Other Vegan Views articles
Bringing up Vegan Children Vegan Views 82 (Spring/Summer 1999)

Many new or prospective vegan parents feel a need for mutual support. Plamil Foods Ltd. produced a booklet reporting on the experiences of a dozen families with vegan children and what they eat.

Response shows that vegan parents can feel out an a limb and are re-assured by knowing of successful ways to bring up vegan children. Below are comments from the booklet and reports from other parents.

EXTRACTS FROM PARENTS IN THE BOOKLET
Keith (2) began drinking Plamil soya milk when he was about 7 months. We declined to have him immunised.
Jake (4) was breastfed until 6 months when, through his own choosing he stopped wanting to breastfeed, so he was introduced to Plamil soya milk.
Nathaniel (3) When he was younger, I used to face some opposition to bringing him up vegan. My doctor told me I wouldn't produce much breastmilk and if I did it wouldn't be very nutritious. Of course that turned out to be rubbish!
Roisin (4) has been vegan all her life (and I was before, during and after pregnancy). Roisin was a healthy 8lb 13oz when born and was breast fed for 16 months. She has not been immunised.
Amy (3) is a life-long vegan. As a healthy child born to vegan parents, Amy was started on a soya milk formula as a supplementary feed at 3 months old. I regret having started Amy on a formula which contained glucose syrup, I now wish I had used the Plamil dilution chart from the start.
Fabio (2) was a very healthy bouncing 9lb 3oz when born and has never looked back. I introduced Plamil sugar-free concentrated soya milk at 9 months and he immediately took to it. My advice is not to be put off by health care professionals saying that a vegan diet is inferior - I think we've managed to disprove this theory.
Morgaine (4) and Angelica (1) have been lifelong vegan. Morgaine was born in hospital (waterbirth) and weighed 6lb 3oz and only likes Plamil soya milk. Angelica was born at home (waterbirth) 7lb 8oz. Both girls were breastfed until 4˝ months. They went straight from breastmilk to Plamil soya milk.
Hannah-France (3) was breastfed until aged 1. From the age of approx. 8 months, a daytime drink of Plamil soya milk was a daily supplement to her breakfast and night time breastmilk. Her veganism and the fact that she is not vaccinated has not won the approval of my GP. I never see her either!
Lilly May (2) and Naomi (6 months) Lilly was breastfed and not given formula milk. From the breast at 5 months, she was cautiously introduced to 'packet' baby rice mixed with Plamil soya milk, and mashed bananas. Naomi, as yet, is not needing balanced nutrition because she is breastfed.
Eleanor (3) and Lewis (1) are full of energy. Neither of them have been immunised and shake off colds and common ailments fairly quickly.

COMMENTS FROM READERS OF THE BOOKLET
Dr. MJ in London: 'My interest centres around food allergies and avoidance of allergens - my son is allergic to cow's milk protein, eggs and peanuts.'
Sue at Kingscliffe: 'The booklet is reassuring and confidence building. It also highlighted new questions, eg. immunisation which we had not previously thought about. We are excited and proud to be having a child who will benefit from the vegan diet.'
Melody at Basildon: 'Superb little booklet, very interesting to hear about other families and their feeding schedules. I couldn't put it down'.
Debbie at Taunton: 'Was given booklet by a friend. Am fairly new to veganism, but have been a lacto-vegetarian for 11 years at times omitting dairy products. Now, with the baby and more and more aware of various issues (health and ethical) am quite determined to continue. Baby will be brought up as a vegan. He is a really strapping little lad so far thriving on breastmilk and the foods I'm introducing. I found the booklet very encouraging - reading of other people doing similar things (vegan, no vacc/ims etc).'
Jayne in Benhall: 'The booklet was extremely interesting and has been very useful to me as I have an eight month old daughter who is being brought up as a vegan. The information and particularly the case histories have also helped us convince other family members we are not depriving our daughter by not feeding her dairy products. Thank you.'
Hazel in North Lincolnshire: 'I found the booklet very informative and reassuring. It will come in very handy when I have a baby. I have been a vegan for 3˝ years but like most people I dread the reaction of health care professionals when I'm pregnant and when I bring up my vegan children.
C in Bromley: 'After completing my degree, I may work in the field of vegan/organic agriculture and/or nutrition. I am a vegetarian of 7 years and aspiring vegan. Sadly my children were born too soon to have been vegan from birth but I'd like to know how other parents manage.'
Lynn in Cumbria: 'Very interesting booklet. It would also be useful to have more information on pregnancy and attitudes, good and bad.'

Updated information since this VV article was published...

Plamil's booklet 'Vegan Infants Case Histories' is 24 pages and costs £2. It has a foreword by a GP, a dietician's overall review, a midwife's advisory comments, supplementary and infant feeding guidelines, nutritional data, case histories and examples of daily diets.

"Vegan Infants Case Histories is a reassuring collection of reports - complete with photographs - presenting dozens of children growing up bright, strong, full-sized and healthy on purely plant based, vegan diets. Plamil foods Ltd., is to be commended for publishing this inspirational work." Michael A Klaper, MD (Physician/Author).

This booklet is available direct from Plamil at the address below. Please send an A5 size stamped addressed envelope.

Plamil Foods Ltd, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 6PQ, UK. Tel: 01303 850588 (24 hours). Fax: 01303 850015. Web: www.veganvillage.co.uk/plamil. Email: plamil@veganvillage.co.uk.

Viva! sell a few books and guides on this subject - go to www.viva.org.uk, click on 'Books' then click on 'Babies and Toddlers'. They have:
- 'Dr Spock’s Baby and Child Care' by Dr Benjamin Spock.
- 'Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet' by Dr Michael Klaper.
- Rose Elliot's Mother and Baby Guides: Part one - Healthy Vegetarian/Vegan Pregnancy, Part two - Feeding Your Vegetarian/Vegan Baby.
- Viva! also sell the Plamil booklet mentioned in this VV article.

Related Vegan Views articles...
Cross-reference: Children
Cross-reference: Soya Milk