question for vegans with toddlers - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-21-2007, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

My question is going to sound inflammatory - but I *promise I don't intend it that way.

Someone has suggested to me that my DS might be speech delayed due to his vegan diet (and vitamin deficiencies). I'm not 100% sure that it's not true only because I'm a terrible cook and get alot of our food at a vegan hot bar from our local health food market (all organic, whole grain, lots of variety).

I think he's getting a well balanced diet but I'm not a nutritionist, you know?

Anway, here's my question: Any vegans with toddlers out there that have speech/developmental delays? And if so, have you discovered that they are vitamin deficient?

:
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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Ds was a late talker- did not start until around 2.5 years, and was hard to understand even at 5. He was vegan until he was 3, and has been vegetarian since. No known deficiencies and he is way healthier than most children I have met. He has never needed antibotics and rarely feels sick. He is now 6 and totally normal speech. We did have evaluations when he was 4 1/2, and they thought he was on the slow end of normal. His kindergarten teacher thinks he's totally normal and has a large vocab.

Dd started talking before her first birthday and had a huge vocab before she was 2- very elborate sentences. She was also vegan until her third b-day, and she had to go to a speech pathologist because her gag reflex was in the front of her mouth instead of the back when she was 1 year... common problem for bottle fed babies (which she was NOT), but unusual for breastfed like her. This did not effect her speech, but she was a late solid food eater.

Many children have speech/developmental delays- omni and veg*n. I think you are being misled by the person who is assuming that just because you are vegan, you are therefore unhealthy. If you feel that you ds is missing something, evaluate what you are eating and talk it over with your ped.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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This is the hardest thing about veg*n living for me. I started my child on a fish oil supp. when we started noticing developmental delays. Hated to do it, but couldn't not.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is the hardest thing about veg*n living for me. I started my child on a fish oil supp. when we started noticing developmental delays. Hated to do it, but couldn't not.
I did it, too. So far haven't seen any changes in him - he is non-verbal at 23 months - and he's been on CLO for about 4-5 months now.
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mendocino View Post
I did it, too. So far haven't seen any changes in him - he is non-verbal at 23 months - and he's been on CLO for about 4-5 months now.
Off the top of my head, I can't remember what the optimal amounts of omega-3s especially DHA are best for developmental, although I'm sure a google search will be helpful to find it.

However, if your child's diet is heavy in omega-6 fats, then that will work against his body absorbing the omega-3s. Try to avoid sunflower, corn, soy, safflower and canola oil, and the numerous products that contain them.

If his diet has been high in these oils, they can build up in his body, so it will be a while before you notice any beneficial effects from taking CLO when you eliminate them.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the market food you're getting is loaded with these oils; I know those are the ones that are used copiously at my veg*n market, which ironically bans trans-fats and gmo foods but not these health menaces.

What brand of CLO is he taking? The best ones should have a vitamin A to D ratio of 10 to 1, and about 5,000 units of vitamin A per teaspoon.

It may help to give him the CLO after a meal with saturated fat like coconut or palm oil. It works synergistically with the nutrients in CLO.

As melissa17s points out, he may not be having any diet related developmental delays, but since you shelled out the bucks to give him the CLO, I thought you'd like to have additional information that could possibly help you not waste the money you spent.

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Old 05-21-2007, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Off the top of my head, I can't remember what the optimal amounts of omega-3s especially DHA are best for developmental, although I'm sure a google search will be helpful to find it.

However, if your child's diet is heavy in omega-6 fats, then that will work against his body absorbing the omega-3s. Try to avoid sunflower, corn, soy, safflower and canola oil, and the numerous products that contain them.

If his diet has been high in these oils, they can build up in his body, so it will be a while before you notice any beneficial effects from taking CLO when you eliminate them.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the market food you're getting is loaded with these oils; I know those are the ones that are used copiously at my veg*n market, which ironically bans trans-fats and gmo foods but not these health menaces.

What brand of CLO is he taking? The best ones should have a vitamin A to D ratio of 10 to 1, and about 5,000 units of vitamin A per teaspoon.

It may help to give him the CLO after a meal with saturated fat like coconut or palm oil. It works synergistically with the nutrients in CLO.

As melissa17s points out, he may not be having any diet related developmental delays, but since you shelled out the bucks to give him the CLO, I thought you'd like to have additional information that could possibly help you not waste the money you spent.
Yup. Lots of safflower oil in the market food. Thanks for the heads up. What about flax? One of his favorite foods (homemade) is kamut spirals with a sauce made of flaxmeal, bragg's, nut yeast and Udo's 3 6 9 oil. (Tastes like mac n cheese)

Also, when you say soy - do you mean soy oil or soy in general? He loves soymilk ( a big contributor of fortified b12 ), soy yogurt and yes, I admit, tofu pups.

Finally, I'm giving him Nordic Naturals Children's DHA
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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Nordic Naturals strips the vitamins out of their cod liver oil and replaces them with synthetic vitamins. This is an issue especially with vitamin A, as the synthetic version carries an overdose danger.

In your shoes, I would look for a different DHA oil and also cut out all soy and most of the omega 6's. I do NOT trust soy products, especially not for a boy.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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You also might want to try Spectrm Flaxseed Oil with added (vegan) DHA from algae. It has a very mild flavor, and no animal products.

My son didn't talk very much until ~2 either. But when he did start, he used complete sentences almost right away. He never had any Omega 3 supplements til about age 3. He is very smart, especially with language now - He makes up puns, poems, songs (sorry for the brag, but he really surprises me sometimes).

Personally, I think it must be the rare omni kid who gets omega-3 in their diet. Unless their parents are health conscious (which isn't all that common), or they eat lots of eggs, salmon and seafood, they really aren't going to get all this DHA and omega-3 either. I doubt that if those kids had a developmental delay, it would be blamed on diet.
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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you are being misled...

last i cheched meat was not a superfood....

Mother to Sandrel(oct 2003) and Liesl(mar 2006) and someone new coming February 2013

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Old 05-23-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mendocino View Post
Yup. Lots of safflower oil in the market food. Thanks for the heads up. What about flax? One of his favorite foods (homemade) is kamut spirals with a sauce made of flaxmeal, bragg's, nut yeast and Udo's 3 6 9 oil. (Tastes like mac n cheese)
Flax is okay, although the body has to convert it into useable omega-3. Those whose ancestors ate a lot of fish have a hard time making it.

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Also, when you say soy - do you mean soy oil or soy in general? He loves soymilk ( a big contributor of fortified b12 ), soy yogurt and yes, I admit, tofu pups.
It depends on how much soy oil is in these drinks/foods.

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Finally, I'm giving him Nordic Naturals Children's DHA
Well, it couldn't hurt to try something else. Can you get Twinlab CLO at your health food store? If you don't mind ordering online, Greenpasture.org's Blue Ice and Premier Quantum Norwegian Cod Liver Oil from radiantlifecatalog.com are considered top-notch.

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Old 05-23-2007, 02:12 AM
 
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you are being misled...

last i cheched meat was not a superfood....
Misled? Huh? There's no non-meat FOOD source of vitamin A and D and DHA and EPA.

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Old 05-23-2007, 02:17 AM
 
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I doubt that if those kids had a developmental delay, it would be blamed on diet.
Maybe not, but it should be looked into as a factor without bias. Many omnis certainly are guilty of eating lots of crap loaded with rancid, processed omega-6 oils. It just surprises me that a veg*n HFS's food market items would contain them too, organic or not.

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Old 05-23-2007, 09:02 AM
 
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wrong thread!
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:12 AM
 
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CLO is not part of a healthy veg*n diet. Healthy people might take it, but it is an animal product that is neither vegan or vegetarian. I think kids get over supplemented and over medicated and so on. Even with "natural" products.

My ds has had every teacher try to send us to developmental specialists to find that he is a normal boy doing normal boy things. Yes, it is nice to be on top of problems, but it is also nice not to overreact to children that choose to express themselves in a way that meets their needs opposed to standardized cultural expectations.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:08 PM
 
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My kids like the O-Mega-Zen3 dha drops. A bottle is like $30 but it goes for 150 doses. It's vegan and you put 15 drops on their tongue, food, drink, whatever. I think it's supposed to taste like grape. They say it's good.

I have the Spectrum flax dha blend. It's good but the O-mega-zen3 is cheaper in the long run.
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Old 05-24-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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Misled? Huh? There's no non-meat FOOD source of vitamin A and D and DHA and EPA.
What's EPA?

But our bodies make A and D just like animals do when they eat plants that contain beta carotene.

And there is algae-sourced DHA - that's where the fish get it!

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Old 05-24-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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What's EPA?
It's an omega-3 fatty acid, whose full name is Eicosapentaenoic acid.

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But our bodies make A and D just like animals do when they eat plants that contain beta carotene.
Yes, but certain conditions must be met before they do, for instance having enough fat in the diet (A & D) and sun available (vitamin D).

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And there is algae-sourced DHA - that's where the fish get it!
There is indeed, but it is extremely expensive. What do poor vegans do, I wonder?

Now that I think of it, I wonder if this thread should be moved to the Nutrition and Good Eating forum? It seems to be the more appropriate one for this issue.

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Old 05-24-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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I think kids get over supplemented and over medicated and so on. Even with "natural" products.
Yes, which is why it is best to get nutrients in their natural state from whole food sources. However, the best source of omega-3s remain animal ones, so you're in a quandary there.

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Old 05-24-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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Nordic Naturals strips the vitamins out of their cod liver oil and replaces them with synthetic vitamins. This is an issue especially with vitamin A, as the synthetic version carries an overdose danger.
Do you have a link to support this because it totally pi$$es me off (not you, the fact that they would be doing that! I mean, UGH!!) I need to get some sourced from algae!!!

Thanks for pointing this out because I started using this with my DS because of recommendations on the SN board
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Old 05-24-2007, 01:53 AM
 
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And there is algae-sourced DHA - that's where the fish get it!
cut out the middleman! er middlefish!


and you know.... im almost certain that pumpkins have vitamin a
and shiitake mushrooms have vitamin d

and chicha are you seriously insinuating that low income vegans should just eat meat? you know...things can be found cheap, its not like were endangering our children or that a little meat would solve the worlds problems...

isnt there a no meat pushing rule in this subforum?

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Old 05-24-2007, 02:43 AM
 
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Now that I think of it, I wonder if this thread should be moved to the Nutrition and Good Eating forum? It seems to be the more appropriate one for this issue.
Yes. I agree.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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why would a thread about vegan toddlers go in the good eating forum? i think it is in the perfect lace right now.

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Old 05-24-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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and you know.... im almost certain that pumpkins have vitamin a
Nope, they only contain caretenoids. Only animal foods contain preformed vitamin A.

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and shiitake mushrooms have vitamin d
Mushrooms, even the new-fangled ones that are subjected to UV light to boost vitamin content, have the far inferior form D2, ergocalciferol. This is also the one that is used to fortify soy milk.

According to the October 2006 issue of the American Journal Clinical Nutrition (issue 84 (4): 694–7), and current thinking among vitamin D scientists, vitamin D2 "should not be regarded as a nutrient suitable for supplementation or fortification."

It would be better to rely on the sun or a tanning bed to get the right kind of vitamin D, rather than D2 supplementation.



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and chicha are you seriously insinuating that low income vegans should just eat meat?
No of course not, but I do wonder what they do if they can't afford supplements, and they'd like to temporarily boost their omega-3 intake. Hopefully the vegan DHA supplement will come down in price due to demand.

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you know...things can be found cheap,
If you know of a cheap DHA supplement, that's great! You should post it here if you haven't already.

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its not like were endangering our children or that a little meat would solve the worlds problems...
No one has said that anyone is endangering their children.



Quote:
isnt there a no meat pushing rule in this subforum?
No one is pushing meat either; the OP wanted info. about CLO. Even so, I think it would be best if the thread was moved to the general nutrition forum, since it's not strictly a veg*n health topic.

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Old 05-24-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post
Many children have speech/developmental delays- omni and veg*n. I think you are being misled by the person who is assuming that just because you are vegan, you are therefore unhealthy. If you feel that you ds is missing something, evaluate what you are eating and talk it over with your ped.
ITA. My first was talking very well, very early (she was using grammatically correct complete sentences at a year), my second also talked early but had some trouble with the beginning sounds of words (when she was 7yo I found out she was tongue-tied, but long before then she managed to talk perfectly around it without any intervention), my third really didn't start talking until about 2yo. I have an extreme allergy to all seafood (algae and fish) so besides a few bites that sent me to the ER when I was young I haven't had any (can't have any supplements with anything fishy in them either) so my kids haven't gotten it in their diets, nor from me and they don't have any issues and are all very smart (my 2.5yo, although more of a late talker compared to his siblings can put together a 60 piece jigsaw puzzle and understand the rules of fairly complicated board games -like he knows how to move the various chess pieces)

And from talking to people about speech delay and developmental issues for a toddler I was always told it wasn't an issue if they weren't talking or talking understandably so much as if they could understand what was being said (follow simple instructions, point to objects, etc.)... if they are talking well then you have a good indication they are understanding your language but if they aren't then it's harder for an outside evaluator to know if they are and therefor actually do have a developmental issue -doesn't mean they actually do. My son was a big signer so we knew he didn't have any issues there even though he wasn't actually using words much (he mostly just grunted or made sound effects for things until very recently).
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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I just read something interesting on this subject yesterday, thought others might be interested:

http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2005iss...ue1hotline.htm

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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isnt there a no meat pushing rule in this subforum?
Yes there is

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:30 PM
 
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"The question of how much EPA and DHA we are able to make from alpha-linolenic acid is an area that is being researched and debated."

That's the million dollar question, isn't it? It appears that some people are far more efficient than others at making the conversion from ALA. But even the best converters convert little. YMMV.

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Old 05-24-2007, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, I really did want to know if any vegan toddlers with speech delays have been found to have nutritional deficiencies. So far that subject hasn't really been discussed.

I guess, if you've found your toddler to be nutritionally deficient, you might not want to post it here. Or, you might not even be here. But I thought I'd ask.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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Actually, I really did want to know if any vegan toddlers with speech delays have been found to have nutritional deficiencies. So far that subject hasn't really been discussed.
Have you tried posting on the Health forum? I wonder if there are other ones which would yield more answers for you. Good luck in finding them!

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Old 05-24-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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I've met a wide range of vegan and not vegan toddlers - and the 'delayed' development thing is pretty much even in both groups.

I truly do not believe that it is down to diet in and otherwise healthy child, but down to the obsession with our children all meeting the same 'targets' at the same time!!!: Some children take longer than others to speak, some to walk, or use fine motor controls, or eat for themselves, or stop BFing!! Pretty much all of them get there in the end and the differences are barely distinguisable by their teens.

As for supplementation. Well if your diet is heavy in O6 you can balance that my eating foods high in O3. Or look at using an oil such as hemp (which has a perfect balance of O3/6/9 for absorbsion). Better though to eat a wholefood, low or no processed diet in the first place. Don't buy it ready made if you can make it! Eat your foods in season and grown as locally as possible, preferably organic or natural grown, and harvested ripe. Avoid things that are airfreighted. Eat your seeds! Get a reasonable amount of sunlight.

I honestly do not think that toddlers need to be supplemented in any way. Its more likely that adults are in need as we have years of neglect, failure to eat etc.!!
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