As Benjamin is about to turn a year old (next week Saturday, June 2 to be exact), I am constantly thinking about all of the decisions my husband and I have to make. Ever since he was born, it seems like there is always something that threatens to really stress me out. First, it was what formula to give him as a supplement to breastfeeding, then it was to sleep train or not, what to do about daycare and me returning work (by far the MOST stressful of them all!).
Now that he is eating more food and drinking less milk, I am faced with the question, Do we raise him vegan/ vegetarian?
I know firsthand the benefits that living a plant-based lifestyle has given me (conceiving naturally despite having PCOS) so, I felt like I would be doing my child a disservice by feeding him foods that, in my opinion, would not give him the best health. We’re raising a future leader with a great future and his health needs to be the last thing to get in his way!
After talking to my husband (who is a meat-eater) and doing some research, we decided to allow him to eat meat when the time comes but, only certain types of meat. This means antibiotic-free, free-range meats only and even then he will probably only eat meat sparingly. I knew for a fact that I did not want him drinking cow’s mil so, we decided to transition him to Ripple milk (made from pea protein) after getting off of the Earth’s Best Organic formula. Can I add that Ripple tastes so good I’ve been drinking it myself instead of my usual almond milk.
I asked other plant-based moms for suggestions and scoured the internet for any credible information that would help. My concern was him getting enough protein with the transition to dairy-free milk and no meat/little meat but, so far, so good! The Ripple milk is 8 grams of protein per serving and I feed him lots of the same non-meat protein-packed foods that I eat. He has been eating chickpeas, tofu, and avocado very well, which I am glad about.
I’m going to see what his pediatrician says at his 12-month check-up but, my mind is pretty made up. We won’t restrict him from eating meat if he chooses to do so but, his diet will be primarily plant-based.
Are you raising vegan, vegetarian or plant-based kiddos? If so, what obstacles did you come across?