A.M. asks from Metairie, LA on April 05, 2009
J.H. answers from Dothan on April 06, 2009
My daughter has a skin condition caused by milk protein. We use Rice and Almond milk for her. Rice Dreams and Almond Dream brand from walmart. It is a shelf item and has the same 30% daily recommendation as the cows milk in the fridge. For drinking we get the vanilla flavored rice milk. Also one thingwe discovered with my daughter was for years we thought she had an allergy to bananas but it was the milk in processed banana products. So be careful with processed items. My husband loves the rice and almond milk the only reason we have cow's milk in the fridge it was free when we bought cereal.
L.B. answers from Fayetteville on April 05, 2009
Oh, you've got a lot to look forward to!
As a near-vegan, I have found that what others consider to be a restricted diet is actually a door to a lot of fun experiments and a whole world of everything else but chickens, pigs, cows, eggs and milk on my plate and in my cup. Since your son is only "restricted" from milk protein, you will have a lot less experimenting to do, but you have every other food on the planet except cow's milk (and foods with it in them) to feed your son. That's a LOT!!
As for calcium, plant-based foods generally provide a more absorbable form, anyhow, so there is no need to worry.
You can find a list of high-calcium foods at http://ag.arizona.edu/maricopa/fcs/bb/highCalciumFds.html (look at the *second* chart; the first one is obviously animal-sourced calcium). You might want to print this chart out and keep it on your fridge till you get really familiar with the great variety of foods you can offer your son.
To introduce new foods, mix some of your choice of his usuals with whatever you're serving him for the first time. He is very, very used to his "comfort" foods, and you don't want to set yourselves both up for food fights and, especially, an aversion to trying new things. I wouldn't worry about this too much. The main thing is to always keep feeding times pleasant and no-pressure. Keep offering him new things - even the same new things - because we all tend to reject flavors that we can't relate in our brains to familiar ones. This is partly why kids say no to new foods. It's a survival trait. We get a taste, our brain says "Whoa, I don't know if this is safe or toxic or what," and we automatically decide we don't like the taste of it. If we try it again after a few days or a week or a year or whatever, our brain then says, "well, I didn't get sick or die the first time, so maybe it's ok...."
For really great ideas, check out Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. Here are some ideas off the bat:
Swiss chard!! mmmmm...
sweet potatoes (Japanese ones are amazing)
tahini (condiment, say, added to unsweetened soy yogurt)
ground nuts, seeds (condiment)
brewer's yeast (condiment)
beans (if canned, drain and thoroughly rinse), mashed or blended to reduce choking hazard
I got these from Yaron's month-by-month (up to age one). What I have found is, I can just combine pretty much anything with pretty much anything else (assuming it's cooked and soft or blended or ground/blended or soft/chunky or whatever, but of course, not just coined like carrots and not just the way we prepare it for adult meals, at least not till he's used to increasingly thick, etc. consistencies, because that's a choking hazard), and add some of those "condiments" (Yaron calls them "healthy extras"), and even *I* like 'em.
Today, for example, I fed my baby quickly grated, peeled apple, added the juice, and stirred in some tahini and pumpkin seeds (ground up very fine, as all nuts and seeds should be). Took all of 3-5 minutes to pull out the coffee grinder, grind the pumpkin seeds, wash, peel and grate the apple, and stir in tahini.
Other combos: yogurt with any fresh fruit, plus ground-up seeds. Any bean in the world (canned is fine) with any grain you like (quinoa is great because it cooks in 15 minutes; amaranth is probably even less). Blend, or mash, and voila. Lunch. Avocado with powdered kelp sprinkled on. Etc.
MAKE SURE TO WAIT FOUR DAYS BEFORE INTRODUCING EACH NEW FOOD. This way, you can observe your son for allergic reactions - anything from a clear, runny nose to an unexplained diaper rash, to more severe reactions (don't worry, severe reactions are very rare when first introduced) - and be sure of which food caused what. This is how I noticed that my baby is allergic to pears.
Baby calls! Good luck!
Ok, later PS now that the baby is back to sleep. By the way, I read the other post, and don't want you to worry about protein. Veg-heavy diets like your son's are commonly believed, mistakenly, to be lacking in protein, or unbalanced (no offense to the other poster. I understand that this is just what we've all been told, all our lives). But it's just a myth. I'm a vegan who has logged intensive hours and hours of research on diet and health, over the past decade, and my mom's an expert nutritionist for the WIC program; I've consulted with her exhaustively on all things food-related, as well. Your son is doing just great. We humans get protein from everything. Just like the animals do. It doesn't have to be combined in any special way, either. Do you know the word for protein deficiency? No? :) That's because it's almost unheard of in the developed world. It's kwashiorkor. As long as a person is getting enough calories, s/he's getting enough protein. And feeding your kid lots of beans is just great. You don't really need them for the protein, but they're healthy and a perfectly good food.
M.H. answers from Tulsa on April 07, 2009
Hi there! All 3 of my kids have the same milk protein allergy, they got it from me...so we are a virtually dairy-free household. My youngest son ate baby food for just a brief period of time. He then started wanting to eat anything we ate, but we mushed it up for him. You just have to read labels. You want to avoid anything that has they words "whey" or "casein" or "caseinate" in them. Those are milk proteins. Just get creative. I have learned that many processed things that come prepackaged have milk proteins in them. Even Spaghettio-s have milk protein in them...they have cheese in them. I have also found that I have to do a whole lot more cooking from scratch and using my own seasonings that don't have cheese in them. I know that it takes more time to cook from scratch, but you can get the rest of the family involved in preparing meals...especially your older kids.
My littlest one likes eggs, oatmeal, rice, beans, bread, peanut butter, bananas, applesauce, soy yogurt (Wal-mart here carries a brand called "Oh Soy" and it's pretty good.
One more thought I wanted to add is that people have said to me stuff like "oh it's terrible that you can't have pizza". You know what my response is? "Don't knock a no-cheeze pizza 'til you've tried it!". We go to restaurants and have them leave the cheese and sour cream off of stuff. We order entrees that don't have milk-based sauces...if what we want comes with a milk-based sauce, we ask for something else. We just live a normal life without milk. It's not a big deal.
Check out this website for more information on being dairy-free:
It is very informative. Though it has a bias from people that don't eat meat, it is very eye-opening about dairy products and how harmful they can be to some people.
Ok, best of luck to you. Message me if you have any more questions!!!
J.A. answers from Huntsville on April 06, 2009
Sounds as if you are doing great so far. At one year my daugther did not have any meat nor cow's milk (we did nurse well past one year though). She did not eat or drink either until at least 18 mo. Beans and rice are an excellent source of complete protein. As a previous post said you do not need to feed a baby meat for adequate protein intake. She had several great suggestions on her list. Avocado was and still is a great favorite, it has one of those healthy fats that baby needs. It also helps if you use whole grains for the rice and pasta as a lot of nutrients are lost when bleaching the grains. I do not know if you can have yogurt with a protein allergy, but if so it is a great food for babies. They will even take plain, no added sugar, which is great. Plain yogurt can be blended with many fresh fruits and ground seeds and nuts (another complete protein) for a snack.
Again you are doing a great job! At one year babies really do not have to have a lot of varity, just have fun trying different stuff. Plus, we did not give our baby a lot of 'adult' food for a while. It usually has way to much salt, fat, and protein. Not till I changed our eating habits did she eat our food.
N.S. answers from New Orleans on April 05, 2009
This may sound rude but it is not intended to be, but, have you walked down the produce isle lately? If he is not getting fresh fruits and veggies on a bigger scale than apples and bannanas, you need to get to the store. Have you added scrambled eggs to his diet? Is he eating meats? It looks to me like his largest protein intake is beans. Lots of starch there without more balance. At a year old, my little bug was eating EVERYTHING we ate including crawfish, fish, crabs, chicken, some beef, some pork and whatever else I cooked for dinner. I did stick to jar food with fresh fruits and chopped carrots until about 6 months ago. Now she eats whatever I put on her plate. Gerber fruit chews are a great snack. She even eats brussel sprouts, spinach and kale. My boyfriend has learned to like veggies that his family didn't eat because it is BETTER for you and especially for children. With all of the hype about global warming, change, and save the earth, we do not put enough emphasis on feeding our children proper or ourselves for that matter.