assure an adequate diet for infants and children. Lactoovovegetarians exclude meat from the diet although some will eat fish. Milk and eggs are eaten with varying frequency but generally on a regular basis. Lactovegetarians refuse to eat eggs but will drink milk. Pure vegetarians reject any food of animal origin, including milk and eggs. One frequently sees pure vegetarians referred to as vegans. This term is probably better reserved for a subset of vegetarians whose philosophy precludes not only the consumption of foods of animal origin but also the use of any product of animal origin if a substitute exists. The proscription of animal products precludes the use of wool sweaters or leather shoes, for example. In addition to these obvious exclusions, things,