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With this text, Nadia Meier opens our four-part nutrition series. Tomorrow, nutrition expert Marianne Botta will name the most common mistakes at the family table and suggest solutions. Then Gabriela Braun gets to the bottom of the «generation body madness». On Thursday, our mom bloggers will finally share their favorite family recipes - and hope you do too. Best regards, the editors.

Dangerous or healthy? Vegans have a purely plant-based diet and are completely free of mini pics. (iStock)

In my environment, the number of vegetarians - or rather vegetarians - can be counted on one hand. So I was all the more interested when I met a vegan mother on the train. It was like this: My children were nibbling mini pics when the girl in the compartment next door, I think she was about four years old, said: "Gäll, Mami, sausages are made from dead pillars." My daughter said, "Exactly!" And made a grunt. I got into conversation with the mother and learned that she was vegan, the children a vegetarian, the man a flexitarian - he always eats meat on Sundays, “unfortunately”.

Her husband is against feeding the children a vegan diet. As soon as they are in high school, however, they want to be allowed to choose freely. She hoped, said the vegan, that her children would then forever say no to “poisonous stuff” like yogurt, sausages and caramel candies.

Are Spaghetti Bolognese Bad?

Are dairy products toxic to children? Does meat make you sick? Or is a purely plant-based diet rather dangerous for children? Yes, thinks the Italian opposition party Forza Italia. Parents who feed their children vegan should be punished with up to one year in prison. This is because veganism is a radical form of nutrition that would endanger the healthy physical and mental development of children. I doubt whether it makes sense now to take away not only the lasagna from the poor, malnourished children, but also their parents at the same time.

Unlike in Italy, no law is planned in Switzerland that aims to punish parents of vegan children. But the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child also applies to us. There it is stated, among other things, that every child has a right to health and optimal development. In addition, the child has a right to non-discrimination. The child must therefore not be discriminated against because of the parents' specific attitudes. And the parents' influence goes too far when the rights of the child are violated. Catherine Moser from Child Protection Switzerland explains: "A very specific diet of the parents that has a disadvantage for children - for example, impairs healthy development - can be viewed as such discrimination." So the question arises whether a vegan diet affects a child's healthy development.

That's what the nutritionist says

Maybe yes, says Nathalie Metzger from the Children's Hospital Zurich. The head of the nutritional advice clearly recommends: “Like any unbalanced diet, a vegan diet that is not properly carried out is dangerous to the health of children. If a child is fed vegan for long periods of time without specialist knowledge, it can have negative effects on health and growth. In principle, I do not recommend feeding a child a vegan diet. " What if you still fed a child purely plant-based? "You have to control vitamin B 12 and, if necessary, supplement it."

I'm not an expert on children's rights or nutrition. But as a mother, I am of the opinion that a healthy mediocrity does not hurt when it comes to eating. After all, what does a vegan child have in common with a child who basically only eats french fries and chicken nuggets? Both are fed unbalanced. With us, pretty much everything comes on the table: Hörnli and lentils, Brussels sprouts and cervelat, lamb ragout and tofu. When it comes to eating, I do the same thing as I do with religion: I suspect any extreme form. In addition, I cannot imagine that children develop a healthy attitude towards food if they eat a purely plant-based and completely minipic-free diet, but have to swallow pills every day.

What do you mean?

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