Vegetarian Baby

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Athena asked 2 years ago

Hi Slava 
My 23 month old eats really well but she is skinny (has always been tall and skinny, she was 2.9kg at birth). We vegan / vegetarian (the only dairy she has is cheese) and she has been since she started BLW at 6 months. She likes legumes so she is getting protein but how will I know if she is being fed enough or well? 

Slava replied 2 years ago

Hi Athena,

In terms of her diet, what is important is that she is getting one flat tablespoon per year of life, from each food group, at every meal. So about 2 flat tablespoons of a starchy food, a protein rich food (legumes, cheese & nut butters, provided she isn’t allergic) & veg/ fruit on her plate, at each meal is what you should be aiming for. If she is finishing her most of her meals, most days, she should be getting enough.

In terms of her growth, you can down load growth charts from the World Health Organisation website & plot her growth on those. So for starters, plot her birth weight & notice which z score/ percentile it lands on or between. Then plot her current weight & compare if it is following the curve of her birth weight. If it is, then you have nothing to worry about. If her current weight is far below the curve of her birth weight you should consider consulting your Pediatrician or a Registered Dietitian.

Vegan & vegetarian diets tend to result in vitamin & mineral deficiencies, especially the B vitamins because their main food sources are animal based. Having said that, it could be worth considering a multivitamin supplement that is appropriate for her age.

I hope this helps, but please do shout if you would like some more information!

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