Sales figures for The Vegan Society's new VEG 1 Baby and Toddler supplement show vegan tots are off to a healthy start in 2023.
The figures show the charity's VEG 1 Baby and Toddler liquid supplement, launched during World Vegan Month in November, has been flying off shelves. Nearly a quarter of the stock has depleted – a much larger amount than expected by society staff.
The supplement, which is designed for youngsters aged between six months and four years, contains six nutrients, including B12, iodine and selenium which deserve special attention from vegans.
It is important to include a reliable source of vitamin B12 in your baby's diet to help produce healthy red blood cells and a healthy central nervous system. Some foods are fortified with vitamin B12 including unsweetened fortified soya milk which can be used in cooking for babies and as a main drink from one year onwards. Plain soya yoghurt, nutritional yeast flakes and some breakfast cereals are other examples of products that may have added B12. Similarly, iodine aids brain and neurological development and some dairy alternatives are fortified with iodine as well as B12 and calcium. Selenium supports enzymes which speed up reactions in our bodies.
The other nutrients included in the multivitamin and mineral supplement, essential to its target age group, include vitamin A, C and D and selenium.
To produce VEG 1 Baby and Toddler, the charity worked closely with Angharad Banner, an NHS Children's Dietitian to ensure it includes everything a mini vegan needs.
Banner says: "All children should take a vitamin supplement containing vitamins A,C and D until they are five-years-old.
"However, there are limited options for babies and children on a vegan diet as the most common source of vitamin D which is essential for helping absorb calcium for strong bones and teeth, is from sheep's wool."
In a review of the new supplement, one parent wrote: “My little one loves the taste of this! He even gets excited when he sees the bottle. It’s given us peace of mind knowing he’s getting everything he needs and it’s such a relief that it’s not a battle to get him to take it. Very affordable too, we will definitely be purchasing again.”
While Baby and Toddler includes the harder to get key nutrients, it is important for parents to ensure they include plenty of iron, calcium and protein rich foods in their child's diet. Essential Omega 3 fats are also a nutrient deserving attention for babies and children, which are found in some nuts, seeds and rapeseed oil. Ground seeds and smooth nut butter varieties are good sources for younger children, however a micro-algae supplement should also be considered during life periods of growth and development. See our life stages webpages for more information.
Beth Dandy, Business Development and Marketing Officer at The Vegan Society, adds: "We were so pleased when we discovered just how well VEG 1 Baby and Toddler is doing. It means more families than ever are embracing veganism and realising that to do so does not mean compromising their children's health – quite the opposite in fact!"
Interested in giving VEG 1 Baby and Toddler a go? Head to www.vegansociety.com/shop to make a purchase. VEG 1 Baby and Toddler costs £8.50 for one 150ml bottle – around five month's worth. For a list of FAQs visit: www.vegansociety.com/shop/veg-1-supplements/baby-and-toddler-faqs and for more information about raising vegan children, head to www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/family.