Meat-free ZONE

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Real Advice -

Q I’m a veg­e­tar­ian, and I’m won­der­ing whether it’s al­right to feed my baby a sim­i­lar diet. A Nutri­tion­ist Dr Joanna McMil­lan says: It’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to bring up a baby on a veg­e­tar­ian diet if you take great care with meals. How­ever, ba­bies have rel­a­tively high re­quire­ments for nu­tri­ents such iron and zinc, and it can be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to meet these re­quire­ments with­out an­i­mal foods.

Legumes and pulses are great foods for ba­bies, be­ing soft and easy to eat, but they do not pro­vide all of the amino acids re­quired for growth. While an adult can mix and match from the other plant pro­teins con­sumed over the course of the day, it’s best for a baby to have all es­sen­tial amino acids in the same meal. This means com­bin­ing plant pro­teins.

If you choose to stay with a veg­e­tar­ian diet, be guided by a nutri­tion­ist. Keep­ing at least dairy foods and eggs (once your baby is old enough to have them) in the diet is also a wise move.

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