I had no idea how many theories there are regarding when, how, and what, to feed a baby. Um – there’s a LOT. It’s enough to make your head spin! And for this mama, it was enough to make me say “Hmmm . . . I think I’m just gonna go with my gut on this one!” Which, as an aside, is sort of my overall approach to – and advice on – parenting as a whole. I say do your research, be informed, but always remember: Nobody knows how to be your child’s mom except YOU. (or dad! I know there’s dads reading this too!)
Feeding a vegan baby isn’t anything special, really. All munchkins under one are getting the bulk of their nutrition from breast milk or formula – food at this age is more about sensory exploration and ‘practice’ for down the road. And many animal foods are actually common allergens, thus withheld until later on anyway. So for now, my focus in feeding Waits is less about being vegan, and more about being a damn hippie. And feeding a hippie baby . . . well, that can get complicated!
We postponed starting solids until Waits was displaying all the signs of readiness: sitting up on his own, loss of tongue-thrust reflex, and using the ‘pincer’ grasp. We decided to delay the introduction of grains and thus skipped right over rice cereal. We introduced veggies before fruits to try and avoid a ‘sweets’ bias (yeah, not so successful there). We do daily probiotics (in various forms), we soak and sprout to maximize nutrients, and for the most part everything is ‘whole’, homemade, and organic.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a more in-depth look into what we’ve been feeding the wee Mister Rebhal. In the meantime, here’s a list of excellent resources for anyone curious about veg*n children’s nutrition –
1) Feeding Your Vegan Infant With Confidence – great book, but the price really fluctuates!
2) Disease-Proof Your Child by one of my idols Joel Fuhrman, MD
3) Raising Vegetarian Children, which contains lots of info for vegans, too.
4) Becoming Vegan is the best all-around nutrition reference book EVER!
***all of these books are currently featured in my Amazon Store. Just sayin’!***