Should You Bring Up Your Baby As A Vegetarian?

By Owen Jones

If you are reading this article, the chances are that you are at least fifteen years of age, so if you were to choose to be a vegetarian at this moment, you would have at least fifteen yeas of eating meat behind you and it is hard to change the habits of a lifetime.

Lifestyle changes are the hardest to accomplish, so it is easier to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle, if you have never consumed meat at all. Therefore, the baby of a vegetarian mother has the best opportunity of maintaining a vegetarian life.

It is a matter of ethics whether a vegan mother would feed her baby on breast milk. There is no reason why she ought to not do so. Her body is producing milk for her baby, yet she might not like to give her baby 'animal fat products'. It is a bizarre decision to have to take.

After the baby has been weaned, the choices are easier again. You can create fantastic baby food recipes with fresh fruit and vegetables and a blender. Soya is another vegetable product that is useful for your baby's vegetarian diet because it is one of the few vegetable sources of protein.

Soya is also very adaptable, although not always recommended for very young babies. You can eat or drink soya and you can bake, boil or fry it. It is fairly bland on its own, but it takes on the flavours of whatever you cook it with, so it can be used to push up the protein content of practically anything.

If you are intent on raising your child as a vegetarian or even a vegan, you have to be very cautious after weaning, not to replace your own milk with cow's milk. However, this is where you will have to take advice from your doctor and midwife.

Do not let philosophy and principles stand in the way of your baby's health. If your doctor decides that your baby actually needs the things that are present in cow's milk, then so be it, unless you seek out a vegetarian doctor for a second opinion.

At about six months of age, babies can start eating cereals. Rice is one of the easiest to digest. You can make a very thin rice meal by boiling the rice in water until it practically disappears, leaving that characteristic white water. Millions of Asian babies grow up on rice water each year.

As a vegetarian of some experience, you will have a good idea about which combinations of food fulfill dietary requirements, so you will be able to use this information to make sure that your baby does not go short of anything, and pay particular attention to any deficiencies that the doctor notices.

Naturally, you have to tell your doctor from the beginning that you are a vegetarian and that you would like your baby to be brought up in the same manner, because that could well have an effect on the vitamins or supplements that the doctor gives your baby.

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