My name is Haley and my husband and I are pretty new to the veg diet. I am following a strict Vegan diet and my husband mostly vegan. We have an amazing 15 month old daughter who has been mostly vegetarian since birth. She has had meat a hanful of times as we weren't vegans yet :) And had dairy up until a few weeks ago. I am researching like crazy and not entering into the diet choice lightly. I want to make sure we all, and especially my little one is getting all of the nutrients she needs. My two main concerns are the iron and of course B12. When our pediatrician found out we were vegetarian (our pre-vegan days) they checked her for anemia and she was perfectly fine. But lately I have noticed she seems to have dark circles under her eyes and I am not sure if I am just being paranoid and seeing things that are not really a problem. She actually eats really well. For breakfast she will usually have either Quinoa with dried fruit, almond or flax milk and berries. Sometimes coconut yogurt with berries or tofu scramble. On lazy days we will do whole wheat or grain toast with vegan butter and jam. Lunch is homcooked miso, sometimes black beans with cheese, sometimes spaghetti, many different things. We do a lot of homemade veggie soup and toss lentils in. I follow a ton of recipes from Alicia's book. Dinner consists of heavy veggies. We often make smoothies and put raw kale of spinach in. She snacks on dried fruits, raisins, cucumbers with hummus, bananas, carrots, apples or coconut milk yogurt. I feel that we are doing pretty darn good and her palate for a wide variety of food is good, but I still feel I am lacking the B12 and or iron. Do any parents give their toddlers B12 supplements. She drinks probably 2-3 sippy cups of either Almond or Flax milk a day. Is that enough B12? We went Vegan for so many reasons as you all know and I want our daughter to be Vegan but I just don't want to harm her in any way. Curious to know what others do for their kiddos to make sure they are getting all they need. Primarily from the iron and B12 department. I am so scared of anemia or nervous system issues! So far aside from the dark circles under her eyes she is thriving. Thanks everyone!
B12 is crutial for the little ones. I am sure you are already doing great on iron from what you describe - you are giving her lots of iron rich foods as is. We have a habit of giving my toddler little tiny pink (under the toungue) B12 tablets after brushing his teeth every day as insurance, because it is hard to ensure he is getting enough through fortified milks. He begs for them and thinks they are candy.
And both iron and B12 deficiencies are very common in omnivores too! I know several folks who have to take B12 injections and they are great lovers of meat. So this is not a vegan-only problem!
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