Bringing Up Baby…Vegan Style!

Part TWO of my series on vegan pregnancy and raising vegan children is up at the website of our sponsor, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness!

This is fitting, because our little man just turned two.

Vegan Birthday

Derek proudly brandishes the birthday feast centerpiece!

I am fortunate that I haven’t had to deal with a lot of skepticism about my vegan pregnancy, or how Miles would fare…as many vegan parents unfortunately do on a daily basis . It could be because we have a lot of credibility in this area, or simply because people are afraid of me. Sometimes it pays to have resting b**** face!

This is me having fun.

This is me having fun.

Miles speaks for the diet, without a word, although he certainly has no shortage of them. His glowing health, empathy, and incredible intelligence have parents and teachers asking me what we do that’s different. We don’t like to talk about how wonderful he is except to each other because, well, obviously it’s arrogant, potentially boring for other people, ¬†and also many of the things he says and does are just unbelievable. People would think we’re nuts. This is a guy who talked at 8 months, had a several hundred word vocabulary by 12 months, was on to sentences at 14 months and is now on to long dialogues complete with multiple voices, names, and imaginary situations and conversations with adults in which he is always surprising us with his insights. He was potty trained at 18 months, could sing all the lyrics of “Radioactive” which was his favorite song, and could tell you, unprompted, that a diplodocus was the longest dinosaur at 21 months. And, no, we definitely didn’t drill this guy in any way – I’m incredibly anti-rote-drilling for any age – he’s just insatiable. He wears us out. I’m pretty sure he fills every fruit-fueled second of his life with learning, and I’d bet it’s partly because he isn’t wasting valuable time burdened with trying to digest the “food” that most children can barely tolerate without constantly getting sick.

Miles also went to his first check-up in around 6 months (we tend to forget to bring him in because he has no health issues) and he is 53rd percentile in weight, 77th in height, and 85th in head size so he doesn’t seem to be having any problems growing on a whole foods plant-based diet. His doctor told us not to bother bringing him in for his 2 1/2 year developmental checkup since he was already far beyond the usual measures of progress for that age, at 2 years. Again, he’s never been exposed to an animal product in his life, since conception, and the only supplements he’s ever received are some vitamin D during the winter and B12 that I’ve started giving him as he nurses less.

The details, including how we transitioned him to eating solid foods, what he eats, and more are in the article – CHECK IT OUT!


Here’s a video of Miles at 20 months, healthy and voluble as could be! (I know, wrong screen orientation…it’s hard to remember when you’re frantically capturing parenting moments).


6 thoughts on “Bringing Up Baby…Vegan Style!

  • Hi Marcella, I am a vegan and had my first baby 5 weeks ago. I am breastfeeding exclusively (no formulas or bottles to deal with). My question is, did you have to avoid or cut done the amount of beans/legumes, and raw greens in your diet when you were breastfeeding your baby? I am avoiding cabbage and all foods in the cabbage family, broccoli, onions as I was told it will produce to much gas for the baby. I was also told to partially cook my salads so I can’t eat much raw greens. I use to eat a lot of raw kale, swiss chard, arugula and miss eating them. I do eat cooked beans twice a day everyday (maybe a total of 2-3 cups a day) and notice that my baby has a lot of gas. A friend of mine suggested I limit the amount of beans I eat and don’t eat beans everyday. Beans and legumes are my main protein source besides whole grains of course (I eat a lot of brown rice, oats, millet, buckwheat). If I reduce the amount of beans or avoid beans all together I won’t be getting the proper protein amount. I would like to begin exercising and weight training too and need adequate protein. So what can I do?

    • I also had to exclude beans for a while with my second. With whole grains in your diet you’ll certainly have adequate protein – I wouldn’t worry about it. It should only last a few months at most as your baby’s digestive system matures. Good luck!

  • Hi Marcella,

    Love the article! I hope you and the family are in awesome shape and doing well.

    I am very interested in hearing your stories and how wonderful Miles is doing. We have just found out my wife is pregnant for the first time and she has been looking into different diets.

    I am already vegetarian, edging toward Vegan (over time) however my wife still eats meat.

    I was just wondering if Part 3 of Vegan Pregnancy is still on it’s way?

    Now that my wife is bearing a child I think she may be more open to swapping to a healthier diet and I know your articles are so helpful in backing up the idea of raising Vegan Children.

    Love what you guys do and all the info you can spare time to share is greatly appreciated!

    Hope to hear back from you with any extra tips or strong points you might have that I can use to help convinve my wife that this is the best and healthiest way to raise our children.

    Have an awesome Monday!

    Take care,

    Best Regards,
    Brendan Young

    • Part 3 is available here:

      I strongly recommend that the two of you read “Disease-Proof Your Child” by Dr. Fuhrman; it very clearly explains the importance of diet during the first 10 years of life that is backed up by tremendous amounts of research. Many early childhood illnesses and problems thought to be unavoidable are really due to poor diet; for example, constipation, ear and throat infections, allergies, and so on. Constipation is non-existent in infants whose mothers breastfeed and follow a 100% plant-based diet, and chronic constipation has been completely cured in 100% of childhood cases when switched to a plant-based diet in some research Dr. Greger has shared (search for the term). In my own experience, I suffered ear and throat infections on a recurring basis until I was a teenager that completely disappeared when I adopted a vegan diet. Lifelong allergies and autoimmune disease is also strongly linked to early introduction of animal protein to the delicate gut of infants, via the mother’s breastmilk or formula feeding.
      We come into contact with many children just from being parents, and the contrast between Miles’s health and energy levels and that of other children who are struggling with being overfed with dairy products is pretty clear. All I can say is…Miles has been speaking since 8 months, potty-trained at 18 months, is nearly 3 now and speaks and reads at a very high level: he has the focus to do these things. And I’ve never seen a child with more physical energy in my life, who is so rarely grumpy. He’s been at or above average in weight and height throughout toddlerhood, and when you add to that the fact that he’s had a fever once in his life and bounces back so quickly from minor colds that it seems like he’s never been ill…and I can say that I am very satisfied we are doing right by him.

      Get the book I suggested, you will learn a lot!

  • Nice article! My eyebrow raised at cocoa just because I thought of raw cacao wich has a lot of caffeine but non-raw is probably more than fine. A thing I find strange is that it’s never announced on packages of raw cacao or protein powders containing it..

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