Vegetarian baby... any tips?
Lukas is 8 months old and a very good eater. He has plenty of fruit and veg, pasta, bread, potato, lots of things like hummus, hazelnut spread, chickpeas, lentils, beans etc in various forms and less often, cheese or fromage frais. He doesn't have eggs yet, though I'm thinking of introducing them in the next couple of months.
Are there any good veggie foods you can think of that would be good (mainly for iron) and anything he might be missing (considering the foods above)? I've survived on a vegetarian diet for 12 years now with no issues, but I just want to be sure my son isn't missing anything important!
I'm a "laid back" vegan, but my partner is a meat eater (mostly outside the home). Our son will be lacto-ovo, but I'm looking into alternatives for cow's milk and also soya milk as I don't want him to have soya milk on a daily basis. I'm not quite brave enough to take him down the vegan route as it's quite new to me too.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
I'm a lacto/ovo vegetarian like you - and my husband and son are not... They eat meat on occasion - so I know where you're coming from ;~)
I'm a big advocate for organic foods and as such I recommend it for babies, kids, and adults alike... Babies eat more food in ratio to body weight than adults and are thus at more risk of pesticides/herbacides, hormones, steroids, antibiotics, GM's (genetically modified) foods (Most people think hormones, steroids, antibiotics don't apply to vegetables - It's on veg too because of conventional farms that not only cultivate in close proximity but who use conventional dung, or meat by products to fertalize their veg)
Why are you giving/not giving your son milk/soy? Is it for the calcium content? If so look here - it's a chart about calcium rich veg and fruits ;~) http://www.chimere.org/piggies/vitc.html
Cow's milk is best reserved for children over a year old - I recommend organic soy (soy is one of the biggest things on the GM food market so in order to avoid the gm you have to get organic - including tofu etc.. Soy products in general)
and the same with strawberries (berries in general) and nuts.... These could cause allergies later on in life.. I have living proof that the milk causes lactose intolerance - 3 of my European friends were given cows milk in the first year of their lives and are now lactose intolerant.. While their breast fed counter parts (other friends of mine) are just fine... So be carefull with that one - again ask a doctor - my family has several Doctors in it and they all agree with the Milk, Nuts, and Berries.. (just something to think about ;~)
My suggestion is to talk to a FEW Doctors (some honestly have no clue, and I often wonder where they got their degree and how long ago... LOL) and make sure that your baby get's a really good variety of foods, legumes, grains, veg, fruits.... as one of my friends put it "teach your kids to eat a rainbow of colors" LOL
We as parents want the best for our kids! We want to make sure they're healthy, and safe and as such we need to research what we feed, use around them (from shampoos to cleaning supplies) and what we bring into our homes....
You've been vegetarian for 12 years and that's amazing!! Good for you !! - These days there is such a great selection of vegetarian items that I'm sure you'll do great ;~)
Here's a good link to look at about food:
and another about baby products like Johnson & Johnson's baby products!
(I'm not here to advertise my online group but as a parent I always let people know of hidden dangers in foods and products - so I am posting my group link for you - from parent to parent I think it's important that we share info with one another to help keep our kids safe... my site is located here - if you like check out the discussion board - and look at "all discussions" (written in tiny green letters on the bottom of the discussions) for more info) here's the link: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/OpenOurEyes
************ If you take nothing else from my post - then atleast take a look at baby "BODY BURDEN" here: http://www.ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/execsumm.ph...
and make an informed decision :~)
feel free to email me if I can be of help... I have a vast knowledge of chemicals in foods and products.... Before I became pregnant I went to seminars, expos, talked with doctors in my family and became friends with several naturalpaths... Not to mention I've read over 30 books on these subjects LOL :~) Obsessed? Maybe - but my family is healthy and our "body burden" is very low! ;~)Source(s): Me... because I am vegetarian, I have doctors in my family that advocate childrens health and a pediatrician relative that has given me a lot of information on baby's and how to avoid "body burden" for my child and our family!
- 5 years ago
Puree the foods that you are eating, before you add seasoning. At nine months, a child should still be nursing, but should also be taking some semi-solid foods. In a few months, when your doctor says it's OK to to do so, those foods can be slightly less pureed. But you can do this in batches and freeze what isn't needed that day. In the '70's, there was a commune in Tennessee, known as The Farm. It was entirely vegan. When the original group broke up, the parents generally remained vegan and raised their children s vegans. But before it broke up, they had as a group decided to allow their children to be part of a longitudinal (for years and years) study of vegan nutrition for children. They were compared to a similar group of children from the same area, who were being raised as omnivores. The children who were raised vegan were, on average, one inch shorter and 5 pounds lighter in weight than were the omnivore children. There differences are well within one standard deviation (that's a statistical term that measures the degree of difference from the norm) of the norm, and these now adults would not be distinguishable within the surrounding population. AKA, you're doing the right thing. Don't let anyone even try to tell you otherwise.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Vegetarian Diets: Advantages for Children
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Some cookbooks for veggie moms -
New Vegetarian Baby - Sharon K. Yntema
The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook - Cathe Olson
Raising Vegetarian Children - Joanne Stepaniak
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I wrote this for someone else on here, and it was supposed to just be a rough draft but I never got back to it. http://prematureoptimism.com/VeganToddlers.htm
Egg (yolks) have iron and also DHA and vitamin D if they are free range and fed properly.
Algae is another super food, I'm pretty sure it has iron, it also has whatever the good omega is (I have a serious mental block about DHA for some reason)
All dark leafy greens.
Baked beans with molasses or tomatoes, or beans, or molasses, or tomatoes cooked in cast iron on their own.
Just remember that too much dairy particularly milk can cause anemia, particularly milk itself. And France and Israel have released strict guidelines for the use of soy in children you should look into that.
Coconut milk isn't bad as a milk alternative. Almond can be good but potentially allergenic and definitly expensive. Rice milk isn't bad but there is some concern about some sort of contamination (arsenic?).
Also invest in cast iron (not enameled cast iron) cookware.
Sorry I seem to have lost the ability to focus!
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- 1 decade ago
Contrary to popular belief, you can get all the nutrients you need (including iron & protein) even if you are a vegetarian or vegan. The most important thing is that your son is healthy & is getting everything he needs to grow healthy & strong. Whether or not your baby is a meat-eater, you must start introducing them to fruits & veggies as early as possible. Make sure you are feeding your child whole grain pastas & breads. Potatoes are good, but sweet potatoes are even healthier. If your child is going to be eating eggs,soy, or dairy & food allergies run in the family, you should talk to your doctor about allergy tests. It sounds like you're doing a good job of varying Luke's diet. If you are still worried he isn't getting all that he needs (or you just want your pesky relatives to stop bugging you about your child's diet!) ask his doctor about it. When Luke is a little older he may ask questions about why you are vegetarian. My friend who is vegan told me she got the book "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals" to read to her son. I haven't read it myself, but she told me it's age appropriate & isn't gory. Just a thought.
- ?Lv 51 decade ago
Enriched cream of wheat is high in iron, of course baby cereal is too. Dried apricots and prune juice have a decent amount of iron as well.
Maybe you might want to try him on goats milk, its the closest animal milk to human milk.
Good luck sorting everything out, and btw, Lukas is adorable!!!!!!!!! That is his picture you have as your avatar isn't it... *Smile* Too cute!!!!!
- 4 years ago
Fruits are sweeter and take less effort to organize, generally, so I tend to eat more fruits. Unless we could talking caned, but still, you usually heat up the veggies, so another vote for fruit.
- BLv 61 decade ago
I think you pretty much got it covered. But you could add tofu as a good source of protein and iron. You can try almond milk if you don't want to do soy.