How can i safely raise my son as a vegan?

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Hi,

I'm a vegan newbie and have a one year old son. He has a milk protein allergy so we avoid dairy with him. I have done my research I would like to raise him as a vegan, however I don't know enough to do it safely.

Can anyone give me advice on books or anything that may help us raise him as a vegan without causing any deficiencies or growth problems?

Thank you,
Hannah
 
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Plant Muncher

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I seriously doubt anyone here can give you that kind of advice and if they did, I'd still ask a nutritionist before I took that advice. Having said that, you can look into making your own baby foods with vegan ingredients. I know that children need a lot of fat(not necessarily animal fat) to develop a healthy blood-brain barrier. I would talk to a nutritionists/pediatrician before I committed myself to a diet for a growing child.
 

Jamie in Chile

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I read this book and I thought it was good. https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Vegan-Express-Plant-based-Nutrition/dp/1570672954

It has a specific chapter on children including a section for toddlers but the whole book about vegan nutrition is useful.

When you read generic articles on vegan nutrition, consider that low protein, low calcium and perhaps low fat as mentioned above may be more risky for children than adults. So possibly do extra research on these topics than you would for an adult to check whether or not I'm right. And be skeptical of claims that vegans can eat very low protein or low fat. Such claims are not necessarily meant to be applied to children.

However there is a strong and growing body of evidence, in terms of lack of reported problems, scienfitic studies, and examples of healthy vegan children, that the odds of deficiencies and growth problems for children with a well-planned vegan diet is probably very low.

I can't give specific advice for 1 year olds, though. In general, I think healthy vegan diets are possible for all and it's true that the needs of children and adults are pretty similar. However it's also true that the younger the child I think the more there is a need to be extra careful and get specific advice and likewise the less likely that non professionals are going to risk giving advice.

I hope you manage to read the above book and get an appointment with a nutrionist. If you have done both things you will also be able more easily to defend the diet to concerned others.

From an ethical perspective advice might be to go vegan immediately but from a health perspective I suggest you remove foods one at a time and add foods one at a time, and perhaps slowly, and keep an eye out for any changes or reactions.

I can say that I personally have no experience with children on a vegan diet at all so keep that in mind.
 
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amberfunk

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I would consult with a nutritionist that has experience with vegan children. Do know that your son will need b 12 since infants are more likely to become deficient.

I can speak on the dairy intolerance though. My son was also dairy intolerant when he was younger. We had decided on not giving him cow milk before he was born so it wasn't that big of an issue. I found that coconut milk was the best for him until he started eating more solid foods then we switched to almond milk mostly.