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Raising healthy babies on vegetarian diet is possible, experts say

Child nutrition expert offers advice on weaning and raising your child as a vegetarian.
Parents who wish to feed their babies on a vegetarian diet have a range of nutritious options available to them, according to the BabyCentre.

Experts state that it is possible to raise a child as vegetarian from an early age as long as the parents ensure consumption of products from a variety of food groups.

Protein, vitamin B12 and iron are all important aspects of a baby's diet, in addition to egg and cheese which provide calories essential for infants to grow.

Annabel Karmel, bestselling author on baby and children's nutrition, explained: "Adult vegetarian diets are not good for babies because if they have an adult vegetarian diet it is very high in fibre, they will soon be full and you can't give them the nutrients they need."

She advised: "If they are not eating meat, you should give your baby some juice at the same meal because orange juice has vitamin C and will help the baby absorb the iron from the food."

The Department of Health recommends that until six months, a baby needs only breast milk or infant formula milk. Health experts agree that around six months is the best age for introducing solids.

Before this, an infant's digestive system is still developing and weaning too soon may increase the risk of infections and allergies.

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