19

We usually give kids cow/goat milk, ghee and some products for better health (calcium for strong bones and so on).

At what age we can change a kid's diet to vegan from vegetarian without affecting his/her health.

If it is a step by step procedure , what is the order to give up such products (like first ghee, then milk and likewise)?

15

It's actually possible for children to be vegan from any age, assuming they are breastfed (see If vegans don't drink milk, why are they okay with breastfeeding?) or appropriate formula can be sourced (vegan infant formula is rather difficult to get hold of though).

You can introduce vegan "milk" products from age 1 (soya, rice, oat or almond milk) - these may be fortified with calcium.

For other sources of calcium see Vegans: Besides supplements, what can substitute for Calcium? but make sure you introduce potentially allergenic foods such as nuts, seeds and soya for the first time in small amounts. Age is not an issue in relation to allergies, but be vigilant.

Also related: What vegan food should I feed to a baby?

  • 1
    This probably seems obvious or redundant but I feel the need to mention that people should make sure the child doesn't have any nut allergies before attempting to feed them almond milk. – Pharap Mar 23 '17 at 23:46
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    @Pharap you can't tell until you give it, hence the need to give a small amount when introducing allergenic foods. I believe allergies usually develop after exposure. Also worth mentioning that the most common allergy in children is to milk. – Zanna Mar 24 '17 at 4:02
8

Yes, it's actually possible for children to be vegan from any age, but please read carefully the sections "Calcium and vitamin D" and "Vitamin B-12" (among others) in the above provided link (it's actually possible for children to be vegan from any age.

And make a registered dietitian to elaborate you a diet for your children, as the document says:

Vitamin B-12 deficiency may go undetected in people who eat a vegan diet. This is because the vegan diet is rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask deficiency in vitamin B-12 until severe problems occur.

3

Below is a section snipped from an infographic. Note especially the statements by the American and Canadian Dietetic Associations. Both explicitly mention that well-planned vegetarian diets (including strict vegetarian diets) are appropriate for individuals at any stage of life.

vegan healthy

Caution: This does not mean that you can feed your kids kale and sunlight and expect them to be healthy. Unfortunately there are some exceptionally stupid people out there who have killed their kids by ignoring B12 recommendations, for example.

2

There is no evidence that you should have bovine lactose (cows milk), and the case for calcium from milk is weak at best. Human milk is the best milk for humans. Cow's milk drinkers risk a variety of complications, like Type 1 diabetes, colic (from the mother's consumption), and childhood obesity. Please see the following videos based on peer-reviewed science.

And many more. Review those and more videos on that site first.

  • lactose is only the sugar part of the milk – Zanna Mar 21 '17 at 15:02
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    Regarding bovine lactose: originally humans couldn't actually digest it properly and it made them sick. The ability to consume milk with no adverse affects was a gradual genetic change. – Pharap Mar 23 '17 at 23:50
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    @Pharap good point, although relative to evolution generally, the development of lactose persistence in a minority of humans (~75% of people globally are still lactose intolerant iirc) is considered an example of rapid evolution since it occurred over only a few tens/hundreds of thousands of years (yeah I know, so fast...) – Zanna Mar 24 '17 at 4:46

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