View Full Version : Any vegan parents out there?

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Aug 6th, 2006, 04:35 PM
I've got a 14mth old son who i am trying to bring up vegan - my husband is supportive, but a little worried and both grannies think i'm being 'ridiculous' and perhaps i could feed him some dead animal carcuses now while he needs 'building up' and go on to being veggie when he's older hmmm....interesting theory :rolleyes:

Anyway, the thing is he hardly eats anything (despite my best efforts) i'm lucky to get 2 pieces of friut and one small meal (pulses or nuts wit veg and a carb) in him every day - he is still breastfeeding loads inc in the night unfortunately for me!! ha!!

I'm trying not to stress too much as i'm thinking that as long as i get all my nutrients then he is getting all his vits etc in my milk - however i'm also wondering do i need to give him a vitamin supplement too?

I know i should really be discussing this with the health visitor but just dont want a lot of unsupportive stuff thown at me for the whole vegan thing - not sure what reaction i would get!

Any thoughts welcome! :)

Aug 6th, 2006, 06:54 PM
Hi Chocs4me. I have a vegan son but he's 11, so much older. This is meant to be a really good book so I've been told http://www.vegansociety.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=242

I would advise getting clued up on nutrition before speaking to your health visitors as its highly likely they will try to advise against veganism I would think.

Aug 6th, 2006, 07:06 PM
I actually have that book - feeding your vegan infant with confidence - it is really good and i've also read plant based nutrition and health and the becoming vegan book so i've got a lot of confidence in the nutrition bit - its like i can easily provide him with the food he needs it just a case of how to get him to eat it!!!! :rolleyes:

I suppose i'm just not too sure how much i can rely on my milk as giving him all the vitamins and minerals and stuff i suppose! Maybe i should just trust mummys milk and trust him to eat more when he's ready etc - i think the pressure is on a bit when your bringing up your kid vegan to get it right cos people are just waiting for an opportunity to say i told you so he needs meat etc or at least thats how it feels for me!

Lilac Hamster
Aug 6th, 2006, 07:37 PM
Sounds like you are doing great, and breast is best of course!

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to make an effort to be around people who are totally supportive of your veganism and if you find it necessary please have no qualms about dumping out of your life the kind of negative anti-vegan people who want you to fail. Their opinions do not matter, as they are wrong anyway, you and your child matter as does your mental state which is not helped by such ppl! Sometimes you have to be ruthless for your own and your child's sake. Do you really want to be around ppl who undermine you and end up giving him non-vegan things when he is a bit older?

I'm sure your local vegan and veggie group would be a good place to meet others, maybe even some other young families, it is very important at this time to be around other vegan and veggie families for support.

Some of veggie and vegan families in the north-west meet up from time to time at a playcentre, I think it's in the Preston area. The lady who runs it is called Karoline, some of them on the Yahoo group are vegan although I think she is vegetarian, and she is listed on the Vegetarian Society local network pages.

Some health visitors are probably deep down a bit anti-vegan but they have been forced to accept it more now along with other minority groups. It's not "Politically Correct" any more to disrespect vegan beliefs and lifestyle since they can certainly have no evidence it is bad for your child to be raised vegan. They know that if they come across anti-vegan, they could have a complaint against them for being prejudiced against a minority group, which will not make them look good (at least we can thank political correctness for something!). So in this one point I disagree with Maisie, I don't think many would now even dare to advise against veganism itself! Maybe they did that more when Maisie's son was little but things are changing. It would be too much like advising parents who are Muslim not to raise their kids in their religion! My eldest is 13 and in all the ignorance from meat-eaters I have come up against I was never told I should not bring my kids up vegan! That is totally crossing the line of what is acceptable for a professional to say to you.


Aug 6th, 2006, 07:47 PM
They know that if they come across anti-vegan, they could have a complaint against them for being prejudiced against a minority group, which will not make them look good (at least we can thank political correctness for something!). So in this one point I disagree with Maisie, I don't think many would now even dare to advise against veganism itself! Maybe they did that more when Maisie's son was little but things are changing. No my son wasn't vegan from birth, I'm just cynical of people. Its good to know that they won't speak against veganism though :)

Aug 6th, 2006, 08:32 PM
I commend you on making the best health decision that you can for your child. Anyone (including doctor's) that tell you that being vegan is unhealthy is obviously misinformed or just plain ignorant.
My daughter became a vegetarian at 13 and then vegan when I did (around a year ago). I have absolutely NO concerns about her eating habits and wish that I had raised them vegan.
I think that as long as he's breastfeeding, he's fine. Just keep providing lots of healthy snacks and meals (along with what you're already doing) and he'll eventually come around.
I agree about finding a support group for vegan parents. I think you could learn a lot and begin to feel confident about what you are doing. We all know it's the smart thing to do so don't feel guilty about it or question it.

Aug 7th, 2006, 11:59 AM
Hi Chos4me

My little one is 9 months old and being raised vegan i wouldnt have it any other way despite annoying family members saying its wrong although this has stopped now i told them its my way or the highway lol! seriously though I was exactly the same regarding health visitors. i stopped going to "baby clinic" because i was sick of being questioned. i went for her 8 month check up though but i was so worried id get the horrible health visitor who just picked at everything but it was someone else who was very supportive she didnt lecture me on vaccinations either but thats a different story. you seem like you're doing a great job though,but you could go to a hv and ask advice but if they arent helpful you dont have to see them again?:)

Aug 7th, 2006, 04:30 PM
My son (7) and I are Vegan. My ex-wife was livid when my son started demanding non animals food. Seeing that we have 50/50 custody, my son eats Vegan here and Vegan at his mom's place but seeing that she refuses to support him 100%, when it's her week with him he uses his allowance to buy Soy milk and other Vegan foods that she refuses to "waste" her money on.

Here at home we don't purchase anything animal or animal tested (food, other products).

Aug 7th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I wouldn't worry too much, my daughter is 18 months and she has days when she doesn't really eat but drinks milk by the gallon, is your son walking yet? perhaps if he isn't he just isn't very hungry, but when he is using up more energy his appetite will kick in, I understand your waryness of the healrh visitor, just go with your own instincts, if your son seems healthy to you then he most probably is:)

Aug 7th, 2006, 07:41 PM
I don't think the problem you're having sounds exclusive to veganism at all. Your Health Visitor may have some useful advice.
I must say that I had very positive support from health visitors for my children (now 8 and 6) . She even came over and let me talk to her for over an hour about how awful I was feeling at the time.

pat sommer
Aug 8th, 2006, 11:06 AM
I had a horrid health visitor. I finally just cancelled our appts at the last minute or didn't answer the door if she dropped by. Seriously, improved my mental health!

Now, I thought my little lamb was the booby champion of the world. Good to hear there are other mums willing to give kids what they know is best. Take a good look at the little dear and decide whether his hair and skin and teeth look good/ energy levels and sleep patterns are okay/healing time and resistance to illness normal. Focus on the concrete and varifiable and let the relatives hear about it! He will eat when he is good and ready. Yup, only by 18 months did food amount to something resembing meals. Oh, the tiny size of toddlers stomachs! I just offered bites every couple of hours and by weaning (my idea not hers) at 2 1/2 she took 4 small meals and 2 snacks. Now at 4 she competes with her papa to clean her plate.

Aug 30th, 2006, 03:32 PM
Thanks to everyone who has replied to my post and sorry it has taken me so long to say thanks!! I dont get a lot of time to sit and concentrate on writing a reply - my son started walking by 10 months and hasnt say still evey since and it seems that for some reason I am not allowed to sit still either whilst he is awake anyway!

Anyway - i have got lots of reasurrance from your replies, and i have re-read them a few times as more criticism has come sailing in from various people - the news that we are bringing up our son vegan had spread like wildfire - gosh i feel like the beckhams, that what we do with our lives is soooooo interesting everyone is talking about it apparently and we've had the 'loud mouth one' (who hasnt even got children) on the phone telling us he needs meat and we have no right to make the decision for him, he will be ostricised at school, bullied for being different etc etc

Anyway, as to the topic originally, i've looked through a few of the threads here about food for toddlers to see what other parents are doing and have got some brilliant ideas which have worked well so far (touch wood) and i am starting to feel less worried about his food now so all is good!!

Thanks again!

Aug 30th, 2006, 03:43 PM
really glad you are feeling happier now, my 2 (vegetarian) kids also started walking around 10months as well and have so much more energy than other kids I know, one of my friends reckons it is because they are not fed meat so their digestive system doesn't get bogged down with it, thus making them more lively.
It drives me crazy when people say what right does a parent have to decide whether their kids are vegan or not, every parent makes decisions about what their kids eat,be it healthy or horribly unhealthy, it is part of being a parent and you do the best you can at that time, just like all the other decisions you make about all the other aspects of their lives!

At least you are giving people something to gossip about:)

Sep 20th, 2006, 10:16 PM
My daughter was a horrible eater until about 6 months ago. She is now 7 1/2 years old, and decided to go veggie on her own. I have to puree her vegetables and mix them into muffins and other things (she gags on the skins). Some kids are just like that. We used to worry about her a lot, but she has finally developed an appetite, and is now constantly asking for food and snacks. For years, all she would eat was pasta and soy sauce. Are you giving your son a vitamin supplement?

Sep 21st, 2006, 07:14 PM
My son hardly ate anything. He is now nine and i still find it strange when he says he is hungry. I can still hear the screams from his high chair lol. Anyway my point is try not to worry to much, some kids are just fussy, some just want milk and fluid and a few snacks and some are like my little one and eat everything in sight. Good luck.

Sep 29th, 2006, 02:20 PM
I work with children under 5 the amount children eat (solids) depends on the child, if a child at 14mths is being breast feed (which is great by the way) they will more than likely have adequate nutrition. No wonder why his is not eatting - its not the food that he doesnt like, its that fact that he is getting all he needs from you. Please dont stress- if a child is hungry they will eat!

Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:07 PM
Thank you for sharing your experiences with your children - it is very reasuring!! We seem to have a history of fussy eaters in our family and my husband and his brother are fussy too! It must be genetic! I will persevere giving him healthy stuff and i'm sure one day i will wonder why i worried so much!!

On a seperate note, i just must have a quick rant - my mum has just nipped in on her lunch hour from work and i caught her giving my son some of her HAM sandwich!!! :mad: And it wont have even been good quality ham - my mum buys reduced price (on sell by date) packs of cheap sandwich ham freezes them and then upon defrosting eats the packet for up to a week - so buy the end of the week it is all crispy!! No wonder she has stomach problems!! And to top it all apparently - 'it was only a bit and its not really meat is it!' Duh - ham means pig - how much more meaty do you want?! And then she again expressed her concerns over sons vegan diet especially calcium, again i offered her the vegan society infant nutrition book to have a look at to reassure her but it has been left on the sofa...like...if you are really genuinely concerned then read the darn book!!! If not then stop going on at me about it!

Rant over - thank you to anyone who 'listened' :)

Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:11 PM
Blimey Chocs, i would have exploded if my mum did that. Well if anyone fed my kids meat :mad: Poor you.

Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:48 PM
:eek: ^

I have a Vegan child who is ULTRA fussy - in fact he has some serious taste and texture phobias, and smells everything before eating/drinking it (he's Autistic).

I do worry about his restricted diet - but it would be restricted whether or not he was Vegan so I just do my best and give him a Vegan multi-vitamin aswell as his meals :( .

He mainly eats potaotes, veggie sausages, bread/toast, fake-Bacon sandwiches, Vegan Couveture chocolate, soy ice-cream, chips, and crisps :o . He will occasionally eat an Apple or drink some fruit juice, or eat some pasta for a change, but he's not over keen and if I keep on giving them to him he eventually just refuses them for months :mad:.

It's upsetting, especially as he was weaned onto fruits and veggies as a baby/toddler. He's the kind of child that will starve himself if I serve him food he dislikes - he won't even drink if I don't get the right brand of squash :rolleyes: .

Oct 2nd, 2006, 10:59 PM
PygmyGoat - I was like that as a kid, I hardly ate anything, mostly pasta, sandwiches etc But Im really glad I wasnt forced to eat anything I didnt like, because as I grew up I could try all these other things without being like "yuck I remember having to eat that when I was little, I hated it then, so I prolly wont like it now"

and hey I became a vegan - whoever thought that? =D

Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:14 PM
^ Thanks for that - so many well-meaning people tell me 'he'll eat it if he has no choice', etc, etc, but that's just not true. We do tell him what would be good food choices, and there are always fruits and veggies available - I just have to hope that he'll change his eating habits with age :rolleyes: .

Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:22 PM
yeah I guess people often tend to say these things, but I bet you know whats right for your son, just keep offering him a variety of food and sooner or later he´ll try something - and actually like it!
Best of luck with that! =)

Oct 4th, 2006, 08:54 AM
@chocs, re rant......oh no, how horrid! I banned all animal foods in our house, lets hope she'll 'come round' soon! You need to be able to trust your family at least!!
Do you ever make food for your mum so she can know how delicious it is?

Oct 9th, 2006, 10:23 PM
dh and i have a beautiful 12 1/2 month fully vegan girl. shes been vegan since conception. she just started solids at 1o months and still breastfeeds every 2-3 hours. (as im sure you all know there is no such thing as vegan formula in the US). im a super lacticist about vegans (especially) breastfeeding. it's soooo VERY important.
we are a natural family living type family an do not vax,use cloth diapers, wear our baby only eat organic etc etc.
so great to see other vegan parents!!!

pat sommer
Oct 10th, 2006, 09:49 AM
we too did the full-lactation all vegan pregnancy and child-rearing. They wanted baby to have vits (she couldn't have solids periodically) but I got around that with proper planning. What I couldn't get around was the non-vegan innoculations... I could have done what some think is 'best for their own kids' but I also love other children. There are so many out there who are immune suppressed (her granny has cancer) or too young for the jabs that are counting on us to protect them from some horrible illnesses. Without the majority of us covered we put the most vulnerable at risk.
I wait in hope of the development of vegan vaccinations.:(