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Foods High in Zinc for the Vegetarian or Vegan Child

Maryam Malekian • MS, Registered Dietitian • Nov 15, 2012

Zinc is another important mineral in our body which plays a vital role in:
  • immune function
  • protein synthesis
  • wound healing
  • DNA synthesis.
  • Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.  

A daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a stable state as the body has no specific zinc storage system. 

Foods High in Zinc for Vegetarian and Vegan Children

Parents should create a meal plan for their vegetarian or vegan child that includes foods high in zinc.  Here is a list of some of the foods high in zinc*:

  • toasted wheat germ            
  • roasted pumpkin seeds
  • roasted squash seeds
  • dried watermelon seed
  • dark chocolate
  • cocoa powder
  • peanutspumpking seeds source of zinc
  • fortified breakfast cereal with 25% of DV for zinc
  • baked bean
  • low-fat fruit yogurt
  • cashews
  • chickpeas
  • dried roasted almonds

For lacto-vegetarians:

  • swiss cheese
  • low-fat milk
  • hard cheese

Read good food sources of protein for the vegetarian-vegan child


The chart below indicates Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDAs) for zinc*:

The recommended daily dietary allowances for zinc are shown in the table below:

Age Male Female
0-6 months* 2 mg 2 mg
7-12 months 3 mg 3 mg
1-3 years old 3 mg 3 mg
4-8 years old 5 mg 5 mg
9-13 years old 8 mg 8 mg
14-18 years old 11 mg 9 mg
19+ years old 11 mg 8 mg
* Adequate intake








See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Maryam MalekianWritten on Nov 15, 2012Last updated on Oct 16, 2013




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