by Nutritionist Sylvia Abu-Jabir BSc (Hons) Applied Nutrition
Our daily choices have a great impact on ourselves, on others, and on the environment.
This page is purely for highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition. I am not intending to preach or convert anyone to what I think is best but hopefully encourage parents to follow their instincts when it comes to raising their children!
Raising A Vegan Baby!
I have brought up two children 100% vegan and I wouldn’t change anything if I had to do it all again! They are 11 and 12 years old and are still vegan and made their own decision to stay vegan, they are very passionate about being vegan.
The key to it all is not to listen to anyone and do what you think is best, but be informed and educate yourself on how to be a vegan if its new to you. Just remember to feed your baby, vegan or not, a wide variety of foods and a balanced diet. Its not the vegan diet that causes malnutrition in babies, its a diet lacking in essential nutrients. A fussy meat eater will not get the nutrients needed, so don’t worry about “experts” telling you that you cannot raise a child vegan!
Breastfeeding is undoubtebly the best way to give your baby the best start in life but if you can’t breastfeed or choose not to, you can try and go the soya formula route.
When you start weaning your baby the choices of food recommended are naturally vegan anyway. Typically fruits, veggies, and rice cereal—all of which are naturally vegan. Once your baby is ready for small pieces of food instead of having everything pureed, you can introduce proteins such as tofu, soft cooked beans, potatoes, carrots and similar, and there’s no need for meat!
I was lucky enough to have had very supportive health visitors and they were very interested in our diet as they could see how well our babies were thriving on our vegan diet. Good health professionals seem to respect that every parent has the right to choose what is best for their child and raise them according to those beliefs, until the child can make his or her own choices. There will always be people who will critisise you for raising your child vegan, but not so long ago parents were criticised for taking their babies swimming and that has changed!