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How to Raise a Vegan Baby

Are you ready to have your baby go vegan? Your baby can indeed go vegan, except maybe your own breast milk. It’s no wonder many moms are switching over to veganism, as it has gained popularity in recent years. If you’ve been living a vegan lifestyle yourself, you’re probably excited to introduce your child to the same thing. However, you may be worried about how to move forward in the best way for your baby’s best interest. The good news is that it is absolutely healthy to feed your baby vegan food. You will just need to pay special attention to their diet to ensure that they receive all the necessary nutrients and foods they need. Follow along for some tips and vegan options for your baby! 

Breastfeed as long as possible 

If you decide to raise your baby vegan, it is recommended that you breastfeed your baby for longer (at least a month longer). Breast milk contains a high amount of protein, which means it provides your baby with all the essential ingredients that they need to grow healthy and strong. Cow milk contains a higher amount of protein in comparison to vegan alternatives like almond milk. Therefore, it is recommended to keep your baby breastfeed for as long as possible until finally switching over. 

Once you do switch to formula or other cow milk alternatives, try out a vegan baby formula. Typically, vegan formulas contain a supplemental ingredient like almonds or buckwheat. Ensure that the ingredients are organic and healthy before you purchase for your baby. 

Try different types of protein 

For babies who are just starting their vegan journey, try different types of protein to avoid anything that is too excessive for them. Make it fun for your child so they are not continuously eating the same things over and over again. Try incorporating various forms of soy such as tofu. Beans can also be an excellent form of protein that tastes amazing also! 

Consider consulting a nutritionist 

Although your pediatrician may have some answers for you regarding what you are going to feed your baby moving forward, they may be lacking in knowledge in comparison to a specialized doctor like a nutritionist. A registered dietitian can help you plan meals that are healthy and follow a vegan diet for your baby. They can ensure that you are feeding your baby the correct nutrients and ingredients so they’re not missing out on anything as they grow big and strong. A nutritionist can specifically tailor menus and supplement vitamins if needed. Let’s be honest, a vegan diet for your baby will take hard work and dedication. Anything is possible if you seek support and want the best for your baby.

Understand where the vegan diet may fall short 

Vegans are at risk for vitamins B and D but also at risk for deficiencies in Iron, Zinc, and Omega- 3 fatty acids. To give your baby the right amount of these nutrients you can supplement vitamins, choose fortified cereals, and replace foods with a plant based alternative. With so many parents doing the same thing, there are many great options for babies out there and new product lines that consider vegans or vegetarians. For instance, flax seeds, chia seeds, and kale all offer plant based alternatives to Omega- 3’s. It’s best to do your research on what alternatives there are out there so you can make the best decision for you and your baby. 

Change up the Menu

As your baby grows up, they will start craving variety and may see their other friends eating foods such as chicken nuggets or beef jerky at school. As a vegan parent, the best trick is to keep the food menu fun and explore vegan alternatives for dishes that other kids consume. You can check out recipe blogs to learn and try different vegan recipes (for example, Essential vegetarian dinner ideas). You can easily find substitutes for dairy and meat products in the market to cook regular meals using them. That way, your child feels like they aren’t left out, and they can still participate in mealtime without feeling like it is a chore to be vegan.

Let your child make up their mind as they get older

As children enter adolescence, they tend to have a mind of their own. Therefore, you should also keep an open mind when it comes to the choices that they make as they get older. If for some reason, they decide they no longer want to carry on this vegan lifestyle you should understand that you tried your best!