Is it Wrong to Raise Babies as Vegans?

Alicia Silverstone is raising her three-month-old baby, Bear Blu, on a strictly vegan diet — no meat, fish, dairy, or honey, according to a report in today’s Huffington Post. Silverstone’s not the only one, notes author Katherine Bindley, who quotes several moms whose children follow vegan diets. Despite the health benefits that some experts say come with a vegan diet, including lower rates of heart disease and obesity, others think the diet is too risky for kids because it can lead to numerous vitamin deficiencies if done incorrectly.

My take is that babies and toddlers should be introduced to as many diverse, healthy foods as possible. They need the vitamins and nutrients, and they need to learn about food and eating healthfully. (I follow a gluten-free diet but I’d never impose a gluten-free diet on Mason just because it’s the way that I choose to eat.) If they wish to follow a special diet later in life, when they’re old enough to make those choices and understand the consequences, then we as parents should help guide their decisions. What do you think? Would you put your babe or toddler on a vegan diet? Or, if your babe is already on a vegan diet, what are the advantages from your POV?

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  1. by Andrea

    On September 9, 2011 at 3:38 am

    I have a 7.5 month old and I will raise her as a vegetarian. She’ll eat dairy and eggs still. This is because I am a vegetarian and it’s what will be in my house as a single mom. It’s a lifestyle and there are ways to do it correctly. So yes vegan diets can be harder to obtain all the nutrients needed but if you know what you’re doing it’s fine. Many people have survived it people.

  2. by les

    On September 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I have tried a vegan/ vegetarian diet before.. and I think you really need to be informed and educated in how to make up for the nutrition you miss out on in “animal products”. There were some vitamins I was missing out on because it was too much work to find ways to include as much calcium, protein, and omegas that i could easily get from “animal products”. It was too much of a risk to try that with my child, especially when children tend to be picky eaters

  3. by Kim

    On September 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

    My daughter was until about 9 months when I started giving her baby foods with meat. She is allergic to milk and eggs so I didn’t have a choice. I just waited a long time to introduce her to meats, although it wasn’t necessary. She’s been eating a lot of vegan foods that I taint with meat though :)

  4. by Dirk Klaus

    On November 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

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