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Thread: raising children vegan

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Vegan Diet for Infants and Children

    Excerpt from http://www.scienzavegetariana.it/rub..._diet_en.html:


    "If you go to a gathering of vegans, you may notice the children. They often provide glowing testimony to the fact that vegan children can be healthy, grow normally, be extremely active, and (we think) smarter than average. Of course it takes time and thought to feed vegan infants and children. Ideally, all parents, whether vegan or not, should be thinking carefully about what their children eat. The years from birth to adolescence are the years when eating habits are set, when growth rate is high, and to a large extent, when the size of stores of essential nutrients such as calcium and iron are determined.
    In this lecture, I shall examine the health benefits of vegan diets for children, address potential concerns, present information on key nutrients, and provide guidelines for feeding vegan infants and children.
    The number of vegans in the UK today is estimated at 0.5% (1) but we do not know how many of these are children. In the US, a poll in 2000 commissioned by The Vegetarian Resource G roup found that about 0.5% of 6 to 17 year olds are vegan - they do not eat meat, fish, poultry, dairy products or eggs (2). Meat consumption is falling in all socio-economic groups: 14% of 6 month old children never eat meat (Office of National Statistics 1995) and meat only provides about 0.5 mg iron in the daily diets of children aged 18-30 months which is less than 7% of the recommended intake of 6.9 mg per day (National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Children aged 1.5 to 4.5 years. Volume 1. Report of the diet and nutrition survey 1995 HMSO London) .

    Health Benefits of Vegan Diets



    Several studies have examined the nutrient intakes of vegan children. One study of British school-age children found that they had higher intakes of fibre and that intakes of all vitamins and minerals studied (with the exception of calcium) compared to those of meat-eating children (3).

    I detail below the most recent study on the dietary intakes of vegan children compared to children on omnivorous diets.


    [Go to http://www.scienzavegetariana.it/rub...t_diet_en.html to see the table!]

    As you will see, with the exception of vitamin B12 and calcium, the intake of essential nutrient s was similar or greater in the vegan children than those reared on mixed diets. Protein intake for the vegan and omnivorous children was the same.

    This was only a small study and unfortunately no studies have been carried out since this one in 1992. However, Plamil foods since 1977 have produced case histories on over 100 children which are glowing testimony to the health of children brought up on a vegan diet.

    Vegan preschoolers in the US were found to have generous intakes of protein, vitamins, and minerals; their diets exceeded recommended intakes for all nutrients studied, again with the exception of calcium (4). Although cow's milk provides about two-thirds of the calcium in the diets of omnivore preschool children, in many parts of the world cow's milk is not consumed and calcium intakes are low. It is not surprising, therefore, that the vegan children had low intakes. However no estimate was made of the calcium provided by drinking water; in hard water areas this amounts to as much as 250 mg/day. Moreover, adaptation to low calcium intakes is well known to occur (24) and it was showed (25) that children receiving as little as 200 mg/day remained in positive calcium balance.

    The study showing lower calcium intakes by vegan preschoolers was conducted before calcium-fortified products were readily available so calcium intakes of vegan children may be higher now. Calcium is important for bone development. Around 45% of adult bone mass is accrued before 8 years of age, another 45% is added between 8-16 years of age and a further 10% accumulates in the next decade. Given the importance of calcium intake during childhood, all parents should ensure that their children's diets contain calcium rich foods and meet current recommendations for calcium for their age group.


    Regrettably, there have been few recent studies looking at the long-term effects of a vegan diet, especially as it is believed that the foundations for many chronic diseases of adulthood have their beginnings in childhood. For example processes initiating atherosclerosis and high blood pressure are thought to start very early in life and blood pressure and cholesterol levels have been shown to track from early childhood and to be related to childhood nutrient intakes (5, 6). Body mass intake tracks from early childhood with obese children being at an increased risk of obesity in adulthood (7). One in 10 children in Britain is overweight. In February this year for the first time, 4 white teenagers were diagnosed with adult type 2 diabetes, all 4 children were overweight.

    A study in 2000 (Thane CW & Bates CJ Dietary intakes and nutrient status of vegetarian preschool children from a British national survey J Hum Nutr Dietet 13:3 pp149-162) looked at the diet of over 1.000 eighteen month olds and compared omnivores with vegetarians (no vegans were included). The study concluded that apart from lower levels of serum ferritin, indicating lower iron stores, the higher levels of anti-oxidants in the blood, lower fat and sodium intakes of the vegetarian pre-school children could be considered more desirable than the omnivorous children
    When we look at potential long-term health benefits of vegan diets, we find that vegan children have higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, foods that are important for health. Vegan children have been shown to have lower intakes of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than non-vegetarian children (9, 10). This may be important in reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, and hypertension. Finally, vegan diets may introduce children to a greater variety of whole plant foods, thus establishing healthful lifelong eating habits.

    Vegan Infants



    Up to the age of four to six months, the diets of many infants of vegan parents and infants with non-vegan parents are identical. The perfe ct food for the young infant is breast milk and supplemental foods should not be introduced until after four to six months of age. Breast-fed infants of well-nourished vegan women tend to grow and develop normally (11). The infant receives many benefits from breast-feeding including some enhancement of the immune system, protection against infection, and reduced risk of allergies (12). In addition, human breast milk is the natural food for baby humans and quite probably contains substances needed by growing infants that are not even known to be essential and are not included in infant formulas. Nursing mothers also receive benefits including a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer, release of stress-relieving hormones, and, for some, convenience (12). For all these reasons, we strongly encourage breast-feeding.
    Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are key nutrients for the young infant who is being exclusively breast-fed by a vegan woman. Vegan women, whose diets contain little or no vitamin B12, produce milk with very low levels of vitamin B12 (13). Since this vitamin is important for the developing nervous system, it is crucial for the infant to have a reliable source of vitamin B12. Many vegan women opt to use a vitamin B12 supplement or rely on fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals, fortified yeast extracts, vegan milks and some soya products to meet both their own vitamin B12 needs and the needs of their infant. If the mother's diet does not contain a daily, reliable source of vitamin B12, we recommend the young infant should receive a daily supplement of vitamin B12."
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Question raising children vegan

    hey everyone,
    i'm new to the forum but i've read through many of your posts and seems like a great place. i just have a couple of questions for all you experienced or knowledgeable vegans. i've only been vegan for about a month or so now, but i absolutely love it and will never go back. my only issue is that i keep reading about being careful of becoming b12 deficient. i plan on buying those tablets or maybe i can come up with something better. my biggest concern though is my two children. my son is 21 months and my daughter is 10 months. my husband is being supportive of me being vegan (trying all my new recipes and trying to eat just what i eat) but he doesn't want our kids to be vegan beacuse he doesnt think itll keep them healthy. the idea of cooking or eating animal products already completely turns me off but i have been giving milk and cheese and eggs to them because i'm not sure how to supplement their diet. i've heard of b12 drops or whatever but they're both so finicky with their food and drinks i don't think i could slip it past them. is there *any* way to supplement while staying vegan (ie some type of veggie or carb) ? is it possible they're just too young for this lifestyle? oh i hope no one says yes to that because i so want this to work for our family (and save those animals!)i's appreciate any advice. thanks!
    crystal

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    Hey there and welcome!

    Although i don't have kids, I do have a very supportive omnivore boyfriend and let me tell you that we are very lucky, because a lot of people reject each other due to differences in values, which is a shame.

    My boyfriend and I have decided that when we do have kids, they will not necessarily be vegan. I will feed them vegan food in my home, but how can I justify what Daddy eats - and tell them that they cannot have it. I want them to make their own choices and i will educate them as much as possible so they can make the right choice for themselves.

    Also, I have a friend who was raised a vegetarian, and she often speaks of the humiliation and embarrassment of going to birthday parties and things where she was not allowed to eat the same as the other kids...now she is a full omnivore...a real meat and potatoes chick! I don't want to humiliate my child but I just want them to know...to be aware and as long as they know, I will support whatever path they choose.

    But if you do want to raise vegan children (bear in mind I am not at all anti-vegetarian/vegan children raising), there are plenty of calcium and B12 enriched rice and soy milks available, which can be substituted for cows milk in recipes and cooking or whatever. You can also get flavoured, like chocolate or vanilla soy milks, which your children might like. I like rice milk better than soy. Soy yoghurt (although I hate it) is available, calcium fortified too. You can also get calcium fortified orange juice, and I think most soy ice creams have calcium too. Other rich sources of calcium include broccoli, almonds and almond butter, sesame seeds and tahini, dried figs, calcium set tofu, most leafy greens as well. A lot of nuts, seeds and legumes have a substantial amount of calcium. I would suggest going to a good vegan website, like one from a national society or something, which usually gives tips on children's nutrition and pregnancy nutrition.

    Good luck!

  4. #4

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    I will start by saying please don't feed your children cheese. Dairy is not the friend of any child (or adult). There is a lot of information on the web and in liturature for parents about the negative effects dairy can have on a childs immune system. In my case it did horrible things including asthma, adolescent arthritis, and nasal infections.

    B12 can be purchased in vegan pills. Make sure the label calls the B12 cynocobalamin or conbalamin with folic acid. I purchase 1mg pills for a total of about $40 US a year. 1mg is approximately 160 years worth of B12 for a healthy person that does not smoke, drink alcohol or caffine, or processed foods. Unfortunately your body can not absorb muchl of that at once, but since the pills are so incredibly cheap you can take one (or part of one) every other day. I just chew them and then eat something with calcium (calcium is used in B12 processing). Also make sure they get Vitamin D of some sort. Actually there is too much to discuss about this, if you look around there are books on vegan children (the vegan society is a good start). This will be your best move since there is so much to know about nutrition and growth. This will help educate you, your husband, and your children about nutrition.

  5. #5
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    Default Same issue, another question:

    I am thinkning about another problem that can accure, when raising vegan children: This is a very good argument my husband said to me (he is a veggie but thinks we should give our-not-born-yet children meat occasionally).

    As a vegan, I wouldn't like my children to eat animal's products, both for health and/or moral reasons.

    But, as they grow up, assuming they will have different values then me, and that they would like to taste and eat dairy products (as someone already suggested: maybe a cake at someone's birthday?) or even, God forbid, meat products...

    Do you think they're bodies would be able to consume these kind of foods? My guess is that it would give them a hard time to digest these foods, and that means that as a parent I didn't give them much choise...


    So what do you say?
    Last edited by newmayaml; Jun 20th, 2004 at 10:57 PM. Reason: mistake

  6. #6
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    I have been a vegan for 14 years and my (vegan) husband and I are raising our two children vegan.

    To make sure they are as healthy as possible, we give them:
    - nuts and nut butters (almond butter)
    - veggies and fruit (as much as we can get in them)
    - fortified soy and rice milk (with calcium/vitamin B12/D)
    - children's multi vitamin. Very tasty. They love it.
    - Sublingual B12. The one we use has 3000 mcg per tablet. We give a quarter tablet to them twice a week. Also very tasty!
    - calcium fortified orange juice. We always give them this with dinner. Only drink with dinner allowed.
    - To make sure they get all their omegas, we give them Essential Max from Spectrum Essentials. We mix this through their cereal or almond butter.
    - We also buy bread and waffels with extra omega 3.

    My guess is that they are likely going to be healthier than the average child.

    So far they are in really good health (ages 3 and 5).

    Birthday parties are tricky! We always call ahead and ask what they will be having. We then make sure that we hand the host some similar stuff. Any other candy junk they give her, we replace with vegan things. I won't lie, she is starting to complain a tiny bit . She loves the stuff we give her, but is curious about non-vegan food. We are just going to take it one day at a time. I'll post again 10 years from now.

    You can also check out some links that can be helpful or some books.
    'Raising Vegetarian Children' is a really good book!

    Good luck!

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    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    its a problem! my daughter really only want to have cheese and crackers for packed lunch each day! she has a nut allergy, so i am concerned about starting her on peanut butter again (although it didnt seem to affect her before her major anaphalactic shock episode) even though she begs for it! she eats some fruit and veg in some form daily and occasionally wants a vinigar-soaked cuecumber sandwich as a change but i do get bored of preparing almost the same basic packed lunch every day!
    she doesnt like hummous or tahini, nor tomatoes, peppers. we have tried school dinners but it seems again the only veggie alternative is cheese salad
    sensible suggestions gratefully accepted

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    Quote cedarblue
    its a problem! my daughter really only want to have cheese and crackers for packed lunch each day! she has a nut allergy, so i am concerned about starting her on peanut butter again (although it didnt seem to affect her before her major anaphalactic shock episode) even though she begs for it! she eats some fruit and veg in some form daily and occasionally wants a vinigar-soaked cuecumber sandwich as a change but i do get bored of preparing almost the same basic packed lunch every day!
    she doesnt like hummous or tahini, nor tomatoes, peppers. we have tried school dinners but it seems again the only veggie alternative is cheese salad
    sensible suggestions gratefully accepted
    What about that vegetarian pate stuff? Lots of flavours, and easy to make. There's also that 'cheatin' range of meats. I use those a fair bit.

  9. #9

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    Cedarblue, if she's allergic to peanuts, don't give her any more. Peanuts have a symbiotic fungus, and it's actually one of the allergic substanced in peanut products. It's when you get one that has more of this fungus that the severe reactions show thier face, and you can't control that. There are other nut butters too. Almond butter is like a thousand times tastier than peanut butter and usually not an allergy substance, but watch out, it's up to ten dollars a jar (that's twice the price of natural peanut butter here).

    when I was little I ate a lot of whole fruits for lunch. It was great, I ate that way for about seven years with no complaints.

    It's no surprise she doesn't like tahini or hummus, both are usually kind of spicy and not sweet. Kids like sweet stuff. Anyway good luck.

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    Hi, strange how people tend to tell vegan mothers to be careful that their children don't suffer because of no meat or dairy. No-one seems to tell omnivores to be careful what they feed their children, and there have been many instances of harm to children from being fed meat sausage, cheese, etc, that do no good to children.

    May I suggest the following website? http://www.vegfamily.com/ where there is heaps of info for vegan families. It is a US website, and we have links to many such websites on our own Australian website at http://veganic.net

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    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Quote Cloudy
    What about that vegetarian pate stuff? Lots of flavours, and easy to make. There's also that 'cheatin' range of meats. I use those a fair bit.

    i see what you are saying and will give them a try, BUT kids can be really fussy even to the point that they will eat something on top of toast but not when its spread in a sandwich! she does love veggie ham, so could give that a try in a little box with some raw veggies etc but that diversion wont last forever!!

  12. #12

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    We have a 15 month old and we've been doing a lot of research lately concerning his diet. I'm vegan and my wife is a vegetarian. We have been keeping him on a vegetarian diet since birth. No soy formula. After much research we've decided to pull all soy from his diet except for occasional tofu and temphe. All the studies I've read from vegan and non-vegan sources both say soy may have adverse side effects on a child's body. Right now we've decided to add organic cheese (small amount) and fish once a week into his diet. As much as I hate the thought of adding fish to his diet I feel strongly that he needs a complete balance that a vegetarian and vegan diet won't give him and I would never forgive myself if my beliefs harmed him in anyway.

    He just had an abnormal growth removed from his shoulder three weeks ago and the doctors are scratching their heads wondering what caused it. They said it is benign, but it was unusual. I can't help wondering if my wife's high soy diet during her pregnancy and his current diet aided that in any way. We will not use any non-organic or non-free-range products though. I do feel strongly about that.

  13. #13

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    Quote neoveg
    Right now we've decided to add organic cheese (small amount) and fish once a week into his diet. As much as I hate the thought of adding fish to his diet I feel strongly that he needs a complete balance that a vegetarian and vegan diet won't give him and I would never forgive myself if my beliefs harmed him in anyway.
    Hi, what is it that you think he needs from fish or cheese that he can't get from plants? And what about the mercury in fish? Giving kids cheese or other cow milk based products also increase the diabetes risk. I don't think there is anything in fish or cheese that a kid can't get from a vegan source.

    There are many children being raised as vegetarians and vegans, and many books on the subject, and none of these claim that kids need fish or cheese!
    The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth." G. C. Lichtenberg

  14. #14

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    There are risks with any food I imagine. I will only use organic products and those that are free-range and I'm using limited amounts. Why fish? Omega 3's for one.

    Different types of omega-3s. Key omega-3 fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), both found primarily in oily cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Aside from fresh seaweed, a staple of many cultures, plant foods rarely contain EPA or DHA.

    However, a third omega-3, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oils, and certain vegetable oils. Although ALA has different effects on the body than EPA and DHA do, the body has enzymes that can convert ALA to EPA. All three are important to human health.
    Like I said I'm still doing research. I wasn't reared vegan. I converted In my twenty's. Mercury is mainly harmful in Tuna, Shark and one other fish I can't recall right now. I will only use smaller fish which are less likely to contain high amounts, if any, of mercury.

    Until now his protein has been provided from soy, seitan and various beans. I just don't want to mess w/my child's development in a negative manner.

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    Human body converts ALA into EPA and DHA, but if you're worried and want to be sure your child gets it all, just add DHA to child's diet. Check these vegan DHA foods:

    http://www.drfuhrman.com/dhapurity.html
    http://www.veganessentials.com/catal...supplement.htm

    See http://www.vegfamily.com/brenda-davis/tip11.htm for more details on DHA issue.

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    Oh, here's another (upcoming) vegan DHA food: http://www.devanutrition.com/products.html

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the links! I prefer the suppliment over fish. This is one area my wife and I go back and forth on. She's not totally convinced that our bodies can convert it and she's even more concerned about our son. I for one would not go the fish route. Growing up I can recall eating fish about 4 or 5 times .. I hated it and I am fine, so adding a suppliment would seem to do a better job than what I had growing up.

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    We give our kids a little bit of this EFA oil blend each day. We mix it into their cereal or almond butter. Whatever hides the taste. Regardless of any animal cruelty issues, I would much rather put this oil blend into their bodies than dairy or fish.

    I do understand though how you can be worried about whether your kids would thrive on a vegan diet. Most vegan parents have to raise their kids with no other vegan parents around. Reading online or in books that kids can be okay on a vegan diet is of course different than actually meeting other families first hand and hearing pediatricians say that it's okay.

    We personally are raising our children vegan because we are confident that we are giving them a well balanced diet. Because we are so focussed on their health, I actually believe that we are giving it the extra attention a lot of non-vegan parents lack.

    You might want to check out the Vegan Parenting/Children links on my links page.

  19. #19

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    Quote neoveg
    She's not totally convinced that our bodies can convert it and she's even more concerned about our son.
    I've had one bite of fish since 1972. My medical tests and health is brilliant. There are millions of people, most of them are not vegans, who never eat fish or Omega-3 supplements. There are millions of children of parents who don't eat fish. These kids never ate fish, because their parents didn't like fish. For some reason, vegans are much more paranoid about every possible nutrient that they think we need daily than other, health aware people.

    If it has gone so far that even gone so far that even vegetarians and vegans give their kids fish because they fear that supplements or other vegan sources ain't good enough, it's time to look at what it is that has taken the trust in nature and plant based food away from the vegan movement. As I just wrote in another post, some vegan sites and vegan "experts" might cause more harm than good.
    The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth." G. C. Lichtenberg

  20. #20

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    We've been talking about this some more and I thank you all for your comments and links. I'm going to nix the fish for him and try the supplements.

    I'm curious what some of you feed your kids (toddlers) on a daily basis. Here's a sample of what we do:

    - Morning - Oatmeal with agave or Cheerios and fruit
    - Lunch - all veggie burger (no soy) w/whole wheat bun and veggies
    - Dinner - pasta w/seitan and veggies or another whole grain and beans and veggies

    Right now he's on formula still for another year.

    This week I'm going to introduce flax seed and vegetable protein powder into his food .. introduce meaning sneak it in!

  21. #21

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    Good news! Good luck!
    The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth." G. C. Lichtenberg

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    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    neo, i was going to suggest flax seed for omega's, sprnkle it into oatmeal, soups, bakes etc, no-one well ever know! also if you know your child does not have a nut allergy, walnuts are a good source of omega's too.

  23. #23
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    Quote cedarblue
    neo, i was going to suggest flax seed for omega's, sprnkle it into oatmeal, soups, bakes etc, no-one well ever know! also if you know your child does not have a nut allergy, walnuts are a good source of omega's too.
    Don't flax seeds have to be ground up to be able to get the omegas out?

  24. #24
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    not sure - i buy ready ground flaxseed 'nutrasprout' brand or something like that anyway. i just sprinkle in on my cereal, pop it in bread machine when i make bread, pop it into homemade hummous, couscous, soups, chillis, curies etc, almost anything!
    (i guess you could pop it into a grinder or blender and whizz it up a bit?) you could add it to smoothies, fruit dishes etc too!

  25. #25
    ConsciousCuisine
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    The flaxseed meal is great, but be sure to keep the seeds in the freezer or refrigerator if you grind whole ones yourself and grind it fresh each time. I would give my toddler both flax meal (put into anything not heated, see suggestions above *don't heat*) and also supplement with the oil Wanda uses or Dr Udo's Oil. Udo's Choice Oil made by Flora is absolutely the *best* oil on the market. Dr. Udo dedicated years of his life (and continues to) towards the study of " Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill" (it's the title of his book. Look for it, request it at the library or buy it! Incredible information) I spoke to him directly when I met with him a few times about raising Vegan Children. I told him the supplements I give my daughter, the foods she eats etc. and he said that I was on the right track, it was a healthy diet and supplemets schedule we were on as a family. I'll share the information with you if you want and tell you what we do.

    Be Well!
    Last edited by ConsciousCuisine; Oct 12th, 2004 at 02:44 PM.

  26. #26
    Veganmama
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    i give my toddlers, flaxseed oil on their muesil every morning and we also use an omega3 margerine alternative. it has no hyd- oils in it

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    Bringin up vegan children must be very hard - for the parents and the children. Hard for the parents who are concerned for the health of their child and often because parents who are vegan are aware of brain-washing in omnivorous families and dont want to do a vegan brain-wash on their own so they want to educate their children so that the children choose veganism instead of having it imposed on them whicih may lead to rebellion.

    Hard for the children because they are different an will often be unable to participate in food activies with other children. It''s hard to be able to provide appropriate food to the children in all situations...

    I think if I had sufficient knowledge and support and assurance I would bring up my children vegan at home and try to teach them right but if they wanted to try non-vegan items at a Bday party then I would be OK with that once they reached a ig enough age to be able to make the true decision on their own.

    I worry very much about how I owuld bring up vegan children healthily an even more so how I would manage pregnancy and being vegan and continuing appropriate exercise. I worry that I would not have a doctor who would support me and hep me instead of telling me I was wrong and putting my baby at risk.

    Still first thing to do would be to get a bf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. #28

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    Quote Fruitbat
    I think if I had sufficient knowledge and support and assurance I would bring up my children vegan at home and try to teach them right but if they wanted to try non-vegan items at a Bday party then I would be OK with that once they reached a ig enough age to be able to make the true decision on their own.
    If you would not allow them to eat what they wanted at birthday parties when they were toddlers, don't you think they would eat a lot of birthday cake later in life when they finally could make their own decisions?

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    Quote DontJustDoSomething, SitThere
    If you would not allow them to eat what they wanted at birthday parties when they were toddlers, don't you think they would eat a lot of birthday cake later in life when they finally could make their own decisions?
    It all depends on how you go about it of course.

  30. #30
    Veganmama
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    well we are out and about alot, playgroups, parties creche. and i've tried very hard to handle this situation so firstly my girls don't feel like freaks. I don't mind if they feel a bit different as that's ok but i don't want them to think it's a big deal. So say it's a birthday party, i make a big beautiful Vegan birthday cake also so the girls can have cake to and i make a fruti platter as they will always eat fruit. i just say to them that has cows milk in it and we don't eat cows milk, who drinks cows milk i ask them. Baby cows they say

  31. #31
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Good work, Vegan Mama! I do the same thing...we always send snacks to share for sleepovers and make treats for the Birthday Parties and such...it makes such a difference to plan ahead!

    We had a great experience recently with a birthday party-it was a first of many more, I hope! The parents bought vegan pizza fixins just for my daughter! They all made homemade pizza and everyone had the opportunity to eat vegan too! They had non vegan options too, but it sure was nice of them to go through the effort...it made my daughter feel like she fit in as far as eating was concerned...

  32. #32
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    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    We had a great experience recently with a birthday party-it was a first of many more, I hope! The parents bought vegan pizza fixins just for my daughter!
    That is so great! I love people that are considerate like that!

    We also keep busy baking, buying, decorating, bringing vegan treats to our kids events. It's nice to know that we are not alone in this!

  33. #33

    Question Child on Vegan diet

    Hi there-

    I am not a vegan- however my sister is a vegetarian and my brother and his wife are vegans. I commend them for their lifestyle choices.

    I have done a lot of reading and understand that a vegan lifestyle is not an unsafe lifestyle for a child and that they can receive all of the dietary requirements as vegans. I do not question their choices-

    But this brings me to my question-

    My brother and his wife have a 5 year old daughter- she is being raised vegan also. She is beautiful and smart but often sick. I have 5 children and have probably seen it all! My neice just seems sick far more than she should be. I don't want to offend them by suggesting that there may be something in her diet that she is lacking, because they can get defensive about their lifestyle, but I do know that certain combinations of foods make up complete protiens and such and that being vegan takes some planning to get adequate amounts of some essentials such as b-12 and calcium. (or at least that is my understanding)

    I am just concerned. The latest is that she is now vomiting at least one time per day and it does not seem that she is sick with a virus. She is losing weight. They are taking her to the Dr thank goodness, but the Dr has seen her so many times and I don't believe she has even run bloodwork on her.

    I have suggested that possibly she has an allergy to a food she is eating, or that she may be anemic, but they are not hearing me. When I do, I am seen as attacking their lifestyle.

    Are there any suggestions on how I may broach this -

    I appreciate any suggestions- Thanks

  34. #34

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    i'm definately not a nutrition or health expert, but the fact that she's throwing up so much makes me think it might be something other than a deficiency. does she take any vitamins? while it is very possible that she isn't getting enough of certain nutrients, i'm not sure that vomiting points to that. i hope that she is okay, and i'm glad that they are taking her to a doctor.

  35. #35
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Hi, there are several books on raising children as vegans or vegetarians (try amazon.com!). I've seen some of them and there is no connection between eating healthy, plant based food and vomiting as such. But read on...
    It's fully possible to eat veg'n food and still eat unhealthy food: refined flour, sugar, artificial sweeteners, too much fat, too little frsh food etc. If my kids would be often sick, and changes in diet didn't seem toi help, I'd talk with someone who have knowledge about a veg'n life style and alternative treatment methods, possibly combined with knowledge of traditional medicine. There are also many elements that influence our physical condition (in addition to diet), and general advice is almost impossible. If a child has been vomiting daily for more than a few days, it could be very serious.

    Kids often pick up virus and bacteria from other children at school or in kindergarten, and get sick for a few days now and then. My experience, and a lot of research, shows that you are more likely to get sick on a standard diet than on a healty, plant based diet. An unhealthy, plant based (or meat based) diet isn't a good choice for anyone.

    B12 needs special attention (see our Health subforum), and of course there is a risk that any veg'n person (or other person) could get problems due to a diet that's not varied or out of balance. If someone is often sick, child or not, I'd seek personal/professional guidance. My experience (I'm a father myself) is that veg'n kids (and adults) are more healthy than people who consume animal products (check this page), and I would be a lot more worried if you told me about a meat eating kid that would be often sick or (currently) vomit daily. But of course, veg'ns can get sick too.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  36. #36
    I eve's Avatar
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    I've often seen comments on a veggie or vegan forum, where a well-meaning relative seeks advice regarding a vegan niece or nephew who is sick. Guess I'm just a cynic, but if the brother and wife are vegans, surely they know how to get info on raising vegan children? Can you suggest, shakeabop, that they are more than welcome to look in on this forum?
    Eve

  37. #37

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    I'm a vegan and rarely sick. Certain family members are always sick. Is it because they're omnivores? Possibly, but I try not to jump to conclusions. Like someone said, vomiting doesn't sound like it would be related to an animal-product-free diet.

    Not only is a vegan diet "not unhealthy," it is, in my opinion, the healthiest and most natural way to live. If the child were on an omnivorous diet, imagine the consequences: high cholesterol; increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer; obesity; calcium deficiency (yeah, you read that right); vitamin deficiency; food poisoning; BSE; et cetera.

    Thank God these parents are taking care of their child and protecting it from diseases such as those above. I wish all parents were vegan with vegan children; the world would be a healthier, happier place.

    P.S. Thank you for writing a polite, uncondescending post.

  38. #38

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    Thank you- I appreciate your suggestions. I just want to state that any child that is sick often I would be concerned about and would question his/her diet regardless of whether they are vegans. Certainly any child who eats meat is at risk for illness and inappropriate nutrition-and probably more so based on the reading I have done. I am not jumping to conclusions that it is diet, but it is just one of the factors I wanted to know more about as I have no practical experience as a vegan.

    Thanks

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    Ravelston, there's a great book entitled "Becoming Vegan" by Davis and Melina. It has a wealth of information in it for all ages. Vegan children can be even healthier than nonvegan children.
    Welcome to the vegan lifestyle!

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    Quote cedarblue
    i do get bored of preparing almost the same basic packed lunch every day!
    she doesnt like hummous or tahini, nor tomatoes, peppers. we have tried school dinners but it seems again the only veggie alternative is cheese salad sensible suggestions gratefully accepted
    My 2 (aged almost 10, and 11.5) have been vegan (mostly!) since birth, and they too take packed lunches to school every day. They don't like to vary much but you might get some ideas from the sandwiches they have -
    Marmite and (vegan) cheese.
    Marmite on it's own.
    Cheese (with a packet of crisps as a treat - grated cheese and crisp sandwiches are lovely)
    Cheatin' ham with tofutti cheese spread
    Tofutti cheese spread with marmite (great on crackers)
    Cheatin' turkey,chicken or beef (with brown sauce - gross but they love it)
    Different types of pate
    'Jelly' and peanut butter (whoops sorry, I see she can't have that) They discovered this on holiday in the states and love it now.
    Pitta pocket with salad (grated carrot, cheese, raw mushroom, shredded lettuce, cucumber, cold, sliced up boiled potatoes, etc)
    Cold veggie sausages or sos rolls
    cold pasty or pie
    Ocaasional samosas or spring rolls
    Carrot sticks

    They always take a vegan yoghurt, fresh fruit, mini box of raisins or a fruit muesli bar type thing, fruit drink or squash and 'something nice' for after, as well as a botle of water (which all pupils are allowed to have on their desks all the time)

    I say they've been 'mostly vegan' because they have had dairy ice cream, pizza and chocolate on occasion. Mainly because I really didn't want them to become alienated when going to friends parties and such, but now they are older, they undertsand more, and actually don't want to eat the non vegan stuff So even as just 90% vegans, they're in better health than their peers, have always been above average weight and height, and get this - have never had a day off school sick. Impressive huh? Sorry, showing off now, I'll shut up and go away
    ~I used to be sane but it drove me mad~

  41. #41

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    There's a wide variety of things you could do. PB&J's, apple's w/choc syrup and peanut butter dip, celery and peanut butter, hoagies (seitan strips w/tomato sauce and vegan cheese .. pick up a copy of the Uncheese Book), Tofurkey (doesn't use Iso proteins) subs, rubens, chili w/lentils, pasta dishes, tofu salad, pizza, pasta salad w/tofu ...

  42. #42
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Quote Left of Centre
    My 2 (aged almost 10, and 11.5) have been vegan (mostly!) since birth, and they too take packed lunches to school every day. They don't like to vary much but you might get some ideas from the sandwiches they have -
    Marmite and (vegan) cheese.
    Marmite on it's own.
    Cheese (with a packet of crisps as a treat - grated cheese and crisp sandwiches are lovely)
    Cheatin' ham with tofutti cheese spread
    Tofutti cheese spread with marmite (great on crackers)
    Cheatin' turkey,chicken or beef (with brown sauce - gross but they love it)
    Different types of pate
    'Jelly' and peanut butter (whoops sorry, I see she can't have that) They discovered this on holiday in the states and love it now.
    Pitta pocket with salad (grated carrot, cheese, raw mushroom, shredded lettuce, cucumber, cold, sliced up boiled potatoes, etc)
    Cold veggie sausages or sos rolls
    cold pasty or pie
    Ocaasional samosas or spring rolls
    Carrot sticks

    They always take a vegan yoghurt, fresh fruit, mini box of raisins or a fruit muesli bar type thing, fruit drink or squash and 'something nice' for after, as well as a botle of water (which all pupils are allowed to have on their desks all the time)

    I say they've been 'mostly vegan' because they have had dairy ice cream, pizza and chocolate on occasion. Mainly because I really didn't want them to become alienated when going to friends parties and such, but now they are older, they undertsand more, and actually don't want to eat the non vegan stuff So even as just 90% vegans, they're in better health than their peers, have always been above average weight and height, and get this - have never had a day off school sick. Impressive huh? Sorry, showing off now, I'll shut up and go away

    ho hum, all good suggestions....but
    she doesnt really like to eat bread, "its boring"!
    i might try the spring rolls, but i will get "they were cold!"

    now i rotate this kind of thing
    mild cheese in crackers
    strong cheese grated in sandwich
    mixed salad pot of cubed feta, cue, carrots, olives
    grated cheese in pitta pockets
    veggie ham with a separate buttered bagel

    i also add some fruit, raw carrot or celery sticks, juice and a treat of either a choc snack (twix, kitkat, jaffa cakes) or packet of crisps. i dont mind these little treats, as i know she eats a proper dinner at night and has a good diet at home.

  43. #43
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Quote cedarblue
    ho hum, all good suggestions....but
    she doesnt really like to eat bread, "its boring"!
    i might try the spring rolls, but i will get "they were cold!"

    now i rotate this kind of thing
    mild cheese in crackers
    strong cheese grated in sandwich
    mixed salad pot of cubed feta, cue, carrots, olives
    grated cheese in pitta pockets
    veggie ham with a separate buttered bagel

    i also add some fruit, raw carrot or celery sticks, juice and a treat of either a choc snack (twix, kitkat, jaffa cakes) or packet of crisps. i dont mind these little treats, as i know she eats a proper dinner at night and has a good diet at home.

    Oh my! SOOOO much cheese! IS she constipated? I would definetly give her a calcium supplement, as the phosphorus balance in dairy is all off and consuming these products make it nearly impossible to utilize the calcium in the "food" that she's eating. What about an avocado spread or nut butter spread instead of the cheese? Can you get a vegan substitute for the butter? Can you get Earth Balance or VEgan Gourmet Cheese there? What about a thermos with pasta and soy parmesean and Earth Balance? (It will stay hot)

  44. #44
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    Oh my! SOOOO much cheese! IS she constipated? I would definetly give her a calcium supplement, as the phosphorus balance in dairy is all off and consuming these products make it nearly impossible to utilize the calcium in the "food" that she's eating. What about an avocado spread or nut butter spread instead of the cheese? Can you get a vegan substitute for the butter? Can you get Earth Balance or VEgan Gourmet Cheese there? What about a thermos with pasta and soy parmesean and Earth Balance? (It will stay hot)

    no she is not constipated
    she will not eat avocado anything, it will also go brown before she gets to eat it
    no nut butters, she is allergic to nuts


    she cant be that unusual among kids in wanting a narrow choice in their lunch boxes, she eats no other dairy products ie has soy milk on cereal, doesnt do yogs, no milk, when i say butter i mean dairy free spread ( its all we have).

    she eats an excellent diet at home and i refuse to stress about her lunchbox, it is a small part of her daily intake and she balances it up well the rest of the day/week
    not all kids eat perfect diets, far from it. in contract to some i feel she makes fairly sensible choices for herself.

    if she had been brought up stricktly veggie or vegan then things may be different but thats the way it is right now, with her being allowed to exercise a certain amount of choice in her eating.


  45. #45
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Quote cedarblue
    no she is not constipated
    she will not eat avocado anything, it will also go brown before she gets to eat it
    no nut butters, she is allergic to nuts

    Sunflower seed butter and tahini mixed with maple syrup are great for those who don't eat nuts. Avocado doesn't brown when you mix lemon juice with it. Here's my daughter's favorite spread which she takes to school weekly and her friends beg her to share:

    1 avocado
    2 T. Nutritional Yeast
    1 T. Tahini
    1/2 tsp.Umeboshi Vinegar
    1 tsp. Miso
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    2 T. Sesame Seeds
    Garlic and Onion Powder to taste (we like 1/2 a tsp. of each)

    Smash it all up and make sure it is really smooth. This is soooo yummy! It will not brown!

  46. #46
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    I'm so glad to hear your child eats so well, you've obviously done a great job, but some of us have a hard time getting our children to eat what we want them to eat 100% of the time. It really doesn't make us bad parents, though!
    I know you're well trained in health matters, but most of us are just as concerned (on this forum), about the health of our families, and I know I wouldn't like to be judged by others on my parenting skills.

  47. #47
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    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    1 avocado
    2 T. Nutritional Yeast
    1 T. Tahini
    1/2 tsp.Umeboshi Vinegar
    1 tsp. Miso
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    2 T. Sesame Seeds
    Garlic and Onion Powder to taste (we like 1/2 a tsp. of each)
    I'm going to try this recipe!
    I have all the ingredients besides the avocado.

  48. #48
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    CC, you say to wuggy "Where did this come from? Not from me or my posts, so I ask you to honestly look within and see if this might be a projection of your own concerns"

    Rather judgmental don't you think?
    Eve

  49. #49
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    Good idea gert!
    So cedarblue, since she doesn't like bread maybe you could do wraps? Does she like tortillas? You could even do lettuce wraps. Send some big lettuce leaves with her and then a mix of whatever filling (fresh veggies, stir-fry, leftover chinese, really anything). Then she can build her own lettuce wraps at lunch.

  50. #50
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    this is a bit random, but i was recently reading a book on how to raise children given to u by the healthcare system for free, and one section was on how to raise children vegan. i was very excited! it seems like such a big step forward for the healthcare society to recognize people wanting to raise their children vegan, and it gives you tips on how to keep them healthy whilst doing so.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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