If you have made the choice to center you and your baby's diet around plant based whole foods, then congratulations. You have chosen an educational and life transforming path. It has been shown that an optimal diet for people is one that is centered on plant foods. If you do it right you can expect many benefits. To get the most from this diet, be sure your baby gets plenty of calories from a wide variety of whole food sources. This is the best way to insure sufficient proteins as well as other nutrients.
In the first six months of life a baby should be nursing, and will receive the very best form of nutrition this way. Breastfeeding provides optimal immune protection, and reduces risks of allergies. It also reduces the risks of illnesses, not to mention that it is a bonding experience for the mother and baby. It is recommended, that if a substitute must be made, only an iron-fortified formula would suffice.
When your baby is ready to eat solids, they will usually tell you by reaching for what you’re eating or staring at your food. Most fruits and veggies, in their raw state, are excellent for babies. For a baby under 12 months pureed fruit or veggies are perfect foods. Give your baby one new food at a time, and don't add any thing new for a few days after. This will allow you to see if your baby has an allergic reaction to any new food. Start feeding your baby solids once per day, and gradually increase to 3-4 times per day. A normal serving for veggies and fruit would be 2-4 tablespoons, and for cereal grains, about 1 tablespoon to start, increasing to 1/4 to 1/2 cup over time.
You can introduce finger foods to your baby at around 9 months. They should be soft and/or easily dissolve in your baby's mouth. At 1 year old your baby will be ready to eat a lot of foods in their whole form as you do.
Let babies decide when they are finished eating. They will eat more and less on different days. They may not want to eat as much if they are teething or not feeling well. This is the time to encourage fluids, of which most should be water.
A wide variety of fresh organic fruits and veggies provide ample amounts of carbohydrates, amino acids, minerals and vitamins.
Some important nutrients to support your vegan baby's optimal health are Vitamin B12, DHA and Vitamin D. These 3 are the least easily acquired through a vegan diet.
There are some good plant based sources of Vitamin B12. Don't hesitate to give a B12 supplement to your toddler if you are concerned they are not getting enough from food.
Give yourself and your baby plenty of omega 3s from great sources. Our bodies can synthesize alpha linolenic acid (omega 3s) into DHA, which is essential for optimal health.
Get plenty of sunshine. At least 10 to 15 minutes a day to get plenty of vitamin D.
~Taken from NaturalNews.com, originally published Feb 9. By Sue Rodriguez. Complete article available on request.
Tofu products can be used in baking. Soy flour can also be used both as a binder and for a small amount of leavening action.
In whole grains, all varieties of greens and legumes supply the same nutritional needs.
Julius Gilbert White, in his book, Abundant Health, strongly urges the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. He realises many will find it difficult to discard many of the animal by-products. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of several such foods. He lists four advantages of eggs; high quality of protein, source of Vitamin A, B1, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, and D; source of iron and phosphorus and also fat. The disadvantages are that they are acid-forming; they add to an excess of protein; they are quick to ferment in the digestive tract; they aid growth of germs, they are potential carriers of animal disease and they are a ready source of allergies. The advantages can be supplied by other foods from the plant kingdom and thus the overall effects of animal foods are detrimental.
~God's Plan Natural Foods Cookbook, Thomas Jackson, page 15.
Recipe of the Month
6c water (add more if needed)
2 potatoes, cubed
3 stalks celery, cut thin diagonally
2 medium onions
1/2 c cooked navy or pinto beans
1/3 c cooked rice
140g pottle tomato paste
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8t white stevia powder (opt)
4c cabbage shredded
Cook potatoes with carrots, celery and onions in the water. Add beans, rice and flavourings, bring to the boil. Add cabbage and cook until cabbage is cooked, but still a bit crunchy. Makes a real nice hearty soup. Yields 6-8 good servings.
~Taken from God's Plan Natural Foods Cookbook, page 123.