A note on nuts. The American Academy of Pediatrics does
not recommend any sort of nut butters for children under 3 years. In families where there is a history of
allergy, eczema or asthma, it is recommended that peanuts and peanut products be delayed until the child is at
least 3 years old. Other children may have peanuts and tree nuts of a suitable texture, such as smooth nut
butter, from the age of 6 months or when weaned, but not before 4 months. In the UK, it is recommended that
peanuts be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women if there is a history of allergies. It is suggested that
women who are atopic, or where the father or any sibling has atopic disease, may wish to avoid peanuts in their
diet to reduce the risk of their children developing peanut allergy, but this is simply precautionary as there
has been no conclusive evidence.
Many parents choose to use commercially prepared baby foods and there are some
products suitable for vegan infants, though careful label reading is recommended. As there is only a limited
selection of commercial products for the older vegan infant, many parents opt to prepare their own baby foods.
Foods should be well washed, cooked thoroughly and blended or mashed to an appropriate consistency. Home
prepared foods can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen in small quantities for later
By 6 months of age, iron stores in omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan infants will
become depleted and it is important that iron-rich foods are included in the diet. Iron-fortified infant
cereals are a good way to supply iron to vegan infants Other good sources include whole grains, pulses, green
leafy vegetables and dried fruits. To enhance iron absorption, add a source of vitamin C such as green leafy
vegetables, citrus fruits, blackcurrants or orange juice to the meal.
For the non-vegan child, cow's milk is typically introduced around age 1 year.
Commercial fortified non-dairy milks can be added to the diet of vegan toddlers around the same age provided
that the child is growing normally, has an appropriate weight and height for age, and is eating a variety of
foods including soya products, pulses, grains, fruits and vegetables. For children with slower growth who have
been weaned from breast milk, ensure that the diet is energy dense by adding some healthful oils such as olive
or rapeseed oil. Choosing unflavoured varieties of non-dairy milk rather than flavours such as vanilla, cocoa,
or carob can help to avoid the development of a preference for very sweet beverages by the young