CAN BABIES BE VEGETARIANS?
One of the big food conversations among adult eaters right now is about meat consumption. It’s becoming increasingly clear that a predominantly plant-based diet is not just better for our health but also for our environment. But what about babies? Can and should babies be vegetarians? Parenting website Romper explores this topic in a recent blog post, which concludes that for babies, who require huge amounts of iron and zinc for optimal growth and development, meat is an essential part of their diet. “Basically, your baby can't absorb as much iron from kale as she does from beef pilaf. Low bioavailability of iron in plants and grains is part of the reason the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends meat as an important first food,” the author says.
The conclusion for this writer is that even though she has made the decision not to eat meat as an adult, she is feeding her baby meat. "Personally, I don't think I can meet her nutritional requirements with plant-based foods alone, but every vegetarian family will handle their baby's diet differently. If you're passionate about raising your baby or toddler on a completely vegetarian diet, your pediatrician is your best resource."