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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been an ovo-lacto since age 12. I had a baby almost a year ago. I intend to raise him as an ovo-lacto, as well. Since he is 11.5 months old, I started weaning him from milk-based formula and onto whole cow milk at 11 months old. He has now completely switched over. I didn't realize until doing some reading last night that he is probably completely deficient in iron now...... I was naive and thought cow's milk had iron, just like the formula. How wrong I was!! I also realized he has been eating virtually NO foods with iron!<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/doh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":doh:"><br><br><br><br>
Obviously I need to fix this, and fast!! I intend to make some pea soup, lentil soup, hummus, and start him on things like cashew butter and almond butter. My problem is this... he doesn't like to eat soups or anything from a spoon. He wants to pick things up and eat them with his fingers - a very independent boy already!!<br><br><br><br>
His favourite foods are cheddar cheese and apples. He could eat these all day long - I am not kidding! I was mistakenly thinking he was getting lots of iron from the cheese - instead of zero iron!<br><br><br><br>
He will eat whole grain bread but definitely not a lot of it. He will eat frozen mixed vegetables but I know I cannot get him to eat spinach or anything like that.<br><br><br><br>
I guess I need some tips on what to feed him to meet all his protein and iron needs...<br><br><br><br>
This is the first time I have felt ALONE being a vegetarian. My family does not have experience with this and neither does my doctor, and I fear if I go to them they will say "I guess you'd better start giving him meat!" That's NOT the answer I want to hear. I do, however, want him to be balanced and healthy. I went to bed in tears last night, worried that I have deprived him of iron and other essential nutrients, due to my ignorance. I obviously need to plan better. It is the first time I have doubted my philosophies and it did not feel good. I need to gain confidence in this again so I can feel like I am doing good things for my son as a mother.<br><br><br><br>
Any help out there? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/worried.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":worried:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry - forgot to add this...<br><br><br><br>
Does he need supplementation of any kind? For iron, at least?<br><br><br><br>
I just want to make sure he is healthy! They grow at such a rapid pace at this age.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks again...
 

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First of all, calm down. I'm sure your baby is fine, and will be even better, having such a considerate mother to care for him.<br><br><br><br>
Don't worry, none of the foods you mentioned giving to your boy are devoid of nutrients, so he's probably doing ok. Although I don't have any experience with babies, I would be wary of feeding him nuts (and in quantity) at such a young age, for risk of an allergic reaction. Same goes for egg whites, however not for egg yolks, and they're rich in iron. There are a lot of milk brands out there that are enriched with iron, along with other vitamins as well, so you could switch to that till he's old enough to eat a more varied diet.<br><br><br><br>
If he won't eat soups, why not prepare the same foods a different way? A lentil loaf, perhaps? Or falafel instead of hummus? You can make patties out of most vegetables and pulses, and I'm sure there are plenty of recipes online. If he has cookies, make him some with wholegrain flour and molasses.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know where you're located, but another idea would be to browse through the baby food section in (veggie) organic shops, without necessarily buying anything, just to get an idea of what options you have.<br><br><br><br>
Don't panic, everything will be fine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your reply... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hi.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hi:"><br><br><br><br>
I have been reading about nuts, and the consensus seems to be to avoid peanuts until age 3, but that other nuts are fine at age 1 unless you have food allergies in your family... somebody please correct me if I am wrong!!<br><br><br><br>
I made some lentil burgers and he was not too hot on that. Threw most of the pieces on the floor LOL!<br><br><br><br>
As for eggs, the yolk and white are fine at age 1 - and he is 2 weeks away from being 1 - but you are right, I should try to incorporate more eggs into his diet! I don't eat them myself, but DH does so I'll get him to do that more often.<br><br><br><br>
I am giving him organic whole milk, and there is zero iron in it - probably because calcium blocks the absorption of iron. This also means that every time I gave him a food with iron in it and also gave him a piece of cheddar cheese, he basically got no iron from the food! I guess that is why they don't make a lot of milk with iron in it - it would be useless if it blocks the absorption anyway, wouldn't it?<br><br><br><br>
I just found a recipe for spinach walnut pesto which would be high in iron and protein - I am thinking about trying it. Curious, though, to see what everybody else says about nuts at age 1...?
 

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Yes, you're suppose to hold of feeding foods that can cause allergies for as long as possible. Nuts would not be good at 1 year, unfortunately.
 

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According to <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2FBody-Foods-Life-Jane-Clarke%2Fdp%2F0752844121%2Fsr%3D1-7%2Fqid%3D1161348017%2Fref%3Dsr_1_7%2F202-0806910-6782246%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks" target="_blank">this book</a>, nuts should be alright after 1 year, but you should feed him only small amounts and note any possible reactions to rule out potential allergies or intolerance. Sesame is a seed, not a nut, so I'm not sure what to do with that. You could feed him hummus once, and see how he reacts (give it a week).<br><br><br><br>
Other ideas would be introducing more iron-rich foods into his diet, like millet, quinoa or spelt. They're all easily digestible, so should be alright for a 1-year-old. Don't forget to give him some source of vitamic C along with all his meals.
 

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Molasses ? When you bake waffles or muffins you could always add some !<br><br><br><br>
I can't see where you are located from your profile but I use some UK books at home that contain very useful information on nutrition:<br><br><br><br>
UK books I liked :<br><br><br><br>
Veggie Food for Kids, by Sara Lewis (Hamlyn) - ISBN 0-600-60887-5<br><br><br><br>
Healthy Eating for Babies & Toddlers, by Anne Sheasby and Jill Scott (Bramley Books) - ISBN 1-85833-399-7<br><br><br><br>
Both are meant for (very) young kids but are definitely useful for older children and even adults !<br><br><br><br>
One other book I found useful even though it is not vegetarian (it does contain a lot of veggie/wholemeal ideas) :<br><br><br><br>
First Foods, by Dr. Miriam Stoppard, DK Healthcare, ISBN 0-7513-0554-5<br><br><br><br>
I am sure you can easily find equivalent books in the USA or anywhere else.<br><br><br><br>
Also, someone posted this link on VB recently which is a site that gives basic information about nutrition and all the data you might wish for :<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.nutritiondata.com/" target="_blank">http://www.nutritiondata.com/</a><br><br><br><br>
I never had any problems with my kid because after nursing, I switched to vitamin (and mineral) enriched soy milk for toddlers. Which she likes so much she still drinks it (at 5 !).<br><br><br><br>
Further unexpected sources of iron include watermelon, raisins, and grapefruit You can also find iron in tomatoes, apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, and avocados. You could also look into iron fortified cereal, there's organic stuff out there as well. I used to give my daughter organic ground-up muesli ("baby muesli") from Germany.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everybody - soooo much!<br><br><br><br>
I just went on an iron-rich shopping spree with baby... we got...<br><br><br><br>
baby spinach<br><br>
orange cauliflower and white cauliflower<br><br>
cream of wheat<br><br>
dried apricots<br><br>
raisins<br><br>
canned chickpeas and kidney beans<br><br>
dried split peas, dried lima beans<br><br>
lentils<br><br>
small shapes of pasta<br><br><br><br>
Now I just have to get cooking!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hungry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hungry:"><br><br><br><br>
You say APPLES contain iron?!?!?!?! If that is true, he is probably FINE. He eats about 2 apples per day!!
 

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this has nothing to do w/ being a vegetarian or not. A baby needs breastmilk (and if you're unable to provide that... formula) until age 2! You just weaned to early... maybe start back up the formula.
 

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Edamommy is right, this "rule" about weaning towards cow's milk at age 1 is very arbitrary. There are a series of other "rules" like this (at what age to give a sippy cup, from what age on table food is appropriate, etc) that are just as silly. Kids will usually indicate when they are ready for a change. Of course with the milk, it would be hard for the child to express this...<br><br><br><br>
Please try to "listen" to your child as well. The books are good as "guides" but they don't contain laws !<br><br><br><br>
Where iron is concerned though, I am sure there's a lot more iron in foods than we think. Especially in organic wholefoods !<br><br><br><br>
BTW go easy on the spinach, I have read that it is not an ideal baby food. Other green "leafies" like lettuce (which you can also braise and mash into potatoes etc) are more easily digestible.
 

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Cheerios are your friend at this age!! Iron rich and they love them! check the baby section at your health food store or even the regular grocery, there are a multitude of foods for the little ones to pick up and they all are fortified with iron,<br><br>
i used to get mine a lot of the earths best brand, and hains, they make lots of cereals with iron, but plain ole cheerios are great.<br><br>
also i agree about the formula til closer to 2 yo. i did the same thing, i nursed as long as i could, then they did have some formula til close to 2 yo......then they switched to fortified soy milk.<br><br>
and dont worry when you go for the one year old check up they will test his iron and you will know if you are on track or not.<br><br>
sounds like you are going to do just fine.<br><br>
oh and i didn't give peanut butter til 2 yo.........we dont have allergies in our family and both my kids love love love peanut butter.
 

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I concur about the cheerios. My kids adored finger foods (they would never eat "baby food".) Canned chickpeas sound really good too. Not only are they finger food, you can mash 'em up and put them in a sandwich. Spinich is great for iron. My kids have always loved it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He never liked the baby cereal and only eats a few Cheerios, but nothing nearing a "serving size". I bought him cream of wheat so we'll see if he likes that.<br><br><br><br>
Did you vegetarian moms put your babies on an iron supplement, or any other multivitamin, when they switched to whole milk? I didn't think we would have to but maybe I am wrong......?
 

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My kids aren't vegetarian (yet) but I always gave them a multivitamin as a backup. You never quite know what all is going to end up in their mouth so your better safe than sorry.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>greeksiren</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
He never liked the baby cereal and only eats a few Cheerios, but nothing nearing a "serving size". I bought him cream of wheat so we'll see if he likes that.<br><br><br><br>
Did you vegetarian moms put your babies on an iron supplement, or any other multivitamin, when they switched to whole milk? I didn't think we would have to but maybe I am wrong......?</div>
</div>
<br><br><br><br><br>
because I was a first time paranoid mama I used poly vi sol drops daily for ds. (multi w/ iron) from birth on. Fortunatly he was not sick a day after coming home from hospital (preemie, high altitude) unfortunatly no one told me that, when using iron multi drops, you need to brush babies gums... and now he has a gray-ish line on his little front teeth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">. They acutally stain the forming teeth!!??
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>greeksiren</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This also means that every time I gave him a food with iron in it and also gave him a piece of cheddar cheese, he basically got no iron from the food!</div>
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I don't think this is really the way it works. It might decrease absorption, but it's not a total cancellation.<br><br><br><br>
I think you're worrying far too much about this. Sure, get it checked, make sure there are foods that contain iron in his diet...but many people who give their children more limited diets than what you are (vegan) do very well. It's "different" than the norm, and so you're having more doubts. You don't need to go against your values and use meat.
 

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greeksiren,<br><br>
i did not give my kids an iron containing supp.............i also have 2 cheerios fans here though, they also love oatmeal, the instant kind especially, lots of iron there.<br><br>
cream of wheat is a good one too.<br><br>
im sure everything will be just fine.
 

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oh i do give them a vitamin now though, it doesnt have iron it in, but they are 6 and 3 now. they still eat lots of cereal and oatmeal.
 
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