Meghan Markle Apparently Wants to Raise Her Baby on a Vegan Diet—but Is That Even Safe?

Baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (say that five times fast) is only 11 days old, but we're already starting to learn about the his little royal life. Earlier today, Archie's birth certificate was made public, and it confirmed that he was born at Portland Hospital in Westminster (not in a home birth, which was originally rumored to be the Duchess’ birth plan).

Now, it sounds like we have another detail about the royal tot’s upbringing: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are rumored to be feeding Archie a vegan diet.

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According to the New York Post, rumors about the newborn’s diet have been circling in the media. Supposedly against the Queen’s wishes, Meghan and Harry plan to feed their baby an exclusively plant-based diet.

Many adults practice veganism, and nutritionists agree that veganism can be a healthy dietary practice. But should newborns really be limited to just plants? 

Health previously spoke to Lauren Blake, RD, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, about the safety of having young children on a vegan diet. As it turns out, the Duke and Duchess might be onto something—with some important caveats.

"Children on vegan diets tend to have higher fiber intake because they eat more fruits and vegetables, and lower cholesterol, saturated fat, and total fat levels," said Blake. "Research shows children who are vegetarian or vegan are leaner overall, too."

Blake noted that while meat, poultry, and dairy products contain vital nutrients that growing children need, a vegan diet can still offer those nutrients. For example, iron, which is found in red meats, can also be found in leafy greens like spinach and kale. 

While a well-rounded vegan diet can provide all the nutrition a baby needs, it’s important to monitor the child’s growth to make sure that they are actually getting enough of all the necessary nutrients. 

Pediatrician Tanya Altman, MD, executive board member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and author of What to Feed Your Baby, previously told Health that parents raising their children vegan need to be extra vigilant about their diet and development.

"We do see kids who aren't growing properly when parents limit certain things in a child's diet," said Dr. Altman. "It's commonly seen in vegan families and we sometimes need to intervene. If they work with a pediatrician or registered dietitian, it should be fine."

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