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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, *attention - rather long!*

as I realized that we eat less and less meat at our home but seem to fail when it comes to repalcing it with other protein sources I decided that it's about time to ask all of you longtime veg*n's for help!
Ever since we moved out from my ILs in march I have been rarely buying meat because we cannot afford organic and I don't want to buy anything else. We *might* eat ground organic beef once every two weeks but that's it. Apart from that we might eat organic lunch meat (cut up ham and prosciutto) 2-3x a week plus the sunday meal my MIL cooks and that inevitably includes meat. I think that DH also eats meat when lunching with his brother. And I try to cook fish 1-2x a week.
So no, we are really far from being comitted and 100% veg*n but it doesn't play a huge role in our lifes either. And since DD is still developing and growing at 30 months I fear that she could be lacking some protein. I tried to introduce beans and lentils to her without any success (this might be because the beans I soaked myself were still a tad tod hard
) and protein from plants only?! Oh my....
Here in Germany vegetarian lifestyle still focuses a lot on whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as dairy and maybe eggs only (the antroposophic way I think) but I am not sure if that's enough?!

So...after having written a whole novel already
I am giving you roughly what DD and me are eating during the day and I'd like to ask you to read through it and tell me what we could/should change and if she's getting enugh protein. There are no food allergies or aversions (apart from DD disliking pulses)

Breakfast 1. soft-boiled or hard boiled egg, toasted bread w/butter and sometimes honey, cut up fruit or tomatoes, a glass of diluted OJ and milk w/foam ('Kids Cappuccino) for DD 2. a bowl of plain yogurt+blueberries, a PB&J, a glass of diluted OJ, decafe caffé latte for me. Variations include: a bowl of muesli for DD and me (rolled oats, cut up fruit, raisins, milk); an egg for me as well instead of the yogurt; a yogurt for DD instead of the milk

Midmorning Snack fruit, sometimes rainsins and/or a few rare walnuts or cashews for DD

Lunch Something easy and fast like leftovers (pasta, fried rice, vegetable stew..) or grilled cheese or my homemade fish fingers or veggie pizza (thick ww crust, 3-4 different cut-up or grated veggies, mozzarella and feta crumbled on top). I often eat red lentils for lunch and make myself a kind of mezze/natipasto plater including marinated artichokes, tomato-cukes-mozza-salad, tzatziki, cheese, olives

Afternoon snack Fruits again and a yogurt for DD if she hasn't had one for brekkie

Dinner ...the same things that we eat as leftovers for lunch the next day
But I've been experimenting lately and we have had eggplant involtini (filled w/spinach+ricotta, then baked w/tomato sauce and mozza on top), veggie stir-fry + couscous, veggies+chinese noodles w/peanut sauce, fish baked ontop a bed of veggies, ...
No dessert after that apart from a mini cookie for DD plus she still drinks ome warm milk while reading a book with her Dad.

So - what do you think? Anything we should change/make different?
I would really appreciate and help
I'd love to make DD eat more lentils (I don't care for beans a lot myslef apart from kidneys in a chilli...) and if you have any recipes please type them out for me!


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Hi Valerie:

Congratulations on your decision to move your family towards a more plant-based diet. Please know that there is no known nutrient that cannot be adequately supplied by sufficient exposure to sunlight (for vitamin D) and a totally vegan diet, including protein. I am rather concerned about the amount of dairy you are feeding young DD. Please take a moment to read this highly informative and insightful article on dairy products at:

Know that neither of my two children have ever consumed dairy products in their lives, and they are healthy, vibrant, and strong. They also are not subjected to the constant barrage of respiratory infections that most children suffer from, and will not be at risk for many of the diseases that will plague their dairy-consuming playmates later in life.

Whether meat, eggs, or dairy, all animal products suffer from the same problems: they contain copious amounts of cholesterol, saturated fat, excessive protein, concentrated hormones and residues of antiobiotics, and a total lack of fiber and vitamin C.

All plant foods contain protein. Our daily nutritional requirement for protein is only around 10% of total calories consumed. On a per calorie basis, lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, corn, kale, spinach, and tomatoes, all have more than that. In fact, broccoli has 20% of its calories coming from protein, lettuce has 22%, asparagus 27%, and spinach 30%! Even pasta on average, has 14% of its calories in the form of protein.

Another great resource for moms concerned about feeding their children a nutritionally adequate vegan diet is the work of the late pediatrician and author of the book, Dr. Attwood's Low-Fat Prescription For Kids:
One Diet for the Whole Family, Charles Attwood. His website is still up and running, with lots of great information at:

My kids get all the protein and other nutrients they need by eating a variety of fresh, whole, organic fruits and vegetables, supplemented with modest amounts of grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. They enjoy such treats as dairy-free ice cream, nut butters, and the vegan cookies, pies, puddings, and cakes I make.

There are lots of great recipe boards where you will find delightful recipes for just about any dish you can imagine. If there's a particular recipe you're looking for, please let me know, and I'll do my best to track one down for you.

And please let us all know how we can help you guide your meal-planning towards a more healthful, plant-centered approach.



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I think you're doing fine on protein, though I didn't add up the calories and stuff. I also avoid dairy altogether. One protein food that is usually a winner (well, not today . . .) is steamed cubed tofu. Dd is only 21 mos, though, and she still prefers bland food. But the texture is smooth, not beany. I also use it frequently the way meat eaters might use ground beef -- crumble the tofu and saute in oil until it gets browned, then add to pasta sauce, stroganoff, etc. Since it is bland, you will want to add extra seasonings, whatever you are already using.

I think it may be possible that the fact that dd doesn't like beans may indicate that she does not need more protein than she is getting. I myself never had a taste for beans until literally a week after I went veg. Suddenly I loved them.

One thing you can do is take whatever ingredients you have in the house and google that with "vegetarian recipe." There are so many places to find recipes, I hesitate even to narrow it down.
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