Raising a vegan toddler.

steven robertson

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Hi everyone,

Me and my wife had only been vegan for 1 year when she fell pregnant with our son, we decided we wanted our son to be vegan too but we were both still learning. When he was born we tried everything to breastfeed but it just didn't work we were both absolutely gutted. We unfortunately had to use formula for his milk instead of our chosen preference of breast milk, we thought about soy formula but was put off by other vegan friends advice not being clear on the safety of it.

So long story short he will soon be 12 months and we are unsure what path to take regarding his milk. All health and NHS guidlines say he should be on whole cows milk or breast milk for another year, to me this just suggests that hes going to have to be on formula for another year but i really dont want that. His solid eating is really good he tries pretty much everything and loves fruits and veggies. The only thing that is messing us up is his milk, any advice from vegan parents would be amazing please.
 

amberfunk

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I was fortunate enough to have been able to breast feed my son for a little past a year. After that though we started giving him a mixture of soy and coconut (not at the same time just different times through out the day). He was also eating avocados and some other solid foods. As long as they are getting a variety of foods and quite possibly a vitamin (ask pediatrician) they should be fine.
 
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steven robertson

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Amberfunk thank you so much for your reply.

So after a year you stopped breastfeeding and gave him a soy or coconut milk? I was just worried about the lack of calories in non breast/formula milk and i keep being told by my doctors that babies need the high fat content in cows milk.

its very confusing.
 

Three Chickpeas

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Hey Steven, welcome to the forum.

Due to a complicated birth, Mama Chickpea was unable to produce adequate milk for the first few months of Little Chickpeas life, so we too had to supplement with cow's milk formula. Once milk production issues had been resolved, baby was getting enough vitamins and minerals from Mama. We then introduced a mixture of Coconut milk and avocado for the extra fat and calories. Little one's weight shot up like crazy after this! We also introduced a blend of flax seeds and hemp seeds into the mixture as well for added fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Little one loves it and is super healthy and active.
 
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amberfunk

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I stopped after about 14 months or so. We did soy and coconut milk plus dairy free coconut yogurts, avocado and a bunch of other foods. He got enough fat and had no trouble growing or learning.
 
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Lou

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I don't think toddler's need cow's milk.
But I'm also not sure asking a random bunch of vegans for advice is a good strategy. At best you will get anecdotes and testimonies.

There are some great resources both in the library and on the internet. I would hit the library. The amount of fact-checking and careful analysis is always much higher in printed published books.

The Vegan Baby and Toddler Feeding Guide has gotten great reviews and the advice in it is "evidence-based". If it's not in your public library - it's $10 on Amazon.

Alicia Silverstone is not a doctor - just a celebrity, so maybe her advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But her Kind Life books and blogs are very well respected. She is also a mom. Maybe her kid is about the same age as your kid, too. So check out her books and blogs. My library has a good selection of her books so check the library first. Amazon has the Kind Mama for $10. and while you are at the library and Amazon you might check out the other vegan baby books.

And here are some trustworthy Internet resources
PETA's Healthy Children
Raising a Healthy Vegan baby
Forks Over Knives - FAQ for parents.
 

Tomas

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Cow milk can never be "mandatory" for a toddler seeing it is literally food for a calf and not a baby human and different species need different things and high fat, as mentioned before in this thread, can be obtained from healthier foods than cow's milk. There's also almost no healthier food available than fat-rich avocados. Also, fat from milk is the same fat you get from advocados.
You can compare nutrients in advocados with nutrients in milk on the foodstruct website. I would post a link but seeing I haven't been a user for more than 48 hours this is not allowed but hopefully you find what you'll need.
 

Thabo

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My aunt had the same problem however she quickly learnt that it is vital for vegan babies to get as much breast milk while they are young since they will be using soy or vegan milk later on in life.

A Child doctor even suggested that she does the breastfeeding longer. My reason for this is because it helps give the baby adequate nutrients before diving into soy milk which has less protein and calcium.

These are some good resources you can refer to which talk about this as well,
https://veganweight.com/is-a-vegan-diet-good-for-babies-the-truth-exposed/
https://www.parents.com/baby/feeding/nutrition/how-to-raise-a-vegan-baby/

This should answer all or most your questions since this is a critical issue.

Best wishes
 

katherinep

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Hi everyone,

Me and my wife had only been vegan for 1 year when she fell pregnant with our son, we decided we wanted our son to be vegan too but we were both still learning. When he was born we tried everything to breastfeed but it just didn't work we were both absolutely gutted. We unfortunately had to use formula for his milk instead of our chosen preference of breast milk, we thought about soy formula but was put off by other vegan friends advice not being clear on the safety of it.

So long story short he will soon be 12 months and we are unsure what path to take regarding his milk. All health and NHS guidlines say he should be on whole cows milk or breast milk for another year, to me this just suggests that hes going to have to be on formula for another year but i really dont want that. His solid eating is really good he tries pretty much everything and loves fruits and veggies. The only thing that is messing us up is his milk, any advice from vegan parents would be amazing please.

Maybe consider putting formula on the side with solid eating and for another year and then slowly take him off of the formula.
 

AliceRyley

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Hi everyone

I hope you're all keeping safe and don't mind me crashing this thread.

I'm reaching out to anyone in the Greater London area who is a vegan mother and interested in taking part in an online interview with me to share your experience.

I'm am currently carrying out doctoral research on vegan parenting and hoping to speak to a range of vegan mothers at various stages, from pregnancy through to having school aged-children.

I would welcome anyone who might be interested to drop me a line here, or at aryley01@mail.bbk.ac.uk, and I can provide you with more info to see if you or anyone you know would like to take part!

All the best

Alice
 

Thundergleep

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Well, first of all, he's not a baby cow, so he doesn't "need" cows milk.

What he needs is fat, calories, protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

My son was breast fed, but he was transitioned to Silk Protein Nut Milk due to its high fat content. Since most plant based milks are advertising a "low calorie" option to cows milk, most of them lack sufficient calories and fat for children.

My son just turned 5 and he's over the average height for his age (a common concern for skipping cows milk). You do have to pay attention to nutrition when feeding your kid a vegan diet (but to be fair, everyone should, not just vegans). 😉
 
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