13 Feb Foods To Get You Started On Your Baby’s Vegan Diet Journey
Introducing your baby to a vegan diet can be a bit daunting yet exciting, as you will want to begin sharing that part of your life with them. A vegan diet is actually very healthy for your baby, but you should be extra attentive to the baby’s diet so he/she gets what is required. Vegan diets tend to be lower in vitamin B12, vitamin D, and calcium as they are mainly provided by animal foods. A supplement or a fortified plant-based food source for Vitamin B12 will be a necessity for vegan babies, as they will not be getting it from animal foods.
Breastfeed for longer
If your baby is raised vegan, consider breastfeeding for a few more months as breast milk is a rich nutrient source. Wean the child with soy milk that is fortified with vitamin D and B12 for added fortification in these essential nutrients. Other plant-based milk lacks protein so avoid them. Read coconut, soy, and almond milk labels carefully because some of them do not have as much protein as cow’s milk. Provide sources of protein and calcium like beans and green vegetables.
Mashed couscous, rice, lentils, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, pears, applesauce, avocados, and bananas are all good foods for vegan babies. You can also add silken tofu to the baby’s pureed meals and soups while hummus is another great addition to the diet that can be had at any time. one suggestion is lentil stew using processed spinach, mashed cauliflower and mashed lentils. You can process peeled tomatoes with steamed carrots, silken tofu, and a granny smith apple. Add a bit of ginger for some flavor. Blend some spinach and peas together as another nutritious meal suggestion.
Other nutrients you risk losing with a vegan diet for your baby include Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and iron. You can give your baby vitamin supplements so they get enough of those nutrients. Alternatively, look for vegan alternatives, or look for fortified juices and cereals. Beans such as kidney beans or chickpeas, tofu, or fortified cereals are great ways to ensure your child gets the required 3mg of zinc or 11mg or iron per day. Chia seeds, kale, flax seeds, and walnuts all provide vegan alternatives of Omega-3s and fortified soymilk or orange juice or even 30 minutes of exposure to sunshine can aid with vitamin D. The best plant-based sources of Vitamin B12 are fortified supplements or cereals.
If your baby is just getting started on the vegan journey, you can make mealtimes more fun by assimilating a variety of vegan protein into the diet. Soy protein is a versatile, vegan-friendly, protein-rich food that is great for vegan children. Tofu is not the only option as soy comes in many forms as well, some which taste and look almost the same as ground meat alternatives. Tempeh is a fermented type of soy butter and soy. Soft or firm tofu works well in pasta sauce as it absorbs the flavor and makes the sauce and the pasta have a complete and better profile. Beans are a great finger food rich in proteins; canned beans are convenient and equally great so long as they are rinsed with water to remove some of the sodium present.