If vegetarian children receive sufficient amounts of mother’s breast milk or infant formula, and their diet contains quality sources of energy, nutrients and nutrients, such as iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, growth during this period of the child’s development will be normal.

Extreme manifestations of a vegetarian diet, such as fruitarianism and a raw food diet, according to studies, negatively affect the development and growth of the child, and, accordingly, cannot be recommended for children of early (infant) and middle age.

Many vegetarian women choose to breastfeed their babies and this practice should be fully supported and implemented everywhere. In terms of composition, the breast milk of vegetarian women is identical to the milk of non-vegetarian women and is absolutely adequate in terms of nutritional value. Commercial formulas for infants can be used in cases where the child for various reasons is not breastfeeding, or he was weaned before the age of 1 year. For vegan children who are not breastfed, the only option is a soy-based diet.

Soy milk, rice milk, homemade formulas, cow’s milk, goat’s milk should not be used as breast milk substitutes or special commercial formulas during the first year of a baby’s life, because these products do not contain any macro- or micro-nutrients and valuable substances in full necessary for the adequate development of the child at such an early age.

The rules for gradually introducing solid foods into a child’s diet are the same for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. When it comes time to introduce a high-protein diet, vegetarian children can have tofu gruel or puree, legumes (puree and strain if needed), soy or milk yogurt, boiled egg yolks, and cottage cheese. In the future, you can start giving pieces of tofu, cheese, soy cheese. Packaged cow’s milk, or soy milk, full fat, fortified with vitamins can be used as a first drink from the first year of life for a child with the correct growth and development parameters and consuming a variety of foods.

Foods rich in energy and nutrients such as bean sprouts, tofu, and avocado porridge should be used during the period when the baby begins to wean. Fats in the diet of a child under 2 years of age should not be limited.

Children who are breastfed by mothers who do not consume dairy products fortified with vitamin B12 and do not take vitamin complexes and vitamin B12 supplements on a regular basis will require additional vitamin B12 supplements. Rules for the introduction of iron supplements and vitamin D into the diet of young children are identical for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians.

Zinco-containing supplements are not usually recommended by pediatricians for vegetarian young children as mandatory, because. Zinc deficiency is extremely rare. Increasing the intake of zinc-containing foods or special zinc-containing supplements with food is determined individually, is used during the introduction of additional foods into the child’s diet and is necessary in cases where the main diet is depleted in zinc or consists of foods with low bioavailability of zinc.

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