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Vegan baby- what’s ur thoughts?

(113 Posts)
France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:45:01

Ok, so I’m a vegan. Hate milk and meat, in my opinion we’re not supposed to ingest it. But I know babies need milk, although I’m not convinced an entirely different species’ breast milk is the answer lol. Has anyone raised a vegan baby? Looking for advice on the subject, thank u x

OdeToDiazepam Sat 12-Jan-19 10:47:00

I'd speak to your health visitor/midwife about it

WhirlieGigg Sat 12-Jan-19 10:48:23

Why would you need to give it a different species milk? Give it your own breast milk?

Dilligaf81 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:48:45

I think I'd speak to a dietician who specialises as a regular health visitor wouldn't have the I depth knowledge to make sure a baby on a vegan diet is getting then right nutrition.

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:49:40

And what if I can’t breast feed? Just looking into every option.

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:51:00

Thank u, I shall do that :-) x

Amicompletelyinsane Sat 12-Jan-19 10:51:31

I have dairy intolerant children. They don't eat dairy, I breastfed them and then they went into coconut milk etc. So babies don't need cows milk. Mine have been checked by dietician etc and are perfectly balanced so don't need extra supplements etc. I believe children can be vegan and perfectly healthy.

WishUponAStar88 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:51:45

Extended breastfeeding will be a must I would think as oat/ but milks are not supposed to be their primary source of milk until 3years. I’d be worried at toddlers needing a high fat diet and that would be tricky without dairy but not impossible. In terms of protein/ nutrients etc I would imagine you’d need to be very careful in ensuring they’re getting everything they need. My dd has a friend who is vegan at pre school so some families certainly manage it. It could of course be coincidental but he is very pale and seems to be permanently tired.

Amicompletelyinsane Sat 12-Jan-19 10:51:50

You can get soy baby formula

Scifi101 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:51:51

I am vegetarian and breastfed my two for a over 2.5 years each.

I know baby eating as the family does is what your supposed to do these days but I bought a book by carol timperley which was so good I still make food from it! Let me know if you want the title.

WishUponAStar88 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:52:27

Nut not but grin

Me33 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:52:32

Yes baby’s need human breast milk! Failing that they need a suitable alternative, of course some babies are allergic to dairy so there are dairy free formulas available.
You need to make sure they are drinking a fortified milk or adding the extra vitamins they need. They will not be getting any b12 and that is an essential vitamin as it vitamin D. Have a look on the vegan society website I’m sure they would have information on this. Also I wouldn’t count on your dr or health visitor knowig about this they receive very little training on nutrition.

WaxOnFeckOff Sat 12-Jan-19 10:52:47

I'm presuming you are not breast feeding? There are lots of stories relating to parents being prosecuted for neglect after giving their children a vegan diet. I don't have any issue with people having their principles but not at the expense of another person's long term health and wellbeing. As pp says, I'd properly consult with qualified professionals.

Amicompletelyinsane Sat 12-Jan-19 10:54:33

I breastfed til around 2. But there are so many dairy alternatives these days so that I just used those with weaning. The dietician was happy and my kids are healthy. My dairy eating child is the least healthy looking one

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:54:49

Ok thank u. And do u think it’s advised that dairy bang formula is the best? I just don’t know either way and don’t want to impose my beliefs on the baby xx

PsychoCrayon Sat 12-Jan-19 10:55:54

Speak to a professional.

Humans need vitamin b12 to survive, which is only found naturally in animal products. You’ll have to supplement this and other vitamins

mummmy2017 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:56:07

I know a 13 year old vegan...
Well vegan at home, so his parents think...
He isn't into sweets, but we took him out to dinner and cinema once, he asked for a steak and ate it, practically lucked the plate, told DD not to tell his mum as it would hurt her, but that he adored meat.
As someone said you can take a horse to water you can't make him drink.

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:56:16

Oh really? That’s very interesting! I personally think dairy is bad for humans, and given that one of urs has diary can u see there’s a difference in them? X

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:57:11

Yes if it wanted meat I would give it meat as it’s their choice xx

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:57:55

Ok thank u x

veganmuma Sat 12-Jan-19 10:58:00

18 month old vegan since birth, I did breastfeed, however I looked into soy formulas before hand, they're not massively available and those that are often contain added vitamins derived from animal sources.
In the end, I decided I would use 'Earths Best' but never needed it (and now I don't think it was that great either!)
Are you on Facebook? I recommend groups like, 'how vegan children thrive' for advice, I found that our health visitor didn't know much about it, and seemed to just push we needed dairy.

We also visited a nutritionist when DC was 1 to make sure we were doing everything right.
I would have given up on it for my child if I was concerned at any point, the health of DC outweighed any moral value for me, but now they're a healthy, good weight, happy young toddler - and I often get asked how I get them to eat vegetables! 😂

FeelingFlat Sat 12-Jan-19 10:58:13

There is no vegan baby formula available in the UK suitable from birth (even dairy free have lanolin and potentially fish oils)

I'm Vegan and breastfeeding and will raise my baby as a vegan too - have spoken to HV who has experience with this and she is not concerned at all as I explained how I am knowledgeable in this diet.

If you can't breastfeed then a non vegan based formula (assuming you are UK based is your best bet) you can't feed the baby nut or oat milk for example

Rubusfruticosus Sat 12-Jan-19 10:58:25

I would aim to breastfeed until 2-3 years and give dairy based formula and then cows milk until age 3 if I couldn't achieve that.

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 10:58:45

Oh yes please!!! Yes the husband loves meat so I will have a battle on my hands I think lol x

Tinty Sat 12-Jan-19 10:58:55

I just don’t know either way and don’t want to impose my beliefs on the baby xx

In that case, just try to breastfeed baby and if that doesn't work, give baby any regular baby milk and bring him/her up with a normal diet of meat, fish, vegetables and dairy until he/she is older and can choose to go Vegan if they wish.

NotAnotherJaffaCake Sat 12-Jan-19 10:59:52

Even if you are not vegetarian or vegan, the advice is to supplement all BF babies after 6 months, as it’s very difficult to get them the iron they need.

My children are third generation vegetarians, but I wouldn’t consider veganism. A fussy toddler stage is difficult enough, without ruling out another entire food group.

France2000 Sat 12-Jan-19 11:00:15

Brilliant! Thank u!! X

Veganforlife Sat 12-Jan-19 11:09:02

There's so much choice now ,vegan food wise ,much easier than when mine were small..vegan babies are normal now ,no one bats an eyelid .

greenelephantscarf Sat 12-Jan-19 11:09:04

commercially available formula is highly regulated to be safe for baby and to contain the most suitable nutrients.

babies need milk.

if they can't have human breast milk they need a suitable substitute. which is usually derived from cows milk plus other essential oils sometimes derived from other animal sources (fish).

apart from the milk issue, to feed a baby or small child vegan is very difficult. you need to get all the nutrients right or you risk longterm health problems.
and you need to give supplements at least vit d3, b12, omega3.

LynetteScavo Sat 12-Jan-19 11:09:22

I think you have to aim to breast feed for as long as possible, but if you can't BF then formula should be viewed as a medicine. Ideally your child wouldn't need it, but sometimes consuming an animal product is necessary. If there's a vegan alternative great, but if not then cows milk is better than starving. You just have to give your baby the best of what is available. (What is best can be a touchy subjects wink)

Scifi101 Sat 12-Jan-19 11:10:16


Breastfeeding is definitely a skill that has to be learnt. I had to be determined to master it.

If you want to raise a vegan baby it's going to be important that you really give it all you can. If you can't feed then you'll need to try to express etc.

Unless of course you are unlucky enough to be one of the very few women who medically can't etc

Extended breastfeeding would really help if you want to raise your child vegan.

Scifi101 Sat 12-Jan-19 11:14:46

If you are unsure about the baby being vegan why not bring the baby up as vegetarian.

To the poster who fed meat to the vegan child-
I would never have fed someone else's child meat. I think you were really out of line.

Scifi101 Sat 12-Jan-19 11:15:34


See my previous post.

AnotherOriginalUsername Sat 12-Jan-19 11:16:20

I'd speak to a dietician (not a nutritionist!). You'll probably need to go private. If you can't/don't want to breastfeed, even if you can source a dairy free formula, it'll likely still have DHA, vitamin D and B12 from animal sources.

I'm vegetarian, my husband isn't but eats vegetarian 99% of the time (always at home, may eat meat/fish if eating out). Our son won't be raised as vegetarian but will just be fed what we eat and the foods we have readily available in the house. It'll be his choice ultimately, once he's old enough to understand.

TheTroutofNoCraic Sat 12-Jan-19 11:18:57

I'm vegan but my husband and son are vegetarian. I think I would struggle to get my son (3.5yo) to eat everything required in a vegan diet to obtain all that he needs as he's a picky fart not fond of a wide range of vegetables.

TheTroutofNoCraic Sat 12-Jan-19 11:22:54

@AnotherOriginalUsername I agree with your last point wholeheartedly.

When family members joke about wanting to sneakily give him bacon when I'm not around, they've been left disappointed by my response that DS can choose to eat whatever he wants. I would want him to have the same autonomy and support afforded to me by my (meat eating cattle farming) parents when I decided to go veggie aged 11.

Rubusfruticosus Sat 12-Jan-19 11:29:48

*To the poster who fed meat to the vegan child-
I would never have fed someone else's child meat. I think you were really out of line.*
The PP's post said that the 'child' was 13 years old. Plenty old enough to choose for himself.

LoniceraJaponica Sat 12-Jan-19 11:32:31

“I’d be worried at toddlers needing a high fat diet and that would be tricky without dairy but not impossible”

No it wouldn’t. DD is doing veganuary again, and there are loads of alternatives to dairy that are high in fat. You just need to think outside of the box.
As veganism is becoming more mainstream it is so much easier to eat well without having to spend ages sourcing unusual ingredients, and there are loads of delicious vegan recipes online these days. I highly recommend the Bosh Facebook page.

OP, I agree that if you are committed to raising your baby as vegan you do need to breastfeed as vegan alternatives to breastmilk won’t provide all the nutrients a young baby needs. And if you can’t breastfeed you need to be open minded about giving your baby formula (which won’t be vegan).

Scifi101 Sat 12-Jan-19 11:34:08


If it was ok and the child's decision why did the poster hide what she did from the parents?

Would this be ok if it was alcohol or another similar scenario?

I would never undermine another parent like that.

Also the meat could have made the vegan child really ill. If you going to transition from a vegan diet a gradual approach would be best.

WaxOnFeckOff Sat 12-Jan-19 12:08:47

But alcohol isn't a similar scenario is it? Purchasing alcohol for an under 18 would be illegal, eating meat isn't. It would have been good for the poster to point out the potential digestive issues if she was aware of it but it sounds like the boy had eaten neat before anyway. At most I would be encouraging them to be open about their choices without expecting the parents to compromise their views by cooking meat.

Rubusfruticosus Sat 12-Jan-19 13:01:38

Alcohol is not a similar scenario. The poster said that the boy asked for his mum not to be told, and I wouldn't consider the situation described as one where it would be necessary to override a 13 year old's wishes. Sometimes otherwise good parents can get caught up in ideals and beliefs that a child does not share.

mummmy2017 Sat 12-Jan-19 13:04:53

The boy always buys burgers, or sausage rolls, why is it my job to stop a teenagers free will to what he puts in his mouth if it is legal...

His parents are really forcing their views on him, and while he is home he keeps the peace, I am just pointing out that you may feed your children how you like in the home, at no point can you police when you can't see them.

InspectorIkmen Sat 12-Jan-19 13:07:11

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pearl87 Sat 12-Jan-19 13:13:31

OP, please don't worry so much! The vast majority of mothers can produce breastmilk. No one ever posts "What if my baby can't walk? What if my baby can't move their arms? I need to be prepared for raising a disabled baby." People just accept that the chances of that happening are low. For some reason, breasts are the only part of the human body that people believe to be unlikely to work.

Breastfeeding is 100% vegan - even more vegan than feeding your child soy formula. Soy isn't great for the environment, but breastmilk is.

adaisy1394 Sat 12-Jan-19 13:17:06

I think you should read this and seriously consider what effect your opinion might have on a child who can’t yet exercise theirs.

brookshelley Sat 12-Jan-19 13:20:59

I know someone who is vegan raising her child vegan. She is extended breastfeeding, the boy is 3 years old. It's fairly easy once they are on solids to have them eat what you eat, but for the first 12 months all evidence says breast milk is best, followed by an animal milk based formula, followed by a specialised non-dairy formula as advised by a doctor. I spoke to a paediatrician who said that soy formula is becoming increasingly controversial due to some hormonal effects and is banned in France. So I would not suggest you go for this unless you have a medical reason to do so.

In your position I would focus my energy on being prepared to breastfeed and budget for a lactation consultant just in case.

I will say of the vegan mum I know, she and her husband are average size (became vegans as teenagers) but her son who is vegan from birth is very small for his age.

Pythonesque Sat 12-Jan-19 13:36:57

Unless I've missed it, no-one has pointed out that, as well as extended breastfeeding (you are likely to be able to manage it, though the first few weeks are tough most mothers can keep going if they get to that point); you would benefit from seeking review of your own diet. While breastfeeding you will need more nutrition yourself to ensure it is there for your baby. My main impression of the vegan diet is that it is a lot more effort to do a good job with it.

Retaining a flexible outlook is good to hear; you don't want to have double stress if you get a fussy toddler - sometimes non-vegan products will be a simpler / more concentrated way of getting adequate nutrients in (especially protein I suspect) . My cousin was vegan when their eldest was born but I think they relaxed to broader vegetarianism after a couple of years. I too know a vegan family where they all look thin and pale.

moretractorsplease Sat 12-Jan-19 13:51:31

I would say you need to be very careful to ensure your child has everything they need, nutritionally. There have been a number of cases of small vegan children hospitalised due to not having enough nutrients and suffering from illnesses eg rickets.

Dauphinois Sat 12-Jan-19 13:52:17

It would be worth doing your homework on expressing too, in case breastfeeding doesn't work out initially.

My twins aren't vegan but they were dairy and egg free due to allergies. They're 7 now and Ds has outgrown his allergies but Dd hasn't. She's absolutely fine though and has managed perfectly well growing up without dairy and eggs. I bfed until 2.

mooncuplanding Sat 12-Jan-19 13:55:46

I think it is totally irresponsible and ideologically not nutritionally based. Selfish beyond belief to impose this on a child.

Biologifemini Sat 12-Jan-19 13:55:54

I think you can do it if you are super well educated about it.
Could you compromise and just do vegetarian?
The issue is b12. Deficiency in that can lead to some major issues. You can only supplement.
Also iron is required for the brain so it is super important your child gets enough which is ok for a vegetarian but trickier for a vegan.
Good luck.

Oblomov19 Sat 12-Jan-19 13:58:01

Many of my friends are vegan. Vegan is NOT recommended for children. As far as I know.

Wallywobbles Sat 12-Jan-19 14:06:26

Are you in France? I suspect it would be fairly tricky to find vegan anything in France. It's still very far from being a mainstream choice here.

NameChange30 Sat 12-Jan-19 14:10:47

You will have to breastfeed. If you have difficulties you'll have to persevere and pay for a lactation consultant if necessary.

There are no vegan alternatives to cow's milk formula. Hypoallergenic formula for babies with CMPA is expensive and difficult to get without a prescription, and I think it's made from cow's milk anyway (with the proteins broken down or removed).

My son has CMPA and he's been slow to get into food, he wasn't a fan of fish or meat at first and still doesn't seem to like eggs. So I guess his diet was more or less vegan for a while! He will now eat tuna, sausages and ham but that's about it.

If I were you I think I'd approach it from a "flexitarian" point of view (or flexi-vegan, not that it's a thing!) In other words, as and when you start offering solids you could prioritise offering a wide range of nutritious plant-based foods (including beans, pulses, nuts etc) but not completely exclude non-vegan foods. If your baby is an enthusiastic eater you might find that they will get enough nutrition from vegan foods but if they're picky and end up loving some non-vegan foods you will probably be glad to have the option of SOMETHING they will eat!

Pearl87 Sat 12-Jan-19 14:11:48

To the poster who fed meat to the vegan child-
I would never have fed someone else's child meat. I think you were really out of line.

He's thirteen! Parents can't expect to micro-manage their child's diet at that age.

Coronapop Sat 12-Jan-19 14:16:40

With babies/young children you would need to be very careful to ensure they got the right balance of nutrients because they are growing and developing. Vegan diets often lack specific nutrients and while this might not be significant for an adult it could be damaging for a baby or child. Personally I think it is unwise to consider it for a baby.

LoniceraJaponica Sat 12-Jan-19 14:24:28

"Hypoallergenic formula for babies with CMPA is expensive and difficult to get without a prescription"

I doubt that a medical professional would prescribe it because of a lifestyle choice made by the parents.

Sethis Sat 12-Jan-19 14:26:19

Follow the advice of your medical professional.

A medical professional has years (decades) of experience of what children do and do not need to eat.

They know better than you what you should and should not feed your child.

Do not refuse to feed something to your child based on "I think it's morally wrong". You child's body does not use that as a basis for deciding what it needs. It functions on biology, not opinion.

For the record while I think it's possible to raise a vegan baby, I only know of one mum who has done it, and her baby is a third smaller than every other child in the NCT group at the age of 2 years. I do not think this is coincidence.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Sat 12-Jan-19 14:26:31

I don’t want to impose my beliefs on the baby Except that you are. The baby isn't choosing to be vegan.

NannyR Sat 12-Jan-19 14:27:21

All the news stories that have been linked on this thread are of cases where children were fed very limited diets resulting in them being malnourished. This isn't exclusive to vegan parents, there have also been cases of children suffering from malnutrition after being fed very limited omnivorous diets. A well planned, balanced vegan diet is fine for babies and children, slightly trickier than vegetarian or omnivorous but certainly doable.

INeedNewShoes Sat 12-Jan-19 14:30:04

I haven't RTFT but I just want to mention that there have been some quite concerning findings regarding the affect of soya formula on hormones in both sexes but more severely in baby boys.

For various reasons I was brought up on Soya formula from a few weeks old and I believe it might play a part in my hormone issues. I'm convinced enough that I do not use soya as a milk replacement for my dairy free DD.

On the main question, I've only met one vegan child who really is not a good advert for it. They have an issue with their bones (I can't remember the name of the condition) and suffer from severe tiredness. Of course it may be unrelated but it's hard to separate the two.

I think it could work if you are dedicated to ensuring that the full complement of nutrients are eaten in abundance from plant based foods and don't rely too much on vegan replacement products (a lot of which seem to get their flavour from masses of salt).

Playdonut Sat 12-Jan-19 14:34:12

Sorry another one who knows pale, exhausted looking vegan children (more than one). I don't think it's a good idea personally, but lots of people both meat eaters and vegan grow up slightly malnourished and seem fine x

TheSheepofWallSt Sat 12-Jan-19 14:42:33

I’m with @mooncuplanding

I think it’s irresponsible and unnatural to even attempt with babies, frankly. There is absolutely fuck all about our evolutionary traits to suggest that babies (or adults for that matter- but whatever, once you’re an adult, your nutrition is your personal concern) are intended to be vegan.

NameChange30 Sat 12-Jan-19 14:44:14


Obviously a GP wouldn't prescribe it to a vegan. It's hard enough to get it for a baby with CMPA.

I wasn't advising the OP to ask for a prescription!!!

TheSheepofWallSt Sat 12-Jan-19 14:44:46

Also what @Sethis said is bob on “your child’s body functions on biology, not opinion”.

And keep that first and foremost in your mind whilst doing some proper scientific (not pseudoscientific) research.

MyTeaMouse Sat 12-Jan-19 14:47:08

I'd pay to see a private pediatrician to guide you through. It can be done but you need to be meticulous and it's exhausting to get right.

glorious Sat 12-Jan-19 14:47:42

First steps nutrition trust are an excellent source of unbiased information on formula and diet for small children. I haven't read this but they have some information on vegan diets here

One of the best things you can do if you want to breastfeed is do some reading to find out about what's normal and also plan how you can get local support if you need it. I'd recommend The Food of Love by Kate Evans as a good starting point. Unfortunately there's still plenty of inaccurate information out there.

KittenCamile Sat 12-Jan-19 14:55:42

As some others have said there is no vegan formula in the uk, it either cows milk or non cows milk with animal ingredients (vitamin D is generally animal derived).

So if you want to raise baby vegan you have to breast fed.

My DS is vegan (6.5 month old), I’m aiming to do extended breast feeding as my breast milk is made for him where cows milk isn’t.

It’s really easy, babies don’t need any milk except breast milk till after 1yr of age and if you need milk to cook with you can use breast milk, oat milk, nut milk or coconut milk. All are fortified with B12.

If you breast fed you need to supplement vit D no matter what your diet is and iron stores deplete at 6 months, again vegan or not. You don’t need meat for iron, lentils, green veg, coconut milk ect are all great sources of iron.

Ethically it’s better to raise vegan until child is old enough to decide when faced with the facts. You can’t undo feeding them dead animals, it’s morally wrong to force a human to consume flesh without their consent.

I don’t know anyone who is vegan that would consider feeding their child animal products unless they had too (ie couldn’t breast fed then totally do what you gotta do).

Slipperboots Sat 12-Jan-19 15:02:36

I know a few vegans who are raising DC as veggies leaning towards vegan diets. They have all have BF though.
I think one of the reasons they have done veggie is it gives them slightly more flexibility especially eating out. I suspect they will go fully vegan when they are older.
I can’t say it would be my choice (esp as DD was very fussy when younger, she’s mostly veggie through choice now). No way would I be feeding a baby soy milk though.

KittenCamile Sat 12-Jan-19 15:03:14

Just to add I’m vegan, had a vegan pregnancy and baby has been consistently on the 91st percentile for weight and length since birth. The power of knowledge to give good nutrition is what you need.

Eating meat or dairy will not give you that

mooncuplanding Sat 12-Jan-19 15:17:31

You can’t undo feeding them dead animals, it’s morally wrong to force a human to consume flesh without their consent.

I pity your child. You are attempting to reverse the biology of a human body that has evolved over millions of years of evolution because 'cows make me sad'.

It is totally irresponsible. Grow up and face the reality that human infants require nutrition from animal protein and fats to thrive.

greenelephantscarf Sat 12-Jan-19 15:19:07

tbh I think a diet that requires supplements or highly processed fortified foods to be sustainable can't be ideal

TheSheepofWallSt Sat 12-Jan-19 15:23:06


No your baby isn’t vegan, your baby is an omnivore, as are all humans if we look purely at the biology. Veganism is a lifestyle choice. Your baby has made no lifestyle choices. You have imposed your veganism on your baby- to be clear- your baby is not vegan.

MyBreadIsEggy Sat 12-Jan-19 15:27:40

I have a child who is severely allergic to cows milk, allergic to eggs, soya and a few other things. He’s also really fussy when it comes to meat, and usually refuses to eat it, so he’s essentially eating a vegan diet majority of the time.
He is very carefully monitored by a paediatric dietician, and is supplemented with a special amino acid-based prescribed toddler formula. If we didn’t have that support, I’d be very worried about correct supplementation etc
It’s not something I’d do by choice.

Isitwinteryet Sat 12-Jan-19 15:31:43

Our 15 month old has been vegan from birth. Yes babies need their mothers milk. If you can't breastfeed you'll have to cross that bridge when you come to it I suppose. I still breastfeed a couple of times a day but dc has oat milk at bedtime or if with dad/grandparents.

KittenCamile Sat 12-Jan-19 15:33:20

Mooncuplanding people have lived for millennia without meat, it is not needed.

The only supplements you need as a vegan is B12 and the reason meat eaters don’t is because the animals they eat are given B12 supplements.

You realise most food we buy that isn’t a single ingredient food is fortified with something right?

greenelephantscarf Sat 12-Jan-19 15:37:11

The only supplements you need as a vegan is B12 and the reason meat eaters don’t is because the animals they eat are given B12 supplements.

this is a myth that always comes up in these discussions.

mooncuplanding Sat 12-Jan-19 15:43:34


You remind me of jehovahs witnesses who refuse blood transfusions, such is your indoctrination

Sethis Sat 12-Jan-19 15:59:20

You can’t undo feeding them dead animals, it’s morally wrong to force a human to consume flesh without their consent.



Show me a child, any child, anywhere in the world, who turns down food with animal content just because it's animal content. I don't know a child alive who would refuse a chocolate bar because it has milk, which comes from cows, and cows are treated badly, so we shouldn't use milk, and we shouldn't buy chocolate... the kid wants the chocolate bar. Period.

Consent doesn't enter into it. You're projecting your opinions onto children that "flesh" is somehow abhorrent and to be avoided. You might have valid reasons for thinking this, but no 1-3yr old is going to give a toss unless you set out to brainwash them from day 1.

I'd go so far as to say that withholding food that they (and every other child) enjoy is more morally wrong than letting them eat what they want - within reason. How much did you enjoy being the only child at the birthday party not allowed to eat cake? Was that Ryvita an acceptable substitute? Did it make you feel like you were having just as much fun as all the other kids?

I think not.

LoniceraJaponica Sat 12-Jan-19 18:38:50

"tbh I think a diet that requires supplements or highly processed fortified foods to be sustainable can't be ideal"

I must admit to feeling uncomfortable about this.

frenchchick9 Sat 12-Jan-19 18:41:14

Do some research, op! If this is so important to you, why wouldn’t you get as well informed as possible?

NOTthepinkranger Sun 13-Jan-19 07:43:49

You can get B12 from fortified cereals, some soy milk or take a supplement.

B12 is not given to meat hmm

fermezzlabouche Sun 13-Jan-19 07:52:22

The story about the parents whose toddler developed rickets is nothing to do with being vegan they are simply unfit parents and absolute idiots. They had a picky eater and fed her porridge for more than one meal a day.

WaxOnFeckOff Sun 13-Jan-19 09:20:46

Okay, I've not read the story and undoubtedly the parents are idiots, but one of the main causes of rickets is lack of calcium and porridge (nowadays) is usually made with milk so surely if they weren't vegan then 2 bowls of porridge a day would have not been a contributing factor?

fermezzlabouche Sun 13-Jan-19 09:45:34

I'm assuming they were adding either a non fortified alternative milk or water to non fortified oats.

alaric77 Sun 13-Jan-19 09:52:36

To the poster who fed a vegan child meat. I wouldn’t be concern about the parents so much but I know a child who is veggie but they asked for meat when they were staying at mine. Parents were fine with their kids eating meat they just didn’t and never gave them meat at home as they were vegetarian. The child in question was violently sick as their body obviously wasn’t used to the meat.

kikisparks Sun 13-Jan-19 11:27:46

It’s absolutely fine (as long as baby is either breast food or given suitable fortified infant formula until 1 year old minimum). I was raised vegetarian and a lot of people thought I would need meat but me and my brother (over 6 foot) were not malnourished in any way. We had a (superted grin) multivitamin every day but imo all children should have a multivitamin vegetarian or not.

This guide is amazing and what I would use

kikisparks Sun 13-Jan-19 11:38:30

@NOTthepinkranger farmed animals are often given b12 hence why livestock b12 supplements exist

kikisparks Sun 13-Jan-19 11:42:16

@LoniceraJaponica all children age 1- 4 should be getting vitamin supplements (this has been the recommendation for decades). Most omnivore diets need fortified foods you just aren’t aware of it. All non organic cow’s milk has vitamin D added and most bread has iron added as an example.

kikisparks Sun 13-Jan-19 11:46:12

@KittenCamile you’re getting a horrible time on here- on the vegan board which is meant to be a safe place for vegan support!

You’re doing an amazing thing and I wish you and your child all the best smile

anitagreen Sun 13-Jan-19 11:51:40

You can get goat milk powdered in Sainsbury's for new borns shock

kikisparks Sun 13-Jan-19 11:55:34

@anitagreen that wouldn’t be any more vegan than cow’s milk powder though?

Personally if I had a baby and couldn’t breastfeed I’d use a cow’s milk formula but I’d try my hardest to breastfeed first (as long as it was recommended and baby was doing ok). The definition of vegan is not to exploit animals as far as possible and practicable, as PP said baby formula is like medicine if it’s necessary you use it.

derxa Sun 13-Jan-19 11:58:13
This is given to animals who have anaemia not a routine dosage. They are animals who can get ill just like humans. We gave our sheep a trace element supplement this year because of the hard weather conditions which affected the soil conditions and the general health of the animals.
The cost of this is considerable so we wouldn't have done this if unnecessary.

Elephantgrey Sun 13-Jan-19 12:02:39

The links about vegan babies who died or were taken into care were all victims of severe abuse. The 7 month old should have been mainly breast or formula fed. Most Brest fed 7 month olds are vegan anyway as they are still being introduced to food.

It is fine to bring your child up vegan if you can breastfeed. The first steps nutrition link a previous poster shared is really good with nice recipes and nutritional advice.

If you are not breastfeeding there is no dairy free formula. As previous posters have suggested even formula for babies with a dairy allergy contain animal products.

WaxOnFeckOff Sun 13-Jan-19 12:13:22

I think the general message is that it's perfectly possible but it needs to be very carefully managed and monitored. Idiot and neglectful parents always exist, but the fact remains that excluding so much from the diet of a growing child makes malnutrition much more likely. Living from bowls of porridge whilst not ideal would be unlikely to result in rickets if whole cow's milk had been used. Everyone is entitled to their stand and to choose what to feed themselves and their families. However, they need to dO it with their eyes wide open and ensuring health always comes first.

AFistfulofDolores1 Sun 13-Jan-19 12:25:03

Please, please don't use soy. It mimics some hormones and is entirely unhealthy in regular doses.

MockneyReject Sun 13-Jan-19 12:35:43

So much misinformation, so much defensiveness - as is usual in these threads.
Plus, of course, the usual years old cases of neglect where the idiot parents veganism is irrelevant.

“No matter how many times they want to say, ‘We’re vegans, we’re vegetarians,’ that’s not the issue in this case,” said prosecutor Chuck Boring. “The child died because he was not fed. Period.” (quoted from one such link, posted by a PP to 'prove' her personal opinion).

I know several vegan children, all who turn down down treats because they contain animal products, and I reckon most children would do the same, if they knew the truth. Us vegans/vegetarians are used to being accused of 'brainwashing' - by parents who knowingly mislead their children to get them to eat stuff that children would otherwise refuse.

I hold my hands up to right up to forcing my views on to my children, though. Tolerance, non-violence, female equality, atheism, kindness to animals and old people, amongst others. Whilst I hope they'll continue to share our family values, if they want to eat meat or vote Conservative, then they'll make their choices armed with the available information.

I've yet to meet a meat eating family who raise their children vegan, so as to avoid forcing their beliefs on to them, btw.I

OP, it's perfectly possible. Like any other parent, you need to arm yourself with knowledge and information. If say breastfeeding is a crucial part of that as, obviously, it does away with any need to give cow's milk formula.
All the best, with whatever compromise you decide on.

bluesky45 Sun 13-Jan-19 12:45:00

Im not vegan but I am vegetarian, dp eats meat. Some pp have suggested you will need to give your child a 'normal diet' including meat. I really don't think this is the case at all. My ds eats very little meat. Between us, me and dp said that if I was cooking, ds would eat what I was eating and if dp cooked, ds would eat what he was eating. But we often eat as a family in which case it is usually vegetarian. Sometimes dp will add meat to his portion e.g. macaroni cheese with broccoli and dp will add ham for him. Ds will refuse the ham and choose for himself at 1 year old to eat a vegetarian meal. As I said though, he does eat dairy but I think once you finish breastfeeding (if you manage to) then you can give alternative milks.
If you are eating as a family, there's no need to cook your child something different to what you are eating as long as its still balanced.

Elephantgrey Sun 13-Jan-19 12:59:09

The little girl with rickets only weighed 10lbs at 1 year old. This suggests very severe neglect rather than her being a picky eater. The most likely scenario is that the little girl was not breastfed or given a suitable infant formula. While cows milk would make very little difference in this case as the baby would have been severely malnourished from birth. The parents must have known that she was not thriving.

The op is asking for nutritional advice for her child so posting these scare stories about vegans is very unhelpful.

WaxOnFeckOff Sun 13-Jan-19 13:14:52

I didn't post them, but I disagree it's unhelpful. It's always good to look at all aspects in order to make proper informed choices. A scare story for it's own sake isn't helpful in particular but it does stick in your head in order to ensure that you do the right thing for your child. I'm not saying that excludes a vegan diet. It's not enough just to stop eating meat or stop eating dairy and just carry on eating "normal" meals without those ingredients. It's about seeing what a full nutritious diet needs to contain and making sure that your diet contains those things. It's easier to be "accidentally" healthy when eating everything as by luck not necessarily judgement, you are more likely to get everything you need. I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian but I respect others rights to put what they like into their own mouths.

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