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Vegetarian babies/children

(10 Posts)
vj32 Mon 10-Oct-11 08:37:34

Has anyone got any experience of bringing up a vegetarian or mostly vegetarian baby? I am veggie but we will be feeding the baby meat, however my DH normally only eats meat about once a week and no fish, and most of that is quite processed to not ideal for a baby - pies, sausages etc.

I just wondered if anyone knows any good websites or books about a vegetarian baby's diet, or something really basic about cooking meat for a baby/toddler as I have been veggie for nearly 15 years and don't really have a clue. Or any advise from someone who has done similar would be great!

RamblingRosa Mon 10-Oct-11 08:47:09

I'm veggie and have brought up my DD (now 4) as a veggie. Are you asking for advice on how to cook meat for a baby or on how to wean a veggie baby?

Can't help with the former. There's lots of advice out there on veggie kids though. Try Annabel Karmel and vegetarian society. There are some good recipes on MN too for easy veggie meals for kids.

ithaka Mon 10-Oct-11 08:52:00

My DH and I are both veggie and bought up our children veggie - oldest is well into teens now.

I am not sure why you want to feed meat to your baby and as a veggie I certainly wouldn't advise it. Make sure it is organic/free range, if you really must.

lilham Mon 10-Oct-11 09:15:34

You can follow recipes from annabel karmel on how to cook some simple meat dishes? Make sure you know how to tell a piece of meat is cooked, and safe handling of meat. My DH is brought up as veggie and his meat hygiene knowledge is very lacking. For example he would put salad veg on the chopping board we just cut raw meat on. grin

Your DH can probably share the meat dish with your LO. As long as he likes things like spag bol, cottage pie etc

vj32 Mon 10-Oct-11 10:41:14

Thanks, I will look at those websites. Basically I am looking for ways to make sure he isn't missing out on the vitamins etc you get from meat and fish. He will eat a small amount of meat because DH is a meat eater.

ithaka: I want DS to eat meat as a baby, then when he grows up it will be his choice whether he is veggie or not. But as I understand it if he was brought up as a veggie it might make him very ill if at some later point he decided he wanted to eat meat as he wouldn't have the enzymes and things to break down meat. I am also a lazy vegetarian - strict ie no gelatine etc, but get most of my protein etc though quorn and tvp things rather than making my own stuff with beans and pulses - which being processed I didn't think would be good for a baby/toddler.

lilham: I am fine with food hygiene type stuff - almost obsessive about it! But you are right that I do worry about how long to cook stuff and knowing that it is fully cooked - hence looking for an idiots guide to cooking meat! We occasionally have spag bol, cottage pie etc - I just hate the smell of cooking mince so looking for other options, preferably things that can be cooked in the oven so it is less smelly.

RamblingRosa Mon 10-Oct-11 11:06:05

Your baby won't miss out on anything as a veggie. And he will be able to eat meat in later life if he wants to. I have two friends who brought their DDs up veggie and both of them have decided (age 3) that they want to try meat. Both have done so and been absolutely fine.

AFAIK there's no evidence that a vegetarian baby will miss out on nutrients that a meat eater won't. You can puree beans and lentils really easily. Babies don't need really large quantities of protein. As long as your baby is getting dairy and the occasional bean thrown in, he'll be fine grin

lilham Mon 10-Oct-11 14:07:25

You can also get animal proteins via dairy and eggs. Iron is fortified in our cereal. I wouldn't worry about missing on nutrients from meat at all. Since my DH is veggie, I'm cooking meat for lunch just for DD to have a taste of meat as part of weaning. I'm adamant on not bringing her up as veggie. We rarely have meat for dinner and that's why I'm making the extra effort. She'll also have meat at nursery and school in the future. If your LO is going to nursery, you can probably just let them introduce meat to him.

stegasaurus Wed 12-Oct-11 16:26:16

My DH is veggy, I'm not, but we rarely have meat at home as I can't be bothered with cooking seperate meals for him and me. I eat meat sometimes when out and when eating at parents' houses, and DD will be the same. I plan to wean her to eat pretty much what we eat, but have bought a book Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes for ideas and advice. A non-vegetarian baby weaning recipe book might help with ideas and advice on what meat to feed your baby and how to cook it.

edeluna Wed 12-Oct-11 21:27:44

I'm raising my DD vegetarian (DH and I have both been vegetarian for more than 20 years). As long as you provide a balanced diet, your LO should be fine. I give DD pulses every day and am thinking about introducing eggs soon to make sure she's getting enough B12 and iron.

Check out the Planet Organic Best Recipes for Babies & Toddlers book -- it's extremely vegetarian friendly. And don't be put off if you're not used to cooking with dried pulses; soaking them before cooking is really easy -- just requires a little planning the night (or morning) before you want to cook.

Good luck.

bessie26 Thu 20-Oct-11 16:40:10

I am veggie, DH & DDs are carnivores, but happily eat veggie food 95% of the time (DH only really has meat when he eats out & DD1 has it at GPs & at nursery)

Annabel Karmel does something called lovely lentils which I recommend! (I love it!)

DD2 as just started solids this week, so i'll be adding more "baby" recipes to my blog soon, but just googling should give you plenty of ideas!

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