Can a baby be a vegetarian? everything you need to know

The feeding of children is a very controversial issue that brings all kinds of criticism and opinions, parents who already opt for a protein-free diet of animal origin have no problem and teach their children to follow their same steps but other parents Instead they decide to change their diet when their baby comes into the world and this is when they begin to doubt how to do it and from what moment.

Vegetarian or vegan food in its strictest sense has always existed, many cultures have survived consuming only foods of vegetable origin and in no case these children have suffered malnutrition or their development has been reduced.

Westerners are accustomed to survive thanks to the meat provided by animals such as the cow, the rabbit, the pig among others, but following a diet that includes animal proteins does not guarantee that we will develop a good and better health.

As for parents who want to offer their children only plant foods including vegetables, fruits, cereals and legumes, it should be considered as an equally respectable option, always getting the baby to grow up healthy and properly.

Ideally, parents should be informed of the way to feed their children without offering food of animal origin, although at first when babies can begin to eat solids at six months approximately the first thing they try are vegetables and fruits, a way to corroborate that the vegetarian diet is also suitable for the human being.

Breast milk is essential for the development of the baby

As we have mentioned several times before, breastmilk It is the best and most complete food for the newborn for at least up to six months and can last for years if the mother wants it.

Maintaining the consumption of breast milk in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian babies provides everything necessary for their development and optimal growth, even if other foods have already been introduced, milk will not cease to be its main source of nutrients.

If you have decided that your baby grows and develops with a vegetarian diet free of food of animal origin always consult the pediatrician, or a nutritionist to guide and advise you, so you will not neglect any detail of your child's diet.

What do you have to take into account?

We must bear in mind that the British Medical Association advises the follow-up of a vegetarian diet, as a way to provide all those essential nutrients necessary for child growth. Of course, for this to be the case, It is very important that you meet the nutritional requirements of the baby, because it needs protein, calcium, vitamins ...

As we have told you, it is essential that at least 4 or 5 months the baby drink breast milk or adapted milk. Then it must also become the most important source of nutrition, so that at this stage a single solid intake should suffice.

Thus, it is especially useful to include crushed vegetables, crushed fruits, corn flour, millet or baby rice.

Then, after 6 months, a good option is to try adding chopped legumes (such as lentils), with a little extra virgin olive oil. In addition, it is important to add a greater variety of vegetables and fruits.

With this, starting at 7 months it is an interesting option to start introducing cereals containing gluten, such as oats or wheat, either in the form of porridges, purées or bread.

In any case, we must watch that the baby receives sufficient amounts of iron, calcium, proteins, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. And how to get it? Very simple, adding the following foods:

  • Iron:lentils, cereals, beans, green vegetables, apricots and prune juice.
  • Calcium:especially highlights breast milk or adapted. In addition, goat milk, enriched vegetable milks, cheese, yogurt, green vegetables, lentils, beans, tofu, sesame paste and almonds well ground.
  • Proteins:highlights breast milk during the first months. Then it can be completed with lentils, whole grains, beans, goat's milk and nuts.
  • Vitamin D:we find it especially in some breakfast cereals, in enriched foods such as margarine, eggs and dairy products.
  • B12 vitamin:we find it in breast milk or adapted, and then in eggs and dairy products. However, vegan babies need vitamin B12 from foods enriched with it.
This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Pediatrician. We advise you to consult your trusted pediatrician. ThemesVegan infant feeding

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