From dealing with a teething baby or toddler or worrying about what to feed them, raising children can be tough. Even tougher is raising a baby or toddler who is vegan, as many mums and dads are unsure of where to turn to boost their baby’s nutritional intake. While a mother’s breast milk is always considered vegan, we at Yellodoor understand that breastfeeding isn’t always a viable option. Thankfully, there are vegan baby milk alternatives you may wish to consider for both your baby and toddler. However, there are a few caveats you’ll need to pay attention to.

To help with this, we have compiled a curated guide on vegan baby milk alternatives in the UK to help guide you towards giving your vegan little one the nutrition that he or she so desperately needs.

What Milk Alternative Is Best For Babies?

When choosing which milk to give your child, it is crucial that you pay close attention to the nutritional makeup in each drink.

Furthermore, as explained later, no product listed specifically as “milk” will be suitable for your little one under the age of 12 months. Prior to then, you will need to buy a plant-base formula, details on which we will cover further down.

Here are some of the best plant-based milks to aide your growing toddler over the age of 12 months in nutrition:

Soy Milk


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Mentioned first for a reason, soy milk contains the nutrients essential to healthy growth and development. Fortified varieties will be packed with vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B12.

When selecting this type, always be sure that you pick the unsweetened and full-fat varieties.


Oat Milk


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For those looking to nix soy from their child’s diet, oat milk is another option. Full-fat and fortified versions often have the protein, iodine, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 nutrients available, along with the natural health benefits that oats provide.

As always, be sure to purchase the unsweetened variety and steer clear of chocolatey or sugar flavours for daily consumption.

Try Alpro Oat Milk for toddlers as it is marked safe for vegetarians.

Pea Milk


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Another great option for those avoiding soy is pea milk for baby. Pea milk packs a punch in terms of natural protein, which is a major plus in terms of veganism.

It tends to be a little lower in calories, though, compared to the aforementioned milk types, so you’ll want to ensure that your little gets calories from elsewhere.

Almond Milk

Low in calories and protein, this fortified drink may be good for a boost in calcium, but probably shouldn’t be your main supplementation as a cow’s milk alternative. Having said that, this is a yummy and delicious substitute for smoothies and cooking, and can certainly be utilised for various reasons within a toddler vegan diet.

Coconut Milk


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Fattier than some of its predecessors, coconut milk is surprisingly low in calories and doesn’t offer much in terms of protein, iron or much needed zinc.

Fortified versions do offer a few added nutrients depending on the brand though. So, similar to almond milk, we would recommend this option on an occasional basis, rather than a daily cow’s milk substitute.

Cashew Nut Milk

Another calcium-rich and heart-healthy nut milk staple is cashew milk, though, like almond milk, it doesn’t offer much in terms of calories.

The plus is that fortified and unsweetened varieties contain additional vitamin D, a nutrient that is crucial to your toddler’s overall diet.

Flax Milk


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Flax milk is a decent contender in the non-dairy market, with some varieties toting added protein in addition to the already rich fatty-acid content and a host of other beneficial nutrients.

Rice Milk


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Is rice milk safe for toddlers? Not really.

Although okay in its pure and natural form, i.e. a bowl of rice, rice milk has specifically been shown to contain high levels of arsenic, which can render negative consequences on your child’s health.

Sesame Seed Milk For Babies


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Full of iron, zinc and nearly double the amount of calcium as cow’s milk, sesame saeed milk can be a good choice for vegan toddlers.

Just be sure not to give any milks to babies under the age of 12 months, since these will require formula in those early developmental months.

Plant-Based Baby Formula

As previously mentioned, you’ll need to use a plant-based baby formula, only after the age of six months, if you want your baby to grow healthy and strong. Milks are not suitable for babies under the age of 12 months.

Also, there are few alternatives to soy formula out there for vegans, such as Infasoy by Cow and Gate, so you may have to go with soy, stick to breast milk, or even contemplate doing cow’s milk formula, until your baby is old enough to wean.

If you really need a vegan option, check out Premiriz Infant Formula available in the UK for a soy-free start to your baby’s first six months of life.


Vegan Babies and Milk

When considering placing your baby, toddler or child on a vegan diet, you’ll be faced with a gamut of questions that will need to be answered:

  • What do vegan babies drink instead of milk?
  • What do vegan babies drink after breast milk
  • Is it healthy for a baby to be vegan?
  • Is baby formula vegan?

To answer, let’s take each of these questions and answer them one-by-one.

What Do Vegan Babies Drink Instead of Milk?

To be honest, the best source of nutrition for a vegan baby is going to be his or her mother’s milk.

Particularly for the first 6 months of life, a parent will be hard-pressed to find a suitable milk alternative that has the essential nutrients necessary to support the growth of young babes.

And although soy formulae are available, they aren’t always exclusively vegan and aren’t recommended for children under the age of 6 months due to health risks.

Some mothers will, unfortunately, have to make the decision to feed their babies a formula made from animal-derived ingredients, despite their wishes. This would be the only option aside from breastmilk if the mother is unable to breastfeed or cannot secure breastmilk from a donor, such as from a milk bank in the UK.

Beyond 6 months of life, it is still important for babies to get the right dose of healthy fats, calcium and essential nutrients. A formula will still be necessary, and as such, parents may begin transitioning their children to soya formula, if it is available in your area.

What Do Vegan Babies Drink After Breast Milk?

Once babies reach the age of 12 months, the possibilities broaden a bit. Your baby will be a toddler at this age, and can glean a lot of his or her nutrients from solid foods. Nevertheless, the kind of plant-based milk you choose to serve your child is important. You’ll want to watch for certain nutrients, whether natural or fortified, to keep your little growing healthy and strong. Some nutrients to look out for include iron, protein, calcium, vitamin B12, zinc and more. Moreover, there are plant-based vegan toddler drinks available such as Alpro Soya Growing Up Drink 1-3+ that provide a plethora of vitamins to help fuel your toddler’s growth.

Is It Healthy For a Baby to Be Vegan?

So, is it safe for a child to be vegan? Honestly, it depends on how you do it. Naturally speaking, all babies would be “vegan” up to the time of transitioning to solids, as a mother’s milk is an accidentally-vegan food.

By and large, a mother’s milk is the best thing that a young infant can have, though there are advantages and disadvantages to both breast-feeding and formula feeding.

Beyond six months, however, vegan parents will need to be careful, and mindful, about how they supplement their child’s diet. Much of the fats, protein and calcium that is needed in a baby’s diet will come from both breast milk and solids, and will need to be replaced through substitutes if the mother is not going to breastfeed.

After the age of 12 months, this will become easier as your baby can ingest plant-based milks instead of formula, and can eat a wider variety of foods that he or she can at a younger age.

Is Baby Formula Vegan?

Most baby formulas are not vegan. Even soy formula is not listed as such. You will need to pick the “lesser of two evils” in cases like these, preferring the soy formula over the animal-derived cow’s milk formula. You may also consider combining breastfeeding and formula feeding.

Remember, you should never, under any circumstances, give your baby rice, soy, coconut, almond, cashew, oat or other types of milk until your baby is beyond 12 months. Again, your baby should be drinking a formula, not milk, to supplement his or nutritional goals during their baby years.


Vegan Baby Milk Alternatives: Mum’s and Dad’s Options Continue to Broaden

Bear in mind that there are new developments and strives everyday to improve upon baby formula. Depending on where you live, you may be able to check the market for vegan-formula, only if they are safe. Be sure to be on the lookout for formula containing ARA and DHA omega fatty acids to ensure proper development of your baby’s nerves and brain.

Want more info on how to raise a vegan baby? Check out Parent magazine’s article on raising a vegan child for more tips.