Need food ideas for vegan baby! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-03-2008, 10:59 AM
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My baby is 9 months old and I'm at a loss for more sources of protein for her.

Here are the rules: no milk, no egg, no soy, no tomato, no strawberries - basically, no allergens.

She does eat wheat, just started.

Here's a typical day for her:

wake up - breastmilk

8:30 - oat cereal with fruit, or ww toast with diced pears, banana, etc.

9:45 - breastmilk

1pm - breastmilk

1:30 - pasta with green beans, broccoli, carrots, etc

3:30 - snack, like avocado, or squash cubes, or potato cubes

4pm- breastmilk

6pm - dinner - cauliflower or squash, some veggies and pasta or bread

7pm - breastmilk

I've tried garbanzo beans but she gags on them :-(

I know she is very healthy because she is off the charts for height and in the 75% for weight, she is almost 30 inches tall and over 20 lbs, and already says several words so she's definitely getting lots of nutrition from the breastmilk, but I want to make sure she is getting enough protein! Thanks!
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#2 Old 05-03-2008, 02:56 PM
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At her age, you don't need to worry too much about is one of the big advantages of nursing! However, to make sure you can always make bean burgers into small rounds so they're easy for her to grab and feed herself. Some gagging is perfectly is just part of learning to eat.

Hummus on toast is always a hit with little people, and you can continue the theme into any bean you Len adores beans, it did take her a while to learn to eat them whole though, now she tends to pick them out of anything we give her and eat them first!

Just a quick question...the breastfeeds, is it just her routine or are you not feeding on demand? I only ask as solid food should not really be replacing breastmilk until the after babies turn one...obviously if you are weaning her at 12mths this is different though!

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#3 Old 05-03-2008, 04:17 PM
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You're doing a fantastic job and the foods you posted are excellent. I really don't think you need to spend a minute worrying.

Breastmilk is 5% protein (by calories) and that is more than adequate to grow healthy infants. 5-6% is the WHO recommended protein intake for everybody, from infancy to old age.

It is very difficult to find any whole (real) plant food that doesn't have more than that 5%. Most of the basic starches (corn, potatoes, rice, pasta etc) are between 8-12% protein - well over any physiological requirement. Oats have an even higher amount.

In short, don't worry about it. Protein deficiency, in the context of eating enough calories from a plant-based diet, is nearly impossible. Most people eat far too much protein (but plant protein is far less a problem than animal protein). I know that's not what most people get told, but there is an enormous and harmful protein myth that dates back over the last hundred years that was based on cultural factors, not scientific or health ones. The China Study by T Colin Campbell is an illuminating read from someone who for decades was part of that protein promotion.

PCRM says

Many people are unaware that a varied menu of grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits supplies plenty of protein. The protein deficiencies that our parents worried about in impoverished countries were the result of starvation or diets restricted to very few food items. Protein deficiency is extremely unlikely on a diet drawn from a variety of plant foods.

Some links for you:

Where do you get your protein?

Dr McDougall's response to a NY Times writer commenting on dangerous protein deficiency in infants

Update on that response, with background on the writer

If you want to reassure yourself, go to FitDay and check the protein component of all the foods you give her. Remember that 5-6% is the WHO recommendation (that has been doubled from the actual 2.5% that is the physiological minimum to give a safety margin). I have tried to put together a moderately healthy plant-based diet that is below 5-6% and I can't. I make no effort to include "high protein" foods, never eat seeds or nuts and maybe once a week have 1 cup of beans and I average 10-12% protein.

She's gorgeous, by the way!
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#4 Old 05-04-2008, 09:07 AM
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i looked in the Dr Sear's baby book, which admittedly is not vegan, but i noticed that the majority of the foods listed were vegan. so, perhaps if you just look up common baby foods, you'll find that the greater majority are vegan, and then just utilize those.

and, i agree about the BM thing. some people don't introduce "foods" until the child is a year old. the child is able to 'play and taste' foods earlier (once they have reach and interest), but the parent isn't concerned about the baby getting nutrition or calories from food because they are BFing.

and of course, once foods are introduced, if one follows the APA and the WHO, one would continue with breastmilk until age two at least, meaning that any nutritional deficiencies during food introduction time would be met by the breastmilk.
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#5 Old 05-05-2008, 05:19 PM
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Thanks everyone!!! Yes, I definitely feed on demand, not on the time - but I do work full time, so two of those bottles are of EBM at daycare :-( I go over there to breastfeed her at lunchtime though!!! I made a rice and bean dish last night and used a veggie stock I made, and onions and peppers, and she LOVES it!!! Black beans are now a hit, so I'm happy :-)

I don't plan to wean at a year, but I am going to start to cut out pumpings at work - its horrible pumping, let me tell you!! I hope to continue nursing until she weans on her own. :-)
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#6 Old 05-05-2008, 09:11 PM
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i think it's great to send EBM with her to day care. it's very healthy for her and it keeps your supply up nicely.

i think that BM is just perfect baby food. if i have enough, i plan on joining a milk share to help out mamas who want to give their babies BM but may not be able to. unlike a milk bank which can have some shady dealings (and is expensive) as well as scalding the milk (pasturizing beyond recognition in some case), milk shares allow mothers to share milk freely--good raw BM--and make sure that as many babies as possible can get this good food!

so, whether a baby is getting EBM or BFing, the nutritional element is definitely still there, and very healthy!

it takes a lot of effort to be a BFing and EBM feeding, working mom. kudos to you!
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#7 Old 05-06-2008, 01:27 PM
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You can always have some kind of rice and bean thing, mashed up if she can handle it. Our daughter had such a problem with textures for so long, we had to puree everything into a liquid, pretty much, before she would eat it.

If you want to think in terms of cultural foods:

Italian--pasta with tomato sauce and pureed chick peas and spinach.

Mexican--black beans with brown rice and carrots and corn.

Cajun--kidney beans and rice with pureed greens

Good luck, seems like your girl is eating better than ours ever was at that age!
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#8 Old 05-06-2008, 02:54 PM
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Ares is pretty much the king of beans. Makes a gross diaper, but he loves them. I used to mash them up when he was little but now he just eats them whole by the handful.

Is there a reason you aren't introducing soy? We started giving Ares baby food that was made of fruit and tofu when he was 10 months old. Later on we gave him little tofu cubes, and now he can be seen walking around with a giant hunk of fried tofu on a regular basis. One of his favorite snack foods.
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#9 Old 05-07-2008, 09:23 AM
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If you don't have a soy allergy in your family, you could probably try some tofu by now.

I've also heard at 10 months or so, you can give them almond milk. I tried that with my dd, but she thought I was trying to give her funny tasting breastmilk and didn't like it...
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#10 Old 05-07-2008, 10:26 AM
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The munchkin I take care of digs cooked chickpeas and beans. She's not a lentil fan near as I can tell, but that's another option. vl, does your little like finger foods, or is she more of a spoon-fed gal right now?

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#11 Old 05-07-2008, 02:02 PM
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My little guy is just barely a year old, and he loved hummus on toast, tofu in all forms, and quinoa. I have to mash the quinoa a little as sometimes it's a bit slippery for him, and he's gagged on it a bit, but he loves it.

I basically just offer him whatever we're eating, as he's shown no issue with allergies, and he tends to like it. He ate like 1/3rd of an adult-serving of veggie curry the other day. I was shocked, but he was WAY into it.
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#12 Old 05-07-2008, 07:17 PM
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We aren't doing any soy or milk or nuts or anything because of food allergies in the family - so she's had no formula either :-) So that means no hummus (unless I make it myself without the sesame seeds) and no tofu, sadly.

Luckily, I made a nice lentil stew last night with carrots, onions, lentils, mushrooms, and pasta alphabet letters, and she loved it!!! I fed that with a spoon at first but she really likes to self feed so I let her have at, lol, and she ate even more. She eats the rice and beans with her hands too (let me tell you.... thats an easy way to make an insane mess, lol.)

Zoebird, that's awesome about the milk share. My supply is definitely sufficient but not amazing, so I don't have any to spare....(although looking at my chubby little princess, some might question that, lol)... I would have loved to donate too, but let me tell you, pumping is NOT fun, it would be hard to pump extra to feed others just out of the kindness of your heart!!! I know a few moms with serious oversupply issues that donated milk, but not really by choice - they just had so much milk and they didn't want to toss it!!! They still rock for doing it of course!
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