Over the last couple of years, cases of babies dying of malnutrition have made the covers of newspapers multiple times. The issue: the parents vegan diet. By wrongly replacing animal products with plant products, they unbalanced their children’s diet.
So, is a vegan diet really impossible for children? While it is true that a plant-based child is at risk for deficiencies if his diet is not properly balanced, we should not forget that omnivorous children can also have deficiencies. With the exception of a specific medical condition, veganism can be implemented, but at a certain age. Indeed, newborns and infants cannot follow this type of diet. It is crucial to closely follow the baby’s progression, especially his weight.
It is essential for the mother to have a healthy and balanced diet for both her health and the baby’s health. Some deficiencies during the pregnancy can be dangerous for the fetus, especially a B12 deficiency. As soon as the baby is born, the best option to feed him is breastfeeding. If for any reason, that is not an option, there is soy based baby formula. But, it has less fats so it is important to include good fat sources such as olive oil, avocado and nuts in the baby’s diet. Plant milk has to be chosen from a brand that adds calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Hence, giving homemade plant milks to your baby is not an option because they are not fortified.
Just like omnivorous kids, it is essential to frequently see a pediatrician. Scheduling an appointment with a nutritionist can also be useful if you have doubts or questions.