Skip to main content
  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. May 2, 2022

Vegetarian Diets Are Safe for Children

Children who follow vegetarian diets have similar growth and nutrition compared to children who eat meat, according to new research published in Pediatrics. Approximately 9,000 children aged 6 months to 8 years from the TARGet Kids! cohort study followed either a vegetarian diet or a nonvegetarian diet for 11 years. Researchers tracked height, weight, and blood levels for iron, vitamin D, and cholesterol. A vegetarian diet provided enough vitamin D and iron and did not hinder growth when compared to nonvegetarian diets. There was no association between eating a vegetarian diet and overweight or obesity. 


Elliott LJ, Keown-Stoneman CDG, Birken CS, Jenkins DJA, Borkhoff CM, Maguire JL; on behalf of the TARGet KIDS! COLLABORATION. Vegetarian diet, growth, and nutrition in early childhood: a longitudinal cohort study. Pediatrics. 2022;e2021052598-e2021052610. doi:10.1542/peds.2021-052598

More on Nutrition for Kids

Interested in this topic?

Learn more and earn free CME credits on!