from Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock M.D.

Copyright© Benjamin Spock, M.D. 1945

Renewed and revised updated material © Benjamin Spock Trust 1998

The penguin Group, 375 Hudson Street NY 10014 USA



"Some people rely on meats, fish, poultry, eggs or dairy products as protein sources. These products are now seen by many nutritionists in a much less favorable light, however. Children who become habituated to them during their preschool years may pay a price in adulthood for the fat, cholesterol and animal protein these foods contain. For this reason I encourage you to explore vegetarian foods and give your children the advantages these foods offer. - page 188

 "Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.


There are other reasons why families are looking more favorably at plant-based choices. In recent years, the prevalence of disease-causing bacteria in meat, poultry, and eggs has risen sharply, which is why health authorities insist that these products be carefully handled and thoroughly cooked, if they are used at all.


Meatless meals also help your children to keep stronger bones. Children stay in better calcium balance when their protein comes from plant sources. My siblings and I were given no red meat until we were twelve years of age, and we were all oversize and healthy. We should have continued to avoid meat through adolescence and adulthood.


Many families are gradually changing their diets as the come to learn of the advantages of doing so. If you are still serving meats regularly, you will want to try as many meatless meals as possible, explore new cookbooks, and experiment with new products that take the place of meat." - page 333