A vegetarian diet can be a healthy way to feed your baby or young child. The key is in carefully planning the menus.
Young children need iron and zinc to grow and develop normally. If you avoid meat, you will need to replace it with high iron and zinc containing foods such as beans, as well as find alternative sources of vitamin B12, like nutritional yeast or eggs.
If you avoid dairy, you’ll need to find a good source of calcium and vitamin D, such as soymilk. And always keep good sources of protein on hand, especially if you avoid meat, dairy, and eggs. Last, providing enough calories will ensure your child grows well.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, September 2020
Thanks for the great article!
The volume of leafy greens little kids would have to eat to match their needs would crowd out other important foods. Remember, those tummies are tiny! And need to be filled with high nutrient foods that aren’t bulky/filling.
Great article. So glad you didn’t tell folks they have to eat meat loke so many other doctors do. However, why only talk milk substitute when discussing calcium? What about oranges and kale!!??