vegan toddler - nutritional deficiency from too much breastmilk??? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay...I'm trying not to feel panicky about this, so please be gentle, but I don't know what to do. After the birth of my dd (about 7 weeks ago), my ds (age 2.5) cut way down on his solid foods and started nursing more often, and getting significantly more milk. I did my research, so I knew this was pretty normal. I thought this wouldn't be too much of a problem - at first he even gained a little bit of weight. But now, he still isn't eating very much at all. This wouldn't bother me, but I think it's starting to affect his health.

First of all, he became extremely picky. This is more of an issue than it might be with other people because we are vegan. So if he starts refusing to eat beans or more than 2 bites of pasta, and doesn't like hot cereal or tofu any more, and only wants things that are sweet, it limits his diet extremely.

Also, he has started to lose a little bit of weight, and he is getting circles under his eyes. He doesn't look as healthy and chubby as he did a few months ago, and it scares me. I try to get at least 3 servings of carbohydrates, ~ 1 tsp. of nutritional yeast, some fruit, at least 1 veg, and some soymilk into him each day, but I don't think he's getting enough protein.

Normally, I'm of the philosophy to provide nutritious foods to a child and let them eat what they are comfortable with, and not treat certain things as "good," and others as "bad." I'm not into the bribing thing either....But I've been failing in this lately. I'm at the point where I'm getting him to eat things by telling him that the dog will eat it if he doesn't hurry up and have some. I've been refusing him dessert if he won't eat more than a few bites of his meal.

He wants to nurse all the time, and it fills him up, but it doesn't seem to be giving him enough of ....something - iron? zinc? protein? He takes a multivitamin each day, but it doesn't have iron or zinc in it. I really am at a loss. I not quite to the point of taking him to a nutritionist because I know that s/he will tell me to wean him, and also might not be very educated about vegan diets and children.

Is this more of a parenting issue than a nutritional one? Am I not being firm enough about eating healthy food? Or do you think this is an emotional thing, and he's wanting to do the baby thing again?

So, if anybody has gone through this or something similar, or has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Also, if anyone knows a vegan-friendly, bf-friendly nutritionist in the Santa Fe area, that would be nice to know too. Maybe I'm just freaking out too much....
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#2 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 04:26 AM
 
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Okay, first of all DON'T PANIC! Second of all, YES it's normal, and it will get better.

I've just gone through this with my dd. Dd2 is now 5 months, so it's been a while. Loooooong story, but it got to the point where I wound up having to severely limit dd1's nursing (3x/day) for a little while, not for her health but for my own and the health of dd2 . . . now, you and I have different ideas about what constitutes good nutrition, so I'll let someone else field those questions for you , but what I can do is suggest a few things your ds might eat.
The number one food for my dd was smoothies . . . it's kind of a sneaky way to pack some good nutrition and higher calories into them, especially if you load it up with good stuff - we like coconut milk smoothies here: use a can of coconut milk and some frozen fruit, a touch of maple syrup or honey, some spinach or kale (lightly steamed) and some rosehip tea to add vitamin c (we also throw egg yolks in ours for omega3's, but you may want to add some flax oil instead).
The circles under the eyes may indicate and iron deficiency . . . but maybe not. It doesn't hurt to have a blood test done if you're concerned. But, you could also feed him lots of dried fruits (I've read spinach isn't necessarily a bioavailable source of iron until permanent teeth come in, but that could be wrong) or put them in smoothies (cook before adding).
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#3 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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my dd1 did this same thing when dd2 was born. I also had to set limits with dd1 or she would eat nothing and just nurse all day. Eventually she ate again after learning that she couldnt nurse all day. now she is getting back into the swing of things, but she is now weaned
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#4 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 12:29 PM
 
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another thought struck me on the protein front . . . does he like dips and dippers? Healthy crackers or tortilla chips dipped in hummus and other bean dips are always a big hit with my dd . . . or celery dipped in nut butter. You could sweeten with a bit of honey if you like.
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#5 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions! It's good to know that this will get better. I think I panic because my mom has always freaked out so much about food and how little/much everybody is eating.

HerthElde - I wish I could get him to eat other more healthy foods - our ideas of good nutrition probably aren't that different. I know that too much soy isn't so great, but it just has so much protein, vitamins and minerals, and it's so easy. Same with the nutritional yeast. My dh is the pickiest of picky, and won't even try anything that he thinks is supposed to be healthy. He won't even eat any baked goods that aren't made with white flour. And he eats all of those fake meat processed soy products. Yuk. He doesn't like veggies except for a select few. Anyway, a lot of this has probably rubbed off on my ds already....Sigh....So as you can tell, we aren't really vegan for health reasons! The smoothies are a good idea, maybe I'll freeze one and pretend it's ice cream. We can work on the dipping thing too. At this point, ds doesn't like things that look as if they might be squishy, but if they are tasty enough, maybe he'd go for it.

memory maker - maybe I do need to be more definitive about setting nursing limits. I haven't really done this out loud yet. I just tell ds when it's okay and when he needs to wait.
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#6 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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What about pancakes and muffins and other "treat" foods? You can make them with nut butter instead of flour. see http://www.pecanbread.com/recipes.html
See, I had so many great ideas, but no time when I was 7 weeks postpartum (and in the midst of moving and suffering from PPD, etc) . . . do you have the time to prepare these items? If not, do you have someone that can do it for you? Or even hire someone to bake for you? I wish I would have . . . nutrition has been the primary factor in coming out of PPD for me . . .
Have you seen these https://www.thinkproducts.com/indexset.htm? Our local Costco carries a big box of them (the ThinkOrganics ones). Also, homemade granola bars are good, put in lots of nuts and seeds.
Also, Anna (Carnelian) posted this recipe on the NT thread (hope you don't mind me reposting it Anna!) I haven't tried them yet but they sound awesome. Note that "NT nuts" are just nuts that have been soaked overnight in seasalt & water, then dehydrated in order to make nutrients more bioavailable:

Quote:
High-Energy Protein Bars

In a double boiler mix together the following:

1 cup nut butter
1/2 cup of EVCO (or a stick of butter)
1/2 cup carob powder
1-2 tbs of agave/honey/maple syrup

Mix until melted and smooth. Take off the heat and let cool slightly. Then add:

1 cup ground flax
1 cup chopped crispy NT nuts
1 cup finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup crispy NT sunseeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Pour into a 9x13 pyrex dish lined with wax paper and chill in the fridge several hours. Cut into bars (20-25) and store in the fridge or wrap each bar in wax paper and foil and store in the freezer for a ready to go snack on the run.

These are a huge hit here. Nutrient dense, a little goes a long way! Using carob means very little additional sweetener is needed (plus it is extremely high in calcium--3 x more than bm tho probably not as bio-available). We find them quite sweet enough with 1 tbs of agave but even using 2 tbs the sugar content works out to less than 1 gram per bar. If you decide to use cocoa more sweetener would be needed. Another option would be 10-12 oz of homemade carob chips and then no additional sweetener. I think I could possibly add more EVCO up to about 2/3 perhaps but 1/2 cup is adequate.
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#7 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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Also, there's a new board for vegan/vegetarian living . . . I can only guess that all the veg*ns are over there and that's why they haven't responded You may want to rename this thread to indicate that you're vegan and maybe ask Cathe to move this thread over there?
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#8 of 10 Old 06-28-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dovey
memory maker - maybe I do need to be more definitive about setting nursing limits. I haven't really done this out loud yet. I just tell ds when it's okay and when he needs to wait.
Just to let you know, he may not like it at first at all. I spent a week not sitting so that dd1 wouldnt jump on me. She was fine when I wasnt sitting, but would attack me if I sat down for a second. I had to come up with some creative things to keep her busy so that she wasnt thinking about nursing every 30 minutes. She wanted to nurse more than the newborn
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#9 of 10 Old 06-29-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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I too would set some limits on his nursing. Besides, you've got another baby to nurse, and I know how exhausting it can be to tandem nurse (did it until the start of my third pregnancy). I certainly don't think weaning is necessary. Just some limits and continually offering good foods (which I'm sure you're doing). A multi-vitamin certainly can't hurt.

- Krista

milk donation : mother to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1) all born at home, I have a kid-friendly food & bento blog, : :
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#10 of 10 Old 06-29-2006, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! I made the protein bars and he snarfed up part of one for breakfast plus some quinoa. They are pretty tasty. I just need to get my act together find some more creative recipes that he will enjoy.

I will try and set more nursing limits. I think it will be okay for him, as long as he gets some. We were making wishes on stars the other day, and he said that he wished for the "nuh-nuhs." He generally is good with rules (as long as they are kept to a minimum ).
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