Can a baby be a vegetarian? everything you need to know
Is it true that my baby can be a vegetarian? Know all the necessary nutrients and everything there is to know so that the child does not miss anything.
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 that 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 surviving 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.
Lo ideal sería que los padres se informaran de la manera para alimentar a sus hijos sin ofrecerles alimentos de origen animal, aunque ya en un principio cuando los bebés pueden empezar a comer sólidos a los seis meses aproximadamente lo primero que prueban son las verduras y las frutas, una manera de corroborar que la alimentación vegetariana también es adecuada para el ser humano.
Breast milk is essential for the development of the baby
As we have mentioned several times, breast milk 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 so wishes.
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 true, it is very important that you meet the nutritional requirements of the baby since 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 ensure 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 plum juice.
Calcium: especially highlights breast milk or adapted. In addition, goat milk, enriched vegetable milk, 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.
Vitamin B12: 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.