Weaning a vegan baby?

(118 Posts)

Anyone else vegan?
We are newly vegan and DS is 8.5 mo. I am just looking for ideas of finger foods as the general ones seem to be cheese, ham etc...

He will have veg sticks but want to make sure he gets more than this, he used to have what we were eating just pureed but hates being fed now and wants to do it himself...hence the struggle!

Mannequinkate Tue 12-Mar-13 15:15:42

Can he not still have what your having? It'll just be a bit messy.

BLW book has a recipe for porridge fingers that you can make with ebm and add raisins. Also if you cook lentils with veggies you can shape into patties which are handy

Well he can't pick up the stuff we have with his fingers generally as it's things that need to be eaten with cutlery. Don't think he's ready to use a spoon himself yet, what age do they start to do that?

Patties and porridge fingers sound good thanks, which book was it?

MrsVJDay Tue 12-Mar-13 17:23:10

Have you tried 'Evie's Kitchen' lots of yummy vegan baby stuff in there

OhMyNoReally Tue 12-Mar-13 17:26:33

Check on amazon tpe in vegan baby. Might give you a head start or look for blogs.

Drladybird Tue 12-Mar-13 19:20:40

I'd check out some blogs for good inspiration. I blog vegetarian child friendly food at broccoliandricecakes.wordpress.com/, many recipes are vegan. The vegetarian society have a list of veggie blogs so these might be worth checking out or maybe the vegan society has something similar.

Glaikit Tue 12-Mar-13 19:28:11

You are looking at least a year before he is spoon feeling himself. But I remember a phase of ds refusing anything on a spoon for a while. He may well start taking it again. But really as they say, for before one if just for fun. If thing you make are too sloppy I used to chuck some bread in or baby rice to thicken it up.

I should say I'm not vegan, but my ds ate only fruit and veg for a long time. He still doesn't eat much meat.

Toast and nut butters, falafel? Hummus and pitta strips dairy free pesto pasta

Thanks so much everyone! Some good ideas there I will have fun looking through the sites and making some goodies!

I wonder if he could just get his hands stuck into mushy stuff like lentils....I'm sure he'd have great fun may need to buy an industrial cleaner though

LentilAsAnything Tue 12-Mar-13 22:02:46

We're vegan, think you've had some good suggestions already, but just wanted to say hi, and feel free to PM me if you wish.
We did BLW with DS, and he ate whatever we had. Noodles, rice, all sorts of fruit and veg, houmous (sucked off a carrot). Homemade biscuits (rusk style). Roast dinners (without the meat). He loved (loves! Still does!) porridge, but was happy using a spoon, maybe yours will soon! Or make flapjacks! Good luck!

TheNewStatesman Wed 13-Mar-13 01:28:39

Iron and zinc rich foods are what you want, as these are what they need to complement their milk. Pulses of all types are good, as are fortified cereals--oatmeal and son on. I used to mix some almond meal in with breakfast oatmeal to give it extra nutrition. Don't bother with spinach (the iron in spinach thing is an urban legend). Give some fruit with meals to help absorption.

KatAndKit Wed 13-Mar-13 19:29:40

Unless you intend to natural term breastfeed on demand, a vegan diet is not suitable for a young child. Certainly they would need to be breastfed till age 2 at least, or have formula and then cows milk till that age. if you are breastfeeding then there is not any dietary need to add any dairy products or animal milks so a vegan diet can be healthy. If you are formula feeding then obviously your child is already not getting a vegan diet!

kat actually I am intending to natural term breastfeed, however, this may be less than 2 years...or longer. However, that's beside the point, I am vegan mainly because of the health benefits, which I want to pass on to my baby, so I wonder why you think a baby NEEDS to have cows milk?!

lentil thank you, you may regret the offer of advice via pm! I'll certainly get in touch when I'm stuck, and the ideas sound good too

statesman thanks for the ideas, yeh I read that spinach contains something which inhibits the absorbtion of iron so is pointless for getting it! He has been having oats or fortified oats with flaxseed mixed in and almond milk so glad I'm on the right track!

LentilAsAnything Wed 13-Mar-13 20:27:03

Kat, what utter nonsense! A vegan diet is optimal for a young child. My child is 2.5, and never had a cold, no fever, no bugs, nothing <touches wood>. Same goes for all the vegan toddlers I know, and I know quite a few. A vegan diet is suitable for everyone. I am also vegan primarily for health reasons. I have researched extensively, I would not sacrifice my child's health for anything.

MSP, please do get in touch! Oh, and I love snow too! smile

LentilAsAnything Wed 13-Mar-13 20:28:33

MSP, am PMing you now ...

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 13-Mar-13 20:29:25

Just be careful... I'm vegan, but I didn't want to risk it with my wee one. Maybe give some vegan supplements for peace of mind?

KatAndKit Wed 13-Mar-13 22:37:06

all mammals need to have the milk of their own species in infancy and early childhood. For a human baby there is no need for cows milk but the average natural age for human weaning is 4. That is why I say that a vegan diet is not suitable for young children unless you breastfeed to the stage of self weaning.

OhMyNoReally Thu 14-Mar-13 09:17:26

this is the book I was trying to remember

I bought it when dd was young to give a better diet, a more rounded diet, I think we become a bit to meat dependent.

Anyway it's American but you can get a lot of the ingredients online or find UK names for things.

I found it really useful as it has a weaning table at the back and a nutrition guide (I think also for every recipe) anyway I can highly recommend it. smile

thewhistler Thu 14-Mar-13 09:30:05

Mashed potato and polenta both make great patties/ mounds / sticks that you can then mix or cover with anything.

And although Couscous goes joyfully everywhere, my nephews adored it with olive oil, parsley, roast garlic.

Roast parsnips are yummy finger food.

thewhistler Thu 14-Mar-13 09:32:08

Ps, mess doesn't matter. Put a huge sheet of plastic eg s plastic tablecloth under the chair and it will be fine.

MrsBethel Fri 15-Mar-13 10:58:03

I wouldn't recommend it, personally, because of the risk of nutritional deficiency, which can be minimised, but not eradicated. Not a dig, BTW, it's just good to freely challenge assumptions IMO.

If you do it make sure they're getting enough B12, calcium and vitamin D.

And beware that if you're low on B12, your breastmilk will be too.

Drladybird Fri 15-Mar-13 13:10:17

I think that a vegan child can be perfectly healthy and, as with any other child, we will want to try and encourage them to have a balanced diet. I'm sure that we know many different children (including meat eaters) who are fussy so don't always have the most nutritious foods- we can only try, eh?!
I did some research on B12 and posted it here: B12 A short summary on why our children need it, how much they need and possible vegetarian sources. It might be helpful. I have done the same with protein and iron

Agreed dr there are plenty of children who r on a non restricted diet and are in fact mal nourished. A glass of milk or a piece of chicken does not make up the short fall in an otherwise unhealthy but unrestricted diets.

The majority of people on a restricted diet of any kind care deeply about ensuring them or their family gains all nutrients needed to stay healthy.

ohmy thanks for the book suggestion, I'll order it and see how we go!

thewhistler love the idea of patties, tried one lentil and veggie ones last night but they tended to fall apart quite a lot. I think I need to let go of the mess thing. I'm not a clean freak or anything, far from it, it's just more work on no sleep that puts me off!

mrs bethel I really think there will be far less chance of nutritional deficiency from a vegan diet than an animal product one. Whereas before we would have typical meat, carbohydrate and maybe one or two veg for dinner now we are getting a whole variety of veggies and protein/complex carbohydrates, and it's very hard to eat processed food when vegan etc...but yes, need to look out for the things that are not easily found in vegan diet, like you say.

drladybird that's great info thanks very much, will take a full look through the site later!

Completely agree with caffienedrip it's a lot easier to become malnourished on a non restrictive diet as you don't have to think so hard about what you're eating.

Have actually started a website up about our journey as new vegans and hoping to add in weaning sections once I get the hang of it vegandaily.co.uk

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 10:51:36

Babies and small children do not have the same digests system as older children and adults. They need more fat, they need a lower fibre diet.

Regardless of how many micronutrients are in a diet, if the baby cannot digest the diet, he or she will be malnourished very very quickly.

Please be very careful. Humans are omnivorous. We do not have a functioning appendix, we are not biologically evolved to be herbivores, and it is very very difficult for a small child to get his calorific needs met from a vegan diet.

I would suggest monthly blood tests to check for malnutrition.

Your point about a toddler restricting their own diet ins not valid. Toddlers tend to eat what they need, AS LONG AT IS AVAILABLE TO THEM, and with the right encouragement will de restrict their own diet naturally. A toddler being raised vegan does not have this option.

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 10:54:21

Also please bear in mind that if you are eating a vegan diet yourself and not supplementing, your breast milk will be deficient in vitamins and essential fatty acids because of your own restricted diet.

drwitch Wed 27-Mar-13 11:07:14

vegan diets may be healthier for adults because they are less fatty, have more fibre and because they are less dense you tend to eat less calories. This is not really an advantage for a baby, you will also have to have many more battles over food as the child will only get enough protein and iron for example if she eats the right combination of food, you won't be able to let her fill up on lentils if she does not fancy the spinach or the rice
If you have no moral objections to animal products why not give them to her until she is old enough to decide herself

colditz DS is dairy intolerant anyway, his body cant handle dairy which is in fact very common. So is really just missing out on meat. We are including fish in his diet and ours (perhaps should have said this earlier). Is absolutely thriving on it. What you say interests me as I obviously want to do the best for my baby, but honestly, I look at other babies he age and what they are eating and really feel that he is getting a better diet.

In reply to your specific points, he gets an optimal amount of fat from my breastmilk, this goes for calories too....

drwitch I understand what you are saying and am being very careful to make sure that DS gets enough fat. It s not a problem at the moment as he is only 9 months and so all of his nutritional needs are being met with breastmilk. We are lucky that he has not refused to eat ANYTHING yet, and has tried a really wide variety of foods, the only things e won't eat are dairy containing foods!

I don't want to give him animal products because of all the negative health issues surrounding them, it's as simple as that. If he doesn't need them why would I give them, especially when I believe they are harmful.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 27-Mar-13 11:23:30

Flippin' eck! If you eat fish you are in no way vegan, you are not vegetarian either... shock

lottiegarbanzo Wed 27-Mar-13 11:35:17

We are veggie, doing BLW. We make batches of patties and freeze them, so there's always a selection available, made with different pulses and veg. We use recipes from the BLW site and other places. Gilliam McKeith is good at packing nutrients in, dd likes a kidney bean and chickpea recipe of hers.

Vegan dad may be worth a look. His recipes aren't specifically for children, or not babies anyway but there might be some ideas. Similarly the ppk do great adult recipes which might offer scope for adaptation.

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 11:40:08

Oh for goodness sake, do you even know what vegan means? Vegans don't eat any animal product or by product. You are not a vegan. Fish are animals. Your son is not a vegan either.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 27-Mar-13 11:42:04

Oh, you're not even veggie, how odd that you'd say you were vegan! You mean you don't eat meat and your DS is dairy intolerant.

Anyway, same recipes are relevant, look at the vegan soc site too. Dd loves avocado, which is nice and fatty and full of vitamins.

pinkyredrose Wed 27-Mar-13 12:05:58

Stop saying you're vegan when you're not. That is all.

Trazzletoes Wed 27-Mar-13 12:11:56

OP, do you eat eggs? DD loves picking up bits of omelette.

Calm down ladies. I introduced fish very recently, after this thread was started. Vegan is just a label which makes it easier to describe what I eat, yes eating fish is not vegan so technically I am no longer a vegan, but is there another way to describe what I am apart from saying I am vegan but eat fish? If so, I shall happily switch to saying that....does it really matter? The thread was about foods to use for a baby who is primarily vegan and has now had a bit of fish so maybe I should change the title just so it doesn't upset anyone too much as that seems to be the most important thing...FFS!

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 12:29:23

Pescatarian is the term you are looking for.

Nutritionally, there is a massive difference. People are annoyed because you have posted saying that a vegan diet is perfect - clearly it isn't, or you wouldn't be eating fish and feeding it to your baby. So people who actually use the word vegan properly will assume that you are not feeding your child any animal products or eating them yourself, hence my advice about blood screening and supplementation. Your complete misuse of the word "vegan" has (a) wasted my time and (b) is likely to give the wrong message to people who say they provide a vegan diet in schools, consisting of fish pie made with soya milk, and other pele of that ilk and (c) simply isn't correct.

Tubegirl Wed 27-Mar-13 12:30:44


lottiegarbanzo Wed 27-Mar-13 12:31:38

It is impossible to be a vegan who eats fish as this statement is contradictory.

Yes, we can focus on the dietary advice, as i have above but you are being very naive not to understand that people get annoyed when you lie to them, especially when you do so in a way that suggests something they believe in strongly and have spent a lot of time thinking about is just some trivial badge of convenience. You are asking advice from vegans, so maybe showing them and their choice a little respect would be polite. (I'm not even cross, just explaining, while feeling surprised that its necessary).

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 12:31:48
Tubegirl Wed 27-Mar-13 12:32:44

X post colditz!

We were vegan ......this thread was started on the 12th march.....I have recently introduced fish and so am apparently now a pescatarian. Fwiw, have only eaten fish on a few occasions and that is because of my worry about becoming a new vegan. If I had been a vegan for a long time I would certainly not be having a go at new vegans when they waiver or try to find out more about what they are doing. If you feel it's wasting your time...stop posting, I am not forcing you!

If not, and you have knowledge on this subject then I appreciate your time in helping me as I am still needing help from a nutritional perspective, but not in getting angry at me....as I said, look at the post times, I have not lied to anyone.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 27-Mar-13 12:51:47

Am happy to help but can you just clarify...

You eat no meat
You do eat fish
You don't eat dairy
Do you eat eggs?

We are fully vegan (food wise) but we eat fish, that is really the best way I can describe it. However, we don't eat a lot of fish, DS has eaten it twice, maybe a few mouthfuls. So you see why it is still basically vegan, especially when it comes down to the point of this thread which was to find vegan finger foods.

No eggs, no honey, no meat, no dairy, no black pudding etc...! A very small amount of fish so far!

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 12:56:17

but if you don't know what you're doing, is it not a good idea to research that BEFORE weaning your baby onto a vegan diet? The potential for damage is really unacceptably high, to restrict a baby's diet before you know exactly what you're doing!

Colditz...do you know EXACTLY what you're doing? If so, I bow down to you, I have met a lot of people in my life but never one who knew exactly what they were doing. Most people have the sense to know that they can always learn things.

Of course I researched extensively, however, people change their minds, their actions, learn more, do better every day. People are not perfect (apart from you it sounds like)

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 13:07:05

Try not to be a jack ass about it. No, I don't know exactly what I am doing, nobody does, but it seems that I know way more about vegan nutrition and its appropriateness for babies than you do, despite NOT being a vegan, and NOT having a baby.

This should tell you that you know very little indeed about what you are doing wrt vegan nutrition for babies.

Colditz...actually it tells me that I probably know more. I wouldn't take advice from someone about my broken car who didn't drive and had never seen a car engine

You still have yet to answer why it is nutritionally inappropriate for my baby based on my previous answers.

showtunesgirl Wed 27-Mar-13 13:12:35

OP, sorry but you are definitely NOT a vegan.

showtunes yes I know this, thanks

pinkyredrose Wed 27-Mar-13 13:13:48

Oh come on OP you start off saying you're vegan and you're sure your DS has a better diet than his contemporaries and then say you're now eating fish because you're worried about being vegan?

Make your mind up!

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 13:17:42

Because a non vegan has never met a vegan or a baby, or indeed, a doctor, dietician, or health visiter, obviously. Neither are they capable of reading anything with regards to infant nutrition. Because that's how meat works, it makes you blind and stupid.

Several people have pointed out why an unsupplemented vegan diet isn't appropriate, myself included. Since then, you are apparently not a vegetarian at all and neither is your baby. So any advice I gave you then isn't relevant to a pescatarian diet.

Kindly don't criticise me for not being a vegan, you aren't a vegan either.

Look, please don't bother answering if you just want to point out that I am not vegan.

when I started this thread I was vegan

It has changed....

I really don't need to be told that eating fish is not vegan, I am fully aware of this, thank you for your concern in teaching me.

All I want is ideas for vegan snacks/finger foods for babies....really doesn't even matter whether I am vegan or not!

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 13:20:46

Furthermore, I am aware that I have never been a vegan and therefore I would not attempt to give my children a vegan diet without the consultation and advice of a doctor.

I am guessing you have been a vegan since the horse eat scandal. Have you consulted with a doctor with regards to your sons diet? Have you sought any advice, from anyone? Have you contacted the vegan society?

I didn't criticise you for not being a vegan? I couldn't care less what you eat.

I am not a vegan...does that make you feel better?!

Still...if you want to offer up why the diet I am giving my baby is bad for him please do, if not, stop wasting your time.

It has nothing to do with the horse meat scandal...i have consulted a doctor, and have been on the vegan society website, and many other websites, books, discussions with vegans and non vegans etc....seriously, you are very presumptuous!

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 13:23:36

Well. In answer to your op, yes it does matter if you are a vegan or not because you are relying on your breastmilk to make up the shortfall in your baby's EFA and vitamin and mineral levels, because unless you are supplementing yourself, your breast milk will not contain enough, unlike someone who eats meat. And fifteen days later, you are eating animals again, so it's not relevant.

I had not just turned a vegan when I started this thread so the 15 day thing is irrelevant.

I am not relying on my breastmilk to make up a shortfall, my breastmilk is my babies diet at the moment, any additional solids are purely for learning about food/taste/texture etc... Not for nutrition at this stage at all. I don't need to supplement myself in order to provide what my baby needs through breastmilk.

pianomama Wed 27-Mar-13 13:40:13

I think you are right about being worried.
I would be worried making such restrictions to my baby's diet.
Babies do need more fat and good quality protein.

Dairy intolerance is a serious matter - has he been actually diagnosed with it?One of my many DC was lactose intolerant meaning he could not digest milk at all. He actually had meat instead from the age of 4 month to compensate for the lack of proteins. He grew out of this by the age of 1 and now (coming up to 30) if fine with dairy. I was dead against soy "milk" as it is highly processed, sweetened and full of phyto-estrogens not something I would like to feed a little boy with.
Eggs are really important to babies diet as well as they are rich in fatty acids and magnesium - really important for brain/heart/nervous system development. You would need to feed him a lot of nuts to provide similar nutrients.
You can supplement with B12 etc however it is well known that most of the supplements are nowhere near as good as receiving it from balanced diet.
Babies are robust and will survive and adapt to quite a lot but why experiment by depriving him food which is natural to our species and easily available?

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 13:50:38

You ou do need to supplement yourself if you are a vegan. Whilst you have been a vegan, have you been supplementing yourself?



As you can see from the reliable breast feeding advice sources above, a vegan breast feeder will not be providing b12 in her breastmilk unless she supplements. So if all your baby has ever had is your vegan breastmilk, he is likely to be b12 deficient. I would strongly recommend you get him screened, because much as you are irritated with me for pointing this out, b12 deficiency is serious and must be guarded against, and I am genuinely concerned that you haven't thought this through properly.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 27-Mar-13 13:54:01

You keep on saying 'vegan who eats fish' is the best way to describe your diet, ignoring the facts that this is both nonsensical and, offensive to people who are vegan for ethical reasons (most vegans). I suggested a perfectly good, brief, descriptive phrase up thread. Why would you not use something like that, rather than going about stomping on the sensibilities of the very vegans you are asking to help you (then swearing and getting arsey about it?).

I've made some suggestions already and it's because of your arseyness, not your dietary choices that I'm off now. People are trying to help you here. They need accurate information to work with and, the mutual supportiveness works both ways.

Come over to the allergies board, you'll find lots of helpful advice there. My 11 month old DS is allergic to cows milk and soya.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 27-Mar-13 14:12:59

Another vote for supplementing yourself and baby.

If you are deficient then there is a good chance your milk will be too. As col ditz said, b12 is a biggie for vegans, I would also worry about vitd (be aware vit d3 usually isn't vegan)

Being vegan is a pretty restrictive diet, and I say that being vegan. I do eat pretty healthily but I also taken the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals,plus an omega supplement, iron and calcium.

showtunesgirl Wed 27-Mar-13 14:38:05

Yes, you need to be aware of Vitamin D and B12 deficiency.

I am not a vegan but my grandmother-in-law was one of the founding members of the Vegan Society of GB and my mother-in-law is vegan.

duchesse Wed 27-Mar-13 14:51:00

Plenty of fats. It is virtually impossible for a young child to get enough of the right kind of fats from a vegan diet. The more food he eats, the less milk he will take from your and well, if you're not eating enough fat and don't have fat stores I doubt your milk will be proving enough either. fwiw I think you are very sensible to start to include fish in both your diets. At this age a child is more milk-fed than solid-fed usually anyway, so you need to make sure your diet is fully up to snuff. And heed the advice below re vitamin supplementation, both for you and for him.

pianomama yes he is definitely dairy intolerant diagnosed by paediatrician, he doesn't have soy either (also intolerant and the oestrogens issue which I'm not happy about). I am not experimenting with his diet, I am trying to give him the best diet I know how to. By depriving him of meat and dairy I am depriving him of the antibiotics, and meat protein link to cancer. He eats fortified foods and as previously mentioned is only 9 months, primarily breastfed. Any other infant this age would probably be on minimal solid food nutrition as well.

colditz thanks for the link, I had read another on kellymom which stated that there was no need for supplementation, however it seems b12 may be a cause for concern. I will be checking this to make sure there are no deficiencies and I'm not irritated with you for pointing it out, just your general tone and name calling which I thought was un called for.

lottie haven't meant to offend you apologies for that (if you're still reading) I would have not been offended at hearing someone call themselves a vegan who eats fish even if I was one for ethical reasons (which is part of the reason anyway) and I guess that's why I called myself that once? I don't really think it's that big a deal to be honest, like I said many times my diet changed over the course of the thread an so that's maybe why it looks so strange to you?

Thanks remindme I think I may well venture over there, hopefully it's not as hate filled as the weaning area!

fine Going to look at the b12 issue, think we are ok on vit d as get a lot of sunlight and certain things are fortified with it. I'm not so sure that supplements work as well as natural sources so am wary of relying on them.

duchesse the fish and vegan sources of good fats are covering the fat issue and I don't think that meat/dairy type fat us beneficial when compared against these, eggs possibly, but I think we're covered without them.

Thanks for advice folks, and the nasty comments too, they were especially helpful for a severely sleep deprived new mum [sceptical]

pianomama Wed 27-Mar-13 21:16:42

MoreSnowPlease - just sharing my experience not judging.. If he is dairy intolerant - do you know if it is milk protein or lactose? My DS was literally dying many years ago until this was established. He was loosing weight, was lifeless couldn't even cry. Meat was his solution and it saved him because it was lactose he could not digest. Eggs can cause allergy as well but if they don't - they are precious in nutritional value. Quail eggs are even better.Goat's milk works quite well in some cases.
Just in case you don't already know - honey is not suitable for under 1 year olds..

showtunesgirl Wed 27-Mar-13 21:35:46

Honey would be off the menu as well as it's not considered vegan.

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 22:59:37

I have not called you names, pescatarian is not an insult. I have not once called you anything more insulting than "not a vegan", I have given you some time consuming research resources, and some information that is important to the health of you and your child. I apologise deeply for this.

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 23:02:10

In fact - nobody has called you anything at all.

Um, are you perhaps thinking of a different thread?

SatsukiKusukabe Wed 27-Mar-13 23:12:10

it is very annoying time vegetarians to have pescatarians refer to themselves as such. It means they have to explain themselves whenever they eat out. why would you start a vegan website when you don't even know the definition?

ReallyTired Wed 27-Mar-13 23:15:26

I have to admit that I have not read the entire thread. In the first year a baby's diet should predominately be breastmilk whether the plan is to be vegan, omivore or carnivore. Between 6 months and year food is for play rather than nutititian. Full term breastfeeding is until at least 2 years old, but I think the OP is pretty knowledgable already.

A vegan mother who is breastfeeding will produce excellent milk. Even straving women produce excellent milk. If you breastfeeding with a poor diet then your own health suffers.

I suggest you contact La Leche League where they are a little bit more open minded about people's feeding choices. La Leche League groups often have have a fanastic library of books on diet. LLL could put you in contact with a vegan mother for support.

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 23:18:56

La leche league themselves advise a b12 supplement for vegan mothers.

SatsukiKusukabe Wed 27-Mar-13 23:26:50

sorry not to harp on about this but why the need to give your self a label even if it's the wrong one? and can you not see that when people do this they confuse the issue for real vegetarians and vegans and that's why we get pissed off about it?

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 23:29:59






Here are some articles that are heavily biased in FAVOUR of supplementation.

If you weren't supplementing during pregnancy, and were truly vegan (ie, no fish), and you have only just reintroduced animal products into your and your baby's diet, he really needs a blood screening for b12 deficiency. If I were just disagreeing with you, I'd have disappeared hours ago, but I genuinely do think he may be at risk.

ReallyTired Thu 28-Mar-13 08:56:46

The philosophy of La Leche League is to give information and empower women to make their own decisions. As an organisation they don't give "advice" as such as that is not how LLL works colditz. I don't know if vegans are allowed to eat yeast or fermented soya beans, but apparently they are a source of B12.

I have met vegan breastfeeding mothers through La Leche League although I am not even vegeterian. Many vegan mothers are attracted to La Leche League because they know that full term breastfeeding is essential for the vegan child. Breastfeeding a child until four years old is an unusual decisions and its good to meet like minded mothers.

piano it is fully dairy intolerant, not lactose intolerant, so he can't handle the milk protein, he can handle breastmilk which contains a lot of lactose, but he can't handle breastmilk if I have had dairy. Sorry to hear about your DS, glad you got to the bottom of it, it's such a tough illness as very difficult to diagnose but can affect everything sad yep, I know about the honey thing, thanks.

colditz you called me a jackass, and your tone is very hateful considering I have not actually done anything wrong, it seems you are just angry with me for changing my mind half way through a thread. Like I said before, I appreciate the facts you have come up with. From what I have read a blood test for b12 deficiency is very unreliable, I will speak to the doc about testing somehow but I'm not sure that they will have much experience and will probably do a blood test, which according to the vegan society, will be useless.

Thank you reallytired it's nice to have some support!

satsuki have you read the thread? When I was a vegan, I WAS....

YouBrokeMySmoulder Thu 28-Mar-13 09:22:09

Interesting that you think eating fish is ok but honey and eggs are right out as I really try and restrict the fish my family eat as i think the industry are inherently harmful and cruel and honey and eggs are well down on that scale provided that you know the person thy are coming from which we do.

If i was going to make a dietary compromise for your dc it would be eggs and not fish< shrugs>

Trazzletoes Thu 28-Mar-13 09:30:55

smoulder it's recommended that NO child under 1 eats honey.

post Thu 28-Mar-13 09:31:05

The other thing that vegan children should really supplement is choline, I believe.

smoulder he can't have honey because it's not safe for under 1s and he is prone to allergies so not tried eggs yet and holding off on them due to his dads intolerance. However, even though my dietary choices are not based on cruelty to animals, if they were (and it is a secondary issue for me) I would choose ethically sourced fish over eggs any day due to the process of getting eggs and how the male chicks who can't lay eggs are suffocated ive in bun bags full of chicks just born and extremely distressed!

Boomtastic Thu 28-Mar-13 09:53:44

You say your ds is intolerant to soya. Is he OK with other pulses and peanuts? These are in the same family and an allergy or intolerance to one can mean an allergy or intolerance to others as well. If this is the case, you will be losing a lot of options for giving your ds protein. Obviously eating fish would help with this.

Marmite is a good source of B12 and breakfast cereals are usually fortified with B vitamins as well.

colditz Thu 28-Mar-13 09:58:24



I asked you not to be a jackass.

I apologise.

But please take your baby to the doctor, please.

Actually we both eat quite a bit of marmite, I knew I had tried to cover the b12 issue some way! DS has fortified cerrals but I think it's just b1 fortified.

I haven't tried him on any nuts yet as I'm severely allergic to certain nuts (peanuts are fine) and I think in that case it's recomended to wait. He seems fine with other pulses, but with an intolerance it's very hard to tell. I'm not certain he is intolerant to soya, it was advice to avoid it from paed because of the dairy connection. Also, it's not good for little boys which is the main reason I avoid it.

drwitch Thu 28-Mar-13 10:20:14

why do you think it is okay to eat fortified cereals (grains with all the goodness taken out and manfucatured chemicals put in their place) and not okay to eat the occasion piece of free range organic meat?

Well, I don't think it's ok to eat only fortified cereals, DS does eat whole grains too and the fortified cereal is me trying to ensure he gets his vitamins and I don't think a little will harm him. My issues with the antibiotics and meat protein cancer link still stands when it comes to free range meat.

FossilMum Thu 28-Mar-13 10:36:57

Spoonfeeding-wise, you should be able to continue giving her some of whatever you eat mashed up, if you don't mind the mess too much, or somehow make it more acceptable to her. This would give you a greater range of foods, nutrition-wise. Ideas:

• Try a plastic sheet under the high chair to save the floor.
• DS had a phase of not letting us put the spoon in his mouth, but would accept offerings of preloaded spoons placed on his tray.
• He also had a phase of accepting food off our utensils, but not his own.
• And another one of accepting food off our plates, but not his own (apparently having developed the theory that we were keeping the best bits to ourselves!) A pain at the time, but he did get over it!
• He would also occasionally enjoy 'tricks' like "here comes the airplane" or counting spoonfuls when a bit older, but only in small doses.

Finger-food wise: rice cakes, maize rings (Organix do a range of nice but pricey organic finger food snacks), bread cubes/fingers, cooked pasta pieces, fruit (we zapped cubes of apple in the microwave for a few seconds to soften them before he was able to deal with them raw), tofu cubes, felafels.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 28-Mar-13 12:11:49

OP, you need to do some more research/talk to someone who knows their stuff.

You are big enough to cope with a wee bit if malnutrition. Your baby isn't.

It is apparent that you are not as well informed that you should be
You did not known there is non natural way for a vegan to get b12. You also quoted some pretty extreme animals rights views eg antibiotics iin meat is not a problem in EU,and soy has not been shown to have any detrimental effect.

You are also massively restricting yourself and baby's diet. Most vegans eat lots of nuts for example.

I would strongly advise you to comprehensively supplement you NAD your babies diet.It will not do any harm.

FossilMum Thu 28-Mar-13 12:24:25

Do check out a nutrition advice website like the Vegan Society's advice:


Wellkid do a tasty vegetarian liquid multivitamin supplement for infants, as a backup. Even carnivore infants in the UK are recommended to take vitamin D supplements in the winter.

For now, your daughter's main nutrition will be your breastmilk, but that will gradually change over the next year or so, so do some reading and planning now.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 12:40:49

yes. I read it, have you? you state you don't know why vegans would have a problem with a non vegan calling themselves one (because apparently that week you were a vegan it didn't bother you). I answered you. You have also shown yourself to be uninformed and rude through the thread. from the start kitkat made an obvious comment that you will need to do natural term breast feeding or suppliment with cows milk. you then had a go at her. of course a baby needs to be supplimented if it wasn't on it's natural food supply. a vegan diet is very easy and healthy to follow if you inform your self before you start it, which you don't seem to have done or this thread would not be necessary. any diet meat or meat free for a baby or breast feeding mother should be started with some knowledge before handhand

ReallyTired Thu 28-Mar-13 13:17:02

There is a lot of paranoida about breastfed children gettting deficencies in the UK. It is a lot better than ten years ago, but I remember my health visitor ten years ago having a complete fit that ds was exclusively breastfed at 28 weeks.

This is a brilliant book

my child won't eat

Breastmilk is the optimium diet for the first 6 months, but infact you can get away with exclusive breastfeeding for far longer without vitamen deficencies in many cases. There is no neat cut off point when the baby's iron stores run out. Much of the propaganda to get people to wean early is a marketing stragery of the baby food/formula companies.

Often babies are weaned on to complete shit which has less nutricional value than breastmilk. If you are feeling very brave (and alternative!!) you could risk the wroth of health professionals and delay the introduction of solids until a year. I have a friend whose children have severe food allergies and chose to wait until a year to introduce soldis and her children are fine.

I think that if you are vegan and either you or your son have food intolerances then its worth asking your your GP for a referal to a dietitian. It is perfectly possible to bring up a child as a vegan, but bringing up any child with severe allergies is going to be hard diet wise.

pianomama Thu 28-Mar-13 13:21:25

OP I really not going into vegans VS cavernous debate. But from what you said it sounds that you are not choosing yours and baby's diet out of moral principals/animal rights etc but looking for the best healthiest diet for your little one.
If this is the case - the facts are : unfortunately your milk is not ideal as your diet is very restricted.
Your child cannot have dairy and nuts. Your problem with meat seems to be slightly mis-informed - yes excessive consumption of red meat (especially processed meat) among adult population is linked to cancer in later life. Just like excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease. Excessive anything is bad for you.
I would seriously reconsider and add a little bit of organic chicken, eggs (or try quail eggs) as it would compensate for the lack of quality proteins fats and fat-soluble vitamins and micro-elements. For the growing brain, heart, nervous system, eyes..and everything else. He can become a vegan / vegetarian when he is fully grown.
Apologies to the vegan parents on this thread but vegan diet is not natural for young babies and the very fact you have to supplement their diet with artificial vitamins etc confirms that. Why create problem on the first place and then try compensate by the means of pills.
He will only need a very small amount you can easily afford to buy good quality locally produced organic free range chickens and eggs.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 13:51:48

you don't want to get in to the debate but you just wanted to mention that vegans are wrong and it's unnatural? so is eating meat at every meal, so is cooked meat. so is cow milk at any age especially beyond weaning age. . so is eating sugar, so is eating the processed shit meat that most people seem to think is childrens food. The vast majority of meat eaters I have met seem to think feeding their kids chicken fingers and peas and cocopops is a varied diet.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 28-Mar-13 13:58:04

"he can handle breastmilk which contains a lot of lactose, but he can't handle breastmilk if I have had dairy."

Are you having dairy as well as fish now you've stopped being vegan? I think you can certainly relax a bit about your son's diet, seeing as you're not as restrictive as you were a fortnight ago.

pianomama Thu 28-Mar-13 14:30:59

SatsukiKusukabe - read my post again - I am talking about young babies.
I am not talking about vegans generally - it's a lifestyle choice.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 14:33:49

supplements are for lazy eating and to make life easier for pregnant or bf women. same as with meat eaters. l was vegan for years and never had any deficiencies nor did I supplement

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 14:35:00

and if the mother is taking care herself and bf there us no problem

colditz Thu 28-Mar-13 14:45:23

Supplements whilst breast feeding are recommended by absolutely EVERYONE who has any medical knowledge whatsoever. The only people who don't recommend supplements are the the ones who have decided that Big Pharma is out to Get Them, and these are always solitary voices in the maelstrom of "please, please don't malnourished your baby on purpose" voices from breast feeding organisations, vegan organisations, doctors, dietician s etcetcetc the list goes on.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 14:54:59

that's what I was trying to explain, I was stating supplementing is only necessary for not pg or bf women if you are a lazy eater if that wAs directed at me.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 14:56:50

I definitely did supplement while pg and bf (was veggy not vegan though then)

pianomama Thu 28-Mar-13 15:15:49

Did you supplement DHA as well which is really important for baby's brain development? Vitamin A? B12? B6? Carnitine? Iron? A list goes on and on.
Do you have medical training to state on public forum that vegan diet is suitable for young babies /children ?

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:23:39

I supplemented yes I did. and no, I have no medical knowledge whatsoever. my midwifes and nurses, doctors and lactation experts did however and they were very happy with mine and DC diets and that was in the USA and UK. are you a medical professiinal piano? if you are I'm sure you will agree that a medical degree does not come with a set of opinions on everything, and that while some doctors are against vegetarian diets many are also against meat based diets and offer vegetarianism as a way of decreasing your risk for diabetes cancer and other illnesses.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:25:53

also added dha is standard in a lot of milk replacement products now anyway. My babies get it in their soymilk because they are also dairy free.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:26:42

babies are 1 and 2.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Thu 28-Mar-13 15:32:56

OP if you read my post you will have seen that I know by name where my eggs come from and consider that a more ethical choice than the most ethically sourced fish. It isnt black and white by any means.

Viviennemary Thu 28-Mar-13 15:34:42

I would be very worried a vegan diet would not be suitable for a small child and it would leave the child deficient in essential vitamins and nutrients. I would certainly seek advice from a health visitor, doctor or dietician before embarking on this.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:35:56

good point smoulder, also some people keep their own chickens as well.

pianomama Thu 28-Mar-13 15:36:26

Note the difference - we are talking about vegan diet for young baby - no milk, butter, eggs or meat - and no nuts in his case.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:38:07

are quail eggs inherently more nutritious than chicken eggs i.e. have they only been mentioned because this is mumsnet?wink (genuine question though)

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:38:53

but she is bf piano.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:40:06

dunno where the i.e. came from confused

pianomama Thu 28-Mar-13 15:40:13

They may be useful for some people intolerant to chicken eggs.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:44:18

oh ok,

drwitch Thu 28-Mar-13 15:44:36

can i be a "naiceatarian"; i only eat naice and poncey food

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 15:45:24

sure there is a ham thread for you some where

showtunesgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 15:46:06

drwitch I am one of those. blush

drwitch Thu 28-Mar-13 15:58:33


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