Which Vegetarian Diet?
The children most apt to suffer from a restricted diet, are weaning babies and young toddlers being raised on a vegan diet. Because they cannot tolerate the bulk of a vegetarian diet they often do not get the nutrients they need. If you are raising your toddler as a vegan vegetarian, be sure to include high calorie foods like nut butters, avocados, dates, and supplemented foods like soy milks and fortified cereals.
Raising a child on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet poses little nutritional concern, except perhaps for iron. By including an iron fortified infant cereal for the first 24 months of life, you can then more safely depend on vegetable products to supply the necessary iron. Here is a suggested menu that will supply your little one (around a year old) with a well-balanced, lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Don't forget the snacks!
iron fortified rice cereal, vitamin C fortified baby applesauce, cup of formula, milk, or soy milk
scrambled egg, muffin, membrane peeled cut up orange sections, breastmilk, formula, or soymilk
cottage cheese mixed with mashed banana,bits of ripe avocado, carrot puree, cup of breastmilk, formula, milk or soymilk
pasta with sprinkled cheese, baby peaches or bits of very ripe fresh peach, formula, milk, or soymilk
finger food squares of tofu, forked smashed green peas, whole grain bread toasted and cut into sticks. Cup of breastmilk, formula, milk or soymilk
Brown rice and lentils, tender cooked green beans, yogurt, milk, soymilk, or formula