Vegetarian diet?

Kristin - posted on 09/02/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I'm currently feeding my daughter vegetarian, though we're trying to give her fish too. She mostly chews the fish up and spits it out. I've been vegetarian for almost my whole life and have done some research on protein requirements, but my husband considers what I've found to be meat-free propaganda. He's afraid she won't develop properly because of a lack of specifically meat-based protein. Any nutrition experts out there know? She gets milk, eggs, whole grains, lentils, beans, and plenty of soy protein, is robustly healthy on her growth charts, and is reaching all the appropriate developmental milestones. Advice?

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Laura - posted on 09/12/2009

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I'm not a nutritionist, but I've cooked my son's food since birth. I really liked the Williams Sonoma Baby cookbook- it has a lot of recipes that discuss the nutritional aspects of food. I tried a bunch of different supplemental foods I hadn't before, including quinoa, which is a "perfect" non-meat protein. It has a texture similar to cream of wheat. Anyway, that cookbook is a nice resource. Raising a child veggie is certainly tougher, but it can be done!

Sonya - posted on 09/11/2009

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I would suggest checking with your pediatrician. They should have advice for you. The The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook: Whole Foods To Nourish Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women - And Their Families is a good cookbook. A lost of the recipes are vegan.

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I am not nearly an expert, but we are doing a similar diet with our little girl because neither my husband nor myself eat meat. On a few occasions, we will give her meat (at in-laws for dinner, etc.), but never cook it at home. We'll do fish occasionally. We also make sure she gets lots of the foods you mentioned. According to my health visitor, she should be fine without meat as long as we make sure she gets the foods rich in vitamins, protein, iron, and other nutrients. It would be nice to have a cookbook with recipes for vegetarian food for babies/toddlers. Do you know of any?

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