Is it okay to feed my baby a vegetarian diet? Yes. Your baby can get all the vitamins, minerals, and protein he needs from a nutritious, balanced vegetarian diet. In fact, feeding him that way comes fairly naturally at this stage.
A 6-month-old still derives most of his nutrients from breast milk or formula, and the first solid foods you should introduce, after cereal, are mashed or strained fruits and vegetables.
Anything I should watch out for?
A balanced diet is critical for any baby, but particularly if he’s skipping a meal here and there. He’ll need protein, which fuels the ability grow and heal, so with a meatless diet you’ll need to make an effort to include alternative sources.
Let your baby’s doctor know whether you plan to further limit your baby’s diet to a vegan one – that is, one that doesn’t include eggs or dairy products – because you’ll need to take special care that he gets enough of certain nutrients, including vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, calcium, and zinc. A vegan diet can be low in iron, so you should make sure he gets iron-rich foods like whole grains, fortified cereals, and leafy greens such as spinach.
What are some good vegetarian sources of protein and other nutrients?
Alternatives to meat and poultry that are appropriate for a baby eating solid foods are cottage cheese, tofu, beans (well cooked and mashed), enriched whole grains (bread, pasta, rice, and cereal), yogurt, and cheese. Make sure to offer foods in bite-size pieces.