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My Vegan Baby
Baby talk Baby talk
My Vegan Baby
March 29, 2018
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Baby talk Baby talk
My Vegan Baby
March 29, 2018
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Back in the summer of 2015, my husband returned from his stag do to find that his wife-to-be had decided to become a vegetarian in his absence. I think at the time he wasn’t quite sure if it was a fad, or some sort of last minute pre-wedding diet (so not needed, the stress did the dieting for me!!), but he quietly humoured me as I began to change the way I ate.

Two and a half years later, and a fad it was not! In fact, not only am I still vegetarian, but both our 17-month-old daughter and I are also now vegan. You could say we’re a family of polar opposites. Whilst Jason is still an avid meat-eater, I love to focus my energies on growing organic vegetables to create delicious homemade, plant-based meals with which to feed our family. Grow-your-own… can you tell we live in the countryside?!

I’m often asked if we’ve disagreed over the choice to raise Ottilie on a vegan diet, but it’s really never been an issue.
We have great respect for each other’s food choices, and Jason trusts that I carefully research and balance Ottilie’s diet and is in total support of the way I’ve chosen to feed her. And in fact, he’s adamant that since I switched to cooking only plant-based meals at home, we’ve never eaten so well.

Though it seemed daunting at first, feeding a baby or toddler a vegan diet is way easier than you’d imagine. Granted, you might have to fend off questions about protein intake from your parents, friends, and Sue-from-next-door (protein is in literally everything!!), but as long as you’re feeding your child a wide range of wholesome plant foods, you can’t really go wrong. And I also like to give Ottilie a comprehensive multivitamin, so I know she’s getting a boost of things like vitamin B12 and iron that can be more difficult to eat adequate levels of on a vegan diet.

My best advice would be to follow your instinct with how it feels right to feed your child, do your research, seek support from like-minded parents online, and to strike the balance that feels right for you. Oh, and not to sweat the small stuff too much…I walked into my mother in law’s house recently after she’d done some childcare for me to find Ottilie elbow-deep in a packet of Quavers and looking pleased as punch!!

Here are a few of my go-to meals for Ottilie:

Breakfast:

  • Avocado on toast, topped with hemp seeds (healthy fats on top of healthy fats, great all round!)

  • Porridge with plant-based milk and blueberries (frozen in winter, fresh in summer)

  • Wholegrain cereal (Ottilie’s really into Alphabites right now, no added sugar and so delicious I keep eating them too!) plus a green smoothie with lots of seeds and spinach blitzed in

Lunch:

  • Homemade sushi (so simple and cheap to make at home!). Fill with avocado, cucumber, finely sliced carrot, sweet red peppers (the options are endless!), with extra veggies and fresh fruit.

  • Tofu chunks, peanut butter noodles and sweet corn

  • Baked beans on toast, topped with nutritional yeast

Dinner:

  • Butternut squash, chickpea and coconut curry with rice or grains

  • Pasta with a blitzed-up veggie sauce (finely chopped mushroom, mashed up sweet potato, spinach – really cram it in!)

  • Green vegetable risotto (made extra creamy with cashew-based ‘cheese’ sauce)

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