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What to Plan When Raising a Vegetarian

What to Plan When Raising a Vegetarian

If you wish to raise your baby on a vegetarian diet, it is important to plan meals very carefully. Since meat and fish are the richest, most easily absorbed sources of protein and iron, you need to make sure you provide adequate alternatives.

Vitamins & Nutrients

  1. Iron – A baby’s iron stores received from the mother are depleted by the age of 6 months, so it is important to provide good iron sources from 6 months onwards. Good sources include wholegrains, eggs, dried beans and pulses, green vegetables and chopped dried fruit. Try some Cinnamon French Toast for a tasty baby led weaning vegetarian meal the whole family will love. 

  2. Protein – Many non-meat sources of protein are incomplete so they don't contain all the amino acids we need. Dairy products and eggs are considered complete, as is the grain quinoa. Other sources include beans, cereals, pulses, finely ground nuts and seeds (do not feed nuts to babies if there is any family history of food allergies) and tofu. Offering quinoa with dishes such as Ratatouille and Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry will offer a great protein source.

  3. Calcium – Dairy produce can be given in small quantities at this age. Good sources for a vegetarian diet are green vegetables, chopped fruits, ground nuts and fortified foods such as bread. Our Halloween Ghost Toast made using fortified bread is a great source of calcium!

  4. Iodine – Most people receive iodine from milk so vegans are at a particular risk of iodine-deficiency. Good vegan sources include grains and vegetables. Vegetarians can obtain iodine from eggs, plain whole natural yoghurt and milk. This Mixed Berry Nice Cream is a tasty iodine rich vegetarian treat your weaning baby can enjoy with the whole family.

  5. Omega-3 and omega-6 oils – Vegetarians can get omega-3 oil from vegetable sources like walnut oil, rapeseed oil, linseed oil and flaxseed oil. Omega-6 good sources include sunflower oil, corn oil and eggs. Add a tablespoon of rapeseed oil to this Vegetable Omelette to up the Omega-3 content for a tasty vegetarian baby led weaning meal.

  6. Vitamin D – This is made in your baby’s skin when exposed to sunlight, so make sure that your baby has at least half an hour outside every day. Vegetarian babies can have a little dairy, which will boost their vitamin D. These Cauliflower Cheese bites are the perfect baby led weaning snack your whole family will love, while getting a vegetarian source of vitamin D. Batch cook and freeze in a Adult Portion Pot from the Family Portion Set to have on hand any day of the week.

  7. Vitamin B2 /Riboflavin - Riboflavin can be found in Milk products. Other good sources are ground wholegrain cereals, leafy green vegetables and ground almonds. Stir in some milk and extra spinach to this Hidden Veg Risotto for a vegetarian family meal your weaning baby will love.

  8. Vitamin B12– Most vegetarians have a high intake of folic acid which can mask the early signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin. However, that includes dairy products and eggs so as long as baby is getting it from these sources they will not need a supplement. 

Happy Weaning!

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