Transitioning toddler to vegan (sort of) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was so happy to see this group in the community.  I've been veggie for over 20 years, DH made the change about 5 years ago, and we are raising DS vegetarian.  I have started to notice my diet slipping since DS has been eating real food (he is now 30 months old).  I've gradually started making foods that are more agreeable to him, because although we started him with a variety of veggies, he has really started asserting his preference for dairy and carb rich foods (yogurt, bread, cheese, milk, are common requests).  So I am starting to work a lot of vegan meals and snacks in to reduce our dairy dependency.  This is proving downright objectionable to my toddler.  He is mad, pulls our heart strings, claims starvation, cries for cheese until far past his bedtime, etc.  My awesome pediatrician has encouraged us to hold our ground for the health of our whole, and I've started reducing dairy available in the house. But DS refuses dinner then throws a tantrum for dried mangoes or cheese before bed.  Any advice on bedtime snacks and just generally making the transition with a very strong willed little guy.

 

Oh and for fans it is really Dr. Joel Furman's book disease proof your child that is inspiring me.  Although I don't think we will completely follow his path I think it's an excellent guide.  

Thanks!


Aug 2009;  DS1 Sep 2010; Dec 2012; Dec 2013; May 2014
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#2 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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What about trying some non-dairy products that would satisfy his cravings, like soy yogurt or homemade nut cheeses?  Whole Soy makes really yummy yogurt, and they have an unsweetened version now, so you can blend it with fresh fruit for sweetener or use it savory with baked potatoes, or in soups.  I've been using it as a starter for almond cheese. 

 

My toddler loves nutritional yeast.  Sometimes I mix it with homemade almond cheese, or on popcorn or in soups.  If you're not familiar with nutritional yeast, it comes in powder form and has a cheesy flavor.  It's full of b vitamins and protein. 

 

Maybe you should give him a cheese-esque snack before bed, and then try the more difficult veggies and fruits during times when he isn't tired.  Best of luck!  It can be hard feeding a toddler!

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#3 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks dovey for some ideas.  I haven't found unsweetened soy yogurt, but I will keep looking (we have an great coop so I can ask).  I've never tried a nut cheese, but have a few raw recipes so I will give one a try.  I've cooked with nutritional yeast, but haven't gotten very adventurous, but that is a good idea.  One item that is sometimes a hit is hummus, but lately that is a no go.  These are great suggestions!


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#4 of 7 Old 03-10-2013, 05:20 PM
 
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DD can't have dairy so I had to stop it as well which meant no cheese - a HUGE par of my diet pre-baby.  Turns out I am mildly sensitive to it so it's probably a good thing I stopped, but thankfully I have a vegan friend who turned me on to Daiya vegan cheese and that has been a godsend in our house!  I can make some of the foods I love and not have to veer too far from my comfort zone and DD is able to share them with me.  Nutritional yeast is one I use a lot of, anywhere I might use parm I swap in the nutritional yeast instead - popcorn, pasta, sauces, omlets, potato dishes.

 

DD loves her veggies, and at 16mos prefers them to just about anything else still.  But I've started doing morning smoothies and she loves that - we add chia seeds and/or coconut oil.  I cook almost everything with coconut oil nowadays and there is a great spread availablle alongside all the butter at the store that we use on toast.

 

Currently we're on a pre-bed peanut butter kick - she loves it and really can't get enough!  I get the organic stuff and she also will eat sunbutter, either way a nice satisfying bedtime snack.

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#5 of 7 Old 03-10-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all - he is still basically only eating fruit and is in his room right now crying for food (milk and cheese!), but we are sticking with it. Made nutritional yeast and quinoa patties with kale tonight, but what is it "they" say.  it takes 9-15 times before a toddler may like a new food.  


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#6 of 7 Old 03-11-2013, 01:33 AM
 
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I would try substitutions and keep trying new brands. 

 

My baby was very sensitive to Dairy as a newborn so I had to give it up for a while. I am already vegetarian so giving up dairy wasn't that big of a deal. 

 

I emailed lots of vegan companies like "Follow Your Heart" and asked for coupons or samples and most of the companies atleast sent me coupons. 

 

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch is a book with lots of awesome Vegan recipes for everyday use. 

 

We love Almond milk for a milk substitute. They make Almond  and Soy milk in small "Juice box" sizes too. 

 

Good Luck!treehugger.gif

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#7 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks All - So I made nut cheese with Cashews, not too hard just a commitment to let it ripen etc., but it is delicious, and works well on crackers, rolled up in sprouted tortillas etc. I came across chef Amber Shea's blog and cookbook, practically raw which sounds great, so I think I'll get the book, and I've already tried a couple of things from the blog.  Bed time is slightly better, but still a lot of crying for food, not necessarily cheese!  Thanks for you support and advice!


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