Vegan Toddler Losing Weight - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-21-2014, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,


I don't come to the forums often and did a quick skim of the first page and didn't see this topic so I thought I'd ask. If there's already a similar thread, please feel free to move it to the appropriate space.


So, my husband and I are vegan, and so is our 15 month old daughter. Well, I'm 98% vegan because I do get lazy around some pastries and started eating yogurt, etc. when I was pregnant. My husband has been vegan for nearly 20 years and will never be anything but. I spent most of my life eating meat and animal products and went vegan a year after meeting him nearly 8 years ago. I am vegan only for ethical reasons--I don't think animal products are nutritionally evil. But my heart aches for animals. And yet, I have this underlying anxiety about my daughter not getting everything she needs from what we eat. And, while I'm not an anti-soy person, I am concerned with overloading her on any one food so we don't eat tofu daily and we eschew more processed vegan foods. So, she eats and loves beans (including tofu and tempeh), grains, fruits, veggies, nut butters, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, added oils to each meal and no juice, only 2 or 3 sweets her entire life, and soy milk when she's with her dad or sitter, water or breastmilk with me.


She's happy, bright, super social, a total sweetheart and she looks healthy to me. She is cruising but not walking on her own. We had her evaluated by a physical therapist per her pediatrician at 12 months because she still wasn't pulling up to standing or taking steps and the PT said she was fine and offered us suggestions to get her moving more. We implemented all of them and she's made great strides with her gross motor development. Her fine motor skills are fine--she feeds herself, plays with rings and blocks with no problem, etc.


Today was her 15 month visit and she's lost more than a pound and her head circumference was exactly the same. To his credit, our ped was very nonalarmist about this. He said to just give her more cow's milk, cheese, yogurt and that this weight slump is common in breastfeeding toddlers. He didn't suggest I stop nursing but he did say she needed cow's milk in addition to my milk. He said he wasn't worried but that we should do a weight check in a month and a half and go from there. He mentioned Pediasure (I really don't want to give her that crap but whatever it takes, even if temporary). 


He knows we're at least vegetarian but when we broached veganism with him when she was a newborn, he was less sure of that. It's my fault, but he thinks she's only vegetarian. I just don't want to get into it with him and since her growth and development has always been fine, I didn't think it was a discussion worth having. 


But now I'm worried and I feel sick that I haven't given my beloved child the best start. My husband, of course, thinks she's fine, and I'm overreacting but I was like, we have got to at least get some cheese and eggs into this girl. She is not a picky eater but honestly, I struggle with coming up with a variety of things to feed her daily and feel like she basically eats oatmeal, tofu, beans and grains everyday. I'm not a super cook and I'm honestly very tired most days. I'm just, I'm out of ideas. I'm about to go out buy whole cow's milk and I will give my child a leg of lamb if that's what it takes to keep her healthy and thriving. 


But my heart is vegan. And so, I want to know if any of you have experienced this and what you've done. I know, avocados and coconut oil. I'm on it! But what else? How can I do this? I'd really appreciate your actual experiences with vegan toddler weight loss. Thank you for helping me with the freak out I'm having! :)

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#2 of 4 Old 06-02-2014, 10:50 AM
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I don't know much about how toddler's should eat but I was vegan in high school and lacked a lot of nutrients when I first started out. I understand your hesitation to give your daughter cows milk, it's really not as healthy as people make it out to be. It sounds like your doctor is trying to suggest a higher fat diet which she's not likely getting with beans and grains (doesn't mean she's not perfectly healthy). Those are great for her but incorporate more vegan fat such as walnuts, avocados, canola oil, coconut oil, etc. If you can, start making high fat vegan recipes (so many online) that way she's getting a variety of these things and you can control exactly what they are. It's tough with toddlers because they can't supplement like adults can when we lack specific nutrients. I hope this was somewhat helpful. Good luck!

Brenna and William - April 11th, 2013
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June 18th, 2014

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#3 of 4 Old 06-02-2014, 11:02 AM
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Cow's milk is not needed. You can give her flax/goal/amound milk. I would give her health fats.

I b/f all 3 of my kids and they never had cow's milk.

sorry for mistakes my 2yr old is all over me.
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#4 of 4 Old 06-02-2014, 10:40 PM
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Burritos and nachos? That's what makes me gain weight

I personally would not do cows milk, but if you were not opposed I would maybe add yogurt to her diet. Super powered smoothies if she will drink them (we do fruit, almond milk, a scoop of nut butter, banana, frozen fruit, bee pollen, acidophilus, sometimes yogurt, chia seeds, sometimes kale, etc)

It's great that your Dr. is relaxed, and not gaining is no big deal, but loosing would worry me a little. Has her iron been tested? Do you think anything nutritional could be going on?
Does she take any supplements?
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