I wish I could say that our original intentions were to raise our daughter Anzia as a vegan, but that would be a lie. Vegetarian, absolutely, but vegan was the furthest thing from our minds.
Just before Anzia was four weeks old we found out that she was allergic to the dairy that she was getting in my breast milk. I gave up dairy the same day. This was the beginning of my vegan journey as well as Anzia’s.
We were fortunate to have an amazing pediatrician, Dr. Fleiss, who supported a vegan diet for children and gave us a vegan food plan from weaning through the toddler years. He also recommended that I nurse for the first two years to help build a strong immune system, which I did, so unfortunately she wasn’t very interested in foods other than pears, carrots, and peas. Due to my experience or lack of feeding a vegan baby, I wanted to ask any of you with more experience feeding vegan little ones a question that was asked of me.
Thanks for any help you have!!!!”
My response to her was:
“We made all of our own baby food. We were fortunate enough to have a Vitamix given to us as a gift and it was super helpful. I was still nursing at the time and I really believe because of that she preferred sweeter foods. Peas, carrots, and pears were some of her favorites. We would make a batch and freeze in large ice-cube trays, pulling out and refrigerating what we would need for two days at a time.”
What was or is your experience with making vegan baby food?
This can cause a new parent a lot of trepidation, but it’s so very easy to stay away from store bought “baby food”. For the record, if you ever pick up a jar of butternut squash on the baby food aisle…it tastes nothing like butternut squash…gasp. I know, crazy.
I made all of our son’s baby foods. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a garden to pull them from. I am jealous, Melissa. 🙂
I breastfed until my son was 15-months, though slowly started introducing solid foods soon after he turned 6-months old. We attempted the “rice cereal” thing, my dear husband, who I love so much brought home Rice Krispies when I asked for rice cereal to feed the baby…when we got the correct type of rice cereal, my son didn’t like it at all. Neither did I, so it went away. I then started with sweet potatoes, then applesauce, then butternut squash. He LOVED all of it. It’s important to buy organic if you do have to purchase from the grocery store though. Anything you can mush, give it a try. Your child may just like it. The day I handed him a cracker (9-months) you would have thought I’d handed him the world. He was so happy to make a mess with that as it was the first hard food he was ever given, AND he could do it himself versus being spoon fed.
I didn’t have a high-speed blender, such as the vitamix (though one day I’m going to splurge) so all I used to mash and puree was an immersion blender in my smallest cooking pot. I wasn’t making too much food ahead of time. I would cook “a” potato, or a “handful” or peas at a time. If he didn’t eat very much, the rest went into the fridge for a day or two at most, before my husband and I killed it off.
Just keep in mind that they don’t eat much in the beginning. Kids LOVE fruits. My son just turned two and he still can’t get enough fruit into his belly. Sometimes I wish my eating habits mirrored his…good luck to you, Melissa, with your little one.
Thanks. Any info you have is much appreciated. My baby is not due untill September, so we are going to grow as much as we can and freeze to get us through when she will start eatting food till next summer when we can plant again. We are not sure where to start so any advice, tips you have would help so much!!!! Thank you