Tips For Weaning Your Baby On A Vegan Diet

Some people choose to be on a vegan diet, whether for moral, health, environmental reasons, or a combination of the above. Some also choose to do it for financial reasons. But while veganism is a choice that many people make, there are some factors to consider when weaning your child if you are intending to raise them on a vegan diet. Here are some tips regarding that.

Introducing your baby to solids for the first time is exciting yet confusing; it can be a challenge, especially if you are a first-time mom. If you are a vegan and want to start your baby on a vegan diet, it is possible despite what you may have heard.

The key is to choose the right vegan food to provide your growing baby with the necessary nutrients they need. You may be excluding some foods by taking a vegan diet, so you must take care to ensure you also don’t exclude the nutrients those foods provide from your baby’s diet. Vegan diets can lack Calcium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D because the primary source of these nutrients is animal food.

However, you can supplement these nutrients by feeding the baby supplements, especially Vitamin B12, only found in animal foods.

With that said, it's the same as with any other diet plan to start weaning your baby. It takes a lot of patience and consistency to get it right. Here are some tips if you want to start your baby on a vegan diet.

Type of foods to start

There are specific categories you should pay attention to when first weaning your baby with vegan foods. They are:

Iron-rich foods – iron helps in the transportation of oxygen throughout your baby’s body. It also helps with brain development and immunity. Babies are usually born with iron stores in their bodies, but it usually starts depleting around six months. Luckily this is usually the right time that babies are ready to start eating solid foods.

Lack of iron in the baby's body can lead to many problems, including anemia. So a vegan diet rich in iron foods such as beans, tofu, fortified cereals, lentils, broccoli, kale, etc., is ideal. You can puree some of these options and feed the baby a few spoonfuls until they get used to the new textures. Vitamin C also helps absorb iron in the body, so you can pair these options with some citrus fruits such as oranges, melon, or strawberries.

Energy-giving foods - babies grow a lot faster, and they need the energy to supplement this growth. Feeding your baby energy-giving foods such as coconut, avocadoes, hummus, nuts, seed butter, and vegetable oils provides the necessary fats needed in the baby's body.

Nutrient-rich foods – fruits and vegetables are among the most nutrient-rich foods and provide your baby's body with the nutrients they need. Protein-rich foods- although your breast milk and formula will provide the baby with enough proteins at first, they will need some topping up by the time they get to eight months. Make your baby diet more nutritious by incorporating different types of vegan proteins in their diet. Babies need protein because it aids in the growth and development of their bodies. The best vegan-rich portion food is soy. Other protein-rich foods include beans, and these you can serve as finger foods and let the baby pick the beans from their plate.

Breastfeed for longer

If you plan to raise your baby on a vegan diet, it is recommended that you breastfeed them for longer because breast milk contains lots of nutrients. If you plan to add other plant-based milk sources to your baby’s diet, you can choose soy milk because it's also rich in vitamins. Don't introduce other plant-based milk options because they don’t have proteins. Babies are not even supposed to drink milk before 12 months unless it is formula or breast milk.

Remember that vegan milk alternatives like coconut milk or almond milk do not provide the same nutrients as cow milk. However, you can feed the baby with alternative foods like beans and vegetables to supplement the baby with proteins and calcium found in cow's milk.

Consult a nutritionist

If you still can’t figure out what to give your baby or they are a picky eater, then you can consult a nutritionist who knows the vegan diet very well. A nutritionist will tailor a menu specific to your baby’s needs, including the right supplements to add to your baby’s diet. They will also help you answer any questions you may have. Investing in a dietician or nutritionist is worth the investment.

Make the menus creative.

When introducing your baby to solids, you should introduce one food at a time. This helps you learn what the baby likes and if they have any allergic reactions to certain foods like soy, wheat, or sesame. They should be given in the morning so that you can monitor the baby's reaction throughout the day.

Most babies are receptive and agree to eat new food at 6-12 months. The more textures and flavors of the food you introduce at this time, the more likely they will accept them.

With that said, as your baby tries new foods and flavors, it's time to get creative and help your little one enjoy the vegan lifestyle. At this time, when the child is still developing food and taste preferences, and with a vegan menu, you have to ensure that what you give your baby should be rich in nutrients and even compensating for what they are not getting from animal food.

When first introducing foods to your baby, start with the vegetables first instead of fruits so that they don’t get used to the sweetness of fruits first.

Give room for adjustments and allow the baby to grow.

As your baby grows, their preferences and tastes will change. They may go to school and hang out with friends and get to taste other non-vegan foods that may be different from what you started them with. It may be hard for you since you are already used to the vegan lifestyle, but you will have to make room for your child to explore and decide their food choices whether they stick to the vegan lifestyle or not.

Starting your baby on a vegan diet may sound challenging, but it can work if you feed them with the nutrients they need. Follow the tips above for a healthy baby. And for all your baby essentials, you can always shop at

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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