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I'm considering of having a child. However, I have concern about raising my baby as vegan after reading some news about babies dying from vegan feeding. By baby I mean from a newborn until the age of 5. Somehow, I feel confident feeding my child vegan diet after the age of 5.<br><br>
Has anyone here raised their baby as vegan? Or was a vegan themselves as a baby? Any advise?<br><br><br>
A concerned future father
 

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I know what story you're talking about, and the baby didn't die from being vegan, it died because all it ever had was soy milk and apple juice.
 

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For all the stories I've read, the baby has died because its parents didn't feed it correctly. The vegan diet didn't matter, the babies were starved of the correct nutrients and quantity of food. Plenty of meat-eaters babies have starved to death for the same reason, they just don't reach the news because "Baby forced to have a vegan diet DIED!" is a far more catchy and sensational headline than "Parents starved baby to death".<br><br>
I really don't know much about child nutrition so I'll let the more experienced people post about that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> But seriously, it's not the veganism that is a problem. It's the parents using veganism as an excuse for their neglect and abuse that they would have committed regardless of their diet. (A responsible parent will (well should) fully research nutrition for their baby regardless of diet and they wouldn't neglect their child so much that it would die! Hell, you would see that it was underweight and actually do something about it rather than letting it starve to death! )
 

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Welcome to VB, leong_cf!<br><br>
I'm imminently about to experience fatherhood myself. As far as I know, a baby should be fed breastmilk for maybe as long as 1 year. Breastmilk is all the food they need until about 6 months. Around that time you can start supplementing the breastmilk with some solid foods.<br><br>
If the mother is not able to breastfeed, or only for a while, then you need to find vegan infant formula. I think there are some commercial brands of vegan infant formula in the US. The UK used to have one, but at the moment we don't.<br><br>
There is a book available from the Vegan Society called "Feeding your vegan infant with confidence":<br><a href="http://shop.vegansociety.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=242" target="_blank">http://shop.vegansociety.com/product...roducts_id=242</a><br>
Also on Amazon:<br><a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2FFeeding-Your-Vegan-Infant-Confidence%2Fdp%2F0907337295" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.co.uk/Feeding-Your.../dp/0907337295</a>
 

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Thanks Indian summer for the info and I agree with the rest the Vegan's in the news starved their babies only gave them soy milk and other juices and not baby rice or cereals to fill their tummies.<br>
I wish you the best and my husband and I are trying to have a few so we are going to have them on a Veg diet.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Indian Summer</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2997533"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
As far as I know, a baby should be fed breastmilk for maybe as long as 1 year.</div>
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I think the WHO recommends that infants should be breastfed (or receive formula) for 2 years or more, but that may be more for the wellbeing of the mothers and children in developing counties. The only recent dealings i've had with breastfeeding are that both my friend's doctor parents and my hippy host parents breastfed their children well into the child's 3rd year (obviously it was only the mothers doing the breastfeeding <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Indian Summer</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2997533"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Welcome to VB, leong_cf!<br><br>
I'm imminently about to experience fatherhood myself. As far as I know, a baby should be fed breastmilk for maybe as long as 1 year. Breastmilk is all the food they need until about 6 months. Around that time you can start supplementing the breastmilk with some solid foods.<br><br>
If the mother is not able to breastfeed, or only for a while, then you need to find vegan infant formula. I think there are some commercial brands of vegan infant formula in the US. The UK used to have one, but at the moment we don't.<br><br>
There is a book available from the Vegan Society called "Feeding your vegan infant with confidence":<br><a href="http://shop.vegansociety.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=242" target="_blank">http://shop.vegansociety.com/product...roducts_id=242</a><br>
Also on Amazon:<br><a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2FFeeding-Your-Vegan-Infant-Confidence%2Fdp%2F0907337295" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.co.uk/Feeding-Your.../dp/0907337295</a></div>
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Yeah, this is something else that I wanted to talk about.<br><br>
If the mother is not able breastfed then she should in NO way feel like a failure or anything of the sort. Because she isn't. And if she can't breastfed and vegan formula is not an option (because it might not be) then you should in NO way feel like failures as vegans or whatever. The baby's health HAS to come before the parents' dietary/moral preferences so it's really not a big deal if it won't be possible to raise your baby as vegan. (This applies to other diets as well... Like one of the girls I knew at school... She was lactose intolerant and she grew up on dairy farm... )
 

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Its easier than you think!<br>
You can get soy formula (not milk) at most stores and it is fortified with all the fats an nutrients they need for 2 years. After 6 months or so they will begin to have solid pureed foods and become introduced to what you want to make for them. You can puree your own food, which is great- I loved making baby food! Sprout also makes some vegan baby foods in a package for on the go.<br>
For the most part- they will learn to eat what you make them. My daughter is 14 months and is now picking up food and eating it- she loves tofu, brown rice, mushrooms, chopped steamed kale, potatoes, pears, carrots, all sorts of wonderful things. She still has a bit of formula but drinks coconut milk and water all day.<br>
My son is pickier- I am trying to break him of whole milk- he is hooked. I am trying all the milk alternatives, he doesn't like them- but hopefully soon I will find something. He was drinking it before I was vegan. My son is 2 1/2. He loves soy "chicken" nuggets, pasta, beans, and most fruit- he is picky with vegetables- I have to sneak them into things.<br><br>
You will do great and a wonderful thing by making a little vegan! Good luck to you. And Indian Summer- good luck to you too! Being a parent is amazing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for welcoming, Summer. Interesting site. Lots of things to learn here. The internet is my only source of information and support as I'm probably the only guy going vegan in my area.<br><br>
Glad to see some encouraging feedbacks on this board. I'll spend time searching for the vegan infant formula. And thanks mollycakes. Hope I'd get wonderful experience like yours
 

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As long as you breastfeed the first year, that's the most important thing. I'm not so sure about the vegan diet for the growing child, as long as theres enough fats and calcium you are good. One of the famous cases was not only was the baby a vegan but was sick from pneunomia and the mother didn't want to get any hospital treatment, the press just target veganism in general.
 

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I know that here in NZ there was a 'famous' case of a vegan baby dying!!!<br>
The truth was that the parents were strict vegans themselves and breastfed the young baby exclusively..... so far no problems. However if the baby is not fed anything containing B12 (which frequently is the case in the beginning with both omnivorous and herbivorous parents) and then eats a vegan diet with no supplementation of B12 the baby will have little - no B12 stores. This is what happened and the baby died of this.<br>
However the doctors were aware of this and tried to give the baby a B12 injection which the parents declined and then they ran away and hid their baby so police couldn't find them and compulsorarily give the injection.<br>
So make sure that the baby at least gets B12 from somewhere once he/she starts eating solids. Or even earlier. I don't know exactly when they need to start getting it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NZVeggie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3000655"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I know that here in NZ there was a 'famous' case of a vegan baby dying!!!<br>
The truth was that the parents were strict vegans themselves and breastfed the young baby exclusively..... so far no problems. However if the baby is not fed anything containing B12 (which frequently is the case in the beginning with both omnivorous and herbivorous parents) and then eats a vegan diet with no supplementation of B12 the baby will have little - no B12 stores. This is what happened and the baby died of this.<br>
However the doctors were aware of this and tried to give the baby a B12 injection which the parents declined and then they ran away and hid their baby so police couldn't find them and compulsorarily give the injection.<br>
So make sure that the baby at least gets B12 from somewhere once he/she starts eating solids. Or even earlier. I don't know exactly when they need to start getting it.</div>
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Link?<br><br>
Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk
 

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If you mean a link to the baby death story, try Googling "Caleb Moorhead" and you'll find details. There are website that collect "vegan baby death" stories even, but if you read the details, all of the stories involve malnutrition, usually not feeding the babies enough, or feeding them only narrow varieties of foods.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>faded_amaranth</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2997627"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think the WHO recommends that infants should be breastfed (or receive formula) for 2 years or more, but that may be more for the wellbeing of the mothers and children in developing counties.</div>
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Part of the WHO's rationale is that that children in impoverished countries are less likely to get decent "grownup" food, so the breastmilk is a good source of calories.<br><br>
FWIW, there is no vegan formula available. All of the soya ones are fortified with D3 or other trace ingredients, at least in America, Australia, the UK and the EU (can you tell I've been checking this out? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">) We're planning on bf'ing, but I wanted to know what the options were if that didn't happen (milk banks are virtually non-existent here except for preemies).<br><br>
If you're paying attention, there's absolutely positively no reason that a vegan diet is unhealthy for nursing mothers or young children. I'm planning to keep on with my prenatals for a little awhile after the bean is born, and both husband and myself are careful to ensure some sources of B12.
 

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My baby is almost two and we are vegan. He eats a diet that is mostly vegan (some of his caregivers give him nonvegan foods and I have no control over that).<br><br>
When your baby arrives, its VERY simple. For the first six months, babies should be fed exclusively breastmilk. Everyone who knows anything about babies will agree that breast is best. But <b>the ADA recommends vitamin D supplements for breastfed babies of vegan mothers</b>. And all mothers who breastfeed should take care to ensure that their baby eats enough. Many mothers do this by timing their breastfeeding sessions and keeping a record of how often and how long the baby nurses.<br><br>
But if breastmilk is not an option (mother has a communicable disease, the baby is adopted, or other circumstance) then the experts say to use iron-fortified formula (soy for vegans). (<a href="http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=8060" target="_blank">source</a>) For my son, we chose a soy formula. He took to it just fine and grew exactly as expected (double birthweight by 6 months and triple birthweight by 1 year - <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infant-growth/AN01654" target="_blank">source</a>). Regular doctor visits will check his/her growth and help identify any problems (birth defect, allergies, etc.). Any good parent will see a doctor often during the first year of their child's life.<br><br>
As baby grows, he or she will need different food. The ADA says this for older babies: Since breast milk is such a rich source of nutrients, <b>vegan mothers may want to breast feed for more than one year</b>. Wean vegan infants with soymilk fortified with calcium and vitamins B12 and D. For toddlers, rice milk should not be used as a primary drink because it is low in both protein and energy.<br><br>
The Vegetarian Resource Group agrees:<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Certainly it makes sense for vegans to continue breast feeding for a year or longer, if possible, because breast milk is a rich source of nutrients. Vegan infants should be weaned to a fortified soy milk containing calcium, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D. Low-fat or non-fat soy milks should not be used before age 2. Rice milks are not recommended as a primary beverage for infants and toddlers as they are quite low in protein and energy. (<a href="http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.htm" target="_blank">source</a>)</div>
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The ADA also makes these specific recommendations for vegan toddlers:<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Vegans, both breast feeding moms and children, need a good source of B12. Options include a supplement or fortified foods like soy or rice beverages, cereals and meat substitutes.<br>
At least one quart per day of fortified soy milk in order to obtain adequate vitamin D.<br>
For vegan toddlers, calcium-fortified foods and beverages or supplements may be necessary.<br>
Babies are born with enough iron for four to six months. After this age, vegetarian and vegan infants need an outside source. Options include iron-fortified cereals or supplements.<br>
Protein needs can be met with breast milk or formula until about 8 months. After that, add plant proteins from beans and cereals and fortified soy milks.<br>
Lots of fiber can fill toddlers up quickly. Provide frequent meals and snacks. Use some refined grains, such as fortified cereals, breads and pasta, and higher-fat plant foods like sunflower butter and avocados to help vegan children meet their energy and nutrient needs.</div>
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For my son, after age 1 we weaned him from the soy formula and switched to a fortified unsweetened fullfat soymilk. He loves it and enjoys all his other tasty vegan foods, too. His favorites are beans, pea soup, pasta, peanut-butter on crackers, applesauce, and strawberries. He also eats plenty of other foods like tofu, pretzels, bread, soft steamed veggies, hummus, vegan cheese, etc.<br><br>
For more information about infant and toddler nutrition, please visit these websites:<br><a href="http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=8060" target="_blank">http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=8060</a><br><a href="http://veganhealth.org/articles/preginfchil" target="_blank">http://veganhealth.org/articles/preginfchil</a><br><a href="http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.htm" target="_blank">http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.htm</a><br><br>
PS Here is another article about raising vegan children: <a href="http://www.peta.org/living/parenting/raising-a-vegan-baby-the-first-year.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.peta.org/living/parenting...irst-year.aspx</a>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>IamJen</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3001994"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If you mean a link to the baby death story, try Googling "Caleb Moorhead" and you'll find details. There are website that collect "vegan baby death" stories even, but if you read the details, all of the stories involve malnutrition, usually not feeding the babies enough, or feeding them only narrow varieties of foods.<br><br><br>
Part of the WHO's rationale is that that children in impoverished countries are less likely to get decent "grownup" food, so the breastmilk is a good source of calories.<br><br>
FWIW, there is no vegan formula available. All of the soya ones are fortified with D3 or other trace ingredients, at least in America, Australia, the UK and the EU (can you tell I've been checking this out? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">) We're planning on bf'ing, but I wanted to know what the options were if that didn't happen (milk banks are virtually non-existent here except for preemies).<br><br>
If you're paying attention, there's absolutely positively no reason that a vegan diet is unhealthy for nursing mothers or young children. I'm planning to keep on with my prenatals for a little awhile after the bean is born, and both husband and myself are careful to ensure some sources of B12.</div>
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I am a vegan RN who works in a womens' hospital with ante and postpartum patients. Breastfeed!! For as long as you and your little one can. The surgeon general of the usa states that for optimum health, u.s. babies should breastfeed for at least a year, and that it is the lucky baby who continues for two years or more.<br><br>
Breastmilk is not just 'calories'. It is the perfect nutrition and antibodies, changing as the baby grows.<br><br>
Healthy vegan babies, of course, that whole scare crap is ridiculous. I asked for the link because that nz story sounds farfetched to me.
 

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FWIW, I didn't make the claim that breastmilk is "just calories". It's perfectly designed for your baby and is what I hope to feed my own child soon. The backup plan was just in case there's some issue that can't be resolved with a lactation consultant. However, in some countries where the mother is starving/very deficient herself, it's not a superb food, and one major benefit of continuing to bf then are simply the calories given to the infant.
 

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IamJen, if for whatever reason you have to use formula don't worry about the D3. That's vegan enough. That's what we did and our son is healthy and happy. Breastfeeding is wonderful and anyone who can, should. But if you can't, just get the soy formula and feel confident that you're being as vegan as possible. It's fine.<br><br>
Likewise, doctors in the US will not allow soy formula for preemies so if you can't breastfeed in that circumstance or it's just not caloric-enough for doctor's approval, just accept the cow's milk formula until your baby is healthy enough to transition to soy. Don't beat yourself up over it.<br>
Same goes for if your kiddo turns out to be allergic to soy. (If they're allergic to soy formula then they're almost certainly allergic to dairy formula and they need hypoallergenic formula.) The hypoallergenic formulas are dairy-based. They have been processed in such a way to make them suitable to babies who are allergic to dairy and soy. Just accept that's what you need to do right now and vow to feed your child vegan foods later when you're able.<br><br>
We live in an imperfect world and it's often not possible to have purely vegan children. That's OK. <b>The point of raising kids as vegans isn't about the consumption of a little D3 or a few weeks of dairy formula. The point is to instill values of compassion, respect, mercy, and justice.</b> The point is to teach them how they can make their own choices in the future to benefit animals, the planet, and human health. The point is to ensure that they enjoy eating plant-based meals and know how to nourish themselves without hurting or killing animals. The point is that they understand that they have the power to make the world a better place by choosing vegan options as often as possible.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>LedBoots</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3002176"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I am a vegan RN who works in a womens' hospital with ante and postpartum patients. Breastfeed!! For as long as you and your little one can. The surgeon general of the usa states that for optimum health, u.s. babies should breastfeed for at least a year, and that it is the lucky baby who continues for two years or more.<br><br>
Breastmilk is not just 'calories'. It is the perfect nutrition and antibodies, changing as the baby grows.<br><br>
Healthy vegan babies, of course, that whole scare crap is ridiculous. I asked for the link because that nz story sounds farfetched to me.</div>
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I don't have a link - on super slow internet so can't do a big search. It was all over the news a few years ago. But that is definitely what happened. The baby died of B12 deficiency. It went through the courts and everything because the parents refused to allow a B12 injection.<br><br>
I am totally for breast feeding by the way, don't take it as a negative stance. I am also vegan myself and plan to feed my babies vegan and breast feed for as long as possible. However I will carefully plan their diets and make sure they get the right nutrients. So that none of the above horror stories happen to me.
 

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It's very frustrating that the issue of parents who refuse medical treatment gets changed by the media into an issue of vegan diets.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NZVeggie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3003133"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't have a link - on super slow internet so can't do a big search. It was all over the news a few years ago. But that is definitely what happened. The baby died of B12 deficiency. It went through the courts and everything because the parents refused to allow a B12 injection.</div>
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French couple starved baby: <a href="http://www.3news.co.nz/Vegans-charged-after-death-of-breastfed-only-baby/tabid/417/articleID/204943/Default.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.3news.co.nz/Vegans-charge...3/Default.aspx</a><br><br>
NZ couple starved baby: <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=2045066" target="_blank">http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...jectid=2045066</a><br><br>
Actually, both babies died of pneumonia.<br><br>
The parents fed the children breastmilk only, which is fine if you feed enough of it and the child doesn't have an absorption problem caused by disease.<br><br>
In this case it appears they were underfeeding the children. In the case of the girl, she was 11 months old (old enough to start eating puréed fruits and veggies, cereals and even mashed beans) but she was very underweight. The parents fed her purely breastmilk. So they should probably have given her some food, period.<br><br>
She was deficient in B12 as well as vitamin A. That may have contributed to her death by making her more susceptible to pneumonia, but the actual true cause of death was pneumonia.<br><br><b>The fault of the parents was refusing to take her to the doctor when she was ill.</b> Likewise, in the case of the 6 month old NZ boy, the child needed medical care. That care may have included B12 supplements but it may not have. <b>They needed antibiotics, a sterile environment, and food</b> much more than merely a B12 injection! despite what the news article says, <b>A B12 injection will not cure pneumonia.</b><br><br>
The take-away from all this is to find a vegan-friendly pediatrician and to visit him/her often during you child's infancy. If your kid is sick, TAKE THEM TO THE DOCTOR!
 
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