Thinking of weaning vegan? We’ve put together some things to consider if you’re planning a plant based diet for babe.
Iron: For babies 6 months +, ideal vegan iron-rich foods include pureed apricots, leafy dark green vegetables, lentils and cereals. Avoid cereals that are very high in fibre, as too much fibre can prevent the iron from being absorbed.
Protein: Although breastmilk or formula will provide all the protein your baby needs at first, by 8 months they will need topping up. Vegan babies over 8 months require two servings of split pulses (red lentils/split peas/chick peas), tofu or soya products daily.
Energy: Babies 6-12 months need around 700 and 1,000kcals a day. A vegan’s diet can be high on bulk but low in calories, so try to give your baby concentrated energy foods such as lentils with vegetable oil, avocado or smooth nut butter to add calorific value.
Vitamin B12: Your vegan baby can get B12, which helps develop the nervous system, from fortified foods such as cereals, low-salt yeast extract and soya formula. Always seek advice from your health visitor before giving your baby soya formula.
Vitamin D: This vitamin is essential for healthy bones. All babies on a vegan diet would benefit from a supplement, so speak to your GP before you start weaning your baby. It’s also a good idea to ask your health visitor about vitamin drops (containing vitamins A, C and D) which are recommended by the Department of Health for babies over six months.
Always seek advice from a nutritionist before starting to wean vegan.
Here are some of our favourite vegan recipes: