Hi, My name is Danielle and this is my second week as a vegan. When I finished reading The Kind Life it brought a whole new perspective to my diet and needs for nutrition. I was almost instantly a vegan, with a few slips with dairy here and there. I love our animals, and of course that was a big reason why I chose this new lifestyle. However, I was also worried about what meat actually did to our bodies, and how it was hard to digest, etc. etc...
Which brings me to my topic of discussion. My kids! For 5 years I have had my nose stuck in books, emails, advice columns, you name it! Exploring health and nutrition for my infant and toddler. Being that this is so crucial to growing children, I'm concerned for my 5 year old, who I've raised so far drinking milk, eating chicken, and so on. My only relief is that this little girl will take a lentil over a piece of steak any day! But I know she can't get all her nutrients from just lentils. I feel so hypocritical when she asks for a glass of milk pouring it for her, knowing what I know now. I jumped on the organic wagon a long time ago with meat and dairy, and pretty much anything I feed my kids because of my fear with all the steroids and processed junk they were adding to foods. Does anyone have any kid friendly recipes or ideas, that are nutritious, and kids will enjoy? On the bright side my daughter has a pretty mature palette, she eats spinach salads, never has a problem with her veggies, doesn't notice a difference in brown and white rice, as well as pasta, she'll try just about anything. So I've already been incorporating healthier versions or what kids enjoy, but minus all the junk. I would love and appreciate any suggestions you may have! Thanks
If she's hooked on chicken, perhaps you could replace that with Quorn "cutletts" that taste and bite like chicken but are actually mushroom. I eat those all the time.
Might have some processed stuff that's not vegan (I can't remember...I'm vegetarian), but it could be a good transition method to something more vegan later.
I also suggest shifting her milk intake to Soy milk. I supplement many glasses of regular milk for my child with Soy and she seems to enjoy it. Just be cautious of whatever nutrients she's getting from cow milk that she might not be able to get with Soy (somekind of fat that young children need but I don't remember the specifics).
This is exactly the type of thing I'm interested in finding out more about for my kids. Especially since two of my kids are ADHD, and there have been so many studies about dairy and diet concerning this. I've noticed we all have issues with dairy, so that one was pretty obvious. But how can I be sure they're getting everything they need?
It looks at the chemicals in ALL of our food, including fruit and vegetables. I understand the issues with raising your babies either vegetarian or vegan. My daughter, who is 18 months this month, will choose tofu over meat, so that makes life much easier. She is up and down with vegetables, but we are remaining patient. One thing this book talks about is the idea of not making food good or bad, therefore a child shouldn't rebel with food. I always put a variety of food on her plate and if she eats it we always tell her she is a good girl and if she doesn't we say nothing. We have found eventually she tries different foods.
The only animal product I eat is cheese, I drink soy. Ruby will drink anything, dairy or soy. So again, we are lucky there. We do not want our meal times to be power struggles, with everyone becoming anxious as we sit down to our meals.
Remember as parents we do what we feel is right for our children, perhaps you could give her half soy / half milk when she asks for a glass and introduce it that way.
i've been raising my son, who is now 18 mos, vegan since birth.....he really enjoys almond, hemp, and/or soy milk.......but i only give him a glass in the morning, and one before bed, just because i don't want him filling up during the day (usually then he drinks water or juice diluted with water)....he does have a mature palate as well for his age, but i don't believe that kids only eat "kids" food....even if the dish is something more "adult" i will still let him try it.....and sure enough, he will eat it most of the time.....
to ensure he is getting nutrients i make sure there is a veggie or fruit at every meal...if we're eating a tofu scramble at breakfast, i will saute up some mushrooms, finely chopped, with some kale/chard/various leafy green, also finely chopped so it looks like confetti, and add it to the scramble and serve with a side of berries or seasonal fruit...so far, we're up to at least 2 full servings of produce! lunch is usually a nut or seed butter sandwich (fave in our house) with a side of fruit, and dinner is some sort of protein, grain, and another veggie or two.....if he's been good all day (i'm a stay at home mom, so some days...lol) he'll have a delicious vegan cupcake or cookie for dessert!! even toddlers need to indulge a little with yumminess ;) as far as snacks, he'll munch on "mum mums"-- its like a rice cracker/cake that they sell at whole foods in the baby food aisle, plain soy yogurt, or fruit....he's still a little too young for whole nuts i think.
hope that helps...and best of luck....even the best kid eaters go through a phase or a jag with what they eat...mine is starting a little, but just keep patience and realize it won't last forever. worse comes to worse, they make a vegan kids' supplement ........not to replace food, but just when the kids need a little boost its handy.......sorry for the long post, i try to be thorough!
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