Vegan baby- what’s ur thoughts?(113 Posts)
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
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.
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 .
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.
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 )
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
“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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
I think you should read this and seriously consider what effect your opinion might have on a child who can’t yet exercise theirs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think it is totally irresponsible and ideologically not nutritionally based. Selfish beyond belief to impose this on a child.
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