Veg mamas - Where does the protein come from now??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-31-2003, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds (11 mos) is really getting good at eating solids. He's eating 3 big jars of baby food a day (fruits and veggies only) and lots of cheerios.
(I'm somewhat ashamed to admit he's a gerber/cheerios baby, but I tried homemade baby food, and it was so much work and he didn't like it!)

Anyway, all this other food is lessening his appetite for breastmilk. We are vegetarian and plan to raise him vegetarian, so clearly we're not going to give him that mashed up meat dinner stuff. But I'm worried about his protein intake. I don't want to start him on cow's milk until he's at least a year old because we have lots of food allergies in my family. Plus, he won't drink out of a cup or bottle except for a couple of sips. I have a food mill, so it would be easy to try feeding him something else like beans, but I don't know if that's okay for him at this point.

Does anyone know what he should be eating at this point? I can't believe I'm having such a hard time finding the answer! I've been looking in all of the books I've got, and nothing. The only thing I've found was very discouraging - said that the protein content of breastmilk goes down tremendously at a year... Ack!

TIA
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#2 of 12 Old 01-31-2003, 11:26 PM
 
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We're vegetarian, and for the most part I don't recall being concerned about my children getting enough protein. I think there's enough of it in most foods that in our country we run a *very* low risk of protein deficiency.

Anyway, without looking for appropriate age ranges, here are some ideas...

Edamame beans
Tofu
Veggie dogs (cut up into small pieces)
Whole cereals (oatmeal, rice, etc.)
Eggs (how about quiche made w/soy milk?)
Yogurts (cow or soy)
Whole breads
Cheese
Chick peas (or hummus)
After a year, and if you have no history of peanut/nut allergies, peanut butter

I found this interesting link:

http://www.vegsoc.org/info/protein.html

I subscribe to Vegetarian Baby & Child and generally find the articles helpful. And doesn't Super Baby Food have info on protein? You might check the library. I also thought Sears' book on nutrition had some good info.

Also, I don't have this book, but it looked interesting. For the most part, as I said, I am confident a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains/legumes will provide more than ample amount of protein!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
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#3 of 12 Old 01-31-2003, 11:26 PM
 
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Hmmm, I guess nuts are out because he's too young. What about hard boiled eggs, or tofu, or quinoa (the only grain that's a complete protein)? I don't see why beans wouldn't be OK - I've never heard that they're allergenic.

Make sure both he and you are getting some good sources of B12 (supplement if you don't eat eggs or dairy) - very important for brain development.

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#4 of 12 Old 01-31-2003, 11:43 PM
 
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Tara C. gave a great list of protein sources.

One thing about edamame beans. We've discovered we need to squish them a bit before giving to our 12mos dd. dh takes the outer shell off too to make it easier for her to smoosh in her mouth.

Beans also can be a great source of protein. In the Super Baby food book she goes into a great deal about including them into the diet. I make the Super poridge still for dd. She seems to only really like it in the am though.

Another good protein thing...yogurt shakes made w/ a combo of soy milk and silken tofu and frozen fruits. I love 'em and so does dd.

Stacy
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#5 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 12:42 AM
 
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I recommend the Sears book - The Family Nutrition Book. It really helps you plan a complete diet for little ones and is really well written, easy to read and refer to.
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#6 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 01:00 AM
 
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If you are nervous to feed him egg whites, you can hardboil an egg and give him the yolk. Some babies love these, and their are healthy!
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#7 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 05:20 AM
 
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I hear what your saying peanutone!

We're raising ds veg also, and protien is a big concern to me as well. There is so much conflicting information out there, so I usually keep my mouth shut, since I have no idea what's accurate.

I've heard yogurt recommended (by some veg doctors too) for as young as 7 months, but if you're not supposed to give cow milk until a year, then is yogurt okay? Ditto cheese. Besides, we drink soymilk, and I'm not comfortable introducing cow milk and cheese to my healthy baby. I don't like all the colesterol in cheese, and cow milk is (in my opinion) just NASTY!

I've also heard that soy is a relatively high allergen, so it should not be introduced until 15-18 months. This would eliminate edame, tofu, soymilk, and soymeats. These would be my first choice otherwise.

Peanut and other nut butters I 've heard are even worse, and should not be introduced before 18 months. We use almond butter around here, but won't be giving any to baby for quite awhile.

Eggs whites are supposed to be a no-no to start with, and although you could give the yolk, the protien is in the white, which is what makes it an allergy risk. Again, I'm not sure how soon until it is safe to introduce egg whites, but I'm sure it's more than a year.

I've not heard anything about beans being an allergy risk, but they are supposedly hard on baby's digestion since they can cause too much gas, but I'd be willing to start there and mix them in with other foods.

Grains are a good bet, and we have a wide variety throughout the week. We usually have brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, millet, and bulgar wheat every week.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone, and most of the people I know tell me I'm being overly cautious, and how they gave their baby (fill in the blank) and it was fine, but then again, my family tells me everyone puts cereal in their baby's bottle, and they sleep through the night too. I just say that's nice, but NOT MY BABY!

I've just decided (for us) not to worry about protein. I think as long as ds is nursing, he is getting SOME protein. We eat very little prepared foods, almost everything we eat is a whole food, so my plan is to introduce a wide variety of foods, and different grains (as ds gets older), and not worry on a day to day basis about what he might be missing, unless he starts showing signs of an obvious nutritional deficency.

Don't know if this is any help, but at least you know you're not alone!
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#8 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 12:29 PM
 
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We are raising our 10 month old DD as a vegetarian, and I have been a bit concerned about her protein intake as well. We give her egg yolks, usually mixed with a veggie since they are dry. She loves kidney beans - I break them in half and she picks them up and feeds them to herself. During the course of a usual meal, she will eat about 10 of these . . .not bad! I am planning to try chunks of tofu soon as well . . .

What about lima beans? A good source of protein . . . I just got the Super Baby Foods book, and it seems to have good ideas for incorporating grains into DD's diet.

Andrea
mommy to Greta 3/14/02
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#9 of 12 Old 02-01-2003, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Lots of good ideas! Sounds like I need to get the Super Baby Foods book...

I've read on the food allergies site (can't remember the address, I'll find it if anyone's interested) that you're not supposed to give a baby eggs until they are two years old (the baby, that is, not the eggs...) That's a long time! They also recommend waiting a year for wheat and cow's milk. Can't remember the time for soy, guess I should go look it up... My sisters, together, are allergic to milk, wheat, egg whites, beef, sweet potatoes, soy, corn and oats, so I grew up on a strange diet. I'm hoping to spare my children that fate - I mean, what do you do when you're invited to someone's house for pizza? Or ice cream? Or tacos? So many things they couldn't eat!

I know my mom pushed solids on my sisters REALLY early. She didn't with me, I guess because she wanted her last baby to stay a baby longer, and I've only got skin allergies.

I hadn't thought about other grains - I forgot quinoa is supposed to be one of the few plant-based complete proteins out there, and I just happen to have a few pounds of it sitting on my shelf! How perfect!

I'm going to try kidney beans tomorrow night - also sitting on my shelf, but in dried form...

Thanks for all the help! Glad to know I'm not alone!
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#10 of 12 Old 02-02-2003, 12:22 AM
 
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penutone - I am searching for information on food allergies - if you happen to remember the site you're thinking of could you let me know? I have eczema and so does my dd so we're looking for a link. We were veg until last year - we were having bad reactions to soy as a protein alternative and I became concerned about the estrogens in soy in her developing body so we resorted to eating free-range and organic poultry. We're both feeling better, but I'm off the subject now. Anyway i'd love some food allergy info -
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#11 of 12 Old 02-02-2003, 04:49 PM
 
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check out www.vegfamily.com

it has tons of info.
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#12 of 12 Old 02-02-2003, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The allergy site is http://www.foodallergy.org
Within the site is this prevention info
Which basically says no solids before 6 months, a year for dairy, 2 years for eggs and 3 years for nuts, peanuts and fish.

The site is less helpful for prevention than for treatment/management, but it is still the best one I've found so far.

Trying to remember to try quinoa tonight - last night got all messed up!
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