TV presenter Holly Willoughby has caused controversy after she suggested that babies can be raised on a vegan diet in her new book.
The 36-year-old This Morning presenter, who is a mother of three, had written in her latest cookbook, Truly Scumptious Baby, that it is possible to wean babies onto a plant-based diet – which goes against the British healthcare system NHS’ guidelines.
Willoughby believes it is ‘possible for a baby to get all the nutrients he needs’ from the diet, although, she says, raising infants on a vegan diet takes ‘more planning’.
The TV presenter, who has just released her new book which discusses ways of raising babies, has received backlash following her suggestion.
Willoughby – not a vegan herself – wrote: “Weaning a baby on a vegan diet does require a little more planning.
“Energy density of food can be a concern as vegan food is often high in fibre but not very energy dense.
“Foods such as hummus, tahini, bananas, nut or seed butters, dried fruit, nutritional yeast and fortified (unsweetened) milk make great additions but it does all come back to balance and variety.”
Currently, the NHS warns parents to ‘take care’ when raising a child vegan; and it also advises against giving children under five whole nuts.
According to the NHS website: “Young children need a good variety of foods to provide the energy and vitamins they need for growth.
“A vegan diet can be bulky and high in fibre. This can mean that children get full up before they’ve taken in enough calories.
“Because of this, they may need extra supplements. Ask a dietitian or doctor for advice before introducing your child to solids.”