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vegan diet for my baby

(23 Posts)
joshuaamelia Sat 19-Jan-13 06:37:07

Hi, was wondering if anyone had some advice for feeding a baby well on a vegan diet. DD is 7 months, she was breastfeed for 5 months and then moved onto formula. Ever since she's been on formula she's come out in rashes and generally had bad skin, also took a reaction to dairy or egg recentely (don't know which, or if both were the culprit) and had to rush her to out of hours docs. My GP is reluctent to refer her for allergy tests because of her age although I'm still pushing to get a blood test. I'm veggie and reluctent to cook meat / fish (mostly cos i'm scared I'll give her food poisioning, and I have no idea how to prep or cook meat as i've been veggie since quite young) My main concern is that she's getting enough protien at the moment she is mostly getting fruit, veg, rice, bread and lentils on top of her formula feeds. I'm also concerned about still feeding her dairy formula when she comes out in a rash at every feed but HV advised not to swap to soya formula because they are apparently not very good. I'm still pushing to get her tested so we can know for sure what she should be avoiding but until then I've got to keep her off the dairy and eggs any advice would be much appriciated. x

Xiaoxiong Sat 19-Jan-13 10:47:18

You may get more feedback on the allergy boards.

Unfortunately I have no advice you probably want to hear - a friend of mine was in a similar situation a few years ago and she now cooks fish and a little meat to make sure her kids get enough protein (they get it over the Internet from a farmer they trust with the highest welfare standards they could find).

My 13month DS likes tofu fries but only in the last couple of weeks.

JakeBullet Sat 19-Jan-13 10:49:30

Joshua, has your HV(or anyone) mentioned hypoallergenic milks? Has anyone actually referred your DD to a dietician for advice and support. It sounds like you've been left alone to deal with this.

JakeBullet Sat 19-Jan-13 10:52:38

It sounds like a milk allergy....your GP needs to refer her to a,paediatrician and dietician for advice. Cow and Gate used to produce a booklet for parents whose children had milk allergies but you also need to know about egg allergies because as far as I know this is an issue regarding the MMR and it's given in hospital to monitor for reactions if there is an egg allergy (or it always used to be....obviously this may have changed).

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sat 19-Jan-13 10:58:09

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sat 19-Jan-13 11:05:33

Another one smile

Bluestocking Sat 19-Jan-13 11:09:38

Mashed avocado is good - very high in easily-digested protein and calories.

joshuaamelia Sat 19-Jan-13 12:03:12

thanks for the replies. My HV did ask to get DD reffered to a dietician and to get the allegy test at the childrens hospital but my GP said not to, also went to ask about the milk substitute you get on prescription but i'm in a catch 22 the GP said she wouldn't prescribe it til we knew it was an allergy, but at the same time she doesn't want her getting the allergy test til she's older. They keep prescribing different steroid creams to try to clear up her skin which i'm using and they help get the rashes under control but then the course ends and it flares up again. Going to see the GP on tues again and push for the test. Thanks for all the links, I didn't realise avocado was full of protein thats brilliant cos she quite likes it. also HV said not to use soya so thats tofu out the window, but I found out quinoa is a 'compleate protein' so gonna have a hunt around the health food shops see if I can get any. Thanks again everyone x

showtunesgirl Sat 19-Jan-13 12:12:53

OP, I know quite a bit about veganism and vegetarianism as my ILs are. Can I just suggest, and please take this the right way, that you brush up a little on your food groups and food nutritional information as you might well be deficient yourself if you're not aware of food guidelines. You really do have to be right on the ball with this info especially with regards your DD's diet overall if you're going down the vegan route.

My DH was veggie when I met him. Though not anymore and that was his choice not mine!

Stase Sat 19-Jan-13 12:24:43

avocados aren't a good source of protein
Quinoa is a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids, but its not high in protein, as in an adult would have to eat a lot to meet their daily requirement.
I think asking to see a dietician would be best for your baby.

Bluestocking Sat 19-Jan-13 12:32:03

blush Another damned food myth!
However, avocadoes do seem to be a good source of other useful dietary elements.

sashh Sat 19-Jan-13 14:26:45

Beans and pulses and green leafy veg are all high protein veg. Also nuts.

The 'complete' protein thing is a bit of a read herring, it just means a food that has all 20 amino acids that make up protein, but you can easily mix two 'incomplete' proteins to make a complete one.

Don't worry about not cooking fish properly, it's very difficult to under-cook and can be eaten raw.

You can also get lots of fish in tins, but I have no idea of what is added to it.

A lot of veg protein is quite high in fat, but I believe (could be wrong) that's not a bad thing for young children.

Stase Sat 19-Jan-13 15:15:19

Nuts are high in fat, beans and lentils are low in fat, but higher in carbs (nothing wrong with that, fats likewise...) also, lentils are a good source of iron, as is green leafy veg. Again, no a lot of protein in it though...

Stase Sat 19-Jan-13 15:29:31

I don't think fat is a concern for little babies though, and vegetable fats are different to the fats found in meat - bodies can deal with them without too much trouble.
I second tinned fish as an easy way to get animal protein into children without getting your hands too dirty. Tinned in water is best.
A healthy balanced diet without animal products is possible, you just need to really get up to speed on the facts. The links above look good, though I think the nut advice in this country is only to avoid if you have a family history of allergies, rather than to avoid until the age of three as the links say. Smooth cashew, peanut or almond butter should be fine. I read that Nigella Lawson waited until she happened to be in a doctors' waiting room to give her kids a pb sandwich. Sounds sensible to me! grin

Selks Sat 19-Jan-13 15:42:21

TBH you need to look into this very carefully and seek advice from a qualified dietician. A vegetarian diet is fine for a baby but a vegan diet runs the risk of deficiencies in things like complete proteins, vitamins A and D, calcium, vit B12 and some minerals. There has been quite a bit written about how a wholly vegan diet is not healthy for a baby unless it is very carefully considered.

This offers some good advice.

mercibucket Sat 19-Jan-13 16:23:59

iron is really really important for babies 6 months plus so keep an eye on that too. hv can do fingerprick tests if you're worried that give you a rough idea

multitask Sat 19-Jan-13 17:20:03

Some good resources and forum here

Sorry for so many links but if you have time it is worth looking at them and finding a vegan forum that you like and can ask questions in. I lurk on a few and find them full of information.

economymode Sun 20-Jan-13 18:40:08

Sorry to hijack...

My 21 month old is going through the fussy eating stage and I'm concerned about his iron intake. He's not strictly vegetarian (I am but do give him meat and fish when out, rarely cook it at home) and i am pretty clued up on the best sources of nutrients, vits etc. But even though i offer him food that should cover all important minerals etc, it is more often than not refused. He's been like this for a good few months with no end in sight.

He seems full of energy and has good skin colour (not pale), so do i need to worry?!

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 20-Jan-13 18:59:18

Toddlers live off fresh air for months I swear. Just keep offering. If he seems ok don't worry just yet. My dd is just the same she's barely eating so I'm constantly giving her soup at lunch so she's taking in max veg! You could try offering new things along side old favourites u know he will devour. That way it's there to try when he's not stropping over yet another meal.

economymode Mon 21-Jan-13 13:57:17

Thanks, wheresmycaffeinedrip. I guess I'm doing all the right things (offering a mix of favourites and new things, eating together, no pressure etc etc) but need to just accept that, as you say, they can live off air sometimes!

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 21-Jan-13 14:06:12

Worse thing u can do is make a fuss. Just gives them the satisfaction of knowing how to wind u up smile their taste buds develope properly at around 18 months and so that's why they go off things they previously liked. They soon figure out its a sure fire way to get a treat when mummy is desperate for them to eat and offers alternatives too!!

No harm in them living off spag Bol for a bit of that's the only thing they will eat, just as long that there's the opportunity to try things smile

joshuaamelia Mon 28-Jan-13 18:20:00

some really good advice thanks. now DD is allergic to lentils, pulses and peanuts thankfully not soya so I've bought some tofu and gonna try her on that. I'm worried about the vegan diet as I know from when I tried to be vegan it's hard to make sure your getting enough and eating out is almost impossible. I accept I need to brush up on what to eat, tried researching the internent at the weekend but got so confused about the rda's and having too protien stops you absorbing calcium, too much calcium you don't absorb other things eat vit C with iron arggg! my head was getting boggled. Also I didn't realise quinoa wasn't that great for protien cos every vegan site I see seems to promote it as being wonderful, and so many of the sites make unbelievable claims about veganism I find it difficult to sort facts from the elaborations. Really want to see a dietician, get the allergy test but doctors still not being much help so gonna ring my HV again in the morning, she must be sick of hearing from me!

Blahdiddyblahblah Tue 29-Jan-13 21:41:07

This might be helpful for you as it contains some great recipe ideas, gives some advice on vegan diets for children and has some links to useful vegan food sites.

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