Vegan Foods for Babies
Anytime after 6 months is fair game for solids (with a few exceptions). We slowly eased Maddox into it, were extremely lenient on if he ate solids at all, and now at almost 9 months, he's finally eating close to three full meals. Breast milk is still his main source of nutrition, of course, but within the past couple weeks, that's slowly been transforming as he continues to grow.
One thing I was adamant about for my son was having him follow my vegan diet compared to following his father's meat-eating one. Oh and the ruckus that causes when I tell people about it. "You're going to deprive your son?" As if I was the worst person on the planet for caring about what goes into my child's body. But he's not deprived. He's far from it.
Here's my thing: until he understands where meat comes from (i.e. animals are slaughtered, often inhumanely, for a meal and animals are living, breathing creatures) and can either accept or deny that fact, his system will be free of meat. If he decides he wants to eat it? Then so be it. I want him to have the choice and the knowledge to make the decision. If he doesn't ever want meat, he'll never be deprived. If he does want meat, he'll start eating meat and still not be deprived. It's a win/win situation.
So for now, I'll be feeding him lots of beans, veggies, and other delicious treats. Besides, he has a dairy allergy anyway.
Here are some food options for your vegan little as well.
Blueberries, mangos, strawberries, banana, pears, raspberries, blackberries, apples, plums, pears, kiwi, peaches, seedless watermelon, canteloupe, avocados, raisins, grapes, nectarine, papaya, melon, prunes, dates, figs, cranberries, cherries
Sweet potato, white potato, carrots, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, peeled eggplant, pumpkin, cucumber, butternut squash, red peppers, parsnips, yams, beets, zucchini, artichoke, peas, leeks, mushrooms, cauliflower
Legumes & Nut Butters
Lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, black beans, tofu, almond butter, peanut butter, hummus
Cereal, Bread, & GRAINS
Oatmeal, iron-fortified breads (wheat/multigrain over white), english muffins, barley, brown rice, rye, quinoa, pasta, rice, oats, amaranth, flax, kamut, buckwheat, sesame
Breakfast: oatmeal & fruit, tofu scramble, sweet potato hash, toast with a nut butter, toast with jam, homemade vegan pancakes with dairy-free butter & a sprinkle of cinnamon, unsweetened applesauce with toast, soy yogurt, toast with dairy-free cream cheese, avocado toast
Lunch: chickpea & avocado (optional: on bread), nut butter & jam sandwiches, grilled "cheese", sweet potato fries, veggie burgers, potato mash, dairy-free mac & cheese
Dinner: rice & beans & a vegetable, chickpea & rice & avocado & a vegetable, lentil soup, creamy carrot soup, pasta with sauce, vegan alfredo pasta, vegan lasagna, sautéed tofu & a vegetable, grilled "cheese", vegan casseroles
Snacks: soy yogurt, toast, a puree packet, crackers with a nut butter, broccoli bites, puffs, teeth biscuits, homemade fruit pops, frozen grapes in a mesh teether, crackers with dairy-free cream cheese
Honestly, almost anything you eat, your baby can eat. It's always recommended to check with your pediatrician as well and be on the look-out for any allergic reactions.
Also remember: not all babies will be eating at 9 months. Some will only take purees, some will only want to feed themselves. Try different things and see what works for you and your little. These are simply ideas. Follow your baby's cues. If they're pushing food out, they might not be ready! It's okay. There's plenty of time for them to be eating. Their main source of nutrition should always be breast milk & formula within the first year. It's best to make sure, when a baby is on any diet, is that are receiving the right amount of nutrients. Breast-fed babies are more prone to lack iron after 6 months. So it's best to include iron-fortified cereals, broccoli, and lentils or chickpeas into your baby's diet.