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Calcium suggestions for a Vegan one year old?!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

My LO is 15 months and due to his inability to digest dairy, really at all he is eating primarily a vegan diet. My husband and I do consume some meat, but he does not care for it, and we are all taking a break from dairy to see how things go for DS (seems easier to just cook one meal for everyone that is dairy-free)

 

So what are some good foods for a LO to eat that contain dairy. He primrily drinks coconut milk for the saturated fats which only has a little calcium. Other foods such as almonds, etc aren't really appropriate for him yet. Any suggestions would be helpful!

post #2 of 12
How about almond butter. You can put it on toast. We also use some soy milk but my kids don't generally drink it. They put it on cereal and I sometimes cook with it. My youngest also likes the soy yogurt from Whole soy. We also eat lots of tofu. I add kale to soups. My 13 month old loves lentil soup with kale. Broccoli is also a favorite.

We don't supplement calcium. I really feel that we get enough through our diet.
post #3 of 12

how does your LO do with veggies. esp. dark green leafy veggies? why dont you start with spinach and collard greens?

 

i didnt have to worry coz dd mostly nursed the first two years of her life. 

 

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/15-non-dairy-foods-high-in-calcium.html

 

i think its a blessing that our children are dairy sensitive. looking back i realise perhaps my bro was sensitive too and while he never really liked milk/cheese even teh little he had - lead to lots of issues esp. upper respitory related. 

 

since i breastfed i didnt worry about calcium.

 

what i did do was not eat/drink a milk substitute. we just took milk completely out of our diet. ocassionaly dd would drink soy milk. but mostly we gave up milk and milk substitutes. gave up dry cereal (is there even a good, healthy one)  and later dd learnt to eat them without milk. 

 

at 15 months dd was a fan of broccoli and collard greens. 

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Great suggestions! I can't beleive I was over looking tofu...duh, DS loves it. He is not awesome about dark green veggies, even though we eat a ton of them so he is offered them daily. He will eat spinach if it is mixed in soy/coconut yogurt so I try to do that every day.

 

Thanks again!

post #5 of 12

hey remember if he is eating soy/coconut yoghurt he is probably getting fortified calcium too in the yoghurt.

post #6 of 12

Hi, I would like to make sure you have the newest research about Calcium, tofu and health. *Soy is only healthy in the fermented state, like miso, tempeh and natto. In sharp contrast, unfermented soy such as soymilk is the second most common allergen in the world. Studies have shown that 30 grams of unfermented soy consumed daily can affect thyroid function and is strongly linked to a host of auto-immune diseases such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis as well as hypothyroidism. Its antogonism to the thyroid hormone is well established. Eating unfermented soy in a strictly vegetarian diet actually increases the risk of mineral deficiency including calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc and the consequent vitamin D deficiency. This is due to the antinutrients present in soy. For example, fresh soy contains phylates, an antinutrients which blocks the body's absorption of minerals from the gastrointestinal tract. It also contains enzymes inhibitors that reduce protein digestion. Some evidence even suggests that processed soy protein contains carcinogens such as nitrates. Your solution to your problem: Give your baby natural freshly juices carrot juice about 1 cup of freshly juiced carrot juice a day with green like celery, kale, collard greens for the extra boost. Vegetables juices are a perfect food for babies, we can assimilate the nutrients in about 10 minutes. Humans need phosphorus and magnesium to build bones, not calcium! Our body makes the bone building minerals within. I hope this helps. Enjoy your beautiful baby! 


Edited by nutritionist-MB - 2/15/13 at 6:40am
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

hey remember if he is eating soy/coconut yoghurt he is probably getting fortified calcium too in the yoghurt.

true. I need to look up the guidelines for a one year old. And maybe keep track for a few days....I bet I will be surprised at how much calcium he gets. I was originally worried he wasn't getting enough protein, but after keeping track most days he gets about 13/14 grams from his plant diet, which is the rec daily value for a LO his age!

post #8 of 12
Nutritionist-MB, would you please include links to peer-reviewed scientific journal articles documenting your statements about soy versus fermented soy?

avismama24, your son can get lots of good-quality calcium from a whole-foods plant-based diet, including

* tofu and edamame (soy beans)
* sesame seeds (hummus contains tahini, a.k.a. ground sesame seeds)
* leafy greens including kale, collards, turnip greens, dandelion greens (not from your backyard, though, ha!), arugula, beet greens, mustard greens, and spinach (many kids love crunchy [dehydrated, dressed] kale, which tastes like salty snack chips but are much healthier)
* cornmeal is often fortified with calcium (make vegan cornbread or polenta)
* oatmeal is often fortified with calcium, too
* nut butters including almond
* other beans including white, kidney, and french
* molasses
* some grains like teff
* chia seeds (yes, "ch-ch-ch-chia") are high in calcium (1 oz. has 18% of adult RDA), phosphorus, manganese, omega-3s, and protein (1 oz. has 9% of adult RDA)
* spices like savory, basil, marjoram, thyme, dill, celery seed, mint, parsley, cinnnamon, etc. (try vegan pesto)

I obtained this list by searching for foods high in calcium at http://nutritiondata.self.com/ which is a handy database with a tool to search for specific nutrients.

If it were me, I'd be careful not to introduce too much of any one nut (in nut-butter form) before a child is 6 months old, and continue to watch intake till the child is 3 years old. I'd try to give a variety of different nut butters. Sunflower seed butter is very yummy and nutritious, 1 T has 2% adult RDA for calcium, and it's my understanding that seeds are less allergenic than nuts in general.

Carrots are great healthy veggies, and they have calcium (3 oz contains about 3% of the adult RDA), yet I'd be careful not to give too much carrot. It's pretty easy to overconsume betacarotene by eating a lot of carrots, which turns your skin orange--harmless, but who wants an orange toddler? :P
Edited by yam - 2/12/13 at 10:31am
post #9 of 12
Here is a link to a more balanced and sensible article about soy.

www.vegfamily.com/health/vegan-soy-information.htm

This article includes links to scientific studies and talks about interpreting study results.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgallagher66 View Post

Here is a link to a more balanced and sensible article about soy.

www.vegfamily.com/health/vegan-soy-information.htm

This article includes links to scientific studies and talks about interpreting study results.

Thank you for this GREAT article!

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgallagher66 View Post

Here is a link to a more balanced and sensible article about soy.

www.vegfamily.com/health/vegan-soy-information.htm

This article includes links to scientific studies and talks about interpreting study results.

Thank you for this GREAT article!

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you all! Yam...great resource.

 

Today i took inventory of my sons calcium intake.

 

He consumed coconut milk, almond butter, spinach, chia seeds, and soy yogurt. Yam...we love CHIA seeds, they are like magic in our house. I realize he is probably getting enough calcium, but love the suggestions.

 

Personally, we don't consume a TON of soy and often choose fermented since tempeh and miso our favs in our house. I go with "everything in moderation." Thanks again!

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