Concerns over being vegan/vegetarian

drummerboy

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Hi all, great to be here. I've been looking for somewhere to discuss my worries for quite some time now, and apologise that my very first post is based on negative feelings!

Bit of background history, me and my partner have been together for around 11 years. She had been a vegetarian since childhood, and it's something I adapted to after a few years of being together.

Six years ago we welcomed our first daughter into the world. We actually fed her some meat during her first 2 years because we had concerns whether or not being vegetarian was beneficial enough for a baby/toddler. However my partner decided after a few years that she felt meat was not necessary. But, when our daughter was a few months old, we began to notice her poo was always green and very liquified. We visited our doctor a few times who wasn't concerned and just said it was a virus/mild infection. However we then noticed blood, and we demanded to be referred to a paediatrician, who suggested that my partner cut out dairy because the symptoms matched up with a dairy intolerance passed through breast milk. We were also referred to a dietician who said when our daughter gets to weaning, we can challenge the intolerance by introducing mild dairy products. We did, and unfortunately the green diarrhea returned. My partner then decided she wanted to go dairy free full time, because she'd never liked the dairy industry - even though she loved cheese! I didn't mind because I grew to like the taste of soy milk, even though the cheese back then was horrid!

Fast forward to today, we have two daughters, and live mostly on a plant based diet except for eggs which we get from our own rescue hens - I know many vegans disagree with this, so sorry for upsetting people. We try really hard to make sure the children especially get calcium enriched foods, along with fortified foods, and we try and sneak in the good veg thats high in iron and folates that they tend not to like.

I have three areas where I'm concerned:

Both of our daughters are fairly small in comparison to friends. My eldest 6yr old is thinner than her friends, while my youngest (4) is quite short, although she is pretty solid and strong - something the teachers mentioned! My family always go on about how other kids are big and strong, and constantly question our decision to be vegan (apart from eggs).

I do have concerns about their health long term. Unfortunately I've been on quite a few meat vs vegan groups on facebook, and I am getting swayed that being plant based could be detrimental long term - especially for a developing child. There are loads of ex-vegan videos online about how people become very poorly and how vegan children are malnourished.

Finally, there's the food itself. After reading up about meat-free foods, I'm worried about the amount of processed foods we eat. We probably eat things like quorn pieces, meat-free sausages, burgers etc around 4-5 nights per week, along with things like quorn slices in sandwiches and vegan pasties for packed lunches. I make my own seitan at times, but keep on reading that this is bad for you as the flour is highly processed. We try and make things using lentils, pulses and legumes (falafels from chickpeas, lentil loaf etc), but I've read recently that consuming lots of this stuff can cause leaky gut and stop absorption of nutrients. It just seems like you can't win!!

Sorry one last point, we do take vitamins and supplements. We buy high quality multi-vitamins for the children along with algal omega chewies, and we just buy supermarket branded stuff.

Phew, I'm glad I managed to get this off my chest, and sorry it's such a long read, but my partner is just completely dismissive of my worries and my family are not really supportive of the vegan thing. Unfortunately I have suffered from anxiety since a teenager, and do have obsessional style thinking, and this worry has been going round and roung my head for weeks.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Emma JC

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welcome to the forum

I don't have too many words of advice other than suggesting that you watch some of the vegan parent youtubers to get an idea of what they eat and what they feed their children. Of course, this is anecdotal and any real medical concerns should be addressed to a medical professional, preferably a plant-based nutritionist/doctor.

Some suggestions would be Ellen Fisher (she has cookbooks available), Plant-Based Juniors (I have never watched this channel), here is a link to a video by T Colin Campbell click here, and here is another one put out by Rip Esselstyn click here.

Eating a lot of processed foods is a challenging to health whether you are vegan, vegetarian or otherwise. Whole foods are obviously so much better for us and for children and maybe using something like Cronometer would help you to know for sure that you and your children are getting the proper nutrition.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend. www.spiritualmatchmaking.com
 

David3

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Hi all, great to be here. I've been looking for somewhere to discuss my worries for quite some time now, and apologise that my very first post is based on negative feelings!

Bit of background history, me and my partner have been together for around 11 years. She had been a vegetarian since childhood, and it's something I adapted to after a few years of being together.

Six years ago we welcomed our first daughter into the world. We actually fed her some meat during her first 2 years because we had concerns whether or not being vegetarian was beneficial enough for a baby/toddler. However my partner decided after a few years that she felt meat was not necessary. But, when our daughter was a few months old, we began to notice her poo was always green and very liquified. We visited our doctor a few times who wasn't concerned and just said it was a virus/mild infection. However we then noticed blood, and we demanded to be referred to a paediatrician, who suggested that my partner cut out dairy because the symptoms matched up with a dairy intolerance passed through breast milk. We were also referred to a dietician who said when our daughter gets to weaning, we can challenge the intolerance by introducing mild dairy products. We did, and unfortunately the green diarrhea returned. My partner then decided she wanted to go dairy free full time, because she'd never liked the dairy industry - even though she loved cheese! I didn't mind because I grew to like the taste of soy milk, even though the cheese back then was horrid!

Fast forward to today, we have two daughters, and live mostly on a plant based diet except for eggs which we get from our own rescue hens - I know many vegans disagree with this, so sorry for upsetting people. We try really hard to make sure the children especially get calcium enriched foods, along with fortified foods, and we try and sneak in the good veg thats high in iron and folates that they tend not to like.

I have three areas where I'm concerned:

Both of our daughters are fairly small in comparison to friends. My eldest 6yr old is thinner than her friends, while my youngest (4) is quite short, although she is pretty solid and strong - something the teachers mentioned! My family always go on about how other kids are big and strong, and constantly question our decision to be vegan (apart from eggs).

I do have concerns about their health long term. Unfortunately I've been on quite a few meat vs vegan groups on facebook, and I am getting swayed that being plant based could be detrimental long term - especially for a developing child. There are loads of ex-vegan videos online about how people become very poorly and how vegan children are malnourished.

Finally, there's the food itself. After reading up about meat-free foods, I'm worried about the amount of processed foods we eat. We probably eat things like quorn pieces, meat-free sausages, burgers etc around 4-5 nights per week, along with things like quorn slices in sandwiches and vegan pasties for packed lunches. I make my own seitan at times, but keep on reading that this is bad for you as the flour is highly processed. We try and make things using lentils, pulses and legumes (falafels from chickpeas, lentil loaf etc), but I've read recently that consuming lots of this stuff can cause leaky gut and stop absorption of nutrients. It just seems like you can't win!!

Sorry one last point, we do take vitamins and supplements. We buy high quality multi-vitamins for the children along with algal omega chewies, and we just buy supermarket branded stuff.

Phew, I'm glad I managed to get this off my chest, and sorry it's such a long read, but my partner is just completely dismissive of my worries and my family are not really supportive of the vegan thing. Unfortunately I have suffered from anxiety since a teenager, and do have obsessional style thinking, and this worry has been going round and roung my head for weeks.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
.
Hi drummerboy, and welcome to the forum.

Below I list specific information on vegan diets for young children. The information cites mainstream health/nutrition authorities, as well as "mainstream" vegetarian/ vegan authorities. Hopefully these sources will be useful to both your wife and your family.



The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - the world's largest association of Registered Dietitians - makes this statement regarding vegetarian diets:

"It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes."
Link: Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets - PubMed



The American Academy of Pediatrics makes this statement regarding vegetarian diets for children:

"A plant-based diet that includes eggs and dairy ensures your child will have the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. An egg- and dairy-free vegan diet can also be healthy and complete, if sources of B12, calcium, zinc, vitamin D and iron are maximized."
Link: Plant-Based Diets: Are They Good for Kids?



The Vegetarian Resource Group - a vegan organization led by Registered Dietitians - has published this very detailed webpage regarding vegan diets for children. Link: Feeding Vegan Kids -- The Vegetarian Resource Group . The article includes some extremely important points:

"The best way to assure that your children achieve their ideal rate of growth is to make sure that they have adequate calories. Some vegan children have difficulty getting enough calories because of the sheer bulk of their diets. Children have small stomachs and can become full before they have eaten enough food to sustain growth. The judicious use of fats in forms like avocados, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and seed butters will provide a concentrated source of calories needed by many vegan children. Dried fruits are also a concentrated calorie source and are an attractive food for many children. Teeth should be brushed after eating dried fruits to prevent tooth decay.

Are very low fat diets appropriate for children? Some parents wish to reduce their children's risk of developing heart disease later in life and markedly restrict the fat in their children's diets (10 to 15 percent of calories from fat). In some cases, a very low fat diet can compromise a child's growth because the child is not getting enough calories. There is no evidence that a very low fat diet is any healthier for a vegan child than a diet that has somewhat more fat (25 to 35 percent of calories from fat). Fat should not be limited for infants less than 2 years. It should be between 30 and 40% of calories for 1 to 3 year olds, and between 25 and 35% of calories for 2 to 3 year olds, and between 25 and 35% of calories for children and teens (7). If you are using a lower fat diet than this, check that the child's growth is normal and that the child is eating enough food to meet nutrient needs. For more information see Nutrition Hotline: www.vrg.org/journal/vj2016issue1/2016_issue1_nutrition_hotline.php.

Diets of young children should not be overly high in fiber since this may limit the amount of food they can eat. The fiber content of a vegan child's diet can be reduced by giving the child some refined grain products, 100% fruit juices, and peeled vegetables. Sources of protein for vegan children include legumes, grains, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, nuts, peanut butter, tahini, soy hot dogs, soy yogurt, and veggie burgers. Some of these foods should be used daily. Children should get enough calories so that protein can be used for growth in addition to meeting energy needs."

Link: Feeding Vegan Kids -- The Vegetarian Resource Group



Drummerboy - because the early years of childhood development are so important, it might be wise to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian who specializes in vegetarian/vegan nutrition and in pediatric nutrition. In the UK, you can find local Registered Dietitians through the website of the British Dietetic Association. Link: Freelance Dietitians Group | BDA | Freelance Dietitians UK . They make it easy to select from RD's located near you, with any nutrition specialty that you might need.
 
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drummerboy

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Thanks for the advice both, I've looked a the plant based juniors and feel a bit reassured that we have a reasonably good diet. I've also looked up someone who specializes in vegan nutrition within children, and the closest person lives 55 miles away from us. There's an option for zoom consultations, so I may e-mail her tonight. My partner thinks I'm completely overreacting here though.

Here is a sample of what the children eat, just so you can have an idea. This week's menu, not including snacks of fruit, crackers with cheese, glasses of soy/coconut milk, crisps, nuts, chocolate, homemade lollies inbetween etc. I tend to use either olive or coconut oil when cooking.

Breakfast (same each day) - bran flakes, granola, chia seeds, sliced banana + fortified soy milk. Glass of fortified soy milk. On weekends sometimes we'll have porridge with cashew nut butter, or eggs on toast.

Monday Lunch - Egg, tomato and spinach tortilla wrap. Cucumber sticks. Soya yogurt. Apple. Grapes. Homemade flapjack.
Monday Dinner - Homemade falafels, chunky chips, stir fried broccoli with seaweed flakes and spinach. Homemade sponge pudding and ice cream.

Tuesday Lunch - Shop bought Quorn and vegetable pasty. Humous. Carrot sticks. Satsuma. Homemade flapjack.
Tuesday Dinner - New potatoes, vegan cauliflower cheese, shop bought meat free pie. Soy Custard with homemade sponge pudding.

Wednesday Lunch - Egg mayo roll. Tomatoes and cucumber. Homemade sponge cake. Blueberries.
Wednesday Dinner - Homemade curry with vegetables and quorn pieces, thickened with coconut cream. Rice. Yoghurt (soy/coconut) with local honey and fruit.

Thursday Lunch - Tomato and vegan cheese sandwich. Jam tart. Rasperberries. Dried fruit. Chocolate brownie.
Thursday Dinner - Wholewheat pasta. Sauce made using avocado, peas, garlic and soya milk. Linda mcartney meatballs. Yoghurt with jelly. Kiwi Fruit

Friday Lunch will be - Left over pasta with grated Vegan Cheese. Boiled Egg. Grapes. Homemade sponge cake.
Dinner - Quesadillas filled with roasted tofu, sweetcorn and tomato sauce. Chips. Dried Fruit and nuts. Ice cream or yoghurt.

I usually make the flapjacks using oats, vitalite, tahini and some chia/flak seeds. I used to put nuts in, but the school asked us not to because of allergies within some children.

Does all that sound ok, and are there areas that can be improved?

Regarding the fats, what about things like soya cream? Elmea have brought out single and double cream in the past year, which I sometimes put in with smoothies and milkshakes.
 
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Lou

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My partner thinks I'm completely overreacting here though.

You might be but I don't know if you can be too careful.


Here is a sample of what the children eat,

@Emma JC already suggested CronOmeter. I second the motion.
in fact, instead of typing all that stuff for us to look at you could have typed it into CronOmeter and you would be looking at the results right now. If you need help with CronOmeter you can send me a PM and I will try and help.

One more thing. I don't have any kids so I can't personally recommend this but I've heard some good things about the books Alicia Silverstone has written for vegan moms. She has some stuff on line for free too. or you can check out her books from the library .
 

shyvas

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Thanks for the advice both, I've looked a the plant based juniors and feel a bit reassured that we have a reasonably good diet. I've also looked up someone who specializes in vegan nutrition within children, and the closest person lives 55 miles away from us. There's an option for zoom consultations, so I may e-mail her tonight. My partner thinks I'm completely overreacting here though.

Here is a sample of what the children eat, just so you can have an idea. This week's menu, not including snacks of fruit, crackers with cheese, glasses of soy/coconut milk, crisps, nuts, chocolate, homemade lollies inbetween etc. I tend to use either olive or coconut oil when cooking.

Breakfast (same each day) - bran flakes, granola, chia seeds, sliced banana + fortified soy milk. Glass of fortified soy milk. On weekends sometimes we'll have porridge with cashew nut butter, or eggs on toast.

Monday Lunch - Egg, tomato and spinach tortilla wrap. Cucumber sticks. Soya yogurt. Apple. Grapes. Homemade flapjack.
Monday Dinner - Homemade falafels, chunky chips, stir fried broccoli with seaweed flakes and spinach. Homemade sponge pudding and ice cream.

Tuesday Lunch - Shop bought Quorn and vegetable pasty. Humous. Carrot sticks. Satsuma. Homemade flapjack.
Tuesday Dinner - New potatoes, vegan cauliflower cheese, shop bought meat free pie. Soy Custard with homemade sponge pudding.

Wednesday Lunch - Egg mayo roll. Tomatoes and cucumber. Homemade sponge cake. Blueberries.
Wednesday Dinner - Homemade curry with vegetables and quorn pieces, thickened with coconut cream. Rice. Yoghurt (soy/coconut) with local honey and fruit.

Thursday Lunch - Tomato and vegan cheese sandwich. Jam tart. Rasperberries. Dried fruit. Chocolate brownie.
Thursday Dinner - Wholewheat pasta. Sauce made using avocado, peas, garlic and soya milk. Linda mcartney meatballs. Yoghurt with jelly. Kiwi Fruit

Friday Lunch will be - Left over pasta with grated Vegan Cheese. Boiled Egg. Grapes. Homemade sponge cake.
Dinner - Quesadillas filled with roasted tofu, sweetcorn and tomato sauce. Chips. Dried Fruit and nuts. Ice cream or yoghurt.

I usually make the flapjacks using oats, vitalite, tahini and some chia/flak seeds. I used to put nuts in, but the school asked us not to because of allergies within some children.

Does all that sound ok, and are there areas that can be improved?

Regarding the fats, what about things like soya cream? Elmea have brought out single and double cream in the past year, which I sometimes put in with smoothies and milkshakes.

I'm not a medical expert but children and also adults require necessary nutrients and protein. Growing children's requirements differ and they do need enough calories and nutrients to help them grow and have a healthy body. If you have any concerns perhaps your GP could refer you to a dietician who could give you the guidance you need.
I know that people who bring up children on either a vegan/vegetarian diet supplement them with vitamin B12, iron and zinc. If your children aren't hungry after a meal and growing at a normal rate, I think that you're getting it right. Do they see a GP on a regular basis?

Do you make meals that include pulses and seeds ? Instead of jelly perhaps fruit would be a better option. Fruit crumbles made with wholewheat flour and ground almonds also make healthier and filling puddings. Instead of a tomato and vegan cheese add some sliced tofu/seitan or a bean burger etc.
As they eat eggs, you could make them a kale and broccoli quiche for both protein and extra vitamin C.

Nut roast with all the trimmings. Any leftovers make excellent sandwiches and wraps with added vegetables.

Corn tortillas make excellent wraps filled with roast vegetables/lentil loaf/soya mince etc

Flapjacks; I use less (or no) golden syrup and substitute with prune or apple puree and add lots of nuts and grains.

Homemade Peanut butter & oat cookies as a mid morning snack.

Add some sliced avocados for the egg and toast breakfast or cooked tomatoes/mushrooms.

Wholewheat couscous with chickpea and vegetable stew.

Wholewheat pasta, vegetable and Quorn bake topped with vegan cheese/ground almonds. Rich in fibre,protein and totally delicious for hungry children.

I only use either soya cream and oat cream (in the UK Oatly) and it makes the most perfect substitute for dairy cream. Have you tried the Oatly range of yogurts and ice cream. They taste really like the real thing and are very low in sugar.

The following links may give you some guidance and answer some of your questions. Each and every person is unique and these are rough guidelines.




Mod Post: Please do take into account that all posts (as defined in the forum rules) regarding health/nutrition are only based on personal opinions/and or experience and should never replace a health expert's advise or guidance.
 

drummerboy

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Thank you so much for the further replies both, I'll have a look at Cronometer, that sounds like it could be useful. Really glad people are helping me out here!

Yes they do get supplements, we buy good quality multi vitamins and omega 3 dha epa from Vitabiotics.

No they don't see a GP on a regular basis, but we did see a dietician with my first daughter after having to go dairy free. She was always a bit below the percentile, which was expected when not consuming dairy, but the dietician never seemed concerned.

Regarding pulses and seeds in meals, we do make things like lentil loafs and stews with beans/pulses in. I also make a humous type spread using beans instead of chickpeas.

With yoghurts I tend to buy either alpro with extra protein, or Tesco branded dairy free products. Sometimes coconut, but that's quite expensive. They didn't like the Oatly stuff when they tried it last, but I often add cream to curries and on top of chilli. They like fruit smoothies, so I usually make that with soy milk, fruit and some cream.

I think looking at their overall diet, the main thing lacking is the fats, so I'm going to add a bit more seeds to flapjacks and try and get them to eat more nut butters - I bought two jars of almond butter last night. Avocado is important, but they don't like the taste, but I try and hide that in places like sauces and sandwich fillings.

The problem is they can quite fussy. They don't like avocado on its own, my eldest has gone off lots of fake meat products, they don't really like tofu and often complain when I make homemade seitan! When I make things like wraps with soya pieces or quorn, my eldest will pick out the 'meat' which is quite frustrating.

They do eat lots of fruit. Banana for breakfast, apple as a snack, soft fruit for puddings and more in the evenings. I'm sometimes concerned it's too much, especially with the article above that says childrens diets shouldn't have too much fibre.
 
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shyvas

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With yoghurts I tend to buy either alpro with extra protein, or Tesco branded dairy free products. Sometimes coconut, but that's quite expensive. They didn't like the Oatly stuff when they tried it last, but I often add cream to curries and on top of chilli.

I think looking at their overall diet, the main thing lacking is the fats, so I'm going to add a bit more seeds to flapjacks and try and get them to eat more nut butters - I bought two jars of almond butter last night. Avocado is important, but they don't like the taste, but I try and hide that in places like sauces and sandwich fillings.

They do eat lots of fruit. Banana for breakfast, apple as a snack, soft fruit for puddings and more in the evenings. I'm sometimes concerned it's too much, especially with the article above that says childrens diets shouldn't have too much fibre.

Alpro products are really amazing.

You can add extra seeds, nuts and a drizzle of olive oil to their food. The latter makes excellent salad dressings (vinaigrette) and you can drizzle it onto vegetables, rice and pasta.

I think that the basic rule is 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. If they tolerate fibre you can't really go wrong if they are eating one portion per meal. Children are like adults and they are unique. Some people tolerate certain foods and others don't.
 

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Alpro products are really amazing.

You can add extra seeds, nuts and a drizzle of olive oil to their food. The latter makes excellent salad dressings (vinaigrette) and you can drizzle it onto vegetables, rice and pasta.

I think that the basic rule is 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. If they tolerate fibre you can't really go wrong if they are eating one portion per meal. Children are like adultes and they are unique. Some people tolerate certain foods and others don't.

Many thanks again for the help.

I would add more things like soya cream, oatly, other meat free options, but I just get concerned about all the processed stuff. People who defend teh meat indsutry are using the whole processed argument against vegans now, and I think they have a point.
 
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Avocado- smashed as a sandwich filling or homemade guacamole with tortilla chips. Tiny cubes in a wholegrain rice and vegetable salad.
Fake meat- minced in cottage pie, pasties etc. Very thinly sliced and added to a bean chili or wholewheat pasta dish.
 

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Many thanks again for the help.

I would add more things like soya cream, oatly, other meat free options, but I just get concerned about all the processed stuff. People who defend teh meat indsutry are using the whole processed argument against vegans now, and I think they have a point.

Everything in moderation. Don't forget that typical western diets are loaded with junk food, ready made meals,trans fats and corn syrup so eating a tiny amount of 'healthier' processed food isn't going to poison anybody. :cool:
 

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Avocado- smashed as a sandwich filling or homemade guacamole with tortilla chips. Tiny cubes in a wholegrain rice and vegetable salad.
Fake meat- minced in cottage pie, pasties etc. Very thinly sliced and added to a bean chili or wholewheat pasta dish.
avocado edamame smash is good and a source of protein.
 

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What are people's thoughts on things like protein powders? I bought a bag of pea protein powder last week, mainly to add in with stews and soups, but my partner thinks its a bit overkill.

Also, if anyone here makes seitan, what do you use to cut the vital wheat gluten? I've mainly used soy powder, but we eat a lot of soy products anyway, and just wondering if it's better to use something else?
 

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avocado edamame smash is good and a source of protein.

This was just one example. Avocado (smashed or pureed) goes with anything you fancy. I use it a lot instead of spread (non dairy butter) and as a cold sauce for leftover faux meat dishes and or/vegetables etc.
 

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This was just one example. Avocado (smashed or pureed) goes with anything you fancy. I use it a lot instead of spread (non dairy butter) and as a cold sauce for leftover faux meat dishes and or/vegetables etc.

Nice, the pasta sauce I made last night was made using blended avocado, peas, coconut cream cheese and soy milk. Kids loved it.
 
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shyvas

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What are people's thoughts on things like protein powders? I bought a bag of pea protein powder last week, mainly to add in with stews and soups, but my partner thinks its a bit overkill.

Also, if anyone here makes seitan, what do you use to cut the vital wheat gluten? I've mainly used soy powder, but we eat a lot of soy products anyway, and just wondering if it's better to use something else?

I'm a fan of protein powder and use either soya or pea protein. I add the latter when making seitan and lentil/nut roasts and or veggie balls.
I usually add chickpea flour, yeast flakes and pea protein when making seitan.

I also like to add a scoop of soya protein when making fruit/vegetable smoothies and also for baking.
 
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I'm a fan of protein powder and use either soya or pea protein. I add the latter when making seitan and lentil/nut roasts and or veggie balls.
I usually add chickpea flour, yeast flakes and pea protein when making seitan.

I also like to add a scoop of soya protein when making fruit/vegetable smoothies and also for baking.

That's some good ideas, I hadn't thought of adding it to smoothies or baked foods. I often make smoothies and freeze into lollies so that'll be a good bit of extra protein. Thanks.

Also, don't know if people here are fans of sesame, but I added some tahini to flapjacks last week and the taste was incredible! A bit like those sesame snaps you can buy!
 

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chickpeas adds lyceine to the gluten, which is a complementary amino. I prefer to use blended beans but you can use flour. I do use chickpea flour in omelets, but dislike it's taste in seitan

What looking to me was dark leafy low oxalate greens like kale or collards for particularly calcium and iron, as well as veggies.

I get obsessing--just don't let the popularity of animal foods overlook how bad they are for health
You're doing great. Height and weight aren't always correlated with diet. If they're doing well is all that matters.
 
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chickpeas adds lyceine to the gluten, which is a complementary amino. I prefer to use blended beans but you can use flour. I do use chickpea flour in omelets, but dislike it's taste in seitan

What looking to me was dark leafy low oxalate greens like kale or collards for particularly calcium and iron, as well as veggies.

I get obsessing--just don't let the popularity of animal foods overlook how bad they are for health
You're doing great. Height and weight aren't always correlated with diet. If they're doing well is all that matters.

By blended beans, do you mean blending tins of beans and adding to the gluten flour, then cooking? Or is it blended bean flour?

Yeah, have to admit, we don't eat enough dark leafy greens. We eat spinach sometimes, but not enough. I'm quite partial to buttered spinach, but the kids hate it! We have vegetables with every dinner - but it's always either broccoli, cauliflower, peas, sweetcorn or carrots. We are growing chard in the poly tunnel so will be using that soon.
 

feather

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@drummerboy I was so glad to see you write that you know you could add more leafy greens. Also consider asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts. Even if they are just served, and tasted, they may start liking them at some point. Even as an adult I learned to really love them.

I agree, use cronometer, it's a great tool to give reassurance to you. It helped me a lot.

I would lastly suggest looking at a couple books by Brenda Davis. She also believes that we should get our information from medical studies and research, and her books reflect that. It is a stable view of what we should or should not eat and in what proportion. (not like the media, not like industry advertising, not like friends or family and their beliefs) It's important that the quality of information is exceptional and I'd say she is exceptional in that regard. I don't have any financial interest in recommending her. I'd love to own all her books, they are very good.

I bring up Brenda Davis as a source of good information because she is not sponsored by meat, dairy, egg industries, she chose not to be. You have mentioned legumes may cause deficiencies. I don't see that in any of the PCRM doctors recommendations, information coming from medical studies and research. That information is not correct. Brenda Davis also has percentages of calories from fat/protein/carbohydrates in her recommendations of an overall diet which would help you if you use a tool like cronometer.

Sounds like you are on the right track going in the right direction for good health for everyone in your family. You must love them so much! :heart_eyes: Keep up the good work!
 
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