Thursday, 27 September 2007


Yesterday my 2 year old girl, Heidi, had her MMR vaccination. We combined the visit with Miller's 6 month check up. Both children are doing really well. Miller is 2 months ahead of the charts in terms of what he is doing. Yesterday he actually started crawling for the first time. He had been spinning and shuffling for a while but now in 2 days he can cover a whole room in the time it takes to put the kettle on. Yesterday his adventures covered trying to eat my Yukka plant, eating Heidi's jigsaws and seeing if he could upend a chair! So, the fun begins! Also, he is wanting to stand (assisted) all the time and is eating 3 solid meals a day along with breastfeeding every 4 hours. Heidi is learning 2 languages simultaneously and loves puzzles designed for 3-4 year olds.

So, you would think all was well. Only I went and opened my mouth about our veganism. Not the best idea I'd ever had. I realized soon after I mentioned it that I was speaking to a health visitor and a doctor and not a nutritionalist and I do value my health centre and their expertise but it is clear that there is limited or non existent knowledge of the health benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet.

The response was a very surprised 'you don't eat meat or dairy?' ....'I respect vegetarians but children shouldn't be vegetarian til at least 4 years of age'. I explained my choice was made and I was hoping for some clarification of if I was eating enough fat whilst nursing my baby etc. Let's just say I got no answers! If you want to know all the facts about the health benefits, please visit where you can find info & factsheets. All I know is mine and my children's chances of getting cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and osteoperosis (yes the thing you think you need to drink milk to avoid) to mention just a few, are lower than a meat and dairy eaters chances.

Please don't be discouraged by those who have not done their homework. The little you know is probably more than many know.

I'll finish by saying that yesterday, Heidi ate a well balanced diet consisting of fortified porridge (non-dairy) with soya milk, toast with peanut butter, some walnuts, hazlenuts and almonds with dried fruit pieces, a fruit soy yogurt, raisin bread, home-made vegetable soup, wholemeal bread and a banana. If that's not a good thing then I don't know what is... a mcdonalds? turkey twizzlers? Cheese strings?...... You get the point.


a vegan from PPK forum said...

Cute the chicks in the background (re: your first blog entry).

For B12, anyplace sell Nutritional Yeast there? Or maybe you can order it without it getting stuck at customs.

Doctors usually have limited training in nutrition and should suggest you speak to a nutritionist if you have different dietary views.

Take care, and keep writing.

Jill Forrest said...

Thanks for the tip, it hasn't jumped out at me from the one shelf with no animal products on in one of the few health stores here but will look for it! Didn't know that was a source of B12 at all. Thanks for the support.

Marina said...

You'd be surprised just how little they know. Check out FAQ number 5 on this webpage. It's unfortunate that the people, most of us look to for advice on preventive medicine, are virtually clueless.

nicki said...

hi, so happy to see that someone else out there is experiencing the same situations as me. i also have a 6 month old and my husband and i are vegan. myquestion is, when your child reaches the age where meats such be introduced what did you give him?
my guy is also advanced for his age and already 20 pounds!

thanks for writing, keep up the good work:) cheers

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! I will definitely be back as a frequent visitor.

My sister spent 6 years in Norway as a student and homeless person and living with some musician in MoeRana? (OK, I have no idea, just heard the city name, never seen it written...) Long story that... ANYWAY - She encountered some resistance and lack of understanding to her veganism as well, though she wasn't raising children - people still were critical and uneducated...

So I've prattled on enough. Mainly I wanted to say WELCOME to Veggie Boards (I'm a long-time member there). Please stick around!

In response to Nikki's question about feeding something instead of "meats" to a baby - depends on what you are comfortable with, but you could try mashed or cubed tofu, soy yogurt, mashed or whole (WELL cooked) soft pinto beans or whatever beans you have? I just know that the skins on black beans, black-eyed peas and kidney beans can be harder to digest so those are suggested to wait a little longer...

Any questions, ask away. I raised my kids 99% vegan (we did do some trace ingredients on occassions when we had little choice - and at parties and special events, sometimes they had a cupcake or something, I didn't make a huge fuss though they usually preferred the vegan options anyway...)

So, yeah, yay!

Jill Forrest said...

Yes, I would have said the same re tofu and soy yogurts, my 2 year old loves both. Miller is also a big 6 month old, has been on solids since 3 months old - I took the follow the cues from your baby approach to feeding him and got disapproval from the health sister here but he is a happy, healthy boy, still nursing a lot too. Now I feed him mainly fruit and veggies. My health sister advised I gave him liver paste and cod liver oil to make sure he is healthy...frightening!

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