Our recommendation that pregnant women should avoid meat, cheese, milk, and eggs certainly goes against popular thought. But since when has popular thought been infallible? The fact is that tens of millions of healthy babies have been born to generations of vegans around the world for thousands of years. The important thing to remember is that when you are eating for two, you need to eat around 25 percent more calories and nutrients than otherwise. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes contain EVERYTHING the human body needs (see the Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients webpage in this section). Always remember to eat a wide range of food colors (the rainbow) rather than a bland concoction of whites or browns. The colors of fruits and vegetables indicate an energetic presence of eclectic compounds that will nourish you and your growing baby.
For comprehensive resources containing everything you will ever need to know about prenatal and postnatal nutrition, check out Viva! Vegetarian/Vegan Mother and Baby Guide by Rose Elliot and Juliet Gellatley, or this vegan pregnancy and parenting website.
Birth and Infancy
The state of one's health begins with breastfeeding. Milk varies markedly from species to species, and each type of milk is designed to provide optimal nutrition to the young of the respective species. So just as a cow's milk is designed to provide a unique and optimal balance of fats, protein, and minerals for her calf, your breast milk provides optimal nutrition for your HUMAN baby. Breastfeeding not only gives your baby a nutritional advantage but an immunological one as well. It builds their immune system so it functions optimally and protects your child from infection. If for some reason you are unable to breastfeed, Toddler Supreme by Peaceful Planet is the only vegan infant formula on the market.
Don't allow yourself to be frightened by aggrandized and poorly reported news stories claiming “death by veganism.” Malnourishment will always lead to death, whether vegan or not. Misinformed, naïve parents who feed a growing baby only soy milk or applesauce are idiots and NOT genuine vegans. What the media and meat, dairy, and egg industries won't tell you is that infants and kids with abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, colic, eczema, skin rashes, anemia, tooth decay, asthma, chronic fatigue, nasal congestion, bronchitis, ear infections, diabetes (I or II), cancers, other ailments, and even ADD and autism are all linked to the consumption of meat, dairy and eggs (there are more than 50 medical studies posted throughout the All about Veganism section). Please remember that when you eat incorrectly during pregnancy, it affects the fetus in the same horrible way that alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs harm your unborn child!
When born normally and healthfully, babies are newly-constructed, perfect organic machines. If parents supplied them with the natural food that their bodies were designed for, they would rarely become ill. Once again, just make sure they consume the rainbow of colors that comprise the ethical and wholesome family of fruits and vegetables. Cut-up corpses (meat), cow secretions (milk), bee vomit (honey) and things that come out of a hen's ass (eggs) are disgusting, disease-causing items unfit for the human body. If you’re still having doubts about raising a vegan child, take a look at little Elvis (pictured above, holding a sunflower—also in the video at the top of this page). He has that amazing “vegan glow” because his mother raised him with real, genuine food such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes—food that wasn’t tortured and killed and covered in blood and guts and pus. Elvis was born in November 2011, nursed exclusively on breastmilk until he was eight months old, and self-weaned at 26 months. Check out his mom’s website and feel free to contact Ellen for any advice. She would love to assist parents on their vegan journey. Also have a look at Ivan and his cousin Sophia (pictured just above): two more glowing vegan kids who are lucky to have sane parents who never harmed them by forcing toxic animal products into their precious little bodies. Ivan was born in August 2013, and Sophia in November 2006. Their grandpa, who accompanies them in the photo, embraced veganism around 20 years ago along with grandma! You can contact Ivan’s parents for tips on raising vegan kids, too. Leonardo, born July 2012 (below at right), knows his ABCs in English and Spanish, and can also count to 30 in both languages.
Children and Toddlers
A grave injustice is inflicted upon children when they are forced to copy the unhealthy and unethical food addictions of their parents. Proper vegan nutrition is key to positive physical and cognitive development. The first two years of development are critical, so a well-balanced array of vitamins, nutrients, fats, and calories will develop the brain—and the rest of the body—properly. All diets require some planning to ensure that children will receive all the required nutrients. But you will find that—when offered at an early age—children naturally desire colorful fruits and vegetables. The resources below, along with this info from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, will give you meal ideas and recipes, plus a myriad of statistics, recommendations, and medical evidence to prove that vegan diets are the best way to obtain optimal health for mothers, infants, and children. Don’t forget to tell your kids WHY they are vegan by using Emily Barwick’s Bite Size Vegan videos-for-kids series. She made these to help YOU out when the time is right (tell them sooner rather than later).
Related Websites, Articles, and Books
- Viva! Vegetarian/Vegan Mother and Baby Guide by Rose Elliot and Juliet Gellatley, at Viva! • Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
- The Secrets of Vegan Baby Nutrition by Nataly Shvinkelstain
- Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood by Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. and Katie Kavanagh-Prochaskaby, at The Vegetarian Resource Group
- Vegan Babies and Toddlers: a compendium of over 30 articles at VegFamily Magazine
- Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World: A Complete Guide for Parents by Erin Pavlina
- Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
- Vegan Lunch Box and Vegan Lunch Box Around the World by Jennifer McCann
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
- That's Why We Don't Eat Animals by Ruby Roth (for kids)
- Great Uncle Edgar and the Lady With the Hat by Gypsy Wulff (for kids)
- Vegan is Love by Ruby Roth (for kids)
- Milk and Cookie a Little Spooky by Maritza Oliver (for kids)
- Megan the Vegan by Paul Finan
- Exploding Gummies by Sam and Aiden George
- Santa’s First Vegan Christmas by Robin Raven
- The Tale of The Rooster and The Hen by Adi Karin Levi