The 1 to 3 years period

At this age, whether or not they are following a vegetarian diet, children tend to eat less owing to an increased sense of independence and a reduction in the speed of growth.
These first years are also important for establishing the basis of healthy eating habits for the future.

After weaning, the following recommendations should be followed

  • Calculate the number of calories (energy), to avoid malnutrition and a decrease in growth rate. Foods such as avocado pears, nut and seed butters, stewed fruit, jams, oils, and dried fruits, soya and oil derivatives provide a concentrated amount of energy. Eating regular meals and sweet snacks also helps provide an adequate energy intake.
  • Avoid eating too much fibre. Infants´ stomachs are still small and high fibre consumption makes them feel full before they have acquired all the energy they need. If necessary, the amount of fibre in the diet can be reduced by drinking fruit juices and eating refined cereals and peeled fruit.
  • Provide a good variety of foods from each group: vegetables, fruit, legumes, etc.
  • Commercial soya shakes, not reduced in fat and enriched, or cow´s milk can be used as the main drink from one year of age, or later for those children who are growing normally and are eating variety of foods.
  • Avoid too much fat and refined sugar.
  • Fat should not be restricted when feeding children under two years old, and vegetable oils or soft vegan margarine should be included. After the first year, nut or seed butters spread on bread can be introduced.
  • Provide adequate quantities of vitamins A, D and B₁₂, as well as iron and calcium. Give supplements where necessary.
  • To avoid the risk of choking, children under three years should not be given: whole nuts and dried fruit, nut and dried fruit purées with chunks, large chunks of fruit and vegetables, whole grapes, and neither sweets, nor popcorn.

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