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.