I should probably post this in Life with a Babe, but I wanted the vegan perspective. I am vegan, DH is omni, and so far 9mo FD is lacto vegetarian. I am not planning on introducing her to meat. My question is more about general baby diets. So far I have gotten conflicting info from the dietician at WIC and from the doctor. The impression I got from the dietician was that she should just be a baby and have formula and baby food/cereal until 12mo. The doc I saw today said that we should be introducing more and more "real" food so that at 12mo she can make a clean break from formula and baby food.
So my first question is, what do you all think about this. Does she magically go from being a baby to a kid the day she turns 1yo? Meaning at that point no more formula, no baby food/cereal/purees? So we should be starting the transition now with that end date in mind? I know there is nothing magical about babyfood, I am just worried that she might not be ready to be on full time solids at that point. Of course they want her to start on whole milk at that point.
So my next question is about vegan milk options. What is good for a 1yo? I have read here that some don't have enough fat for them, but I don't remember which. And in general, can you give me some ideas of baby friendly foods to start her on? I would like to avoid dairy as much as possible and I think DH would go for it as long as I can give him a healthful alternative. Our planned comprimise before having kids was that they would be ovo-vegetarian. But that was when we talked about our imaginary bf bio children. Now that we have FD, I want to make sure I have all of the info I need to make it happen and keep her healthy.
Thanks in advance!!!
semi-crunchy foster mom to A - 11mo
what are you feeding her now? formula and what other kinds of foods? does she like food?
we are vegan and are raising our baby vegan too. my daughter was definitely not ready to transition to all solids at 12 months and i really don't know too many who are. she is now 15 months and could now be weaned off breast milk and on to 100% solids if i wanted to (and i know because we've very easily transitioned down to two or three nursing sessions a day). however, despite her being a great eater and able to go long stretches without milk doesn't mean she'd be ready to do so.
i don't know what i'd do if i were formula feeding instead of breastfeeding. i tend to think that since formula is replacement breastmilk, babies should be getting it as long (or almost as long) as they'd be nursing... past the first birthday, at least. all it takes is one bad cold or teething to reduce a young toddler's food consumption to nearly nothing, and i would prefer to know they were getting something balanced in them.
as for what you should be feeding her, basically, i don't think you can go wrong with following your baby's lead on this. i am a fan of feeding babies what the adults in their lives eat, as opposed to "baby" food. you can certainly offer purees or soft foods when you want (my dd is a huge fan of pureed bean soups, roasted sweet potato, various grain porridges etc), but i would definitely start to offer some finger foods now (chunks of cooked or raw vegetables and fruits, breads, tofu, chilled polenta, whole beans, etc). at first it doesn't seem like they're actually eating any of it, but slowly slowly, you realize more and more is actually making it into their stomaches!
i only just started offering my dd small amounts of organic unsweetened soymilk. it is not fatty enough to replace human milk or formula for a baby, but as she is a good eater and getting plenty of fats else where, it is a decent addition to her diet. you don't have to offer your baby anything to "replace" formula... she certainly doesn't need cow's milk if you don't want to offer it.
as for fats, when dd was younger (9-13ish months) and not eating much at all in the way of solids, i was borderline paranoid about fats and protein, as she is skinny and petite. i discouraged her from snacking on those filler carbs that people are always giving babies (cheerios, crackers etc) and added fats to all her meals like coconut milk, olive oil, nut and seed butters (almond, pumpkin). i also chose hummus over applesauce, oatmeal made with coconut milk instead of water, stuff like that.
Hi - I wanted to share my experience with teh dairy part of your question - 13 yrs ago my DS was weaned off breast milk at 9 months, and i gave him formula until he turned 12 months. - Then i stopped formula alltogether - at that point most doctors would tell you to go to whole milk - (3 yrs earlier my DD went form all formula fed to whole cows milk in one day)
when my DS was 12 months - i felt that dairy products might be producing ear infections in him - so i took him off dairy completely - and gave him bottles of oat milk, rice milk, and almond milk - frankly, whatever was on sale. (now i see hemp milk at my HFS - i think that actually has some good fats in it!) Its true that babies that age need fats for brain development and for me - we did eat meat - so no help there - but if you could get enough fats through diet - there is no need to turn to cows milk.
I will say this- i really didnt stress too much over DS diet - and he had no dairy products (or ear infections) until he turned two -(and then he could only have cheese) and NOW, he is an honor student..... I know at that age he had a pretty varied and good diet - lots of beans, legumes, tofu, and fruits and veggies.
I think cows milk is just a convenient way for formula-fed kids to get the fat they need. - easier than avocados every day - or nut butters! But i think if you get creative with is you can have a diet that is rich enough in fats to not resort to cows milk.
Happy at Home Mama to DD 4/95 DS 4/98 and DS#2 8/10
Oh man, I posted a whole long reply and then got kicked off. When will I learn to copy before hitting submit
Thanks so much for your replies! Right now she is eating half a jar of babyfood mixed with oatmeal in the morning, followed by botttle. And half a jar of babyfood at dinner time, also followed by a bottle. Other than an occasional yogurt, the rest of her diet is all formula. She's been with us for a little over 2 months. We pretty much continued the diet she was on(with the addition of cereal) and concentrated on bonding and working on getting her up to date on her physical milestones. Now that she is mobile and on track physically, and I think we are pretty well bonded, I can start working on her nutrition.
I think I am just having a hard time trusting my own instincts. I feel like I have to listen to the professionals because she is not my bio child, but when the professionals don't agree I am left to fend for myself, lol. Getting real mommy advice from mom's on this site is so helpful. I don't know where I stand yet, but I will get there.
semi-crunchy foster mom to A - 11mo
what about foods she can pick up with her fingers? pieces of banana? blueberries, black beans, cheerios or Kix or some sort of cereal - i think being able to pick up and eat food off his tray - or my plate....was really what cemented "THIS IS GOOD...I WANT THIS" for my LO. After that he started trying a lot more food....
When you come from a breastfeeding mentality - its hard to imagine formula ...i FF my first 16 years ago - (after loosing a battle with undiagnosed tongue tie) and my 13 yr old weaned early ...i blame day care! but anyway... no pediatrician ever mentioned letting baby have formula after the first year...it was as if there was a magic cut off day ....at exactly 12 months when formula was no longer needed. I would have no trepidations weaning off formula at one year.
Happy at Home Mama to DD 4/95 DS 4/98 and DS#2 8/10
She is still nursing, and if she wasnt Id try to give some sort of supplement for more nutrition because some days she eats a ton, some days she eats 12 blueberries.
Cow milk (very very occasionally. Pretty much only when someone else is watching her)
Naked Supergreen Smoothies (2/3 water, 1/3 smoothie in a sippy)
Greek yogurt 1/4, Mango Naked Juice 1/4, and 1/2 water in a sippy
Almonde (almond milk yogurt) and water half and half in a sippy
yobaby yogurt in a sippy with water
*Juice is not recommended for children under two. I only give "smoothie" type juices which are pureed fruit and always mix it with water. I dont suggest giving a baby any juice that isnt heavily diluted. Also, we do no juices like apple juice, fruit cocktail, ect. We pretty much stick to naked, odwalla, pom, and bolthouse farms.
All fruit besides avacados
cubed yellow squash
pasta (whole wheat pasta with butter, butternut squash ravioli, gnocchi, spinach rotini, ect. We drizzle seasame oil, olive oil, butter, ect on it.)
Pesto (you can make it without parmesean cheese. pine nuts are good fat )
sweet peas (she likes them still frozen)
cheese of any kind
soy/almond milk yogurt
peanut butter/almond butter/ cashew butter mini sandwhiches
oatmeal, rice, lentils, wheatberry, tvp, and a ton of other stuff from the bulk bins.
and pretty much any vegetable you give her besides mushrooms
We only did purees for about three weeks, and then we switched to BLW, so I do think your babe will be fine to not have any baby food at one year.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
I am not vegan but at about a year-ish I started adding fortified soy milk into LO's diet. I buy 8th Continent brand Complete Vanilla, which is fortified with calcium, DHA and some other stuff. A lot of MDC moms don't like soy milk because it is not really a whole food because they do add stuff into it to make it more palatable and such. But I can't afford the local, pasteured raw cow's milk I would like and feel that soy milk is better than the hormone-filled cow's milk at the store. I suggest at least looking at the labels and maybe finding something you like. At 19 months LO drinks a rotating mix of soy milk, fortified coconut milk, almond milk and whole cows milk when I can afford the good stuff. He still nurses often though so I don't worry about that much... Don't buy light soy milk or light milks of any type for a while yet. Rice milk is very low in fat too. Good luck!
DH and I are vegan, and we have 3 little vegan boys. I try to steer clear of soy milk, since we get soy from other sources. We use almond milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk for the most part.
My 21 month old and 3 year old are both still nursing as well, so they get the benefit of that.
Xzavier - 9 Julien - 5 Jayce - 3 Jaxon - 18mos
Hoping for a in November!