Meat enables small children to develop physically and mentally, says a researcher who studies poor children in Africa.
Strict vegetarians who insist their children live by the same principles were criticised today by a leading nutrition expert.
Denying growing children animal products in their diet during the critical first few years of life was “unethical” and could do permanent damage, said Professor Lindsay Allen, from the University of California at Davis.
Allen says her resarch applies to children in developed countries too.
Studies of vegetarians in both the United States and Europe had shown that missing out on meat and dairy products can permanently impair a child’s development.
Researchers in Holland found that by the time children were 16 years old it was too late to help them by re-introducing meat and milk into their diets. They remained impaired.
Years ago, I heard of a father who claimed his young children were thriving on his ultra-vegan diet. He didn’t know his wife was taking them to McDonald’s for burgers while he was at work.