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vegan moms - how do you make sure your kids get enough calcium and protein?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We are not vegan. But we don't eat meat and dd (16 months) can't have dairy. I am stressing about her calcium and protein intake. Any help? She also can't have wheat...
post #2 of 11
soy soy soy soy soy!!

I know there is stuff coming out about all the "evils" of soy, but seriously, in the research I have done, the benefits FAR outweigh any potential (remember, "potential") risks they claim *may* occur etc...

We use soy for lots of things....soy milk, soy yogurt, I use creamed, herbed soy as a *cheese* in some recipies...the list goes on!
Also, beans are a fantastic source of protein if your DD likes them...black bean burgers, (mild) beans and rice, bean burritos etc....they are a huge source of protein...

As far as calcium, the soy milk we get is fortified with as much calcium as milk so we don't really worry about it, besides green leafy vegetable are a good source (if she will eat them)...

You could also do supplementation if you are worried about it, like a good children's multi vitamin etc...it is not ideal, but it is good if she is a picky eater or certain foods bother her little belly etc...it is a good alternative...
Sorry I'm not too much help but it's still early!

Good luck!
post #3 of 11
You may want to read Becoming Vegan or Being Vegan. Both books have greats lists of calcium and protein sources.

What a lot of people don't realize is that dairy products are not good ways to obtain calcium. The high animal protein content in dairy products causes the body to lose calcium as the kidney's try to flush out the foreign animal proteins, resulting in a net loss of calcium, not a net gain the way the dairy industry wants you to believe. Removing dairy from the diet will allow your child to retain the calcium he/she does get from other foods.

Tofu is great. High in protein and calcium.

Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tahini, all good sources of calcium.
post #4 of 11
And some more protein foods:
*nuts and seeds (also contain healthy fats, and may have other nutrients like selenium (Brazil nuts), zinc and iron (pumpkin seeds), omega-3s (walnuts), etc.)
*tempeh
*beans, of course--eat 'em w/ rice or in salads, or in stuff like chili, soups, hummus, other bean spreads, baked beans, etc.
*lentils--lentil soup; kids love lentil "chopped liver"
*whole grains: some grains, like quinoa, have about 8g protein per serving
*if your dd likes smoothies, you can always add a rice protein powder to them (I wouldn't use soy, just because you may be eating a lot of other soy products)
*and as the PP poster said, there are always soy products, including soy milk and meat analogs like "chicken" nuggets and veggie burgers--many have wheat in there, so be on the look out

Blackstrap molasses has lots of calcium--some people like it mixed into foods like oatmeal, while others don't. You can always make molasses muffins, cookies, and breads, too. If your daughter drinks just, you can also get calcium-fortified OJ.

Here's some more info:
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.htm#tofu
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm
http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/v..._children.html
post #5 of 11
Almond butter and tahini are both high in calcium and can be used like peanut butter. You can also grind up nuts and seeds and stir into their hot or cold cereal in the morning, sprinkle over fruit, rice, add to baked goods, etc. Sea vegetables are extremely high in minerals and a good source of protein. I crush them up and add to soup. Beans and legumes are also great source of minerals as well as protein.
post #6 of 11

wonderful suggestions above

I have five kids. I am almost entirely vegan now and my daughter is entirely vegan. The other kids aren't but eat that way a lot. Some "instant" foods for if you are broke or have no time are canned chili beans, and homemade refried beans (cook pinto beans until soft, salt, and add what you want- nothing, or canned green chilis, seeded, deveined jalapeno, and puree in blender. YOu can "refry' them if you want. I have read that corn tortillas have a significant amount of calcium. We do eat a lot of smoothies with frozen fruit, a little sweetener and maybe vanilla, and different milks, usually soymilk but rice as well. You could always add some powdered protein. Soy yogurt mixed in with baked potato. Spaghetti with veggie meat- I know a lot of people don't use any imitation meat products but someof my kids are picky and like that. TVP is good in spaghetti or sloppy joe type stuff.
post #7 of 11
not really sure about the ingredients but when I was growing up me mum would give us Shaklee Instant Protein shakes daily and she still drinks them now!
http://www.shaklee.com/
post #8 of 11
There are also vegan kid's multivitamins, which you can easily give her in chewable or vegetarian gummy form. There are also those fizzy vitamin packets - there's one with tons of minerals and they have a few flavors for kids called something like Ojalai. If she's still breastfeeding then she'll be getting lots of calcium through your milk.

I was also allergic to dairy and wheat and we barely ate any meat. I am also allergic to nuts and was allergic to soy so I had even fewer options than your daughter does. I had lots of whole grains, tahini and hummus, beans, and veggies. I also had a multi-vitamin.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnylady303
We are not vegan. But we don't eat meat and dd (16 months) can't have dairy. I am stressing about her calcium and protein intake. Any help? She also can't have wheat...
Breastfeed as long as possible! It will put your mind at ease during the picky-eating toddler years! Then follow all the great suggestions above!
post #10 of 11
Right on, callmemama--that's the best insurance (+assurance) there is!!
post #11 of 11
Good sources of calcium include dairy products, which have the highest concentration per serving of highly absorbable calcium, and dark leafy greens or dried beans, which have varying amounts of absorbable calcium. If your child can't have dairy--there may be other options. Is she allergic or just lactose intolerant? If she is just lactose intolerant then she may be able to have yogurt (which has a great deal of calcium).

Here is a chart with amounts of calcium listed:
Yogurt, plain, low fat 8 oz 415
Collards, frozen, boiled 1 cup 357
Skim milk 1 cup 306
Spinach, frozen, boiled 1 cup 291
Yogurt, plain, whole milk 8 oz 275
Cheese food, pasteurized American 1 oz 162
Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat 1 cup 138
Baked beans, canned 1 cup 154
Iceberg lettuce 1 head 97
Canned salmon 3 oz 181
Oranges 1 cup 72
Trail mix (nuts, seeds, chocolate chips) 1 cup 159
Almonds 1 oz (24 nuts) 70
Blackeye peas, boiled 1 cup 211
Green peas, boiled 1 cup 94
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