Hi V & V L
I am the mother of a 15-month-old girl; her father and I are vegetarian and she also is, by default. If she decides that meat-eating is okay when she is older, we shall see but for now she doesn't eat it.
Her dad and I, naturally enough, eat tofu quite a bit. Not every day, but, you know, every week. So far I had been holding off with giving Tessa soy, but she has eaten a little tofu a couple of times and likes it, which is pretty good considering how picky she has been getting. Her main sources of protein have been eggs, goats' milk yoghurt, beans, and whatever is in the rice, quinoa, and cheerios/bread/graham cracker snacks (nothing to speak of in this last category, I know) she eats. Iron comes from egg yolks, occasional disguised spinach, and Earth's Best baby oat cereal. I do give her daily vitamins. I'm pretty careful not to mix the iron up with dairy.
So anyway, I saw her eating the tofu, I thought that was great, but I remembered the pediatrician saying something about a 9 gram daily limit for young children. Since this would be an incredibly meager amount, I figured I was misremembering, but I e-mailed her about it and sure enough, she replied at once with a recommendation of no more than 9 grams of soy per day. This is based on "an article [she] read several years ago". Does anybody know what that article might have been? I looked around a little in google but couldn't turn up anything with "9 grams". Has anybody heard of this? It is kind of alarming/annoying because I thought the tofu would be a great addition to a vegetarian diet, esp. since the picky-ish child will eat it.
Really, 9 grams is nearly nothing. There are apparently 84 grams in an adult serving, which is one-fifth of a tofu block. The pediatrician also made a stern remark about how if I did give her the 9 grams of soy, to make sure there was absolutely no BPA in her environment AT ALL. Obviously very good advice, but we are as vigilant as we can be without being crazy...I'm sure she runs into BPA sometimes without my knowing it. I'm tempted to ignore the 9 grams of tofu limit, but the doctor is somebody I really trust and respect so I feel like she might be right??? The issue for her is an increased risk of estrogen-related cancer when the child is much, much older (like menopausal).
So anyway any perspective on this issue would be much appreciated, whether you agree with her or not. Sorry this got so long! Thanks for reading