I just came from a naturopath visit for my 9 month old. The dr. is concerned about his lack of weight gain, as he has dropped from the 50th to the 5th(ish) percentile. The naturopath is also concerned, and has said that it might be because he is not getting enough fats. She said that the conversion for vegan sources of fat (flax seed oil and other sources) is so poor that it is often hard to get enough. She has also said that vegans don't get Arachedonic Acid, and that while our bodies make it, my baby might not be getting enough from my milk. I've been worried enough to start using a fish oil for our family (and will start giving it to my baby too), but this other fatty acid has me worried too. I feel like being vegan, we already have such a spotlight on us when it comes to our children's health and now he has not gained the weight he was supposed to. I'm considering making my baby a carnivore to ensure he gets what he needs to develop properly. Any help on this or suggestions would be greatly, greatly appreciated. I really hope to find another way!
As a dietitian who works with kids 0-3 and a vegan you do NOT have to feed your child flesh products. If you are worried about omega-3 oils, you can get a micro-algae Omega-3. There are a few of them on the marketplace. Keep them cold. Is you naturopath vegan? They should know the problems of feeding anyone saturated fats. In fact, I might think about finding another practitioner. This person does not sound like they do a lot of research. Especially about vegans.
Since I do not know what your child eats, I'll give you a few tips for weight gain. First, is your child having problems or are they lethargic? If not, then let's get to some weight gain. Make sure they are having full-fat soy. NOT low fat anything. A great breakfast is fortified tofu, apple sauce or some other fruit mashed in with flax meal. I would NOT use flax oil in anything but the smallest container. It is very easy for the oil to go rancid. Get a cheap $10 coffee grinder, grind up flax seeds into meal and store in the frig in an opaque container. I have used pea or hemp powder for kids with metabolic problems. These are kids who have a hard time gaining weight.
Also, make smoothies with kale, either raw or slightly steamed. A mango smoothie with silken tofu, kale, juice, flax meal, mango chunks and banana is terrific and kids LUV it. Green leafy veggies are another good, not fantastic, source for Omega-3. The fat in the tofu will help get the fat in the flax and greens into the digestive system.
My best friend's son also lost weight at 10 months. She did the soy milk/tofu mash and her son is now a 14 year old vegan.
Please contact me if I can be of any further assistance. LaDiva Dietitian
Join the Discussion!
Login or create an account on The Kind Life today and you'll be able to leave comments, share photos and videos with friends, and participate in community events!