If you are BFing still, and plan to continue for some time, DC is getting adequate nutrition already!
That said, we're veggie over here too. At that age we did great with steamed broccoli, or you can mix some chopped spinach into some pastini. Put a sprinkling of nutritional yeast on top and viola!
I agree that the portion sizes suggested for babies and toddlers are way out of normal range. Many babies want to consume mostly breastmilk when given the choice. My son is 18 months old, and he probably eats about 1 cup of food total, daily, on a good day. There's no way I could get a cup of beans into him without him getting sick.
I do give him the molasses. He likes to eat it off a spoon, and it is so high in minerals that I figure it offsets the sugar content. Sugar is better for babies than it is for grownups - they need concentrated sources of carbohydrates. Breastmilk is very sweet. That being said, 2 Tbsp. is quite a bit of molasses. I'd say my baby eats about 1 tsp. every other day. I try and follow it with a sip of OJ or a bite of grapefruit to give him vitamin C for the best iron absorption.
Another thing that I feed him (aside from the beans and lentils) is boiled kale, collard greens, or broccoli cooked very well until they are soft. They are a decent source of iron. I've read that it helps absorption of iron from greens if you add a little oil to the broth.
It's possible that just the exclusion of dairy from your diet probably helps your baby absorb more iron from food. I don't know if the RDAs for iron were made up for people who eat a lot of dairy, but it seems probable. I have read conflicting information about whether or not dairy can cause iron deficiency anemia.....Who knows?
Have you had her blood tested for iron?
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