Vegan nutrition for babies: the book

Vegan nutrition for babies is still a contentious issue for many, causing a lot of uncertainty, or even instilling fear.

That's why I compiled a little book on this little topic. Luckily, with a little help from a few fellow (little?) musketeers, I chose a slightly less boisterous title ... although Amazon seems to be keen on adding superfluous colons (but will resolve this soon - say what you want about Amazon but they're really efficient).

And the title is:

Vegan baby. A guide to complementary feeding. For vegans between the ages of 4 and 12 months

Note, that due to pressure from several amigos I added the slightly boastful (or pathetic looking?) "MSc" to my name, meaning "Master of Science", as that is the highest university degree I currently hold in nutrition science. For American (USA) readers: MSc is what you would call MS. I just could not bring myself to write "MS". (Maybe because the town where I currently live is MS, or maybe because MS stands for multiple sclerosis, or ... mass spectrometry, and just so many things.)

Side note: If you do indeed find my Amazon book blurb too boisterous, I do apologize. (Maybe it's because I was reading The Grapes of Wrath at the time.)  

One more: If you do get the book, writing a review (full of praise and 5 stars) on Amazon would help to promote the book on Amazon, i.e. the seemingly neverending ocean of STUFF that is Amazon. 

I think - but I'm biased - that this book can really help a lot of vegan parents and keep their babies safe and happy.

The real reason ...
... that I actually wrote this little book is (1) my nephew and (2) that I currently have to teach this subject at university. 

The underlying motive is - of course - to "save the children", quite so without the inverted commas even.

Some might insinuate that surely the true underlying motivation (for publishing this booklet) must be an unquenchable lust for money or some sort of egomania ... and this might be the case, subconsciously, who knows. Surely after the printing and production costs, and shipping, and Amazon's percentage, and the taxman's share included in the price, and the taxman's share due after receiving the author royalties and the legions upon legions of vegan parents who love evidence-based vegan baby nutritition and who will stumble across this little blue book and who will buy, buy, and buy ... I'll probably need to employ an accountant just to handle to flow of incoming currency

So, bascially this is what the book is about:

Can a completely vegan diet really be suitable for children and even babies? In other words, can a completely vegan diet provide all the necessary nutrients which are needed to allow the baby to grow normally and develop healthily, both physically and mentally? 
The answer is yes ... but certain nutrients should be paid attention to – most importantly vitamin B12. In other words, a vegan baby’s diet should be “well-planned”. What does “well-planned” mean? This booklet will explain. 

But wouldn’t it be safer to err on the side of caution and give your baby a “normal”, i.e. a non-vegetarian diet? The answer is: No, not really … as long as the vegan diet is well-planned. Nothing suggests that a well-planned vegan diet is any less safe than a typical “Western” (i.e. a not very well-planned) diet – or even than a very well-planned non-vegan diet. There is also no evidence that a typical “Western” or other non-vegan diet would have a more beneficial effect on a baby’s long-term health and life expectancy compared to a well-planned vegan diet.

All recommendations in this book are evidence-based. That means that they are based on what is known from scientific studies, including the most recent scientific studies. These recommendations are also supported by years of personal experience.

And for all those of you who will not end up buying, freeloading, borrowing, or stealing the book ... follow this visual guideline (which is based on a graphic by the brilliant vegetarian nutrition researcher Luciana Baroni from Italy):

The vegan food groups for babies

Vegan complementary feeding: the food groups 
(B12+: Vitamin B12 supplement, plus further supplements if required; figure adapted from “Supplemental Figure 2. The VegPlate for infants (6 to 12 months)” by Baroni et al. 2019)

P.S.: Apologies to Brenda Davis, should I misquote her by saying "Let's do this right" (in the Amazon book blurb). She might rather more commonly say "Let's do this properly."


This book is also available in German. The German vegan magazine "Kochen Ohne Knochen" [cooking without bones] wrote (thanks!): "This booklet should be given to all vegan parents when the baby's born - many tears and insecurities could be avoided."