The research question was whether children raised on vegetarian diets have different growth patterns than other children. The literature review process was mostly based on medical journals but book references accessed through the Web were also used.
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The Literature Review Process
In identifying the appropriate material, the key words raising children on vegetarian diets and growth patterns for vegetarian children were used. The initial search returned numerous articles that touched on the subject of diets for vegetarian children.
The search results were later refined by identifying articles whose discussion was biased towards raising children on vegetarian diets. Although other articles focused on the subject of vegetarian diets, they failed to meet the criteria because their discussions veered off the main focus of the study.
They instead presented a general view and went on to discuss other matters related to vegetarian diets but not linked to children. It is on this premise that such articles could not merit and had to be rejected for the purpose of this research. However, there are other articles that did not focus completely on the issues of vegetarian diets among children but contained important information that could help to answer the research question (Whitney, Whitney & Rolfes, 2010).
The article entitled, “Vegetarian Eating for Children and Adolescents” by Dunham and Kollar (2006) for example addressed the provided an examination of the effects of vegetarian eating among children and adults but had specific information that talked about vegetarian diet among children and infants.
Other materials were selected based on the fact they spoke strongly about the importance of vegetarian diets for children. The book by Mangels, Messina and Messina (2011) entitled, “The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets” was chosen because it highlighted various benefits that accrue when children are brought up on vegetarian diets.
The usefulness of other articles resulted from the fact that they proved extremely useful help in understanding the effect of vegetarian diet on selected essential nutrients among children and infants (Laskowska-Klita et al., 2011).
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Priority was, however, given to articles that provided enough details about the benefits of raising children on vegetarian diets and how the growth of children raised on vegetarian diets compared to that of other children. Certain articles attempted to address the deficiencies that children raised on vegetarian diets grow up with and these were particularly critical in pointing out the need to ensure that vegetarian diets just like other diets need to be well planned if greater benefits are to be realized.
The search presented many other materials that talked about vegetarian diets among children, but unfortunately, these did turn out to be useful as they did not provide enough information on the subject of children raised up on vegetarian diets. Other articles seemed to provide a very good background for understanding what comprised a vegetarian diet and had to be selected (Key, Appleby & Rosell, 2006). The study by Huang, Chang, Chiu, Chang and Cheng (2003), was chosen to highlight the status of certain vitamins in vegetarians and non vegetarians.
The entire study will provide a strong foundation that can be used to support the need for vegetarian diets among children and infants. It will also help to convince critics otherwise. The study will enable parents to recognize the importance of good nutrition and healthful eating.
Dunham, L. & Kollar, L. M. (2006).Vegetarian eating for Children and Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 20: 27 – 34.
Huang, Y.C., Chang, S.J., Chiu, Y.T., Chang, H.H. & Cheng, C.H. (2003). The Status of Plasma Homocysteine and Related B-Vitamins in Healthy Young Vegetarians and Nonvegetarians. European Journal of Nutrition, 42(2):84 – 90.
Laskowska-Klita, T., Chełchowska, M., Ambroszkiewicz, J., Gajewska, J. & Klemarczyk, W. (2011). The Effect of Vegetarian Diet on Selected Essential Nutrients in Children. Med Wieku Rozwoj ,15(3):318 – 25.
Key, T.J., Appleby, P.N. & Rosell, M.S. (2006). Health Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diets. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 65(1):35 – 41.
Mangels, R., Messina, V. & Messina, M. (2011). The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Whitney, E., Whitney, E. N. & Rolfes, S. R. (2010). Understanding Nutrition. Cengage Learning.