Alicia Silverstone is raising her three-month-old baby, Bear Blu, on a strictly vegan diet — no meat, fish, dairy, or honey, according to a report in today’s Huffington Post. Silverstone’s not the only one, notes author Katherine Bindley, who quotes several moms whose children follow vegan diets. Despite the health benefits that some experts say come with a vegan diet, including lower rates of heart disease and obesity, others think the diet is too risky for kids because it can lead to numerous vitamin deficiencies if done incorrectly.
My take is that babies and toddlers should be introduced to as many diverse, healthy foods as possible. They need the vitamins and nutrients, and they need to learn about food and eating healthfully. (I follow a gluten-free diet but I’d never impose a gluten-free diet on Mason just because it’s the way that I choose to eat.) If they wish to follow a special diet later in life, when they’re old enough to make those choices and understand the consequences, then we as parents should help guide their decisions. What do you think? Would you put your babe or toddler on a vegan diet? Or, if your babe is already on a vegan diet, what are the advantages from your POV?