vegetarian baby(5 Posts)
Calling all veggie mothers! I'm keen to bring my son (5 months) up vegetarian - at least until he's old enough to make up his own mind about whether or not he wants to eat meat. Has anyone any advise? Of course it's pretty easy at the moment but I'm worried about lack of protein once he starts eating 'proper food'. Is there any other deficiencies I should be watching out for? Also can you give babies meat substitutes such as soya /tofu or Quorn. Any advice you can give me is appreciated. Thanks.
Hi Jona. I have absolutely no first hand experience of this, not being vegetarian myself, but can I direct you to a website www.vegsource.com. They have loads of information of the kind you require, and very active and well laid out bulletin boards.My personal view is that some of the views expressed are a bit extreme ( lots of very pro breastfeeding ONLY stuff, meaning no solids at all for the first year or even longer). You can wade through the info and advice there and work out whtat is best for you and your baby. The folks there will definately be only too willing to help.
Good luck and enjoy your baby boy.
Jona, as a vegetarian for most of my life I have raised my daughter (12) and my son (14 months) vegetarian.
My advise would be beg, borrow or steal a copy of Rose Elliots Mother, Baby & Toddler Book (unfortunately out of print) but you could interloan it through a library or go to www.viva.org.uk (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals) and you can get recently updated info on weaning vegetarian babies by Rose Elliot.
I have had no problems with my children. As for lack of protein the western diet is more than sufficient, introduce lentils relatively early and gradually introduce other pulses along with fruit, veg and carbohydrates and you have a wonderfully diverse and nutritionally sound diet.
Soya, tofu and quorn products should be introduced later as they are more likely to be processed and contain added salt. Tofu however has been given to babies for hundreds of years. A further suggestion is (if you do not have nut allergies in the family) finely milled nuts and
Hope this helps. best wishes and good luck, Winnie
Hi Jona, My daughter now 14 months is vegetarian and so far have not encountered any problems. The main thing besides protein to watch out for is iron which needs to be combined with Vitamin C in order to digest the iron. Fortunately my daughter loves spinach and she gets plenty of it.
I also give her different types of lentils/pulses every other day which are commonly used in Indian vegetarian meals. (Spices do not need to be used until 7months plus after which in very small quantities).
I have not tried tofu or quorn but might give then a go and she how she takes to the texture.
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