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Calling all vegetarians - advice needed

(30 Posts)
logic Thu 17-Mar-05 11:10:12

My 2 + 1/2 year old son is a very picky eater and has decided that he won't eat meat - unless it's fishfingers or chicken that has been curried until it has well and truly expired. I have been trying to compensate for this with eggs, baked beans and wholemeal bread but the HV thinks he might still be short of iron. She said that I should treat him as a proper vegetarian so I have bought a ton of stuff that she recommended as high in iron. Trouble is, I have no idea what to do with any of it and I'm worried sick about him, as you can imagine.

Can someone tell me what sort of meals to make containing:

tofu
spinach
lentils
kidney beans?

Especially the tofu because I am completely baffled by it.

Any advice at all gratefully received.

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Mar-05 11:14:23

some stuff here about iron My children are veggie and I don't worry about iron because they eats eggs, beans, nuts and I always make them have vit c with anything iron rich to help with absorption. I never use tofu so can't advise on that but there are some lentil recipes and links to them here .

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Mar-05 11:15:06

Kidney beans, beefless bolognase which is from Carol Timperely's veggie baby cook book, hang on

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Mar-05 11:16:06

on this threas somewhere!

irishbird Thu 17-Mar-05 11:16:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Mar-05 11:16:52

Nigel slater mush and spinach korma recipe here, you could make it milder if you wanted to

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Mar-05 11:17:39

They eat, not eatS, should read in my first post!

Pamina3 Thu 17-Mar-05 11:19:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sorrel Thu 17-Mar-05 12:04:23

Hi logic, I use lentils instead of minced beef to make shepherds pie, lasagne or canneloni.
I make a sauce from tinned green lentils, fried onion and tin of chopped tomatoes( add garlic, oregano,bay leaf salt and pepper as needed.) Top with mashed potato or layer with lasagne sheets and white cheesy sauce. It is amazing how far a tin of lentils will go( i usually buy them from tesco). my vegetarian dh loves this and so does dd who prefers this kind of no-shepherds pie to one with meat.
I also make a mixed bean chilli using those tins of mixed beans and we have fajitas. DD likes this as she can make the wrap herself. I put out grated cheese , carrot cut into strips, spring onions, green salad sour cream etc. For your 2.5 year old you could make up thewarps yourself and put into oven dish and sprinkle with cheese and grill
I have never worked out what to do with tofu, it varies so much in texture from brand to brand. I did once attempt a sweet and sour rconstruction for dh who likes chinese food but as a veggie mistrusts the way it is cooked at out local takeaway9 veggies cooked in the same pan as meat)
i got the piece of tofu and dipped in flour and soda water batter , then deep fried and served witha bought sweet and sour sauce. Quite successful, but not very healthy i guess.
best of luck

logic Thu 17-Mar-05 13:18:18

Thanks everyone, you've given me some ideas to try!

albosmum Thu 17-Mar-05 13:50:23

just to add I use lentils whizzed with cherry toms, onions and anything else I can find and use as a sauce for pasta, potatoes, rice etc. I make up huge quantities freeze it and everyday he has lentils with something.

TOfu just stir fry both mine love it - get cauldrons plain tofu drain, dice and fry in olive oil on its own

Spinach throw it in you lentil sauce
or wilt it and serve as veg
or stick it raw in a sandwich

Kidney beans - mine ar not keen but I use them in salads, chili, bean casserole

logic Thu 17-Mar-05 14:42:19

Thanks albosmum. I am at my wits end. I tried the spinach leaves today and he wouldn't eat them. The HV lady even insinuated I should put him back onto progress milk and jar food which has lots of iron added!

starlover Thu 17-Mar-05 16:11:29

logic... you say that the HV "thinks" he may be short of iron... has he had any blood tests to prove this????

He might be just fine! If you're really worried and he refuses to eat any food that's a little higher in iron then how about giving him a supplement?

IMO all children go through phases where they will only eat certain things.. there will be times when they are all missing out on certain vitamins and things, but that doesn't mean they will get ill or anything...

logic Thu 17-Mar-05 19:14:28

Starlover, he's always been a very picky eater but always had bags of energy too so I didn't think anything of it until he got on the scales a few weeks ago (just like mummy) and I was shocked at how little he weighed. So I kept a food diary and showed it to the lady and that's where she got the idea from that he doesn't get enough iron. I am taking him to be weighed and measured tomorrow at the clinic to see if his growth is normal. He hasn't had a blood test but that might be the next step. You're right in that I don't think for one minute that he is really ill but I am paranoid about it now! I have tried giving him abidec, minadex and sanatogen. He won't take any of them - even hidden in juice

Sorrel Thu 17-Mar-05 19:23:38

what about spa tone- its a mineral water which is naturally high in iron and comes in sachets. I think it is pretty flavourless. hOWEVER I AM NOT SURE IF IT IS SUITABLE FOR KIDS.

Sorrel Thu 17-Mar-05 19:26:01

her is the link:http://www.spatone.co.uk
seems to be ok for kids

berolina Thu 17-Mar-05 19:26:04

Am completely ignorant about what toddlers can and can't eat (expecting my first in June) so forgive me if I post anything inappropriate. But:

my dh makes a fantastixc thing with kidney beans - just basically vegetables (whatever we have in) fried in olive oil and mixed with slices of fried potato or (pre-cooked!) pasta, tomatoes (tinned or fresh) and kidney beans. Cheap, cheerful and great for using up odds and ends of veg.
As irishbird said, spinach and ricotta is a fantastic and healthy combination - is lovely in lasagne or cannelloni, with grated cheddar over the top and baked (mixing a touch of mature cheddar into the spinach/ricotta mix offsets the sometimes powerful 'spinachy' taste wonderfully).
Don't really do tofu myself, but used to do (red) lentils cooked in a rich tomatoey sauce, which was lovely.

kikidee Thu 17-Mar-05 20:34:07

Hi Logic, what about some dried fruit to boost his iron levels? I cook DS porridge with dried apricots in it. I just heat them in a pan of water for 5 minutes and then blitz them with my Braun hand blender and put them through his porridge. Your ds might also like to just eat them as they are as a snack. Just be careful which ones you buy as lots of them have been preserved using sulphhur.

logic Thu 17-Mar-05 21:08:37

Spatone is definately worth a try - thanks for the link, Sorrel!

This toddler barely eats anything, berolina, but your recipe ideas are great.

Tried him with some dried apricots again today. No joy. He will eat raisins though, are they any good?

albosmum Thu 17-Mar-05 21:15:26

sorry what harm does the sulpghur do - I have been feeding apricots to ds2 and have just checked and they are preserved in sulphur

Plus where do you get ones not preserved in suphur

kikidee Thu 17-Mar-05 21:48:34

Hi Albosmum, the sulphur dioxide is used as a preservative so that the fruit keeps its colour once it's dried. It can trigger allergic reactions, particularly in people with asthma. Non-sulphured ones are quite easy to find and they are dark brown in colour. I got mine from Sainsburys I think.

ionesmum Thu 17-Mar-05 22:30:53

Dried apricots stewed and then pureed make a great 'jam' on toast.

We also use lentils to replace mince. Until recently I pureed the bolognese-type thing - useful if your ds is suspicious of lumps.

Raisins do have some iron.

Also many breakfast cereals e.g. Weetabix are iron-fortified. Som eare high in sugar - it depends how urgently he needs it.

I agree that he may not esp. if he has lots of energy. Anaemia isn't uncommon but it might just be that your ds doesn't eat a lot, or it's how his natural weight should be. If he's otherwise healthy I wouldn't worry too much - if you get stressed he will and may become even fussier. Why not see your G.P. for a second opinion - there are other signs to look for without a blood test being necessary.

logic Fri 18-Mar-05 15:37:47

Well, ds was weighed and measured today and although he is weight is in the blue line at the bottom, they said not to worry. I have to try getting meat into him (like I haven't been for the last 2 years? ) but no action to be taken. Don't know whether to worry or not now. Still haven't had the courage to open the tofu packet though!

albosmum Fri 18-Mar-05 21:00:16

meat has got nothing to do with weight - my ds2 is a veggie he is 10mths old and 28lbs

open the tofu - have you brought the cauldron stuff - you might like it especially with chilli sauce

logic Fri 18-Mar-05 21:10:57

I know, albosmum but he's only 24 + 1/2 lbs!

Yes, I bought the cauldron stuff. I will stir-fry it tomorrow, I promise. How do you know when it is cooked?

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