Moving towards a plant-based diet? Here’s what you need to know

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) –  A news kids’ drink guideline is out and urges parents to avoid plant-based milks.

The recommendation comes from health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics. The guidelines say plant-based milks including rice, coconut and oat lack key nutrition for early development.

The recommendations say “all kids five and under should avoid drinking flavored milks, toddler formulas, plant-based/non-dairy milks, caffeinated beverages and sugar-and-low calorie sweetened beverages.”

The guidelines come as Webnutri Dietitian and Nutritionist Shefali Ajmera says more families are turning to plant-based diets. She says the key is whole grains and veggies for toddlers, elementary-level kids and teens. 

“Start picturing your plate as a whole grains on one side and then the other side is your different variety of veggies,” Ajmera said. “Your rice, your pasta, your bread, your potatoes…that’s your foundation, and then your veggies that provides you a lot of fiber, vitamins… minerals.”

Ajmera says it’s important to have the right resources.

If you have a picky eater, she encourages parents to involved the kids in the shopping and cooking. Ajmera says that often gets the kids to try a variety of food.

When it comes to plant-based milks, Ajmera’s recommendation is doubling portions or combining it with food that has more nutrients.

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