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Vegan Nutrition with Marty Davey
My 17 month old daughter has multiple food allergies. I am worried about supplying adequate nutrition. I was feeling good about the variety I was supplying until she developed an allergy to corn in the last month. This is already on top of cow milk, eggs, peanuts and tomatoes. Corn syrup/starch is in everything. She does eat meat actually because without eggs and nuts ( I was told to avoid beans). I have been worried about her protein and iron. I have been relying heavily on wheat, rice, potatoes, squash and fruits. She is still breast fed. I have received no nutritional advice from my doctors and am just concerned, to the point of thinking about finding a different specialist. Should I be thinking about supplements, and if so what? I am clueless and concerned. Just looking for advice. Thank you.
How can I get more fat and calories in my vegan 15 month old? He is finicky and I can't get him to eat anywhere near as much as recommended for a vegan toddler. He is still breastfed, but won't drink soymilk, eats soy yoghurt & cheese, some fruits, not avocados and no nut butters. I keep trying a different combination, but am still concerned.
My 3 year old twin boys are autistic and are intolerant to asparagus, avocado, beef, cheese, chili pepper, coconut, egg, garlic, grapefruit, lamb, lemon, lettuce, lime, cows milk, goat milk, orange, peanut, pineapple, sweet potato, rice, safflower, cane sugar, tangerine, tomato, turkey, wheat, yam, brewer's yeast and zucchini. Preparing three meals is nothing short of torture. I'm desperate for suggestions. Thank you, thank you for any help you can offer.
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Okay, just because I'm a sick puppy who likes a challenge, here is the list of foods these parents need out of their kids' lives after the non-vegan products are eliminated:
Corn syrup, /starch
I will give ten extra bonus points if anyone can figure out what is missing from these kids diet. . . [Please hum the Jeopardy theme song while we are counting hands of winners] . . .
Where are the grains? I see someone has an issue with wheat and rice. Ladies and gentlemen, there are a whole lot more grains than these two. We all know that as parents we are inundated with the proverbial "where does_______ get their protein?" As if that is all we have to think about. I will acquiesce and think about it.
Quinoa has an extremely high rating as a complete protein. There are these tests for protein in food measured as Net Protein Utilization (NPU). An egg, what is used as the gold standard, has a NPU rating of 100. Beef has an NPU of 73-58. Quinoa has a value of 85. I could get very widget-y about limiting amino acids, but suffice it to say that a 1/2 cup of quinoa will be fine for your toddlers protein needs.1 It takes about 20 minutes to cook [1:2].2 Gluten-free.
Kamut is a rice-type grain that is also high in protein. I couldn't find out its NPU, but it has >20% more protein than wheat and is low-gluten in content. The drag about kamut is that it takes 90 minutes to cook [1:3]. I used to cook a bunch and put some in the freezer. If you have a pressure cooker, you can cut that time in half.
Millet is another great grain that cooks in about 20 minutes. You can make it in a skillet. Toast it in a dry skillet and water [1:2] when it starts to brown. Millet is high in protein, but not as high as the aforementioned.
Other grains that are quick and great are barley, oats, bulgur wheat, buckwheat/kasha [gluten-free], and spelt. You can try the grain on its own or try a sauce. A quick one that I used was a teaspoon of orange juice concentrate [or apple], liquid aminos, water and sesame oil. Or just sesame oil and a little tahini. Or get the book, The Saucy Vegetarian by Jo Stepaniak and see if one of those works.
Also, where are the seeds? These are different than nuts. Tahini is a great base for sauces or a tahini and jelly sandwich. Seeds have completely different properties than nuts. Sunflower seeds in a food processor makes its own butter.
One parent says their kids are intolerant. I figure this means they have GI issues or some reaction to the listed foods. REMEMBER: CHILDREN HAVE TO BE EXPOSED TO A FOOD AT LEAST 9 TIMES BEFORE YOU ARE SURE THEY DO NOT WANT IT. Showing them once or twice doesn't really count. They don't have to eat a full serving of the food, but they can try a bite. You must eat the food you are showing them. Would you eat a food if someone said, "No, it's great. I'm not eating that stuff, but you'll love it."
I'm not sure why the one parent is avoiding beans. Perhaps it is due to the fact that beans can be very filling and crowd out other foods. If you have or had a toddler, you know that they eat every two hours. Space out the beans during the day. You should be able to cover the protein needs that beans can offer. Plus, protein-dominant foods keep your child from being hungry as often. Some quick snacks are edemame; tempeh strips [slice thin and paint with liquid aminos, maple syrup, dash of smoke flavoring and sauté in small amount of canola oil or water]; silken tofu with applesauce [substitute with cherry/apple, raspberry/apple, pureed fruits, peach butter], flax meal and granola [with or without nuts], sweetener after you try it without and it is rejected more than 4 times; for those who can tolerate nut butters [not peanut] cashew/almond butters are great in celery with dates, figs or raisins [ants on a log]. You can easily make your own nut butter with a food processor. Put in nuts, turn on machine, leave to take care of kids. Return in 5 minutes, scrape down bowl, if necessary. Turn on and leave to take care of kids. Return in 5 minutes and taste the most fantastic nut butter on the planet. In the program where I worked with kids and eating issues, even the kids and parents who hated nut butters gobbled this up. If you let the kids push the button they will like it even more. Most folks are used to store brand peanut butter with salt and sweetener. YUCK!
You can substitute the nut butter for firm silken tofu whipped with a sweetener [rice syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, date sugar] and fruit-only spreads or fruit. (Of course, you sneak in flax meal.) Then spread on celery and add dried fruit or dip carrot sticks into it. How about smoothies? For those who don't want soy milk, try rice, almond, oat or hazelnut milk. Rice does not need to add sugars to taste sweet. Also, you can try soft silken tofu. Throw in a banana, flax meal, some other fruit [frozen or canned in own juice is as good as fresh] and/or fruit juice, blend it up and drink it down. Let them push the button. They want to be part of the process. I even put raw collard greens in a mango/apricot smoothie and got away with it. This can go into a thermos for a take-along snack.
Here's another thing about that "protein" issue—every food has protein in it. Foods like cherries, romaine lettuce, beets. So, if your child eats when they are hungry, stops when their not and you supply nutritious, palatable food, this shouldn't be an issue. I trust kids when it comes to how much they want to eat. My son was, and is, skinny. He also is intelligent, active, focused and growing [no matter how many bricks we put on his head].
I would have your child checked for Vitamin D status. This is becoming a general problem throughout the population. Get your kids outside and be there with them. You can get some Vitamin D from sunlight. It is vital that we, as parents, set the example of being outside. With our son, we went to the park twice a day unless the temperature was under 30 degrees and no snow or raining. We wouldn't hold them down and make our kids overweight, but we think nothing of staying indoors when it is inconvenient for us. I am stunned at the number of kids who never play outside. They follow their parent's example.
There is no reason to feed corn syrup—high fructose or otherwise—to your child. You wouldn't feed your child vodka for breakfast, but we think nothing of feeding our kids high fructose corn syrup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Corn syrup does nothing for your child nutritionally, increases their sweet tooth and has been linked as a separate risk for obesity and is craved by cocaine addicts.3 This means that the high fructose corn syrup itself has some link with obesity a part from sedentary lifestyle or excess food intake. Real food doesn't come in juice boxes, cardboard boxes or plastic bottles. Never give a liquid with any type of corn syrup to a toddler or small child. Water is a great liquid. Juice intake should be one ounce of juice per year of life diluted with enough water to fill an 8 ounce container. This is all the juice needed for a day.
If you want, get their iron checked. I give my kid a multi-vitamin. Unless your child has an iron deficiency, I would not recommend a multi-vitamin with iron. There is an issue with iron and calcium absorption happening at the same time. So, just get a good multi-vitamin. If your child has an iron deficiency, give the supplement between meals.
Try to get your child into the food making process. You can do this by having them put the water in the pot, put in the grain, take carrots out of the bag, push buttons, scoop out food, put sauce on food, put food on the table. They want to be a part of the process. Be rest assured that no matter what, someday they will have the school cafeteria to complain about instead of you.
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