A new Dutch study has concluded that if your teenagers are having trouble in school, it may be because you raised them vegetarian. Plants do not make the crucial vitamin B-12, so diets that avoid animal products can lead to B-12 deficiencies. This vitamin plays a key role in brain functions and toddlers raised on a non-meat diet can experience delays in the acquisition of certain motor skills. Researchers in the Netherlands have discovered that even when meat is added to diets later, neurological impairments may persist into adolescence.

The researchers found that children who had eaten normal, mixed meat and plant-based diets all their lives outperformed vegetarian kids on tests of cognitive skills. Vegetarians scored especially lower on tests designed to measure “the capacity to solve complex problems, abstract thinking ability,and the ability to learn.”

This study shows that vegetarian families should make sure that their children take B-12 supplements.

Your kids might also be in trouble if, like most of us, you come home from work tired and zap a quick dinner in the microwave. Japanese research has shown that microwave heating removes B-12 from dairy foods and meats at ahigher rate than baking or stove-top heating.

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