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Thread: The vegetarian baby

  1. #1
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    Default The vegetarian baby

    I know there are a lot of vegetarian/vegan families out there. I was hoping for input from those who chose to feed their children a meat-free diet.

    Our plan was to feed her the way we eat until she is old enough to decide wether or not she'd like to try meats. When she can make the conscious decision, she will be allowed the choice wether or not she wants to continue a vegetarian diet.

    So how do you feed an infant/young child a nutritious lacto-vegetarian diet? Do they have pureed beans, lentils, or other sources of iron and protein? TIA

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    My son was a vegetarian for the first 5 years of his life. One thing I learned (unfortunately about 2 years after giving it to him) is the dangers of soy. He BF and didn't like cow's milk (can't blame him ) so I gave him mostly soy milk, and sometimes rice milk. Then I found out about the dangers of soy and stopped giving it to him. Here's a link.
    http://www.alive.com/1303a4a2.php

    My son loved lentils so he got a lot of his protein from them. I'd put them in soup and also just cook them. He also loved falafels and hummus dip that I'd make from chick peas. He ate only whole grains and sprouted grain bread.

    He loved fruit, some veggies (though not as much as fruit), any grain he loved (especially pancakes, bread, and rice) and then lentils and chick peas (garbonzo beans). He also ate cheese, and BM of course.

    Keep in mind that you will offer your child many different foods but regardless of how healthy it is, your LO may not want to eat it. I quickly lived by the "keep it simple" rule. I remember cooking a special meal that took hours only for him to not want any of it. It was disappointing for me, but a lesson I learned quick was that he really liked simple food.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    Thanks for your pointers! My main concern at this time is for infants- mush.

    What kind of mushy baby food can I offer that is nutritious enough without animal proteins? I have only seen fruits, vegetables and meats. Do they make those with beans and things like that?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    Also, I read the article. Soy is a great part of my daily diet and my main protein source. How did they prove that it causes these problems? I only saw proof (via testing on animals...) that it causes sexual developmental abnormalities and none of the other claims. Any other links?

    How do uyou get your hands on soy that doesn't have such harmful qualities? Is it possible? And can the chemicals/hormones/additives etc in meats be considered any safer?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    You may have read this article already about soy. Hope the link works.
    I've been a vegetarian for the past 20 years. My little one is only 3 months but I too will try to feed him a Vegetarian diet when he's ready.

    http://www.foodrevolution.org/what_about_soy.htm

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    ES1967-

    Thank you. The article you supplied makes much more sense to me, IMHO... Not only because I would prefer to believe it either. But it is of course important to be cautious and informed, so the first article is useful too.

    I thought soy should only be a concern if one show allergic reactions to it. I eat soy "meat-replacement" foods on a daily basis, and I can honestly say I feel much healthier eating it than I ever have eating other processed foods. The studies are interesting and informative but I think the hype against it is a little over the top. There are so many things in so many foods, as well as other necessities and luxuries, even in our environment, that can cause us the same types of harm... When in gigantic quantities. But we can't walk around wearing gas masks all the time, KWIM?

    I'm thankful to both of you for bringing your perspectives, and I look forward to educating myself further on the pros and cons of this matter.

    In the meantime, anyone know what the best infant protein mushy foods for veggie babes are? What did you feed yours when they first started solids without any meats?
    Last edited by JustSasha; January 16th, 2007 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    Sasha - I don't think one needs to start meats right away even if you weren't going for a vegetarian diet. What I mean is I don't think you need to worry about mushy protein foods. When Sophia is ready to eat beans/tofu the way you eat it, that's probably a fine time to start it. For now your BM is a fine source of protein for her.

    By the way, my sister is raising her twins on a vegan diet (they are almost 3 years old).
    Jenny
    Mama to Jacob , born 6/11/06
    And his NEW baby brother , born 8/14/08

    , , , cloth diapering

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    Quote Originally Posted by jennyjq8 View Post
    Sasha - I don't think one needs to start meats right away even if you weren't going for a vegetarian diet. What I mean is I don't think you need to worry about mushy protein foods. When Sophia is ready to eat beans/tofu the way you eat it, that's probably a fine time to start it. For now your BM is a fine source of protein for her.

    By the way, my sister is raising her twins on a vegan diet (they are almost 3 years old).
    Thank you, I did not know this! I guess I was thrown off by other threads about meaty baby foods and stuff.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    I agree wholeheartedly with the past post. I've taken a quick look at Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book Disease-proof Your Child. One of his arguments is that it is very difficult to have a diet that is poor in protein considering that many vegetables and whole grains have protein in more than sufficient amounts. After all, vegan animals like cows get their protein from grass!

    Fondly,

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The vegetarian baby

    My son didn't start eating solids until he was almost one year old. He didn't start eating beans until he was older either, that's why I explained it the way I did. Sorry I didn't write it more clearly. I'm a little sleep deprived right now.
    Last edited by beeboos; January 17th, 2007 at 03:28 PM. Reason: oops, left out a word.

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