By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Lifestyle. At Saturday, May 04th 2019, 00:13:02 AM.
The main sources of protein and nutrients for infants are breast milk and formula (soy formula for vegan infants), especially in the first 6 months of life. Breastfed infant vegans should receive a source of vitamin B12 if the mother's diet is not supplemented, and breastfed infants and infants drinking less than 32 ounces (1 liter) formula should get vitamin D supplements. Guidelines for the introduction of solid foods are the same for vegetarian and non-vegetarian infants. Breastfed infants 6 months and older should receive iron from complementary foods, such as iron-fortified infant cereal. Once an infant is introduced to solids, protein-rich vegetarian foods can include pureed tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt or soy yogurt, and pureed and strained legumes (legumes include beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils).
Some people find relying on vegan alternatives and convenience foods very helpful in easing the transition to vegan‐ism. They’re often high in protein, fortified with lots of vitamins and minerals, quick and easy to prepare, delicious, and familiar. However, some veggie burgers, veggie dogs, vegan delicious slices, etc. are highly processed. Once you begin to feel comfortable with your vegan lifestyle, the use of these products can be lessened. There's nothing wrong with eating the products in moderation, but they shouldn’t be used as your main source of vitamins, minerals, and protein for the long-term.
It is possible to become a vegetarian at once, but a gradual change may work better for two reasons: First, a gradual change is more likely to become a lifestyle and a long-term move and second, a sudden dietary change can affect some people's digestive system at first. Changes to the gut Microbiome may lead to temporary bloating, for example. It may also take longer for muscles to repair, without animal protein. Gradually replacing meat with more vegetables, fruits, legumes, such as beans and lentils, and whole grains, may reduce this impact. Another idea is to start with familiar meat-free foods, such as macaroni cheese and salad, before changing to new recipes and ingredients.