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at 3 weeks old “My partner, Helen, had an easy pregnancy thanks to an active lifestyle and a veggie diet. With the help of some great advice from the Vegetarian and Vegan Mother and Baby Guide, Helen has cut down on dairy and increased her fruit and veg consumption whilst breastfeeding and is loving her new, improved diet. It’s certainly doing Eli a world of good – he’s gained half a pound in his first two weeks! “I think it’s so important for children to learn


Simon Parkin Pictured with partner Helen and baby Elliott,


to be kind to animals as it teaches empathy and gentleness. And bringing them up veggie is the perfect way of teaching them kindness, not to mention keeping them fit and healthy. “I have no


qualms whatsoever about Eli being a veggie and I can’t wait until he’s old enough to share in the delights of a Friday night vegetable curry with his Dad!”


But does the amount of soya a baby eats matter?


Again, a baby drinking cows’ milk formula consumes much more oestrogen (the real thing) than a baby consuming soya formula. Vegetarians, vegans and infants consuming soya formula are not exposed to levels higher than those seen in many Asian countries. A UK government report acknowledges that there is no evidence that people who regularly eat high quantities of soya, such as the Chinese and Japanese, have altered sexual development or impaired fertility. It should be remembered that China is the world’s most populous nation, with over 1.3 billion citizens, who have been consuming soya for over 3,000 years! For fuller information, see the VVF’s


easy-to-read and informative guide, The Soya Story: www.vegetarian.org.uk/ guides/guides.htm.


Infant soya formula may contain glucose syrup. All infant formulas must comply with standards laid down by UK regulations, which specify minimum and maximum amounts of carbohydrate (the body’s main form of energy). The


Tooth truth Viva! and Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation 21


Cows’ milk contains a cocktail of over 35 different hormones and 11 growth factors. Furthermore, modern dairy cows (including organically farmed cows) are frequently impregnated while still producing milk. At least two thirds of retail milk in the UK is taken from pregnant cows, and at this time the hormone level in the milk is markedly elevated. Hormones from cows’ milk are linked to breast and prostate cancers. Viva! and VVF wholeheartedly believe soya milk formula to be the safe option for babies.


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