Raising a Vegan Baby: The First Year

The following article was written by Amy Snyder. 

This is such a cliché, but it seems like just yesterday that my son was born. The 40-plus hours of labor that I suffered through felt like it lasted a lifetime, but the year since then has gone by in a flash. Now that I’m celebrating my son Dylan’s very first birthday—and a rock ‘n’ roll birthday, at that—I’ve realized it’s a good time to pass on what I’ve learned as a first-time vegan parent who is raising a vegan child.

578_2D00_raisingveganbabyDylan enjoying vegan cake on his first birthday

First and foremost, raising your child vegan isn’t as difficult or complicated as some sources might lead you to believe. Babies need lots of love and care during their first year, but there are only a few areas of their early life that you need to veganize.


Doctors recommend breastfeeding infants, and yep, breast milk is vegan. If you can’t breastfeed or choose not to, you can try to score breast milk from a vegan donor by going through an approved milk bank, or you can go the soy formula route. The vitamins in soy formula may contain trace amounts of animal products, but you can check with the manufacturer and decide what is best for your family. Please be sure to read PETA’s stance on trace amounts of animal products.


A baby’s first foods are typically fruits, veggies, and rice cereal—all of which are naturally vegan. Once your baby is ready for small pieces of food instead of having everything pureed, you can introduce proteins such as tofu, tempeh, and soft cooked beans, and there’s no need for meat! Just remember to feed your baby, vegan or not, a wide variety of foods and a balanced diet.  

Personal Care

There are currently a ton of options for all-natural, vegan baby lotion, bath wash, diaper cream, and more. I personally love the smell of Method’s Squeaky Green Hair + Body Wash, which is scented with rice milk and mallow. Delicious!


Vegans skip fur, leather, and wool in favor of cruelty-free fabrics, but as most babies I know aren’t sporting leather pants or fur coats, this one is easy. Most play clothes are made from cotton—it’s only the dressier items that may contain wool and the shoes that may contain leather, so be sure to read the label.

The doctors and child-care providers that I’ve been in touch with during Dylan’s first year have been extremely knowledgeable about veganism and supportive of my choice. They seem to respect that every parent has the right to choose what is best for their child and raise them according to those beliefs, until the child can make his or her own choices. I realize that this isn’t the case for everyone and that some people might act like you are depriving your child by choosing a vegan diet for him or her, but who could say that this little guy doesn’t look healthy and happy?

This advice is just the tip of the iceberg, and I’d like to know what all the other vegan moms out there think too. What are your best tips or advice for parenting a vegan infant?

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  • maria commented on August 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I have heard recently from medical professionals that giving soy milk to infants and children is detrimental because of the hormones involved in soy products. I actually remember hearing one source say that it is like feeding a child birth control pills. What is your response to this criticism?

    • Becky Striepe commented on March 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Fwiw, our pediatrician recommended soy milk to us. She said up to 2 servings per day is beneficial.

    • Elizabeth commented on April 28, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Soy milk does have hormones but it is far far less than cow milk, which shows up in most conventional baby formula (which doctors do approve of to give to your baby) so soy shouldn’t be a concern. for the most part, research things yourself, even if a doctor says something.Honestly, they don’t always know what they’re talking about.

    • Helen commented on May 1, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      I notice that all this advice does not include worrying about growth hormones, antibiotics and vaccinations given to cows. I wonder how these factors compare against weak phyto-oestrogens in soya. Not to mention the natural hormones that would be present in the milk of an enormous animal to help its very large young grow. Seems to me that there is something a little unbalanced here.

      • Carley Bowering commented on May 19, 2015 at 11:25 am

        Dairy cows are often dosed with bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as “mastitis.” BGH is used widely in the U.S. but has been banned in Europe and Canada because of concerns over human health and animal welfare.

    • Mag commented on June 14, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      soy hormone is a myth spread by farm industry. They trying to benefit from their animals and diary products so they spread lies about anything else. There are far more naturally occurring and added hormones in ALL animal products. Milk has growth hormones. It is meant for baby cow to grow into 500 lbs adult in very short period of time. How is that good for humans than? You need to start looking for reputable sources. go to check out dr campbell, dr esseslyn and dr mcdoughall for starts

      • Caroline commented on June 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm

        plus, aren’t cows fed a diet of soy and corn

        • Carley Bowering commented on July 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

          Cattle on feedlots are fed a highly unnatural diet to fatten them up. This causes chronic digestive pain—imagine your worst case of gastritis that never goes away. The stomach becomes so full of gas (a condition called bloat) that breathing is impaired because of compression of the lungs.

          Cattle raised for food are also regularly dosed with drugs such as antibiotics to make them grow faster and keep them alive in these miserable conditions. Instead of taking sick cattle to see a veterinarian, many feedlot owners simply give the animals even higher doses of human-grade antibiotics in an attempt to keep them alive long enough to make it to the slaughterhouse.

    • Trish Fevold commented on July 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Putting Animals over Babies, PETA Pushes Dangerous Vegan Diet for Young Children
      Wesley J. Smith July 6, 2015 12:17 PM | Permalink
      Humans are omnivores and our young need the nutrients readily supplied by meat and other animal-based products, which are among our natural foods. That’s why veganism can be dangerous to very young children.

      But animal rights fanatics still push the “meat is murder” line, across the board. And sometimes young children get hurt. From the story in the Telegraph:

      The vegan parents of an 11-month-old Italian baby are under investigation after their son was rushed to hospital suffering severe malnutrition. The couple, who live on the outskirts of the Tuscan city of Pisa, could face charges of abuse over their child, who was taken to Cisanello Hospital in a critical condition.

      Doctors said the baby was severely malnourished and showed signs of deficiency in vitamin B12, which is found in foods including fish, meat, eggs, and milk. “He could neither crawl nor sit himself up,” said Giovanni Federico, a paediatrician at the hospital. The baby’s parents, who are in their early thirties, follow a vegan diet and do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy products.

      Mr Federico said the baby’s parents had put him on a vegan diet once he began to eat solid foods.

      • Carley Bowering commented on July 23, 2015 at 11:56 am


        Children raised as vegans—who consume no animal products, including meat, eggs, and dairy products—can easily obtain all the nutrients essential for optimum health from plant-based sources.

        Acclaimed pediatrician the late Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote in his book Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, “Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats … are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.”

        Of course, it is up to parents and doctors to make sure that kids are getting enough plant-based nutrients, but that is not hard to do. Check out this Kid’s Guide to Vegan Nutrition for more information:

  • TarynH commented on August 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Awesome! Any tips on finding the right pediatrician (one who supports veganism)? I am due in a few months and live in an area that is not very vegan or hip. I want to find a pediatrician who will not fight me on my choice to raise a healthy vegan child.

  • @ALYSSA2192 commented on August 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    When I get older and have a child of my own I would love to become vegan and to also have my child be vegan. It will benefit my child and my family in the long run.

  • Rachel lukasavage commented on August 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    What’s your plans for when you stop breast feeding? What source of milk do you plan on using?

  • Jen13 commented on August 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I raised my boy vegan until he was 3 when his father and I had separated-His father up and decided it was best to feed him meat-starting with MacDonalds-ick! It was a complete nightmare for me.I honestly think his father really just wanted to wind me up rather than think of his son’s nutrition.I was so careful with my sons diet and he was in such amazing health-it was almost a lost cause then as the courts portray you quite wacky and marginal if you brought it up as an issue in a custody dispute-especially 15 years ago.I think times have changed now. I had a no smoking clause in my order to prevent smoke getting anywhere near my child..that was vaguely supported-now it is Law!TImes do change for the better!

    The long and short of it is, my son, who is extremely healthy and was a very healthy baby chooses vegan most of the time. I decided to let go of my anger towards his father and leave the issue. If I was too militant it would have looked poorly on me at the time. Fortunately my son has,by example, developed his own ethical stance based on learned compassion for animals from me and an exclusively vegan Mum.He does love my cooking!However he is still torn on pleasing his father with meat eating-or is rather afraid of offending him. I am confident the older he gets he will become more confident to just stick with what feels right for him. Having a solid 1/2 vegan upbringing has been nothing but beneficial.I think the best form of introducing change is by example,flexibility and great support for those just starting the process.

  • Brazenbaroness commented on August 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I need help! I want to , cold turkey, become a vegetarian as of today. My 2 older children too. 9 and 7. Are there resorces out there somewhere to helpus get started?how you are raising your baby!

  • Amy-C commented on August 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm


    My son is transitioning to a sippy cup at the moment and I’m giving him a combination of unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened soy milk. He loves them both!

  • Amy-C commented on August 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I wish there was an easier way to find pro-veg pediatricians but I think your best bet might be checking out the or message boards. Baby Center has several veg groups and city specific groups, so you could ask the moms there. Or you could call several pediatricians in your area before taking the time to schedule an appointment. Good luck!

  • DC commented on August 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I’m raising two vegan kids. Their doctor worried in the beginning until she did blood work on them. Once the results came back she told me to keep doing whatever I’m doing because they are perfectly healthy! My kids are five and six years old now and have NEVER eaten anything from an animal.

    • jaskirat commented on April 22, 2015 at 11:19 am

      hi can someone give me real reply as to what kind of milk i should start my son on after he is one year old , i am giving him formula right now, and i am not sure about soymilk i have read both wrong and right about it, can someone please help me out urgently as he is turning one.Thanks everyone for reading, have a great day.

      • Helen commented on May 1, 2015 at 11:06 pm

        I would carry on breastfeeding as long as possible, certainly beyond one year. Replacement milk is not really necessary in that instance. However, in the UK you can get soya baby formula, but it is very sweet. Ordinary, non-gmo soya milk with fortified B12 is fine after one year, as well as almond milk. Look out for sweeteners. They are not nutritionally sufficient on their own. Children under 5 should not have too many whole grains as the fibre fills them too much. A varied diet with kale, broccoli, tahini, sweet potatoes, fruit, dates and raisins for iron, coconut, you name it. Babies are not really meant to be weaned at a year. That is just a Western convention . Be careful, though, with vitamin D and vitamin B12. D means efficient calcium uptake and prevents rickets. B12 is important for neurological development. If your child gets breast milk from a vegan mother who is supplemented in these then that should cover it, but plenty of plant milks are supplemented too. Check out if they are balanced for baby needs. It isn’t natural to supplement with another animal’s milk, so it stands to reason that a mother has to keep her nutritional requirements up to meet her child’s when breastfeeding.

  • Amy-C commented on August 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Overwhelming evidence indicates that soy foods are beneficial and none of my health care providers have advised against my son consuming soy. It’s packed with protein, has zero cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. And soy is only a part of his well balanced diet. He eats (and eats and eats!) lots of beans, grains and veggies too. I hope this additional info helps. :)

  • Sarah with Veggie Kids commented on August 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Kudos to you!! I’ve been raising my three boys vegan and although there have been some challenges along the way (mostly when it involves outings or school functions involving group foods), it has been amazing and eye opening. My children have a vast appreciation for what they’re doing for their bodies, animals and our Earth. I love hearing stories about other parents raising their children vegan!!

  • Amy-C commented on August 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Brazenbaroness, check out our guide to ‘Making the Transition’ to a vegan diet: I hope it helps.

  • Elaine commented on August 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I’m raising my son vegan. The number one piece of advice I have is to find a doctor who is educated about vegetarianism and veganism and who supports your decision. This one thing will help tremendously as some people will question your choices. When you can say with confidence, “my pediatrician supports my choice to raise my son vegan and my son is growing well” that will help many people relax about it.

    My son drank soy formula for the first year and now drinks soy milk. Millions of kids around the world have consumed soy formula and soy milk in earlier years. It’s proven to be a healthy and safe option. Obviously, breast is best but when you can’t go that route, choose a commercial soy formula and feel good about it!

    I strictly follow the mainstream advice for raising vegan children from the American Dietetic Association as well as the information provided by the Vegetarian Resource Group and Vegan Health. I highly recommend those resources.

    Lastly, I have to say that as a vegan parent my primary aim of raising my son as a vegan is to foster compassion and empathy in my child as well as to nurture healthy habits so he can grow up strong and capable. So I steer him away from hotdogs and hamburgers, ice cream and soda, but if he wants to eat one slice of nonvegan birthday cake at a friend’s party I let him. Because it’s not about making life complicated or difficult, it’s about avoiding animal products as much as practical and possible in order to refrain from causing unecessary suffering and death for nonhuman animals. I have faith that when he gets older and has a better understanding of what is and what isn’t an animal product, he’ll choose to avoid nonvegan baked goods (which for all proactical purposes are indestinguishable from vegan baked goods) all on his own.

  • Amy-C commented on August 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Elaine, great advice about the ADA and how to deal with real world situations, like a birthday party. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gabriela commented on August 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I’m not a mom, but I’ve heard from friends, articles and news that breast-feeding your baby as long as possible before introducing soy foods directly to them helps avoid soy allergies, which is obviously an awful thing to have if you’re going to be a vegan! My mom fed me a lot of sweet potatoes, bananas and cereal while I was just growing into eating real food. Although most of my protein resources came from drinks like formula and milk, my doctor said that was just fine as long as I was growing and functioning well. But be sure to ask your pediatrician if it’s right for your own children!

  • VeganMom commented on August 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    My husband and I went vegan 20 years ago and now have two beautiful children; 14 and 11. Both are being raised on a compassionate ALL VEGAN diet and have never eaten animal products. They are both healthier, taller, smarter and stronger than most of their friends (really!). Regarding soy… I would avoid soy due to the high phytoestrogen. My daughter developed breast buds at 15 months when I stopped nursing her and switched to soy milk. Hospital tests revealed she had too much estrogen and was actually experiencing premature puberty. We have since restricted our use of soy and avoid processed soy products. It can be hard to overcome the brainwashing we received as kids about the need to drink milk. World wide, children don’t drink any milk once they stop nursing, and we need to keep that in mind when thinking we need to ‘switch’ to some other type of milk. Water is a the source of all life and it’s what my kids drink the most of. No empty calories or sugar. Your child will get all the vitamins and minerals they need from the whole food you feed them. Select organic, whole, fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, etc. and you’ll be on the right track! Fast vegan food can be attractive because it’s convenient and can allow your child to ‘fit in’, but these foods are highly processed and should used only on occasion; like cookouts or birthday parties. Forge ahead and don’t worry about what your pediatrician says. Be your own advocate and educate yourself about nutrition, food safety, vaccinations, etc. is a great place to start. Trust your instincts and know you’re providing your children with the BEST possible diet for their health, the planet and the animals.

    • Liudmila commented on March 31, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Do you or your kids take supplements of B12, or iron or any other supplements? Or do you or your kids eat fortified food? Thank you

      • Carley Bowering commented on April 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

        Nutritionists recommend that vegans take a commercially available multivitamin or vitamin B12 supplement or eat foods that are fortified with vitamin B12, such as many breakfast cereals, fortified orange juice or soy milk, or nutritional yeast.

  • concerned observer commented on August 30, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Are any of you concerned about long term developmental issues with your children that won’t show up untill they are older? How will you feel if lack of fats and oils etc are the reasons for these problems many professionals feel you will be faced with?

  • Angie commented on September 7, 2011 at 6:40 am

    To concerned observer,
    Thank you for your concern. I’m assuming you know exactly what you eat? I know I do. I get every nutrient that is recommended from my plant based diet and then some. Where do yoy get your fatty acids from? I get it from hemp protein, flax, borage, primrose and more. I also get my protein from legumes, beans, nuts, whole grains, vegetables about 70g a day on average. How many grams do you get? The reason I ask is because that simple question can be asked to most meat eaters and 9 times out of 10 they don’t have a clue in my experience. How much iron do you get? I get a crap load because I eat greens and exclusively cook out of cast iron pots and pans. While pregnant I tested through the roof in iron, the highest they ever had :) What sources of calcium do you get? I get mine from mostly greens and which have been proven to be a delicious way to get it, yum kale, my fav. Where do you get you vitamin D from, I get mine from a plant based supplement also portabello mushrooms and of course the sun, all you need is 15 mins a day on parts of you body to get a good vitamin D storage. B12 is tricky, I get most of it from nutritional yeast.

    In the end there is a way to get all of the nutrients needed and to thrive in a plant based diet, it takes some reading, but It’s easy. My son from birth has been in the 98-102 percentile in growth and development. Don’t you worry, my baby gets everything that promotes great mental and physical development. How many meat eaters do you know throw caution to the wind and assume their baby gets all that the need from the dairy eating, meat eating diet?…Most people I know have know idea what their child is getting out of their food…I think It’s less of a vegan problem and more of a parenting problem when it comes to malnutrition in babies and kids. You have to remember that the push for making dairy part of the basic food groups were a advertising campaign by the dairy industry about 60 yrs ago, they actually funded it! The idea that you can only get vit D and a good source of calcium from only milk has been disproven. What did the human race do before the domesticated cow?

    My vegan diet is complete and so is my baby’s. Can you say that about yours? And by the way we hardly eat soy…we probably eat less then the average meat eater.

  • Anonymous commented on September 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Angie, thanks for your comments to the “concerned observer.” I get so tired of people passing judgement on vegans when they have no clue what goes into their own mouths.

  • Kenny commented on September 7, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Dylan’s a real beauty!!! I’m not a Mom , or even a parent but reading this wonderful article got me thinking of the Jains from India. It’s part of their beliefs to be cruelty free for centuries now, and maybe if interested finding out about these older cultures, who are still around today,can give some tips? I have nice recipes from Hindi culture, but can’t write too much here,it’s getting late.
    I’m writing a song right now with the working title ” vegan baby” or “baby vegan” ,i was surprised to see this right after i wrote it! Good karma! Your beautiful article is a real motivator!!! Only greed,lust or ignorance is carnivorous…. Thanks for sharing.
    Oh and i feel going holistic is important as well as avoiding GMO’s , besides being untested and all over, they may contain animal genes, even in a piece of corn! Sick world…..

    • Bee Rudd commented on September 6, 2014 at 6:40 am

      I would love to see the lyrics to this song… I’m also a singer songwriter and LOVE songs like this!!! Go you!

      P.S. Loving this blog post and these discussions. Using the internet to find a informed vegan community has GOT to be one of the best things about the WWW. I would be hard pushed to meet another vegan where I live… and it makes it harder to transition without the angel on your shoulder (aka you guys!) to talk back to the devil on the other side (aka supermarkets, advertising, uninformed well meaning f&f). THANK YOU AMY for writing this article and giving everyone a forum to share wisdom, experience & tips for the amazing way of life. We’re changing the world into a better place one mum and baby at a time <3

      'I'm looking at the man in the mirror,
      I'm asking him to changes his ways,
      No message could've been any clearer,
      If you wanna make the world a better place,
      Take a look at yourself and make that CHANGE'!
      ~ Michael Jackson

  • Jane commented on September 8, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Very inspiring indeed.

  • DSR25 commented on September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Your son looks fantastically healthy and happy! I have just completed a vegan pledge month and hope to become vegan over the next six months once I have a full book of recipes to support me! I am a typical meat eater – overweight and unhealthy – I, like Bill Clinton, am moving to a vegan diet to reverse my poor diet to date. Any tips on how to add more grains to my diet would be appreciated, as I struggle to meet the triangles suggested targets on portions!

  • Lora commented on September 8, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Good job! I just wanted to say a little something about breastfeeding. I feel like if you’re willing to go to the hassles of raising your child vegan, that you should REALLY TRY to go to the hassle of breastfeeding for one year. Breastfeeding is not easy, I know, I’ve nursed three babies over the past four years. My most recent baby has been a breeze, but my first two were a constant struggle.

    I mostly just want to encourage new moms to breastfeed as long as possible. It hurts, you wonder if they’re gaining enough weight, it’s time consuming, you can’t go back to work and it’s not exactly a social ice-breaker…but it’s only one year of your life. One year out of maybe ninety? And if it means your child can avoid lifelong allergies, or worse, then I think it’s worth it. It also takes the stress out of introducing solids, knowing that your child is getting everything he/she needs from your breast milk.

    Remember, there was a time when there was no formula at all. Just hang in there and it will come. I know sometimes it seems like torture, but you can do it.

    Sorry, that is all. I feel kind of strongly about breastfeeding…obv.

  • Tricia commented on September 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I am raising my kids vegetarian, but they get some animal products at Grandma’s, etc, because so far, I can’t seem to stop it, or I am letting them make the decision. I only went vegan when they were 4 1/2 and they do eat vegan at home. Their dad is still an omnivore. I am being truthful with them though. I am sharing what it is they are eating – like they KNOW if they eat sausage that isn’t mommy’s then they are eating pig and they will ask people. I have found that 9 times out of 10, they CHOOSE the vegan or vegetarian option when they KNOW what they are eating is actually dead animal. It is my opinion that if more kids knew what they were eating instead of just eating what is given to them with no questions asked, then we would have more vegan/vegetarian kids. Having raised my first son, now 19, as an omnivore, I see a distinct difference for the better – their feet are not growing at an alarming rate and they are thinner with better muscle tone. As for smarter, no, they are not, but I think a lot of factors come into play there, not just diet. I hope that they will choose to go vegan with me as they age. Their dad is very supportive and eats vegan when I cook and I think that at some point he will go vegan too. Cheese is hard for him. I thought it would be for me too, but then I found Daiya. I have been so happy with the nutrients I get from the fresh veggies, legumes, etc, and though it took a little while to learn a new way of cooking, I now think I can make nearly anything vegan and this is only in about 6 months time. I have yet to find a Doctor that is supportive of vegan or vegetarian lifestyles however, but I am still searching. My pediatrician told me flat out that I HAD to feed them milk after I quit breastfeeding. I told her that I didn’t, and she made me feel quite ignorant for feeling I knew more than she did. Times are changing and I wish more pediatricians would change with them. They would see a lot less obese kids if they did! Thanks for your article and KUDOS on your decision. :)))

  • Jen commented on September 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    You go Angie! That’s pretty much what I was going to say (: So many meat eaters ask me the same questions, which seem so silly to me. Nobody ever cared about what I ate until I became almost vegan (still making my transition). But since my quest, I’ve lost 30 lbs, my face cleared up, I am all around happy, and my doc says I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been! All my vitamin levels are perfect. I also plan on raising my child vegan, when I finally have one. I’ve already lined up nutritionists and pediatricians that are vegan friendly, and I’m not even pregnant yet! All it takes is a little research and an good grocery list to get everything you need as a vegan. I wish people would stop making it seem hard or wrong! Although, I do agree with avoiding soy. I still enjoy it, but less than once a week. When I was eating it daily, it really messed with my hormones. But since cutting back, everything is back to normal. My nephew is 15 months old and still nursing, and will continue to nurse until he decides he’s done. He drinks breast milk and water. He LOVES his water. No juice, no milk, just water. And he is extremely healthy! He’s also not vaccinated, but his ped says his immune system is strong enough that he doesn’t need to be vaccinated. Vegan diets truly are wonderful!

  • Vinsue commented on September 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    My little Grand daughter is being raised Vegan and I’m thrilled. At one year old she loves Hummus,she is bright and healthy,and I am so encouraged to know that lot’s of young parents are shifting away from animal products in their diets. This is the smartest thing for your kids, and the kindest thing for the planet.

  • Helen commented on September 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I too have a son who turned 1 last week, called Dylan, that was born after 40+ hours of labour, but he’s a vegetarian instead of a vegan! He loves his food, eats healthily without any fuss and is never ill, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it so long as you substitute the food groups and feed them a balanced diet.

  • Silja commented on October 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Wow! This is incredible, and by sharing your story, you’re helping lots of people out there. It’s such an indescribably amazing act on your part. ♥
    What a lucky baby, too. I wish everyone was raised Vegan since they came to this world, it’d make such a vital impact on a countless amount of things.

  • Vegan Family of 3 commented on October 20, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    My son is 21 months old and we are raising him on a vegan diet. He is such a healthy, happy little guy. His favorite foods are waffles, avocado, hummus and crackers and almond butter. I breastfed Lucas for 1 year and after that transitioned to unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk and occasionally hemp milk as his primary “dairy/calcium” drinks. He has only been sick twice in his 2 years of life (with minor colds) and loves to eat, climb, play and get into mischief like any other growing toddler. My pediatrician has always been supportive. She said he eats a more varied and balanced diet than any of her other meat-eating patients. I have Celiac Disease, but we are not just rice flour eaters in this house. When it was time for rice cereal during his first year, he had quinoa cereal and buckwheat cereal, too. This guy doesn’t do Gerber Graduates meals…he will have kale and corn soup any day over macaroni and cheese. I think by introducing such a wide variety of plant based foods and gluten free whole grains at an early age we have avoided a lot of “picky eater” situations. Also, people sometimes ask me how we can make this decision for our son at an early age without his consent. Seriously, how can people make the choice to feed their children meat and dairy at such an early age knowing the health problems that can be avoided otherwise? How can we NOT feed our son as a vegan knowing that we are giving him the very best start to life that we can with a strong immune system and healthy mind and body. It was great reading the stories of the other families out there who are doing the same for their little ones. So happy to hear about all the little vegans out there!

  • Jasmine commented on October 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    It’s really great to know that there are so many parents out there who are deciding on the often more difficult but much healthier approach to raising happy children. I think that it’s important for moms and dads to have support when it comes to a vegan lifestyle because I know it can sometimes be a controversial issue with certain people (friends and family too!) that are misinformed. My husband and I are soon to be parents (38 weeks pregnant) and are very excited to be able to give our baby girl the head start that neither of us had. Thank you for the article :)

  • Molly commented on November 7, 2011 at 9:18 am

    This article is fantastic! I’ve heard many people claim that raising a child on a vegan diet is akin to starvation and child abuse! Thank you for shining a light on how that is untrue. Your pictures of Dylan are just adorable as well!

  • Rach commented on November 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Careful with soy products and formula for infants, soy can cause hormone imbalance… I would do some research before giving that to your baby..

  • Mary Ellen Bowen commented on January 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    We have a new book just out called the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide from the Book Publishing Company. Write for more information.

  • Heather commented on January 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I know im going to get alot of shit for saying this but i think its wrong to make a child a vegan. If he decides to be vegan then thats great, but at that age he cant. I think its rather unhealthy to make a child a vegan, especially one so young.

  • Amanda commented on January 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    My wife and I have been Vegan for almost 2 years. I lost 30 pounds and my wife lost 34. We have never felt better. We have an incredible amount of energy. We are preparing to get pregnant and have every intention of raising our child in a Vegan lifestyle. People always assume we are malnourished, lacking in protein and it is absurd! We get more protein and nutrients than most of the people we know.. I hope at some point people will do their research before slinging accusations. People feel it is infringing on the rights of a child to raise them Vegan, yet no one thinks twice about infringing upon someones religious choices. People thrust Christianity on a child before they have the option to choose.. just sayin..

  • Alyssa commented on February 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    This message is in response to Heather…
    I WISH I had started life as a vegan. A child should have the CHOICE to decide whether or not their are fine with consuming meat or dairy. It isn’t fair to feed your child food without them knowing the REAL process that resulted in that piece of bacon or glass of milk.
    When you really think about where dairy comes from you will realize how unnatural it is. You are doing your child a favour if you give them the choice. Since a child cannot tell you, why not give them the best? As long as you provide them with a balanced diet it is the best thing you can do for your child.
    You should read literature on the health issues and environmental issues caused by using animals for food and everything else. There are countless benefits to being vegan and it is actually healthier than consuming animal products.

  • jill commented on February 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    my daughter is 10 months old and I plan on raising her vegan as well :) it so much natural and I agree it should be the childs choice if they want to contribute to animal abuse or not. She is too young to decide now so I will not force anything on her. A vegan lifestyle is actually more healthy and beneficial than an omnivore one.

  • Mel commented on February 22, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Heather, you write your comment in a way that makes it seem that raising a vegan child is somehow taking choice away from her. As a parent, one must make many choices for a child, including what doctor to see, which daycare to go to, what preschool to attend, whether to use cloth or disposable diapers, and many other important decisions. As parents, our JOB is to choose for a child until they are old enough to make choices for themselves (depending on the child this could be when they are around 10 years old). My hope is that every parent will make the most compassionate choice possible, which is to raise their child vegan within the vegan lifestyle.

    I encourage you to take a look at the myriad healthy vegan babies and children in this world, and to speak with a doctor, before making assumptions about this choice. I personally had both my doctor and my OB-GYN immediately bless my plans to remain vegan throughout pregnancy and raise a vegan baby. In fact, my OB-GYN (who is herself an omnivore) was overjoyed that I was willing to take steps to raise such a HEALTHY baby! I’m sure if you speak with a medical practitioner you will understand that your current opinion has been derived from a lack of knowledge on the topic of child nutrition needs, and is likely influenced by a cultural taboo against veganism. Once you research the topic and speak with experts you will understand that veganism is an amazing option for raising children to be healthy and compassionate members or our society.

  • Jami commented on March 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I am a mostly vegan mom living in Panama and its hard! I say mostly vegan because I started eating eggs during pregnancy because I was having trouble finding good protein sources. I live in a place were people don’t even know what a vegetarian is! So there are no substitute foods and little variety. I can get Rice milk and Almond milk, well and of course Soy, but we are dairy & soy free, eggs is our one non-vegan source. We get get quinoa. Ok, thats about it outside the normal animal loving diet. No kale or leafy greens either. Any ideas on how to keep my little vegan healthy without these things? Should I just give him supplement? Also, I want to use rice milk to put in his cereal, but read somewhere that is bad. What do you think? He is 8.5mths. He like rice milk and its just a tiny bit. Just finished making a ton of baby food!

  • angie commented on March 18, 2012 at 7:35 am

    90% of your baby’s protein requirements comes from Breastmilk or formula. That is why the only beverage you give a baby before the age of 1 yr should be Breastmilk or formula. When you give your baby other beverages you run the risk of malnutrition. A couple of ounces of water a day tops is okay after 10 months of age. As for food with protein, Beans and legumes are and should be your best friend. Beans are a perfect source of protein and should be apart of all Vegans diet plan. They are perfect for babies because they can easily feed themselves and helps with their motor skills. Start off with kidney beans, first give the inside of the bean to your baby and slowly but surely keep some of the skin on as the days go by. By the second week your baby should be able to digest the entire bean with the skin with no problems. Lentils are great choice too. I never “made” food for my baby, through research I’ve found purees are unnecessary and are a 1950’s craze that for some reason stuck around…food just has to be cooked soft enough to swallow and be in small enough pieces, all you have to do is eat a balanced and offer your baby what you are eating from your plate. My baby has never been on cereal either, he gets his iron from my Breast Milk.
    Sample dinner for my 10 month old last night –
    first I breast fed him since all of his required nutrients are in my Breastmilk (if you’re not breastfeeding use formula) Then he had sweet potato, black beans, avocado and carrots off my plate. Good fats, good carbs and good protein, balanced. Before meal time you should breastfeed or formula feed your baby so he or she get all of it nutrients first, feeding a baby solids is second always to Breastmilk or formula for the first year. Grains, nuts and hemp will be added to his diet after the first year, I held off to prevent allergies to these foods. As for fortified drinks after yr one, I plan on doing baby led weaning , so my son will continue getting what he needs from my breastmilk but I do plan on giving him almond, hemp and flaxseed milk once he’s fully weaned. Hang in there Mama!

  • Veganize me commented on April 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    For the people that believe a vegan lifestyle is depriving a young child of a choice. You’re simply wrong.
    An omnivore diet isn’t what’s recommended or seen as healthier. It’s only seen as the better option because most of society practice it. However when you say, ‘ the child isn’t given an to reject veganism, so therefore your depriving them of the choice’ you sound ignorant. The child isn’t given a choice to reject an omnivore diet either.
    Take it into consideration

  • Astrid commented on April 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I understand how some people can be skeptical about vegan, I certainly was. When I first saw a “vegan” product, I asked the lady at the counter what was that and she explained. I thought “weird.” I had a friend that was vegetarian and when we ate together she would try endlessly to convince me that I become vegetarian, I always replied to her stating that I knew where I was in the food chain and that I loved meat.
    Time went on and I married someone that had in the past been vegetarian but had stopped that.
    I had never really been interested in learning about food and in fact resented people trying to educate me on the subject as I felt the subject was too complicated and could not be learned. However when I became pregnant I realized that I HAD to learn about nutrition as it was no longer about myself but I had to ensure my baby was healthy and I knew that I needed to ensure she had the right food. I started studying and there were so many theories, viewpoints, diets, etc that to me they all seem to be contradicting each other and I felt I was not getting anywhere. When my child was born and I was force to supplement because I was told that my breastfeeding was not enough and that she was going to have to go to emergency, I freaked out. When I gave her the commercial formulas she was lethargic and totally knocked out. So I decided to try an old fashioned Baby formula that contained cow milk, this went fine for 6 months and she became sick for couple of months and she would not get better and I was even told that she had asthma, I freaked out. I cut out the cow milk out of her diet and within a week she was totally healthy again.
    About 6 months later, my husband and I watched several films:
    “Fat, Sick and nearly Dead,” “Eating,” “Forks over Knifes” and “Food, Inc” these films gave me some stable data regarding nutrition, eating habits and the sorry state of affairs of Americans’ health. I UNDERSTOOD the vegan concept and why one would do it.
    As well I started reading the book “The China Study” by Drs Campbell – this book for the first time explained totally the concept of protein that had been bugging me for as long as I remember and it totally makes sense.
    Though my husband and I are working on getting rid of all of our bad animal-based eating habits, we are working towards making this a vegan home. My daughter LOVES vegetables, more than fruits! She never liked the meats when I tried giving these to her so she is a natural born vegan and she is extremely active, walked by the time she was 9 months and is extremely intelligent. I am glad the materials in those films were available to me as I can feel so much better myself but I feel more confident of the healthy future of my daughter.

    • Bee Rudd commented on September 6, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Hi Astrid,

      Thank you for sharing these experiences and being so honest – it really resonated with me. I ‘found’ veganism through spirtuality. If you’d have said to me even a year or two ago you were a vegan, I would have thought ‘no way could I ever do that’! I had heard of ‘vegans’ but really had no idea what they were – it was like speaking in a foreign language to me. It seemed like this far off concept that was simply out of my reach and much too huge and complicated to get involved in, and as a result I didn’t even look into it or ask ‘what exactly does veganism involve?’. I thought I should just ‘know’ because everybody else seemed to, but of course now I realise they were as clueless and scared of the unknown as I was.

      I’ve been reading many books on spirituality and self help ( is practically my book shelf with additions!). Many of the books talked about detox and clearing the body of anything unnatural so that we can hear out intuition and inner guidance and therefore make better life choices. I also came to understand how our bodies are our minds, are our souls and so on. This is all very obvious stuff to me now – but being raised in an environment where this wasn’t even considered meant I had to learn it all from scratch.

      I started exploring my own values and beliefs (as separate from my family’s, society’s etc) and became pro-nature and pro-natural, pro-environment, and so on. When listening to an interview with Danielle La Porte (author of The Desire Map), she mentioned ‘Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet’. I knew I had to buy this book, and I was being guided to it so bought the ebook on Kindle within minutes. I didn’t even know it was a book on veganism for most of the time I was reading it… As a read each page I thought this is SO ME… and then WHAM – holy crap I’m a vegan!!! This is what veganism is! It’s so simple… and so in line with my values!!

      This is a long winded way to say that labels like ‘vegan’ can be so intimidating to those who don’t understand them. We all find our way to the place we’re meant to be when we’re ready. No one could’ve forced/convinced me down this route – even though now I’m here it is my HOME. We just have to keep doing what we do, being walking examples, supporting eachother – everyone else can find their own way in their own time :-) Thanks again for sharing – I am not alone!!! :-)

      Bee xx

  • Green Tidings commented on June 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    It is very easy to raise a vegan baby. Here’s an idea of how much food a vegan baby/toddler needs:

  • Sneaky Vegan commented on October 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Thanks so much for sharing. My baby just turned 5 months old and I’m obsessing about what I’m going to feed him. Admittedly I’m not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I know that the meat and other animal products available today are far more unhealthy than the stuff I was raised on. Between the growth hormones, antibiotics and other genetically-mutated crap that animals are being fed (coupled with the intentionally misleading labels on things marketed as free of all that when they’re really not) the thought of putting any of that into my baby’s tiny body absolutely terrifies me. Great to know that there are so many healthy alternatives for kids!

    Having said that, does anyone know what the best substitute for cow’s milk? Apparently it’s not just the protein they need, but the cholesterol and fat as well…

  • Valerie commented on December 20, 2012 at 7:47 am

    My child is 11 months old and I’m raising her vegan. Since day one she has not had any meat or cow products. I do not buy over the counter baby food. I make it at home. As far as snacks, I’m very careful of what I choose over the counter. For the 1st time 3 days ago bought some organic strawberry & beet puffs. But overall I do alot of home cooking and preparing great snacks natually. I’m not vegan but I will be there soon. Enjoyed everyone’s comments.

  • Grandma Joan commented on February 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    My 22 month old grandson is being raised a vegan. He gets fruit for breakfast, vegies for lunch, almond milk . He is quite whiney and often cries in the night. He is very active and looks healthy.
    As a grandma I am worried about his iron stores and bones, HELP ME understand this diet!!!

  • Aleksandra commented on March 8, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Astrid, we’re all natural born vegans. :)

  • Soon to be father! commented on March 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I pulled this paragraph from an article online Grandma Joan, I hope this can maybe shed a little light on your problem. Hope he is doing well!

    “By 6 months of age, iron stores in omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan infants will become depleted and it is important that iron-rich foods are included in the diet. Iron-fortified infant cereals are a good way to supply iron to vegan infants Other good sources include whole grains, pulses, green leafy vegetables and dried fruits. To enhance iron absorption, add a source of vitamin C such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, blackcurrants or orange juice to the meal. “

  • Kymberli commented on March 16, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I just wanted to add that I was vegan once upon a time during my early 20’s for about six yrs & stopped with no real reason jus that during those college yrs, it jus wasn’t convenient to eat different from all your friends. Not that My spouse & i have a family of own, six children included all of us are vegan. When the children were infants, they were all breast fed, during the weaning period, jus to make sure they had enough iron & protein, I would puree tofu along with spinach & a few bananas for sweetness, all of th children are honor roll students, healthy & measure right where they are suppose to for growth… Now it took several years to get where we are wth some knowledge & tricks but this family will not return to meats besides we only consume meat for its protein properties, we clearly can get that from other sources…as for the mother in panama, to give your child added protein, add beans, as many as the little one will consume…feel free to email me moms, I will share with you my many ups and downs of rearing six vegan babies & transforming my meat loving spouse into a fellow who will not touch the stuff now! Our stories will uplift, inspire…see you on the other side…Kymberli

    • Mary commented on December 1, 2014 at 12:45 am

      Kymberli – I would love to hear your tips / ups and downs of rearing 6 vegan babies AND especially being able to transform your meat loving spouse into someone who will not touch the stuff now……I am raising my children vegan but am getting a lot of negative energy from family and friends who have no idea….thx in advance.

  • vegan baby in Baltimore commented on March 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    My baby is 10 months old, and we started making her vegan purees at 5 months. Now she’s on to finger foods, all vegan. The problem is, she’s now not eating her purees (where I could puree beans and lentils) and not eating beans and lentils as a finger food. (She eats a very soft cooked chick pea or 2 and some tofu every once in a while). She loves sweet potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, pears, cheerios, rotini pasta, peas, blueberries. She does not like when I try to spice things up, and very rarely gets protein now (unless from my breastmilk). Trying anything new is difficult – I just keep it on her tray until she finally tries it, could be days (we sometimes give her what is on our plate, and will be doing more of that soon). So I guess my question is, how do you deal with a picky eater? I guess I should not stress out about this too much, because we don’t plan on weaning at 1 year – we’ll let her take the lead. But still, I figure either I am doing something wrong, or she’s just picky, and that could be an issue. Also, what about the research on soy? I plan to introduce almond milk at 1 year, instead of soy milk. But I wanted to know what people thought about the adverse effects of soy especially on children. I understand the adverse effects are mostly if the entire diet is soy products, but just wanted to hear from others what they think, as I am getting hesitant to give my daughter any soy product, which further hinders the kind of protein she can have. Thanks for any support.

  • vegan baby in Baltimore commented on March 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    let me add that I have been vegan for over 20 years, with a heavy reliance on soy. Thanks

  • Katie commented on April 8, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Kimberli!! How do we email you? I need your wisdom! :)
    Anyone… Did you have a hard time telling your pediatrician you were raising your kid vegan? Ours is 6 months, just doing the fruit & veg now, scared to tell my ped about veganism, he’s super nice though, can’t imagine he’d be rude.

  • Paula commented on May 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    My only advice is: DONT BE SCARED. Read, learn, talk about it, and everything is going to be ok.

  • Alexandra Romanova commented on May 4, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hi guys, please help: my girl is 5m old, and we will soon introduce other food than breastmilk. I am vegan, my man is NOT. I am afraid of starting to talk about that I will not accept anything but vegan for our daughter. I think I will be very aggressive in case he starts opposing this….. Is there a nice text that I can show him, describing awfullness of animal products for children?

  • ProudVegan commented on May 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Kymberli, I would like your email. I need desperate guidance on beginning to feed my baby. He turns five months next week. I would like to know different recipes and recommended food processors for food purees.

  • Mama S. commented on May 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    The sky is the limit really, you can make your baby his/her own smoothie full of kale or spinach with lots of safe first fruits. The benefits of kale are incredible- there’s more protein in a serving than a serving of beef. Lentils are a great source of protein as well. Add silken tofu to your babies banana/apple puree (or any fruit they really enjoy) for extra nutrients/iron. We really don’t require a lot of protein, most people eat more then they need. Whole wheat/gluten free pasta is nice now and then, but you should aim for foods rich in vitamins and not just feed baby starchy carbs. A great food processor (or at least the one i’ve been using that works wonderfully) is the baby bullet. It makes processing organic purees so easy- it even comes with cute storage containers and freezer containers so you can preprepare meals. My son also enjoys organic teething biscuits, which are usually vegan.

  • luismommy commented on June 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I’ve got the confidence that I was looking for to continue bringing up my baby (and whole family) vegan (except fish once in a while)!!! Thanks Amy and all the comments!! Me and my husband decided to go vegetarian and 1 month later vegan last year. Best decision ever. Our son was 2 months at this point. I was always concerned about what I was eating, meat was the last food I choose!! My husband had a hard time eating my veggie meals, so he always ended up with some sausages after meal.He watched a video once that took him, and we are (almost) vegan since than. Everything is great about being vegan, except one, acceptance of the new diet from you friends and family!!! every single one becomes a doctor/nutritionist!!!People start judging before actually knowing what “vegan is”, OBVIOUSLY ITS EATING GRASS.
    Everyone is concerned about MY child, that we are torturing him. Luis is 8 months old and he loves veggies, fruits, cereals basically everything I give him and is a very healthy baby. But as soon as he has some red spot or is cranky or changes his behavior its because “he doesn’t it MEAT” I tried ignoring people, explaining, comparing but nothing works, has anyone experience dealing with all the “wise” advisers? At some point i get really dis-motivated and that makes me thing if that’s the right way especially when you are responsible for someone who cant choose yet…so, its great to find like minded people.

    • Bee Rudd commented on September 6, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Hi Luismommy,

      My advice is smile and say ‘thank you for your concern’. Then change the subject/ walk away and keep doing what you do. If they are family/friends and really persist say ‘If you really want to understand my lifestyle choice you need to read about it from reliable sources – here’s a great book I recommend’ and everytime they bring it up say ‘have you read the book yet?!’

      People are just scared of the different and the unknown, they have your bubba’s best interests at heart, but so do you and you are his much more informed MUM. Just come and read a blog like this everytime you’re challenged – it helps to hear both sides. You’re doing an amazing job <3

  • Anna commented on June 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Hi there, my vegan baby is 13 months, at 10.5 months she bit me on both nipples and it hasn’t healed, as her teeth keep scraping where she bit so the wound has just gotten deeper and deeper. I have seen various lactation consultants but it still hasn’t healed. Nursing has been excrutiating but i persevered because I knew it was best for her, however at 12 months, I allowed myself to cut breastfeeding her down to just 4 times a day. However, she only drinks about 1-2
    minutes on each breast.(so she is getting approx 10-20 mins of breastmilk a day) Do you vegan mama’s think that is enough without having to give her soy formula? I asked a vegan nutritionist via email when i was thinking i might have to wean instead of going down to 4 x a day, and she said i should give her formula. which i really don’t want to do! plus, she won’t take a bottle, and never really drinks a lot when i give her liquids, just some sipping, never gulping it down….would love your help as I am worried, she is in the 3rd percentile so my family (mother, father, sister) are Very concerned…

  • vernisha commented on July 19, 2013 at 2:06 am

    hello I have been on and off vegan and vegetarian ….I am pregnant so am trying to balance it all out, I do not eat meat and I don’t like eating dairy! Is there a replacement for cream and cheese?? I want my girl to grow up as a vegan as from experience I know how nutritional vegan is when done right and I do not enjoy the idea of suggesting to my daughter that eating animal is even a little bit okay! I don’t appreciate the torture they endure and I don’t want to encourage it either. I have much support in my decision but people I know lack knowledge in replacements for certain foods. can anyone here help me??

  • vernisha commented on July 19, 2013 at 2:08 am


  • veronika commented on October 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    my son is now 14 months old, and has always been vegan from the start. my husband has meat on a rare occasion, but otherwise we are a vegan family. one resource that i found incredibly useful is the “vegan pregnancy guide” by sayward rebhal. this book is a short and highly instructive read, which covers a number of topics including nutrition, supplementation, and even dealing with people who demand that you explain your dietary and lifestyle preferences. [seriously, what’s up with that?] alexandra: i wish you the best of luck. i think your best argument is logic. you don’t have to start with why the animal products are bad. you can start by saying that plants are sufficient for a healthy, balanced diet. meat was not a constant in human diet until fairly recently, and even now it’s mostly here in the west. in most cultures it is used as a flavor enhancer, or only eaten on special occasions. on a nutritional standpoint, i have found that reminding people that cows don’t *make* calcium but rather get it from grass, that salmon don’t *make* omega-3 fatty acids but rather get them from plankton, etc. really helps to drive my point. i’m simply cutting out the “middle animal” by choosing to go straight to the source of these nutrients. in a cruelty-free way! we forget sometimes that although fish accumulate the fatty acids and thus become such rich sources of them, they also accumulate other things from the oceans, like breakdown products of fuels and pollutants, and heavy metals. You should say that you are making the best decision by avoiding the bad and keeping all of the good. i think it is also important to note that quality plants are far cheaper than quality animal products, and far more transparent. the cleanest, organic-est kale is far more accessible (and easier on the environment) than a cow that definitely hasn’t been injected with hormones, antibiotics, and given sub-par feed (all of which take an eventual toll on the consumer by causing hormonal disruptions in children, and contributing to antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections). as a side note, the questions don’t stop. people still expect you to explain yourself and validate what you feel and know. the best you can do is to arm yourself with a set of arguments (“well, how do you get your calcium then?” – “same place as the cows, greens! and molasses, and almonds…”) and just put it on repeat. good luck!

  • Steph garland commented on November 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Hello, I’m a vegan & 37 weeks pregnant. I will only be able to breastfeed for approx 6 weeks as I have multiple sclerosis & will need to go back onto my medication which you cannot take whilst breastfeeding. Therefore I am really looking for a non-animal based formula that is safe for newborns. I live in the UK. Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated.

    • Zoe Vickers commented on November 23, 2014 at 6:07 am

      I have a very similar problem to you. I am not pregnant yet, as I have to come off all my medications before I can get pregnant, and it will take a little while for this to happen as it has to happen slowly. Basically, whilst I am trying, I will be in a lot of pain. I will have a high risk pregnancy, and be bed bound most of the time, and in SO much pain. Once baby comes, I want to try and breast feed and stay off my meds for as long as I can.. but I have no idea how long this will be, or if at all.. I might need to go back on them pretty fast, which would bring my breast feeding to a complete stop straight away. I would also like to know what are the good vegan baby formulas. I know Peta doesn’t mind about trace animal products in things like vit D… but I would rather use a baby formula that got its vit D from vegan sources, rather than lanolin…. but so far, I don’t know of any purely vegan formulas, or at least, which one is the most vegan. I am going to continue to research.. maybe we can help each other find the best solution to this..? I live in Aus, but get a lot of the same brands, and can get things shipped, anyway.. so I will be looking at worldwide brands, sources. What do you think?

  • Robyn Rasmussen commented on November 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    What types of vegan milk are good for 1-year old babies besides soy formula?

  • Matt commented on November 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Daughter Vegan from birth, happy and healthy as can be. Wife and I Vegan around 3.5 years and had regular doctors checks and all levels perfect. Taking choices away from a child people say? Allowing choice to your child and allowing and saving lives I say. How is being respectful to your child by waiting to see if they lucidly choose to consume dairy and meat taking thier choice after they are given the facts, it’s the opposite. Also, other veg such as broccoli balance oestrogen built from eating or drinking soy. Thanks for coming!

  • Lauren commented on December 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This post and every single comment has been so helpful. I’ve been a vegetarian since 2007, and my husband made the transition this past January. We both decided that veganism was the only way to lead our lives, and since March, we haven’t felt better! I’m comfortable in the kitchen, and having been veggie for so long I was pretty used to it. He can’t get enough of my cruelty free food! Documentaries such as Earthlings (graphis warning!), have solidified our choice of a compassionate lifestyle. It is a no brainer for us to raise our child as a vegan, too. We recently found out that we are pregnant, and we never thought that this could happen for us. (When hubs served overseas, there was a radiation exposure incident, and he was told that he would never be healthy enough to overcome that.) Four years later, and almost a year of whole, healthy, plant-based foods, we are both healthier than ever!! Places like this are my haven; people that are supportive of compassion and love make the world a cleaner and healthier place for all of us. Skeptical mommas, there’s no need! I promise you will not regret it!! I’m so glad there are support systems for new mommies such as this. Keep it up!

  • Wendy commented on January 9, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    What do you give them when they are sick with a fever. Are there plant based fever reducing medication that you use and is it effective? Thanks

  • Michael Elizalde commented on January 11, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Hello I am a first-year vegan and I’m raising my newborn and he is one I am thinkimg flex milk is good for him is that okay.

  • Anonymous commented on January 23, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Hemp milk can be an excellent alternative for parents who’d rather skip on soy. It’s very rich in Omega 3’s & 9’s, and an excellent source of protein. Hemp milk can be a little more expensive, but it can be bought in bulk. All hemp milk sold in the US is imported directly from Canada.

  • Lohra commented on February 13, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Hi. I only produced 3 ounces of milk and lost my supply at 3 months. I am a vegan and wanted my baby to be a vegan knowing the health benefits and the right way to treat the world. Having a background in nutritional studies, I created my own vegan formula recipe and the word spread and now many other Mom’s are using this. Please look into My son thrived on this from the day he was brought home from the hospital!

  • Lohra commented on March 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    If you can not breastfeed or need to supplement there is a raw, vegan, sugar free, gluten free, healthy baby formula recipe go to

  • Tatum Davidson Lohse commented on March 12, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I want to raise my children vegan as well, what about supplements? How would your child get their b-12 and all of that? Not all foods supply them with everything they need

  • ellen commented on March 22, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I would love to know how breastmilk is vegan? If it’s produced by a mammal, and by definition, anything from any animal/mammal is not vegan, please explain.

    I thank you in advance.

    • Whitney Calk commented on March 23, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Breastfeeding is a natural, cruelty-free bonding experience between a mother and her child. Human mothers who opt to breastfeed their children do so by their own choice, but mother cows on dairy farms aren’t given a choice. Their calves are stolen from them shortly after birth so that humans can drink the milk that nature intended for their calves. Cows are also milked several times a day and are often drugged to make them produce up to four and a half times more milk than they normally would.

      We hope this helps! If you have any further questions, please e-mail us at

      • Sandra I commented on April 1, 2015 at 4:59 pm

        We went fully vegan (we were 95% vegan for years before that) 7 months ago and our 14 month old has always been vegan and exclusively breastfeed until 1 year and finally became interested in food – she eats everything we eat – it’s amazing! I still breastfeed her 5-7 times a day – thankfully I work part time from home. Anyone else continuing to do a lot breastfeeding for their vegan baby/ toddler past 1 years old? I have excellent b12 levels – in fact all my levels are great and she’s healthy. She’s fully immunized! She’s been sick once her entire life! Anyone else finding their breastfeed baby rarely becoming sick? Guess just wondering how much breastfeeding and for how long vegan families are/were finding they needed or what’s being expertly recommended?

  • Gabi Taylor commented on April 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Since your title is “Raising a Vegan Baby: First Year” It would have been good (and certainly appropriate) if you had actually MENTIONED INFANT FOODS & FORMULAS. We all already know that vegetables & rice are vegan foods. But what is an EXCELLENT FORMULA? Are there formulas other than SOY BASED? You mention that your pediatrician said “2 servings daily” of soy is good. I don’t think you’d want us to feed out babies only TWICE DAILY, right? So?… how ’bout SOLVING this problem? This article should have researched VEGAN BABY FORMULAS and provided ALL necessary info on soy and non-soy-based formulas, given that there ARE HORMONES in soy and we CAN’T very well feed our babies only twice daily.

  • LC commented on April 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I have been vegan for about a year and a half, and my husband has been vegan for the better part of a year. Our first child, a boy, is due in about a week and a half. I would love to hear some recommendations for books or other resources.

    • Carley Bowering commented on April 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! Below is a list of vegan pregnancy books you might find helpful. =)

      Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven by Rory Friedman and Kim Barnouin
      The Compassionate Cook by PETA and Ingrid E. Newkirk
      Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock and Steven J. Parker
      The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book by Reed Mangels
      The Kind Mama by Alicia Silverstone
      Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet by Michael Klaper, M.D.
      Raising Vegetarian Children: A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony by Joanne Stepaniak and Vesanto Melina
      New Vegetarian Baby by Sharon Yntema and Christine Beard
      Vegetarian Children: A Supportive Guide for Parents by Sharon Yntema
      The Vegetarian Mother and Baby Book by Rose Elliot

  • Margaux commented on April 28, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Hi everyone, great article. So true and inspiring.
    I am French ,mother of two. I work for a very small company in France (3of us :)) we have developped the first ever organic and vegan certified baby formula which is not soya based but we are not distributed in the US… Do you know where I can start to look for a good distributor, importer or any contact who could help? thanks

  • Linda commented on May 9, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Please read this article for health issues about tofu and soy products:

    • Unknown commented on May 25, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Wow! Well done ladies. I find this thread really empowering.
      I’ve been a vegetarian for the past five years and turned vegan a few months ago. Im planning on starting a family very soon(fingers crossed we’re lucky enough to conceive).
      Becoming a vegan is the best decision that I e ever made and I feel great! I definitely want to raise my children with the same beliefs and nutrician that I have until they can decide for themselves.
      It’s great to hear your views- keep up the good work!!!

  • Ashley Victoria commented on May 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I would love to learn more first hand from a mother who believes in veganism for her children as well. My son is 15 months and I’ve received a lot of resistance from family members that simply cannot comprehend a baby being raised without animal products! Any advice on how to combat situations with people who are so stuck in old belief systems, my husband and I seem to be struggling with this.

    Thanks in advance, loved reading this entry it was quite refreshing! There is so much fear mongoring around the topic, the second article under yours on Google was about an 11 month old that died because “apparently” the parents had her on a vegan diet! I think just like everything it requires balance.

  • JiYong Kwon commented on June 12, 2015 at 2:31 am


  • cody commented on July 4, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Breast milk is an animal product.

    • Carley Bowering commented on July 23, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Breastfeeding is natural—stealing milk from cows so that we can feed our babies the milk nature intended for calves is not. Human mothers who opt to feed their children breast milk should be commended, not censured. Women should be encouraged to give their children the healthiest possible food and leave cow’s milk for calves. :)

  • Nicole Nathanson commented on July 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm


    I’m a newbie vegan and I came across your blog and I love it! I’m actually a Casting Producer working on a show looking for families and I thought I would reach out to see if you might be interested or possibly might be able to help us spread the word to some of your vegan readers. Let me know if you are interested!

    We are searching for fun-loving, comedic families who are interested in sampling a new career path. We want to hear about your dream job! If selected, the network would be providing a family with the opportunity to live their dreams and try a new career they’ve always wanted while getting paid. We are looking for fun-loving families who are animated, upbeat and fun.

    If you are interested or know someone who might be great for the show, please send us a family photo, a brief description of what your dream career and the occupation of you and your spouse. Tell us about why you would like a lifestyle change for your family. We are looking for families who are possibly overworked and are looking for more time to spend together.

    I would be happy to answer any questions! Feel free to contact me directly at the number below. Thank you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Nicole Nathanson
    Casting Producer
    Cast Iron Productions

    • Carley Bowering commented on July 20, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks so much for getting in touch with us! We will be reaching out to you to discuss this further shortly. :)

  • michelle commented on July 16, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I’m thinking of going vegan but need help with giving up honey. Also will be hard for people to understand why my daughter can’t have something. Not sure how to go about it.

    • Carley Bowering commented on July 17, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      In terms of honey, there are a ton of delicious alternatives that don’t cause any bees to be hurt. Agave nectar, rice syrup, molasses, sorghum, barley malt, maple syrup, and dried fruit or fruit concentrates can be used to replace honey in recipes. Agave nectar is super similar to honey – especially in tea and coffee.

      The transition to a vegan lifestyle is actually super easy. Most people will be curious about why you and your family choose not to use some products and you can always reach out to us at to get facts on specific issues. At the end of the day, choosing to help lessen the suffering of feeling beings will outweigh anything else. :)

  • Helly commented on July 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Any parent can malnurish their children if they don’t give their baby a variety of nutritional foods. The issue is that you must put on the table a balanced meal. A VEGAN menu, if balanced right is healthy and beneficial to the child. Period!