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Growing a healthy toddler!

May 4, 2011

For the most part, my husband and I are feeding our little two year old daughter, BL, a vegan diet.  ( I say for the most part, because once I finish our chicken coop, we will be eating our happy little chickens’ eggs).  We’ve had quite a few comments on this, all of them well-meaning, with only her health and well being in mind.  Because of that, I thought I’d do a post about what, exactly, a vegan two year old eats, and how she gets all the good stuff she needs to keep growing into a healthy little kid.

I want to start off by saying that I know what it’s like to have the foods you eat laughed at or criticized, so this will not be a post bashing meat-eating diets, but rather a post boosting up vegan diets!  What you eat is something that everyone should seriously think about.  Where does your food come from?  What does it do once it’s inside your body?  These are things I always think about while I’m shopping, while I’m preparing meals, and while I’m packing snacks for trips to the park.  I’m constantly looking online at nutrition tips for toddlers, I have quite the library about vegan nutrition (I’m currently reading this, and will do a post about it as soon as I’m done.  I love it so far!)  and I also discuss what BL eats with her pediatrician, who has been extremely supportive and helpful.

The main things I’ve learned about toddler nutrition is that they easily get the protein they need from plant based sources.  Toddlers are tiny, so their nutritional requirements are tiny!  Right now BL needs 2 toddler size servings of protein a day.  This morning she had a slice of sprouted grain toast (4g of protein) with a tablespoon of peanut butter on it (4g of protein) and she’ll have a glass of soy milk with her snack, so she’s already set!  Calcium and vitamin D are also really important.  Girlfriend loves broccoli, which is a good natural source of calcium, as are spinach and kale (both found in her favorite green juice!).  She also has fortified apple juice and soy or almond milk, and we both chew calcium gummy bears each day!  In addition to calcium chews, we take mulit-vitamins everyday.

How about dinner?  Here is a healthy little dinner BL ate the other day:

Broccoli soup, two whole wheat crackers and a calcium chew, steamed broccoli, and quinoa.  She wasn’t too into the soup, but she tried a bite, which was my main goal.  She gobbled up all the broccoli (after dipping it in organic ketchup, go fig?) and she ate two helpings of quinoa (an amazingly healthy food).

I’m extremely conscious of everything she eats and whether or not it’s meeting her little toddler nutritional guidelines.  Trust me when I say, her health is more important to her Daddy and I then anyone else on the planet, and we would never do anything to hurt her!  That is why we feed her this way, and that’s why we are constantly looking for more information on the healthiest choices we can make for her!

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