Feeding your vegetarian or vegan baby

Six to Eight Months Old

Protein enrichment foods for weaning:

Orange lentils
Made into a thick soup (see end of booklet for recipe), these make a wonderfully nutritious meal for a baby. Serve as it is or with a little crust-less whole-grain bread mashed into it or make soup extra thick and add to a vegetable puree.

Mashed beans
Use home-cooked beans (soybeans, red kidney, cannelloni, Lima beans, etc.), or canned ones, well-rinsed, to remove salted water. Don’t use canned ones before baby is eight months old. Mash thoroughly or puree.

Beans in tomato sauce
These make a quick and nutritious meal from eight months onward. Choose a variety without preservatives or colourings. (They will probably include a little salt and sugar but despite this, they’re still a healthy and nutritious food.) Mash or puree. Can be mixed with crumbled whole-grain bread and a little boiled water to moisten.

Drain tofu, mash thoroughly, then mix with vegetable or fruit purees.

Tahini, peanut butter
Mix a little – perhaps 1/2 teaspoonful at first – into vegetable or fruit purees. Choose (or make) a smooth peanut butter without salt or additives, such as emulsifiers and stabilizers.

Yeast extract
Use a low-sodium one from the health food store. Add a little – 1/4 teaspoon at first – to vegetable puree.

Brewers’ yeast
Use a debittered one, and sprinkle sparingly – say 1/4 teaspoonful – over baby’s vegetable purees or breakfast muesli mix. Can also be added to a mashed-banana-and-yogurt mix.

Finely milled nuts and seeds
Powder the nuts in a blender, food processor or clean electric coffee grinder or use ground almonds. If you’re grinding your own, use a variety of nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, for a full range of nutrients. Stir into fruit or vegetable purees, starting with 1/2 teaspoonful.

Wheat germ
Sprinkle over fruit or vegetable purees; add to cereal mixes and yogurt for splendid nourishment.

Cottage cheese
Give this from eight months, choosing one that’s preservative-free, low-salt and not too lumpy. Mash into fruit or vegetable purees; or mix with finely shredded watercress or finely grated carrot and a little wheat germ, brewers’ yeast, or yeast extract for a healthy baby salad mix!

Choose an active plain yogurt without preservatives. Add to fruit purees or give as it is with a little date puree  stirred in and a sprinkling of wheat germ and/or powdered nuts. Mashed with banana and wheat germ, and perhaps a little tahini, and some powdered nuts, this makes a quick baby meal.

Eight to Twelve Months Old :

At this stage, between nine months and one year, the baby will probably have an eating plan that goes something like this:

On Waking: Water or diluted real-fruit juice from cup

Breakfast: Muesli, Oaty Version (see end of Guide) or oatmeal Whole-grain toast or bread with low-sodium yeast extract

Midmorning: Diluted real-fruit juice

Lunch: Mashed nut or legume savory with vegetables, Fruit purée and cereal pudding, or fruit with yogurt or custard Water or milk

Midafternoon: Diluted real-fruit juice

Finger foods: slices of apple, carrot sticks, whole wheat rusk

Dinner: Whole-grain bread with cottage cheese, nut butter, or lentil spread; or scrambled egg on bread or toast; or lentil soup with whole-grain bread Carrot sticks, pieces of raw cucumber, slices of apple. Fruit with yogurt or cereal pudding as at lunch. Water or milk.

Before bed: Breast or bottle-feed.

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