Following the horrifying news of the Scottish vegan couple whose daughter has a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old because of a vegan diet from birth a reader sensibly writes in to The Times Online to ask Is it possible to raise a healthy baby on a vegan diet?
The answer of course is yes. All rational vegans understand the breastfeeding is proper and important, and vegan soy formulas are readily available for those who can't breastfeed.
Or as Amanda Ursell wrote:
[B]e aware that, as with any diet, there are “good” and “bad” versions of veganism, and you have to be particularly careful about getting the balance right, for yourself and your offspring, when following this regimen. You need to be scrupulously careful to ensure, particularly, that you get enough vitamin D (needed for strong bones) and B12 (for a robust nervous system), as well as minerals such as selenium and iodine. This is a challenge to achieve when eschewing all animal products in your diet.
The Vegan Society has published a very good book entitled Feeding Your Vegan Child (£9.99), written by the dietitian Sandra Hood. In it, she reveals how parents, infants and children can thrive on a diet that avoids completely all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy foods, honey and by-products of animals such as gelatin. By using soya milk fortified with vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium, you can get enough of the bone-building nutrients you need to help your infant's skeleton to develop while you are pregnant and when breast-feeding.