I don't post here much anymore as I'm generally not feeling the need for much support regarding my dietary lifestyle, but today is different. I've been vegan for nearly 24 yrs and was o/l veggie for about three years prior to becoming vegan. My children, 11 and 13, have been vegan or strict vegetarian their entire lives. Dd13 is currently vegan, dd11 strict vegetarian. We don't have a lot of non-vegan stuff in the house other than dh's meat so even my vegetarian child eats more vegan than not.
I have a Masters degree in Public Health, have worked in nutrition education, and generally feel quite comfortable with our choices. Plus both girls are very healthy, smart, and developing just fine. So, I had to take dd11 in for a well check b/c she needs some forms signed for summer camp and I'm just massively irritated following this visit. They go to a large ped practice and we generally try to see our same DO whenever we can who hasn't given me any grief about our different choices (co-sleeping and EBF when they were young, a few vaxes they've not had, etc.)
Today I just wanted to get this done so I could send off the forms so we saw whoever was female and available, which turned out to be a PA. Both she and the nurse expressed extreme concern that I didn't know what I was doing in re to diet & that dd wasn't getting enough calcium or B vitamins b/c she didn't drink milk. I mentioned that we use soy or other non-dairy milk which has calcium and they were displeased with the fact that she doesn't drink at least three glasses/day of this alternative milk. Apparently using it in your cereal or smoothies or cooking doesn't work; you need to drink it to get the calcium . I also told them that she eats a lot of kale, blackstrap molasses, and sesame seeds. I'm guessing that they didn't believe any of those to contain calcium either.
Apparently the ample amount of B vitamins in veggies, legumes, nutritional yeast, and whole grains is also insufficient and they suggested that, as a vegetarian, she needed a multi-vitamin daily. They also insinuated that dd must be slow b/c she was being rather quiet and quizzed her repeatedly about how she was doing in school. Both of my dds are very good students. Dd13 is in 9th grade due to a grade skip and dd11 started K a little early and is subject accelerating into an accelerated 7th grade math class, in which she's doing well. The camp she needed the forms signed for is a recreational camp for highly gifted kids, for goodness sake!
The nurse refused to sign the summer camp vax form b/c her vaccines were "incomplete" b/c she hadn't had Hep A, HPV, and pneumonia vaccines, even though none of these are required or even on the vax form. I finally argued with her and got her to fill it out and sign it with the note (which she wrote ALL over the form repeatedly) that she was "due" for varicella and that I was refusing it (that one is required and we have chosen not to do it).
I'm going to see if I can catch her regular DO @ the hospital where I work (she's there not infrequently) and ask if we are likely to run into this problem with all of her other colleagues or if we just got unlucky with this one nurse/PA combo. I'm almost considering switching them to my doctor, who is a GP.
Sorry you had that frustrating experience. From your post it's clear to me that you know much more about nutrition than the PA and nurse you saw. :)
Keep up the good work (from another healthy, life-long veg).